Drink Up, Dreamers

“It’s halfway up the landing legs now.”

She stared out the viewport. The only part of the colony still visible, ironically, was the flattened metal bulb of the water tower. All the gravel paths, the prefab housing, the crops, the animal pens… “We landed on a hill.”

“Yes we did. But it’s halfway up the legs anyway. About four four more feet and it’s at the bottom of the engine cones. If we’re going to lift off it’s gotta be now.”

“How much fuel do we have loaded? How far can we—”

“There’s enough for the computer to get us to the high ground to the East. After that… dunno.” He got a faraway look in his eye. “We’d have to dry out and repair the ISPP unit. Tanks should still be good, unless they get damaged by debris while they’re underwater. Then it’s a matter of getting the fuel to the new landing site. We’d have to mount the spare tank on one of the caterpillar chassis. Lot of work.”

She rubbed her eyes. “Let’s get everyone strapped in.”

“Burt and Maise are still unaccounted for, we—”

“If they’re still alive, they’ll see us. Strap in. We’re taking off.”

Cry When It’s Over

Hide from the dead people. Keep hiding, even when they’re close. Run only when you have to. Always have an escape plan. Look for ways you can go because you’re little that they can’t because they’re big: gaps in fences, holes in walls, windows left partway open.

If you get cornered, slide down the storm drain and wait for night. Move away through the drain without splashing. Come out somewhere else.

Eat when you can, even if you’re not hungry. Food goes bad. If it smells bad, don’t eat it. Stuff that’s bad for you lasts longer. Drink when you can, even if you’re not thirsty. Don’t drink dirty water, sip the dew from the big leaves in the mornings.

Don’t cry. You make noise when you cry, you close your eyes when you cry, and your eyes can never be closed. Look around, be aware, know what’s coming. Survive.