This was going to be tough.
Fortunately, the warehouse building they had found had not yet been looted and was reasonably intact to protect against the cold.
It was safe, for now.
I, Bruno, checked over the supplies. This was something that I used to do in my normal life.
It didn't take long to count anyway, they had a little food & water, but not enough to sustain them for long. Well, who knows how long this war will last and it looked as though it wasn't going to finish anytime soon.
Civil unrest tests the hearts and minds of those suffering through it. What do we care who is winning and losing.
Us wretched civilians were losers all around - no amount of flag waving, or saluting, could fill an empty stomach.
I glanced over at Cveta. A tough school teacher who obvously delighted in the comforts of danish pastries.
If I was a cannibal, I'd only take a small portion lest my cholesterol rose. He chuckled at the thought as he watched her butt as she bent down to investigate a box.
God help me with this one. Being able to solve a maths question wouldn't stop a bullet ending your calculations.
Emilia, now she was a tough bitch, not a teacher tough like Cveta, more real world, "I won't take your bullshit", tough.
She wouldn't take, "No", for an answer, when he had first rejected her tagging along. Even the threat of punching her in the face just made her even more determined to be a pain in the ass.
She had no hesitation in rejecting Cveta. Her curt whisper to just keep walking when the sobbing woman came begging to us.
But he didn't have the heart to turn her away. She reminded him of an old aunt he loved. Damn my conscience.
Well, you sleep in the bed you make. I just hope I don't regret bringing her along and the first sign of a twisted ankle in the face of adversity, and he'd leave her behind.
His stomach rumbled.
"God, I'm hungry." There'd be no food left after today's meal.
"If we don't find any food in this place, then we'll have to go out looking for some more" He told the others.
They were silent. Even the mouthy lawyer kept her mouth shut.
The entry level of the warehouse proved fruitful. Behind a pile of rubble was some much needed water & first aid supplies.
There might be enough brik-a-brack to make something useful.
The teacher's nose for books must have given her heightened curiosity. She found a herb setup out near the back.
This delighted me to no end. I'd run out of cigarettes a few days ago, my throat yearning for that acrid taste.
Once you've turned your body into a tinderbox, oh, how you miss it. I'm hopeful to make myself some small pleasures to get me through these dark days.
The ladies were all yabbering about the herbal properties & nonsense. Let them talk, but in quiet tones, we don't want to draw attention to ourselves.
That lawyer has a pair of lungs on her that might get us in trouble, like a bird squawking not awares of the cat waiting nearby in the shadows.
A locked door was no impediment to Lawyer. Emilia is full of surprises, pulling out a hairpin to pick the lock, allowing us to find more supplies.
Apparantly, she did a stint as a Private Investigator to make ends meet. Or so she says in where she acquired her breaking and entering skills, but that was not all of her surprises. A stint in Girl Scouts, a few components, and we have a ready made heater to keep the place warm from the cold.
It was great to receive a quick, how to, lesson in lockpicking - this may make it easier when I go out scavenging.
Daylight to Dusk, it's time to search the nearby hotel that we spotted on our way here.
Emilia wants to guard the entrance to our, "New Home", there's no telling who else is scavenging out there in the darkness.
Cveta insists on tagging along with me. She still hasn't forgiven Emilia for wanting to ditch her when we first met.
I guess it wouldn't hurt to have another pair of hands to help carry whatever we find.
Her observation skills have been beneficial so far.
We grab some gear, a shovel & a lock pick, and set off the short distance to the hotel.
I can feel the hair on the back of my neck rise as we cross the street and into the hotel.
It seems quiet, a little too quiet. I can hear my heart beating & every step taken emits an eery echoe, like we are walking through a cavern.
It's a shame to see these beautiful city buildings reduced to ugly ruins. Bombardments don't care for the rich or poor.
It's like each missile should be in the shape of exclamation marks. Metaphorically attempting to prove a point that a harsh text can do to its recipient.
Something metallic catches my eye in a rubbish bin. It's a knife. Now, I feel more comfortable in confronting things that go bump in the night.
A half smoked cigarette, on the lip of the bin too! Is this a sign of good things to come?
Sitting in the lobby of the hotel, an obvious foreign character, dressed in a Bellhop uniform, jumps up from a chair, flashes a smile.
