The Crawl

Inner-City New York

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a part of The Crawl, by MysterySnail.

The city towers over you like headstones of a cemetery. The shadows from the buildings engulf the little light that penetrates the spaces between towers.

MysterySnail holds sovereignty over Inner-City New York, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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477 readers have visited The Crawl since MysterySnail created it.

Setting

The roads are breaking, towers crumbling, and weeds are abundant along the streets. Some taller buildings have become home to birds.

Inner-City New York

The city towers over you like headstones of a cemetery. The shadows from the buildings engulf the little light that penetrates the spaces between towers.

Minimap

Inner-City New York is a part of Post-Apocalyptic Earth.

1 Places in Inner-City New York:


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dawn Lowrey

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#, as written by krashby
Dawn's bag was called Frankenstein; her mother had named it so. Such a strange name, Dawn always thought, and a funny one too. She had no idea what such a name meant or where it had come from. When asked, Mother seemed not to know where the name came from either but said that it had something to do with being made from many different and mismatching parts. That certainly fit. Dawn's mother had owned the bag as a girl long before she was ever a mother, and at that time it had been a nice backpack, clean and neat and a solid deep purple, with pockets of various size and sturdy straps which supported much weight with little strain on the back. But the decades had worn it down just the same as the earth had been worn down. Countless tears had ripped through the fabric, and Mother had had no choice but to cover the holes with patches of any cloth available. Here a red patch, there a green, this one cut from floral curtains, that one ripped from Mother's own shirt. Anything to keep together the bag which held every possession they owned. Little of the original fabric remained visible, and what could be seen was no longer purple but an ugly, murky grey. Dirt and dust became permanently embedded in the strands. One strap had been completely detached, and what was left of the remaining hung on feebly by poorly made stitches.

The bag was called Frankenstein, and it was dirty and torn and broken just like Dawn. It was her most precious thing.

She had the strap hanging by her neck to keep both arms free as she stretched for the next ledge. The scalding brick of the building burned her hands with each moment that passed. With every hand hold she could feel the bursting of old blisters and the formation of new, and her muscles ached in protest both from the heat and from the strain of pulling herself up yet another foot. But she could not stop or rest, not even for a moment. The sun was setting, and it was a 10 story drop to the broken asphalt below.

She grabbed a hold of the next ledge and felt the brick crumble into dust beneath her hand. Suddenly she was slipping, the air rushing up beneath her and the ground rapidly approaching. A screech like that of a small animal escaped from her throat. She reached out blindly, grasping for a hold of something, anything. A heart-stopping despair ran through her being. She never let herself fall. Before now, anyway.

Halfway down to what was sure to be her final moment, Dawn's hand finally impacted with a broken window still, a sharp shard of glass cutting into her palm. Fighting against instinct she tightened her grip around the impalement. The fall was broken, causing the entirety of her body weight to hank down sharply on a single arm. It was only from her cry of pain that she was unable to hear the pop as the bone dislocated from her shoulder joint. Her Frankenstein bag pulled down on her throat, choking her, stealing away her breath if only for a moment. She gasped. She gasped for air and for relief that she still had air to gasp for. Adrenaline fed into her veins and allowed the pain to fade, but she knew the effect was temporary. Slowly, surely, she began to lightly swing from side to side. Each swing to the right she reached her uninjured arm up, grasping for the window sill. More glass scattered the sill and cut into flesh when she finally made contact. She could feel the warm blood spreading between the fingers of both hands, making her grasp slippery, and with the slightest movement the cuts in her palms grew deeper. The dislocated shoulder made her left arm useless, forcing her to rely on just one to pull her up and over the window sill, finally rolling limply into the room inside.

It was a suffocating kind of darkness in this room. The last hints of day's light refracted through shards of glass and spilled out on the floor beside her, highlighting a circle of deep brown blood crusted into the carpet. Dawn could see no more. Her breath become caught in her throat as she fumbled in the Frankenstein bag for her flashlight, a temperamental nearly dead thing which gave light only at its convenience and a dim narrow ray at that. Batteries were so hard to come by. Fortunately it saw fit to work at this moment, and Dawn cascaded the weak light across the room she now found herself in.

It appeared to be some kind of one room apartment. Chairs and a table lay broken on their sides, one chair completely shattered as though having been thrown against the wall. Clothing cluttered the floor as well as papers which crinkled and fluttered with every breeze through the window. The thrown open drawers of both a dresser and desk suggested that the place had been hastily fled, or perhaps raided by bandits, or both. The curtain waving peacefully beside Dawn from the window railing was ripped from top to bottom in three long, claw-like tears. Everything was filled with silence. The door to the outside hallway was closed shut, but the closet door across from her sat ajar. Dawn's flashlight was unable to penetrate the darkness within. She held her breath, waiting to hear the familiar deep growl, or to see a pair of bright eyes flash open. But after several moments of nothing happening she accepted that she was alone.

Dawn evaluated her situation. She had cried out not once, but two times in her fall. Bandits, thieves, cannibals... Beasts... anyone or anything nearby would know where she is. But as dangerous as it was to stay in this place, it was more dangerous to leave. Night was here, and everyone knew it was suicide to wander in the city at night. And with her shoulder... Dawn bit her lip, squeezing her eyes shut as pain washed from her shoulder and through her arm and body. The cuts on her hands she could handle, but a dislocated shoulder made her useless for climbing, and climbing was the best way she knew to survive. Even if she survived the night, what was she to do when the morning came? How was she to search for supplies, so scarce and running lower with each passing day? Hopelessness sunk like a pit in her stomach.

Dawn wrapped her hands the best she could and fashioned a lousy makeshift sling from a ripped pillowcase on the bed for her shoulder. It was not enough. She had no idea how to do about putting the shoulder back in place, and there was nothing to do for the pain. She allowed herself a small sip of water from the bottle of water she was preserving; she had found it just today, nearly empty, beneath a pile of gravel, the plastic of the bottle melted and deformed from the heat and leeking chemicals into the water , and the water so hot it burned her tongue. But her thirst was so dire she would drink anything.

With nothing left to do, she held the Frankenstein bag to her chest and waited, waiting for something and nothing to happen. Tears formed in her eyes.

"Mom," she whispered into the dark. "Mommy, I need you... I'm scared. Please, I need you. I don't want to die..."

But she was, of course, completely and utterly alone.