Every town was the same. Lost to time and waiting for someone to reawaken it. After everything stopped working people would settle in a town and eventually forget there’s a world outside it. Few wandered from place to place, spreading their name and reputation. Some would even become a bad omen by name and Black Fox was the perfect example.
Black Fox. The name was nothing new. It followed her wherever she went despite her wishes to be unnoticed. Rumors told of a girl who wanted to find as much trouble as she could. But even before Wasteland, rumors were rarely true.
Black Fox looked around, taking in the smell of old piss and alcohol. There was plenty of that to be found. When the law disappeared moonshiners came out of hiding and now run a vast and growing market. The smell made her gag. Only once, after Wasteland of course, had she tried alcohol. And the to her, the taste was vulgar and had burned her throat.
After arriving here only a short time ago Black Fox quickly learned this town was no different. It was just as empty as all the others had been. It had been typical to find a few homeless old men sitting on some corner. Today was no exception. The sun was just beginning to rise as the Black Fox was wondering around and she already passed five of the homeless sitting on the stained, neglected concrete. Old broken homes stood along the road with falling fences that no one bothered to mend. It wouldn’t do any use to the owner anyway. They were probably long gone and had moved on. Or they were dead. In the first months murder had skyrocketed and with no one around to say it was wrong, people killing others became an every day occurrence.
Black Fox looked up and saw a little boy in torn clothing staring down at her from a smashed window.
She gave the boy a slight nod and moved on. The boy was lucky to have a place to call home. That did not exist for her, not anymore. There was no home that held a bed for her to stumble into and awaken from a deep sleep in.
She passed bye a group of old woman. Normally it was not safe for woman to be out, especially without a man to protect her. But the woman were so old that it was unlikely that someone would bother them. Though she tried to ignore them, it didn’t stop the words to be acknowledged.
One hushed voice stood out more than the others. “I heard she murdered a man for just a glass of water. And yesterday I even saw her pull a knife on a child.”
Black Fox just kept on walking. She had learned long ago that arguing would only cause problems and would make the lies worse. She had only been in this town for two months and already everyone had their own rumor about her. “Stay away or she will kill you for sure.”
She tried not to let it bother her. She had been in solitude for so long that even when others were around, she still felt alone. She never really bothered speaking to others. Building bonds would only hurt her in the end. Trusting others would only be a way to let the wrong person in. Solitude was now her sanctuary.
An old bum sat watching her from across the street. It wasn’t her he stared at. It was the wooden sword she had strapped to her back that had him entranced. A wooden katana that was sharp enough to deeply cut open a body. It was her favorite toy. The bum let his eyes drop to her waist. Black Fox knew he wasn’t giving her the once over. It was what she had strapped to each leg that was what he was interested in. A single long dagger clung to each leg. Her twin blades. The weapons were for emergency and her own protection. She thought about showing off the blades to the bum but, she reconsidered. Pulling the sword off her back could be dangerous. Someone could easily take the action as a threat and then she would either be forced to surrender or fight off the assailants.
Black Fox looked at the bum one more time, then moved on. This town is just like all the others. Lifeless and deadly. During the day only men dared enter the streets. Women and children didn´t take the risk except when a man is there to protect them. The weekend market is the only safe time for everyone. Today was only Friday and no one entered the street to greet the misunderstood girl.
Even three years after the disaster, society was still in shambles. The country ran out of money long before that night but, it took a new depression to show reality. Government programs closed. Welfare was shut down. Food tickets lost all value. Foreign countries cut us off completely. No one came to help. The U.S was dying as everyone we helped simply watched laughing as we fell apart.