Sasquatch Faces Rejection After the Apocalypse

SasquatchWhen Sasquatch awoke it was still dark. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he rolled over on the rocky ground and looked over at the boy. He was asleep, curled in the blue plastic tarp they had found in the deserted filling station. Sasquatch could see that his condition had worsened. His nearly translucent skin clung corpselike to his cheekbones, and his eyes were sunken and dark. Even in sleep he drew breath in ragged, wheezing gasps. Grunting softly, Sasquatch used a paw to smooth the boy's thinning hair.
 
The sun began to rise. Slowly, the dusty air around them took on a grimy reddish-grey cast. Sasquatch climbed to his feet, stretching and brushing out the red soot which had settled on his fur during the night. He shook the boy gently to wake him, and once each had taken a drink of murky water from the canteen, Sasquatch lifted the boy onto the rear seat of the bicycle built for two, and they set off towards Dusttown.
 
. . .
 
Their progress was agonizingly slow. The boy would frequently break out in fits of coughs, hacking and wheezing uncontrollably in the dry desert air. During a particularly violent fit, Saquatch slid the bicycle to a halt, allowing the boy a few moments to catch his breath. He could see that his skin had grown deathly pale. His lips were parched and cracked, and his forehead shone with rivulets of sweat in the dim light. Panting with eyes glazed, he seemed almost to be feverish, and mumbled
 
They continued on, but Sasquatch found that himself stopping more and more frequently out of fear for the boys safety. At times the child would stop pedaling altogether and simply slump forward onto the bars. Eventually Sasquatch decided he could no longer go on, and pulled him onto his back, placing the tiny arms around his thick furry neck. He grimaced and began pedaling down a long sloping road which led into the heart of the city, careful to ensure the boy did not slip. From somewhere in behind them came the low rumbling of thunder.
 
Leaning forward, Sasquatch pedaled faster.

. . .
 
As they approached what was once the heart of the city, the streets became increasingly difficult to navigate. What remained of the asphalt was overgrown with thick brush and thorny brambles, and jagged, rusted out husks of cars made for dangerous obstacles. Here and there large heaps of concrete and steel blocked the road entirely, and in these places their progress slowed to a crawl as Sasquatch was forced to lug the bicycle up and down the jagged mounds, the boy's hands clasped weakly around his neck. Sasquatch feared the tiny arms would go limp and any moment; that the boy would go tumbling down and down over the jagged stones, but somehow he managed to hold strong.
 
Stopping to at the top of one of the piles, Sasquatch look behind them and saw that a roiling mass of dark black stormclouds was nearly overhead. The boy let out a hoarse moan and began to shiver.
 
Sasquatch turned and started down, dragging the bicycle roughly by the wheel behind him as he scanned the area desperately for intact building in which to take shelter.
 
. . .
 
He discovered the old pump house only just in time. Much of the roof had rotted away, and the door had long since rusted off, but he supposed it would have to do. Inside, broken rocks and large bits of concrete littered the floor, and nearly half the building was taken up by a number of large rusted out water tanks. Sasquatch lowered the boy carefully to the floor and set about making a fire. By the time he had finished the boy was asleep. Outside the storm raged.
 
Sasquatch settled down next to him. Outside, the wind shrieked and tore at the thin sheet of tarp with which he had tried to cover the exposed doorway. Water poured in through the ceiling, and the cracks in the walls, pooling all around them.
 
The boy slept on, restlessly.
 
. . .
 
Later that night, when the rain had quieted, Sasquatch looked down at the boy and saw that his eyes were open. He grinned, flashing his large fangs, but the boy only pursed his lips and grimaced. He mussed the boy's hair and huffed, patting him gently on the head. The boy's eyes twinkled dimly, and the corners of his mouth curled only a little. He reached out and grasped Sasquatch's paw with a tiny hand.
 
Soon his eyes grew cloudy again and he drifted again into a fevered sleep.
 
Sasquatch sat listening to the rain. He thought of the times before the war. He though of his days as a little Sasquatch on the plantation, capering through the field and along the riverbed and tearing the bones out of fish. He thought of the forests and the skyscrapers and the stars. He though of the late summers after the child's father had died when he and the boy would spend their days together planting sunflowers and heaving bricks through the windows of the abandoned factory. He told himself things would change. He told himself the boy was getting better. He told himself that everything was going to be alright.
 
His head dipped between his knees, and he slept.
 
Before morning the boy was dead.
 
. . .
 
Outside in the cool stale air, Sasquatch gathered armfuls of stones and debris. He brought them in, placing them one by one on the tiny, withered body. Once he had finished, he decided he would say a prayer. He softly grunted out a plea to his sasquatch ancestors, asking them to watch over the boy, and to protect him on his journey through the everlasting blizzards of oblivion. After he had finished, he turned and shuffled quietly out the door. He walked around to the back of the pump house, where he had leaned the bicycle built for two, and wheeled it out into the road, it's rusty wheels squealing in protest.
 
He stood for a moment running his paw over the torn fabric of the rear seat. He imagined the creak and whir of the second set of pedals, spinning freely behind him as he rode through the deserted city streets. He squeezed his eyes shut, and released his hold on the bike, allowing it to clatter to the pavement.

Standing with his head in his hands, he imagined himself being sucked down and down, into the bowels of the earth, the screams of a thousand cursed souls ringing in his ears. He opened his mouth to cry out, and felt his wretched soul slithering up and out into the ether.

"Dearest brother..." the a voice hissed, echoing across his mind, "Sanctuary..."

Smothering darkness closed in around him, and he knew no more.