"Our suite?" I reply, after he asks if we'd like to see it.
Cveta blushes when the Bellhop makes eye contact at her.
"Let's go." She suggests.
"This sounds like a bad idea. I think you've had one too many drama classes." I counter.
"Yes, but, nothing ventured ..." She steps forward, agreeing to follow the Bellhop.
We get to our "suite", he opens the door, moving a child's tricycl out of the way, which makes quite a laudible metallic squeak as it is moved.
We step in the room, we see a pair of shoes poking out from under a curtain, a poor attempt at concealment of whoever is behind it.
The man behind the curtain, also dressed in a Bellhop uniform, steps out from behind the curtain, both men have drawn knives, meaning to make victims out of us. I draw my knife, while, Cveta whimpers in fear.
The curtain Bellhop slashes at us, drawing blood from both of us, Cveta, has come off worse from the attack.
The Bellhop behind us, seems less confident, missing with his attack.
Fortunately, they have not planned to co-ordinate attacks. My drawing of the knife seemed to make them hesitate.
Previous victims must not have been a prepared. My lucky bin may have helped staved off death so far.
I feign an attack on the Bellhop who showed us in, but then twist the knife into the surprised curtain assailant, he drops immediately.
In fear, the greeting Bellhop bolts from the room, his morale obviously failing in seeing his comrade fall.
Cveta does her best to dress her wounds. We both will need bandages as soon as possible.
We grab the bellhop's knife, a bag with some food in it & a necklace.
It is now that we notice the smell of rotting flesh and realise the hotel contains previous victims about the place.
Cveta wants to leave, but I assure her, our survival depends on finding more. She is shaking, I hope she can keep it together for just a little longer.
We find some more food and a radio. I feel uneasy, it's time to go.
I hear a crack of wood, there is a crackling sound. Smoke enters from under the door.
The bellhop must have set fire to the place. The bastard.
There is no way out of the room. Only the hotel window.
We heave a coffee table through the window, the smashing glass makes our senses more aware of the fire around us.
We leap through the window, my arm and back are lacerated from the remaining glass on the window pane.
I get up warily, brush myself off, I'm gonna need some first aid.
Cveta moans in the dirt, the glass has ripped knife wounds even further open, she's in a bad way.
I drag her to a safer place, take a look at her wounds.
"Just wait here," I whisper "I know you're in pain, but, you gotta keep your voice down. I'm going to see if I can find anything to help you out, then we'll get out of here."
Cveta nods warily in acknowledgement.
I head off to scout the area quickly, maybe I'll find some more lucky bins.
All out of luck. It was time to return back to our shelter.
Emilia was happy to see us return, we're all getting a little tired, sleep deprivation will take its toll if we don't find a better routine.
She had an encounter with some other survivors. Once they realised that the building was occupied, they apologised and left. Things could have been worse for her if they were violent.
We have no bandages to fix up Cveta. I do not think she will make it through the evening. There's way too much blood loss. Her face is pale and she is talking to herself in a state of delirium.
I was right. Cveta didn't survive the night and I found her collapsed on the floor.
It has impacted me heavily. It must be from the lack of sleep. My spirits are down and we have run out of water.
My wounds have recovered a little bit, but I am still not able to contribute much.
Emilia isn't disturbed that Cveta has died. She is more concened about our lack of water and food.
If we do not find any help soon, I doubt we will survive another night.
The air outside is covered in a thick fog. This will make scavenging a little bit more easy but the air quality is making it hard to breathe.
Emelia is guarding the place again, but she is looking worse for wear. We have not had adequate sleep and she looks how I feel, terrible.
She made a huge fire in the heater, warming the place nicely to fend off the cold. It doesn't provide any hope though, it just makes the air quality worse.
I decide to scavenge around a city square, the fog protecting me from any sniper fire, or so I hope.
If we do not find any help soon, I doubt we will survive another night.
The air outside is covered in a thick fog from the smoke from the fires. This will make scavenging a little bit more easy.
I find alot of food, and items, that may have been useful, but no water, no bandages, and no help.
Returning back to the shelter, we are too tired. We cannot stave off sleep any longer.
Our fatigue makes us vulnerable to those better prepared, taking over our shelter and our items.
We have lost.
Based on the boardgame, "This War Of Mine", narrative of a game I am playing solo & with my son when he wants to jump in