Like this one, written by Evan Gilling, for The Road. It begins:
He palmed the spartan book with black cover and set out in the gray morning. Grayness, ashen. Ashen in face. Ashen in the sky.
He set out for the road, the book in hand. Bleakness, grayness. Nothing but gray, always.
He was tired and hungry. Coughing. The coughing had gotten worse. He felt like he might die. But he couldn’t die. Not yet.
The boy depended on him.
He walked down the road, awaiting the creaking bus. It trundled from somewhere, through the gray fog. The ashen gray fog.
He stepped aboard, spartan book in hand. No one spoke. They were all ghosts. Tired, wrinkled, rumpled, going wherever. Not knowing why. Just going.
He opened the book and read. He began to see a pattern, a monotonous pattern of hopelessness. Chunks of gray hopelessness. Prose set in concrete, gray. Gray blocks of prose. He read.
He recognized images from films long since past, and books from authors of yore. Many science fiction writers, many movie makers. He thought he saw a flash, something familiar. Perhaps it was only one of his nagging dreams. A dream of what once existed, but he did not know. Wasn’t there once, he wondered, a story called “A Boy And His Dog,” by, who? Ellison, maybe? Was that the name? It seemed right, but his mind was unreliable. It had not been reliable in awhile. People forget. Yes, they forget.
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