‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy

Sentence fragments. Periods floating facedown in rivulets of black brackish water. World without sunlight without semicolons without quotation marks or crows or trout. The last raft just out of reach.

Somewhere along the ashen side of every hill. Babies spitted on spikes roasted for their flesh and gnawed upon for lifegiving sustenance and what happened to that pregnant woman from page 184 anyway. The man might be forgiven for thinking he was in a Hemingway novel. A Hemingway novel would mean giving up hope.

In his dreams, he sees the world as it was and the novel as it could have been with complete sentences and every jewel of a metaphor burnished and golden. A wife alive. Stars in the sky. Then he opens his eyes and spits up blood and realizes that he has to wade through a mercilessly unexplained postapocalypse to make sure the boy reaches a cold dead sea. There are never days that he does not envy the dead.

The boy looks up at the man. Are we there yet? he asks.
No.
Okay.
Okay?
Okay.
You dont believe me.
Im hungry.
No youre not.
Im hungry.
Youre not hungry, youre starving.
I dont want to read the next paragraph.
We need food. We have to read it.
I dont want to.
Stay here then.
Will I see you?
Yes. You will be able to see me.
Okay.
Okay?
Okay.
Okay.
Okay?
Okay.
Okay.
I dont know who is speaking anymore.
Me either. Lets go.
Okay.
Okay?
Okay.

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