[Disclaimer - I'm a shit writer and this post is only half finished. I like to try for 1k words a post.]
It is hard to say what drove his grandfather to settle here. It may have been the rural location - surrounded by plenty of wildlife to sustain a growing family, yet with land and deserted housing spacious enough to discourage crowding. A single, well fortified home was much easier to defend with capable hands. Though some of those hands were small, trembling, and unprepared. The young man shook his head, blonde wisps of hair fluttering in his eyes. The memories were pointless distractions, and yet, he succumbed to them regardless.
Raymond glanced out the simple, pane-less window of his home. A single-story home of moderate size, in shambles, in ruin. Sunlight glittered from the broken glass in the street. A silence lilted through the air, carrying only the sounds of wind through the drafty abode. "So boring..." His mutters can hardly be discerned as he rests his lower jaw comfortably into his right arm, helplessly slumped over the tattered table, eyes fixated on the sky which encapsulated that dreadful sun. 'The Reaper,' his grandfather often called it... The fickle, unforgiving son of Mother Nature who cast his scythe with reckless abandon upon humanity so long ago. Science, or so Raymond had been told, always knew the phenomenon which sealed the fate was always possible within a century, and yet, they simply weren't prepared for it.
It was unimaginable. Unthinkable.
[b "This street was bustling with cars, men, women, children... On holidays we'd have firework shows, and great food! Gather with our family, friends, and talk about anything and everything. It was all in the palm of your hand."] The ramblings of an old man that brought a shine to his eyes in his youth, brought a smile to his face as an adult. Grandpa was always so animated when he spoke about the past. Oh, the things he'd wished Raymond could see, experience, take part in. Instead, he'd relayed them to him in the shattered remnants of humanity's past.
How, Raymond thought, could human beings have immediate access to all that was current in their world, and simply... be unprepared? How could they analyze, speculate, and never take action? How could they hold all at once in the palm of their hands, and still know nothing at all?
As a young boy, it used to stun him. As a young man, it merely provoked his developing mind. For a soul of not yet twenty-five, such ideas excited him, greatly. What he wouldn't give for knowledge of that magnitude.
What he wouldn't give.
It was about time for the community meeting. To inventory their supplies, receive rations, and choose the next search party. Regardless of whether the last one had returned, Raymond was sure. His left hand drifted, uncaring, towards the antique contraption his grandfather had gifted him, just before his passing. A "battery-operated" radio, as it was called, in poor condition.
Vivid memories of his grandfather traveling often in search of the source of the device's power overtook him. His lids shut slowly over blue eyes. [i "There must still be some out there,"] he often said, searching as far and as often as he could, until he was too feeble of mind and body to seek them himself.
[i Ka-chink.] [i Ka-chunk.]
It only ever made an irritating sound - like gravel or sand across a smooth surface. "Static" his grandfather called it. But, supposedly, it used to transmit--
[i ...bzzt... bzz-lp...]
"...What the fuck...?" Raymond jumped to his feet, his seat clattering loudly behind him, echoing through the empty kitchen. His eyes widened, his breathing quickened, his hands began to shake and sweat. He gasped, taking the radio in his hands, waiting for another sound. Static. Static. More static.
Was he dreaming? Hallucinating? No. What else could that have possibly been?
[center [i ...he-zzt...zzt-lp...]]