A rising cloud of steam and fumes from somewhere obscured, the smokestack lost in a faded crowd. This is where we keep the dynamos turning.
All houses and buildings are one day no longer needed. Their inhabitants flung to the four winds. Some go south to warmer climes and others lose their minds and retreat babbling to the wilderness with handfuls of razors and makeshift bows. The rest die swift or slow on nights of deep cold when fuel evaporates in final whispers or the power lines are scalped by a storm.
Room to room with prybars and rams and a cart for anything made of wood or fabric. Eyes primed for fuel, foodstuffs fresh or preserved, feed for folk or hogs, and the foreign forms of the departed. Edibles one way, combustibles the other.
The ashes go back out to the fields. This year we will try anything to see something grow.