concept: hannibal and will decide to go to a corn maze, argue over which way to go the entire time, and finally have to be escorted out by a staff member because they’ve been lost for three hours and it’s getting dark and holy fuck it’s only supposed to take 20 minutes what’s the matter with these people???
The end of the world came suddenly. Those who survived the first impact did not know that it would last for so long.
Will and his dogs were in the kitchen when they first heard the news crackling over the old, beat-up radio that Will’s dad had left behind. Will was preparing tomatoes for a sandwich and accidentally cut his finger.
“Ouch.” He winced at the monotone quality of his voice. It was inappropriate, he felt. People - a lot of people - had died in the meteorite collision. The government predicted an extended winter and told people to stock up on food. Will had not believed them.
The winter fell on Wolf Trap like an anvil. Will was isolated. He lived out in the sticks, far from his neighbors, and had grown his own vegetables and fruit. Sometimes he hunted or fished. A month after the end of the world, Will set his dogs out to hunt for their own meals. He set out dog kibble occasionally, if the night was exceptionally cold. At night, with seven canines sharing his bed, Will had all the warmth he needed.
Two months after the end of the world, all news stopped. The winter did not. The days were short and the nights were bitter and long. Will could still fish, but it was getting harder and harder to catch them. The dogs sometimes dragged part of a carcass home for Will, and he cooked it over the fire in his fireplace. He ate every bit that he could, and the dogs would gnaw on the bones.
Six months later, Will and the dogs had begun hunting together. They raided their elderly neighbors first. They had died in the unceasing cold. The dogs made a feast out of what old meat Will could thaw out for them. He himself ate one of the cans of baked beans. It tasted like manna from heaven.
Three years later, Will met the first other human survivor since the end of the world. The dogs took their positions to his front and flank, all growling and baring their teeth at the stranger.
“One command from me, and you’re dinner,” Will said. He had to rack his brain for words he had not needed to use since the end of the world. His tongue felt rusty around the syllables. “Who are you?”
The stranger smiled. His beard was bloodstained and his teeth were sharp. “It’s good to see you survived, Will. I apologize for the delayed return - I was in Europe, and had to take the long way home.”