After the dust and radioactive haze settled, it was the survivors and us ghouls left to make sense of the broken world. I’m Gary, a ghoul who decided to make a change – or at least create a place where change could happen. Years ago now, I stumbled upon a heap of miraculously intact high-quality home gym equipment for building muscle, strewn amongst the rubble of an old sporting goods store. Seeing this as an opportunity, I heaved the heavy gear onto my old ute and drove back to my hideout.
Setting up the gym was no small task, especially in a world where resources were sparse. But the squat rack, weights, and even an elliptical trainer were all more durable than the civilization that made them. After setting up the equipment, I hoisted a tattered sign above the entrance: “Gary’s Atomic Fitness”.
Customers trickled in slowly. First, it was the ghouls from my neighbourhood. Then, survivors, wanderers and oddballs of the wasteland began to show up, drawn by the novelty or maybe the simple prospect of normalcy.
I remember the day she walked in – an ex-pool shark named Allie. She was looking for a new way to occupy her time now that her regular haunts had been vaporised. I knew I had something that could help – what was once a professional pool table for sale in Australia.
Despite the decayed baize and a few missing pockets, the pool table still offered the ghostly echo of a pre-apocalypse pastime. Allie eyed the pool table, a spark in her eyes reigniting. She became our first regular customer, not only for the workouts but also for the pool games that reminded her of a world before the bombs.
My gym, an oddity amongst the ruins, started to become a community. A beacon in the gloom, uniting us ghouls and survivors, reminding us all that even in the face of destruction, we could rebuild, repurpose and get some reps in too.
As the sun set on another irradiated day, a silhouette darkened my gym’s entrance. A newcomer? Adventure and strange clientele never seemed too far away in this post-apocalyptic world of ours.