A Writer’s Book of Days Exercise: Security

A Writer’s Book of Days Exercise: Security

There were metal posts sticking straight up from the ground, high as trees in some places. Or high as she remembered trees being. From the pieces she could see against the edges of the crater, they went down about as far as that, too. If she’d wanted to, she could risk climbing down to the bottom on them, but the whole point in coming here in the first place was to survive.

Instead, she found walked around the edge, found the secured holds, and wound her way down on a path that was designed to be inconspicuous. It was the first time she’d tried this climb in the middle of the night, and the cloud cover was too thick for much of the moonlight to get through. She found each hold by feel and memory, and tried not to worry about how it didn’t seem much safer than riding the girders.

At least the ledge wasn’t down at the bottom, where the ground was always damp, and it seemed like the sludge of ages was still oozing its way up from the long defunct systems. She tested the ledge when she reached it. There was a little give, like always, but it still seemed strong enough to hold. Her breath still caught when she shifted her weight that last little bit from the wall to the tiny piece of ground almost hovering about a fall that’d give her just enough time to swear before adding to the ooze.

If there had been enough light, she’d be able to see the metal in the cement edges of the tiny piece of ground. She might even be able to make out the hand-width space where yellow paint had been, back when the metal and crater had been a building, and the ledge part of a parking lot. Even without the light, she looked out into the darkness, and shook her head at all the space devoted to the storage of cars. It made the racks in the business zones look small and efficient, even if they went up about as far as this building must’ve done.

She pulled the wrap out of her bag, and cocooned herself, sliding to press her back against the wall. The last bit of concrete pressed a hard, jagged line, but it meant she was in the right place. When the buzzing sound of engines made its way into the pit beside her, that security was more important than her comfort.

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