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How do. I’m still not dead.
I trudged wearily through the skeletal remains of what once was a bustling city, a haunting labyrinth of crumbling buildings and rusted remnants. Bert was skipping from side to side his keen nose twitching.
My worn boots echoed in the eerie silence of the dead city accompanied only by the persistent click-clack of Bert’s paws against the cracked pavement.
I looked across fondly at the little fella. We’d only been together a few months but having been through so much together it felt like an eternity. We were a duo bound by an unspoken pact to endure the remnants of a civilization lost to the ravages of the apocalypse or something like that.
Bert emerged from a shop doorway carrying a filthy tennis ball which he dropped at my feet then he looked up at me expectantly.
“Really Bert? After all we’ve been through? You know we can’t play ball in a new city until we know it’s safe.”
He gave me a little whine.
I picked up the ball and lobbed it up the road a bit.
The city was quiet. I’d noticed this, people were either avoiding them, which was sensible of course, or perhaps there were less people which was likely. I hadn’t met anyone in a long while who hadn’t wanted to murder, sacrifice or exploit me.
Bert came sprinting back with the tennis ball in his mouth.
“One more throw don’t you push your luck you little bugger.”
I threw the ball, it bounced off a rusting car and went round the corner down an alleyway. Bert sprinted after it. Suddenly I heard a loud exclamation of pain and a yelp from Bert.
From the alley Bert emerged victorious with his tennis ball followed by a man. He was cloaked in tattered garments, he pushed a makeshift cart loaded with salvaged treasures — rusty relics, scavenged tech components, and faded books. His weathered face told a tale of survival, and his treasures, though worn, hinted at a past civilization now lost to the decay of this fallen world.