Follow the Leader

One, two, through and through the ants marched into the pinprick holes of the blast doors. Rachel followed close behind, sneaking in through a rusted out panel of the missile silo. The ants crept down the banister in loose spirals, descending into the musty darkness.

Her footsteps echoed in the hollow chamber, each creaking rung threatening to give out from under her. She had gotten used to silence of her and the ants, who led her to the abandoned food caches.

She eyed the stagnant black water at the bottom. She hated swimming, even before the war. Sharks could catch her ankle and drag her down. Now bacteria nestled in the oily sludge with decomposing bodies that didn’t quite float.

At the last rung she heard laughter across the chamber, and half-formed words from under a steel door. It no longer mattered if there were sharks.

Rachel plunged in.

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