I remember the bus ride being long, dusty and …well murky. I wasn’t sure what I had signed up for, but knew I was ready to help make a difference. There were few of us left after the Simpocalypse. Everyone had to do their part. I was sent to Murkland.
I arrived at my little camp and was excited. I walked across the street and sat on the bench so I could see the whole thing and take it all in. ‘You can do this!’ I told myself.
While daydreaming about my future here, a couple of Murklanders came walking down the sidewalk. A man who said to call him “Pookey”, and the mayor’s wife, Aeon Salamander.
They both sat down next to me and began telling me about Murkland and the neighboring little town of Nukecrest. Well, Pookey tried to talk but Aeon kept interrupting him. She wanted to make sure I knew all the rules and what I was supposed to be doing.
Finally she had said all she needed and left. Pookey said it was time for him to go too and that I should make sure and visit my neighbors, the Freegans. He said they were a great bunch of people. “Make sure and tell Brennachan I said hi.”, he grinned at me before heading away.
After he left I was greeted by a brightly dressed young lady who said her name was Lavender Pink, she was one of my neighbors from the Burner camp. She and a few others had come to welcome me to Murkland.
Back at my camp I was introduced to Jeep Girl, who brought some fruit cake, Veegan the Freegan and Sunshine the Freegan,(who was still walking down the sidewalk in this picture).
We had a great time chatting and getting to know each other. They asked why I signed up for Murkland and I just said, “I heard this is where the most friendly people are and if I am going to help rebuild the world, I want to do it with friends.”
They all smiled at me and then Jeep Girl told me, “Try the cake. It’s a Murkland family recipe.” I did and it was like taking a bite out of heaven! I couldn’t help but shovel the stuff into my mouth. I barely heard them talking about how it was made of trash fruit, along with a few other secret herbs.
“What kind of fruit did you say again?” I asked, sliding onto the bench across from Sunshine. “Trash!”, Jeep Girl laughed. Everyone laughed at the face I made. “Yeah, it’s like symbolic and stuff,” Sunshine began wiggling his fingers over the plate,“it’s like taking something nobody else would even think of touching and making something beautiful out of it.” That certainly was a optimistic way of looking at it.
Soon everyone said goodbye and that I was welcome to visit anytime I needed anything, so I started cleaning up. According to the info packet I was given on the bus ride here, I was supposed to use the leftovers and scraps to make trash piles. I guess the soil here was full of some sort of bacteria that could transform trash into plants. I was supposed to grow 16 perfect plants.
After I started my pile of trash at the back of my camp, I noticed a very plainly dressed woman walking down the side walk across the street. She looked sort of out of place so I ran over and introduced myself. She must of been lost in thought because I had to repeat myself. “I said, My name I Pally. I am the new recruit here in Murkland!”
Her eyes lit up when I said my name. “Oh, yes! I had heard you were the new girl here. I wanted to come and see for myself. So you found your way home…” she grinned at me. I couldn’t help but notice she spoke with a slight lisp. “What do you mean?” I asked, puzzled. “No time for that now,” she said,” you have plants to grow and friends to make. Come see me when you have been here for a while.” She just grinned again and walked away, back the way she had came.
I was confused. How was I supposed to visit her if I didn’t even know where she lived? I didn’t even know her name for that matter, she didn’t tell me. I tried not to think to much about it as I walked down the street to the Burner camp. I remembered I needed to eat trash fruit each day and wasn’t sure if the fruitcake counted. I was going to see if they had any to spare.
Lavender and Jeep Girl were out by their plants when I arrived and we were soon joined by their camp mate, Dusty Boots. She was a little tired from her day of rummaging. They told me that was one of the ways most people here made a living, scavenging and trading or selling what they found.
I complemented Lavender on their plants and then asked if I could have a couple of the fruits for my daily intake until I could get a plant going for myself. She said, “Sure thing! That’s what life is all about out her, helping and caring for each other.” She grinned and took in a deep breath. All I could smell was trash. How was I ever going to eat one of these things everyday?!
While I was using their, ‘toilet’, I over heard them asking each other if they thought I would be able to make it here. “I think she can!” Jeep Girl exclaimed, “she is not afraid to use the bushes and seems willing to eat the fruit. As long as she doesn’t mind getting a little…murky, she’ll do fine!”
They started up a bonfire and we all chatted and danced for a while. I was a little nervous about my dance moves at first. I felt like I hadn’t danced in..well, never I think this was the first time. They smiled and I did my best to copy their moves.
Before long I was ready to head back to my camp, so I said my good byes and jogged off into the murky dusk of evening. I had made some great friends so far and was really happy about that.
When I got back I took out the fruit I had picked from their plants and held it up to my face. It had that sick sweet smell, mixed with garbage. “Over the teeth and past the tongue, watch out stomach, here it comes,” I murmured before cramming as much as I could into my mouth.
‘That wasn’t too bad,’ I thought. I sighed happily. I think I will be okay. ‘I can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds….’ I pondered and headed off to my tent for a good night sleep.