Seldom

Even the sunflowers wilted, the sun had never craved attention quite so bad before. Priests had long since abandoned their faith leaving most churches bare, eerily silent and cold. The love had vanished from the structure. Dogs dropped like flies in the roads, some were even still alive. Birds learned to walk more, it was too hot to fly. The whole town looked like a nuke hit, green was an unknown color to us now. People conserved water in disturbing ways, trying everything, anything. Complaints of the heat had ceased nearly entirely, sometimes the children with dark circles under their eyes and puffy, burnt cheeks would whimper and whine about the misery.
Mothers felt helpless, their hearts peeling away like the blistered skin of their kids. They did everything they could to bring water to their families, any water we could find wouldn’t even have a charge, they simply gave you as much as you could carry and sent you with ‘good luck’. Luck you don’t collapse, drop like a fly in the heat and cook in the road like deer hit by a car. Cars were outlawed, the gas would catch fire from the sun and the cars engines heated up the world even more. Temperatures were already well over 150°F. At some point we stopped checking.
Deep down we all counted on our fingers the end of this suffering, feeling jealous of the ones who no longer had breath. But we all hoped, for ourselves, thrashing like bugs in a fly trap that it would be over. That the moon would come back to us and restore our desert town into the green paradise it was. It was hard not to think of hope as a joke.
People had mostly stopped talking, sure a mumble here and there but they kept their mouths closed unless it was an emergency, not wanting their mouths to dry. After that boys tongue shriveled so much they had to cut it off, people covered their mouths better than people during the black plague.
Solis, Luna. he cried, Help us, save us! Over and over until his tongue felt like coral. We couldn’t cry for him, our tears couldn’t be wasted. Even with his chanting, his praying, his hope. The heavens hid their face from us, hiding behind blinding light of the sun.
Maybe we could adapt, get used to the heat. Maybe we don’t need the gods to help us. Maybe all we need is each other.

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