(Or, A Reluctant Father’s Guide to Child-Raising in a Post-Apocalyptic World. Explanation.)
I leave the kettle rumbling on the camp burner and unbolt the back sliding door. The entire back used to be windows, but I long since boarded it up with the front doors of several houses in the my street.
I’ve never been sure what to call the back of my house. ‘Backyard’ always conjures images of lawn and swimming pool, which it certainly does not have. ‘Courtyard’ is just wrong, too. Patio? I just don’t know.
I step onto the night-cooled wooden boards and look up to the morning blue sky. It feels slightly claustrophobic here, what with my extensions the fence. High fences makes good neighbours of the things outside.
Secured to one side is a metal ladder. I quickly scale it to the top and look over the rooftops of my suburb. The back alley behind the house is thankfully clear this morning. Extending is all directions are tiled rooftops, covering their various secrets, and possibly occupants. I just don’t know.
In the distance is the city skyline. Skyscrapers once the home of commerce, now forever dark at night. Two plumes of smoke curl past the buildings from unseen fires that have been burning for the last two months. I would go and investigate, but I learned early that the CBD was not a place to visit. No exceptions.
I hear happy cackle from below me. I look down and see Sam standing on the second rung of the ladder, jigging in his triumph. For a moment I feel torn about his achievement. Should I tell him off for doing something so obviously dangerous for him? Maybe I should let him have his moment of victory? I just don’t know.