She woke up. Not due to the sun shining in her eyes or birds singing outside the window. Such things didn't have a place in her world. She woke up because her body grew used to waking up at this time. She opened her eyes exactly as the exquisitely decorated clock signed that it is 5:45. She could feel the cold wind hitting her skin and blowing her long black hair onto her face. She looked across to the balcony to her left, directly next to her bed. There were no doors, only a stone arch built into the wall of her room meaning there was no way to avoid rain or the wind from entering. Although all the furniture, ceiling, walls and the floor were richly decorated, her room was plain. It was made up of her bed, a bookshelf accompanied with a reading armchair, a wardrobe and a clock that was the only thing reminding her of the passage of time in the world she long ago stopped caring for. She sat up and put her legs over the edge of her king sized bed, feeling the cold marble on her skin. Her room was covered with the familiar gray, dull light and without even looking outside she knew the sky was hidden beneath a thick layer of dark gray clouds, stuck somewhere between the calm and the storm. She stood up, walking over to the great arch, leaning into it for support as she looked outside into the still sleeping world. She didn't know how much time has passed since the times when she'd look outside, and even at this time, would see hundreds of people walking to their work place, or buying something from the market set up in the main square.The market was now an empty skeleton, still there but with no people or goods to sell. There was only one stall still open where an occasional customer would buy a week old goods or try and sell something of their own. It had to have been long ago since no one seemed to notice a change from their usual lives. The sharp cold in the air revealed that winter has come or it's nearby. Last time she paid attention it was the beginning of spring. Her eyes ran across the roofs of the old gothic houses that could have been beautiful if they were taken care of. Instead, she saw houses with breaking walls, roofs with holes in them and windows either barred or shattered. This was another proof that time kept moving, that nature was slowly destroying everything man ever made. She kept looking through the skyline of the city, sparsely littered with a tower or a spire from a church she'd never visit. She knew she wouldn't see a single building that wasn't destroyed, either from the civil war or due to a command of... The clock, that was now on the opposite wall behind her back, chimed alerting her that it's 6:00 o'clock. She didn't bother looking behind her, as her attention was now focused on a lone figure that was making its way down an abandoned street heading towards the main square. He was pale, even more so than anyone living in the sunless city, and wore rags. He looked just like any other person living in the remains of their once great city, except his obvious plans. She was used to seeing this picture, a starved, terrified survivor leaving his house out of necessity rather than want. Now, however, she knew he had a plan, had to do something he was forced into doing. He looked over his back once again when he dropped something. It was hard to tell what it was from such a distance, but he didn't bother to pick it up. It was a sign. He kept walking until he disappeared behind a corner where she could no longer follow. She turned around, heading towards her wardrobe. This was the longest she truly paid attention to her surroundings in months, possibly years - she couldn't tell. She knew what was to follow. Long ago, she would have run to her parents, shouting, maybe even crying. Now she merely took hold of the wardrobe as the ground shook and the loud explosion sounded far too close to be mistaken for anything else.
730 days before