Inspired by these pictures
Given their options after school, hiking through the wilderness that had once been suburbia had seemed like a good idea to the Goldilocks Crew. They didn’t often run into people, and, while there wasn’t much food left, a decade after the apocalypse, sometimes there were useful tools.
Well, useful to someone who had Repair and Worked Objects as their best words, which was Nadette; Orsa could use the words and Beirne was okay with them. But Beirne could find clean water or clean it for them, and Orsa could make food happen anywhere. They made a good team, and not just because they were the Three Bears.
They’d been picking their way through abandoned houses and creepy forests for five months when they came across the hotel; they hadn’t made it very far south, winter was coming, and they wanted a place to bring their kids home to.
And the hotel was a mess. More than a mess, a straight-up disaster.
“This has to have been empty longer than just since the war.” Beirne poked at the moss growing on a mattress. “The houses we’ve seen…”
“Some of them were nearly this bad.” Orsa ran her hand over a broken window. “But there’s graffiti here. I imagine this was empty for a while before things went to shit.”
Things went to shit was the way they phrased it, usually. It seemed less terminal than when the world ended, and, after all, they were still here. Things had only ended so much.
“The roof’s still sound.” Nadette had been muttering Idu Unutu Workings under her breath, Knowing the structure of the building. “And it’s got a well, so there could be water if we can figure out the plumbing.”
“‘Dette, there’s moss on the beds.”
“Abatu Huamu.” Orsa gestured over the bed, and the plant life was gone. “Abatu Huamu mikróvia. That ought to take care of any bacteria.”
“It’s still a saggy mess with saggy wallpaper and a hole in the floor.” Beirne didn’t sound as doubtful as perhaps he ought to, given the circumstances.
“Jasfe Unutu kreváti, Jasfe unutu sanidó.” Nadette shifted as the floor planks knitted themselves back together under her feet. “The walls are sound.”
Beirne looked between the two of them. Finally, he sighed. “Jasfe Unutu paráthyro.” He gestured at the window, and it was whole again. “All right. This can be our cottage.”
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