Enders. Some short fiction.

I discover the pair by accident. In the old days, the collapse of a building was a signal for folks to rush in and claim its resources. ‘The old days’! Listen to me, looking back from the wise old age of my mid -twenties.

I am dizzy, weak, permanently fatigued. I take rest beside a fallen wall and see the two. More sliding than crawling, I make my way toward them. Cautious. A quick check and I see that the boy is dead. Crush injuries and who knows what else. They must have been sheltering in the building when it fell.

I don’t recognise them. Not unusual, so many folks move through this area every night looking for things to eat or trade.
She is ashen, gaunt and dirty. A description of us all. A skeleton with a swollen belly – with malnutrition, not child.

The girl moves suddenly at my touch. Her arms move weakly to fend off a molester. Automatic reflexes. I smile, ‘molest’ that’s a thought. Nothing has worked in that department for as long as I remember. I am as barren as everyone else.

There was a time when, she, like me, would have been confined to home, fed with whatever scraps of food our families could find. But for both of us, nothing. No budding of immature breasts, no widening of hips for childbearing and no flow of blood. A short lifetime of poisoning and starvation putting a halt to any possibility of reproduction.

We are truly the enders. She and I, the opposite ends of our generation but the same. Poisoned, starved, barren, infertile, lacking a future.

I lift her a little, wrap my arm around her shoulders. At least shell have someone wih her when she dies.