They strolled clockwise around the rusted, piled-up car bodies that formed the wall of the city. They were looking for shelter, for food, for anything useful they might sell to get either of those things. Maurice and Janet were not the first to pick over this section. They never were.
Maurice made an excited noise and hopped over to dig a car hood out of the dirt. "Would you look at that! The apocalypse just skipped a beat! We can add this to our roof!"
As pleased as she was to find a piece for shelter, Janet rolled her eyes. The day when Maurice didn't make five or six jokes about his heart being called "apocalypse", well, the world really would end. He once told her that he wished they still had defibrillators so he could get shocked by one and say that someone had kick-started the apocalypse.
The man who would be king inside the city called it "Jericho", ignorant of the Biblical implications. He just liked the name. He didn't like Maurice. At all. Janet could have gone inside, probably even to the "palace", with warm beds and hot food, or so she had heard. She wouldn't go alone, though. She knew what happened to lone girls who went into the city.
Janet caught a few rats to eat, and they dug up some flammables, too, so at least there would be cooked meat for dinner. As they picked the meat off tiny bones that evening, looking at Jericho over the sunset, Janet wondered if it was worth it. Maurice was right - Jeremiah, king of Jericho was not a good guy on a good path. One day he'd be overthrown, from inside the city or outside, it didn't matter. Things would change, then.
Janet watched Maurice sleep under his leather and hessian patchwork blanket, snoring softly after dinner was done. She saw, as if for the first time, the lines on his face, and realised he might not see the day when Jericho returned to him, though it was his by birthright. Birthright didn't matter in this place, or Maurice never would have been thrown out at all.
It was time. Now or never. Janet found Maurice's old travelling cloak and walking stick. She couldn't leave him a note, couldn't tell him she was going, because he'd try to stop her, but there were other nomads around Jericho now. She had seen their fires in a wide circle around the city. She was determined to rally them against Jeremiah.
Before she left him, asleep, she kissed his cheek and put her hand on his chest, to feel the beat of his heart. We'll get this, she thought to herself. We'll take back the city before the apocalypse stops. And with that, she walked into the night, towards the cooking fires of the other nomads.
Mokalus of Borg
PS - I seem to have been having a motif or theme lately.
PPS - I'm sure it will pass.