I remember when the world was green. But then I’m old.
They said it was a blip, when it started to get cold. The politicians told us not to panic—
Politicians? They ran the place—
Like Elders? Yeah, I guess they’re similar.
First thing that happened, we ran out of food. That’s when people started getting mean with each other, just arguing at first, but it got nasty enough when the fuel rations cut in. Didn’t take much for us to turn on each other.
Back then, they were worried about the world getting warm. You believe that? Everywhere was getting flooded. Something to do with us burning what we dug out from the ground—
No, not like stick-picking. If you keep digging through the snow you get to ground, right? Hard, so you stop. If you keep going for miles there’s black water down there called oil which you can burn—
Sure you can burn liquid—
I don’t care whether you believe me or not. Back then people used to kill each other over it. Guess it’s the same now, only it’s wood. And that’ll run out soon enough, just like the oil was going to. They used oil for making heat and electricity—
Electricity? You know that wind up torch old Barth has…yeah, like that. But it came through the walls—
Don’t be ridiculous, it’s not magic. Doesn’t take much does it? Just a generation or two and it’s all forgotten.
Maybe it’ll warm up again someday. It’ll stink. Everything rotting, all those bodies.
No, don’t put any more wood on the fire. Help your old man up, we need to get going. I know a perfect spot a couple of day’s walk from here. Used to be an old beech coppice, hundreds of years ago. More firewood than we can carry, and we’ll dig down at an old supermarket I know on the way back. Get some cans of food and maybe a bottle if we’re lucky.