I came across a photo on twitter that just screamed writing prompt. Its a 100 year old ship that was left in an Australian harbor so long it sprouted a forest. Some relic of WWII and the industrial collapse in that area of Australia. Enjoy the rough draft of my post apocalyptic ramblings.
“What is it, why is everyone running?” her voice was lost in the chaos. Something had shown up in the harbor overnight. Nobody bothered with breakfast even though the matriarchs would have them punished for it. The Matris themselves with salvaged metal masks cut and formed into statuesque grimaces with rivet beauty marks rushed out of the barracks. Their clanging stiletto heeled combat boots cleared them a path. Resia found herself swept up in their wake, the kids were all elbows and knees as they clamored towards the dock. She couldn’t remember the last time anyone was excited to get to the harbor. It reeked of industrial run off and decay, whatever called the sea home was no benevolent creature. The tales of people sleeping or resting too long near the waters edge were horrifying. They didn’t disappear but they might as well have. Their minds were mush and they were commonly sent to work outside the tribe walls hunting for scrap and/or foodstuffs. When the Matriarchs clashed with one another as they often did, the opening waves were hordes of the menial servants each slack jawed and “sea-dead”. Resia squeezed in to the scrum on the dock, it creaked noticeably causing an involuntary shout from those nearest the edge. The morning’s fog hadn’t lifted, mist too thick to see through roiling with winds from some distant land.
“Look!” one boy shouted, a gargantuan shadow was cutting its way through the mist and fog directly toward them. The gathered throng pulsed with “ohhs” and “awws” pointing up and wondering just what it could be. Its shape reared high above the waves with straight sides before pluming out like a mushroom cloud. Resia pushed to the front of the crowd and stood on her toes to see over the railing. Being that awkward size where one rail was too high and the other too low she moved restlessly to get the best view. Suddenly its nose broke through the mist it was rust brown and more riveted than any salvage tech they had seen. The rest of it came slithering out of the mist as it powered forward. The crowds that gathered across the harbor began running to the barracks in anticipation. As if a switch was flipped the fog dissipated and revealed the thing for what it was. Everybody stopped, it wouldn’t be hyperbole to say nobody breathed when they first saw the Shrouds Cruiser. Cobbled together from long forgotten ship parts it looked too large to float. The boat was one thing, it was the burgeoning canopy of trees that left even the matriarchs stunned. People fell to their knees and cried, Resia could remember her Grandpa talking about the forests of his childhood. It sounded unreal, plants so large you could wander through and climb on. The vessel creaked and rattled bobbing on the water. It drifted slowly until it bumped just barely against the dock. Resia put a hand out and touched it in disbelief. The Matris began pushing people away and brandishing their flails to form a cordon around it. The speakers in their masks ordered people back and promised retribution for those that disobeyed.