The young girl navigated her way through the rubble strewn streets, her path carefully plotted to avoid the biggest pieces of jagged glass that blanketed the ground under her feet.
The sky above her was a pale grey, seemingly lifeless, hanging over the city like a ceiling in a dark, damp cellar.
All around her were the towering remnants of giant buildings stood virtually empty save for the occasional fleeting shadow that could be seen scurrying past the broken windows.
Thousands of small boxes that her grandfather told her people used to live in.
He told her they were called "condos."
The girl had scrounged some food from one of the empty buildings and was returning to the safe place that she shared with her grandfather. It was just a shell of a place, but it had four walls and a door that shut tight and provided some security from the creatures that would come out at night.
The dreaded hipsters and yuppies.
"Grandpa" asked the girl. "what was it like before the bad times came?"
The old man looked at her, a sadness in his eyes as he began recounting his youth.
"Many years ago, we used to live in a land where we made things. Where we are now they had big buildings called "factories" where people worked and made things and sold them to other people who worked and made things at other factories. But then the factories were moved far far away and the people who worked at them slowly disappeared."
The old man paused for a moment to contemplate what he would say next.
"Then, the evil ones, the 'developers' came in and started to build new buildings. And they convinced people that these buildings would make everyone happier, and they jammed as many people as they could into small living spaces and built more and more of them. But what they didn't tell the people was that so many in such a little space changed the city.
Green spaces were overrrun. The streetcars that moved people back and forth became too crowded.
People started to drive bicycles but ended up killing each other because there were too many of them on the road. And as they got older the "condos" started to break down. They had built them too fast and the construction was poor. They didn't last. And all those people got sick and tired of living in them but when they wanted to move found out that their condos had lost their value and they had to move out of the city back to their parents houses far away in what they called "the suburbs". Soon their parents, who were getting old and only living on what they had left over when they were working in the factories, well, they ran out of food too"
And where there was once a vibrant city full of people and life, there was now just row upon row of empty buldings.
"How could this happen Grandpa?"
"I don't know exactly" he said "Maybe we just weren't thinking"
"Its getting dark, I'd better lock the doors" said the girl
The last of the hipsters and yuppies would be coming out any time now.