Of course, we ate the children first. Or maybe not "of course": no-one else seemed to find it obvious at the time. They had been killing the men and leaving the women and children, like nice civilised survivors. After I persuaded the others to let me join them, I pointed out how stupid this was, and how cruel: the world was no place for children, and they were going to die anyway. Better quick than slow.

Whatever. We ate the children first. It made sense in all sorts of different ways: there is a lot of meat on a full-grown man, and there weren't enough of us to do it justice. Young meat is healthier and tastes better, whatever the animal, and the children were easier to kill, as well. Not in every way, not at first, but certainly after the first two or three

Not that we didn't kill the men, too. But we left them for the rats. We thought we might need the rats, later.

What we couldn't agree on was what to do with the women. I remember the long discussions we had, sometimes deep into the night, looking at the issue from every viewpoint. Looking back, of course, the problem was the lack of information: we didn't know how long it would be before the plants would start to grow again, or even if they would. So the discussion was bound to go nowhere. Still, those nights are the best of the memories I have of that time: the five of us together at the end of a long day, relaxing in companionship and bouncing ideas back and forth across the embers of the fire, until gradually the conversation would die down as we all found sleep below the stars.

I was lucky in my friends. It was a shame I had to kill most of them. But food was getting short, and I had to feed the girls, as well. After many long nights spent weighing up the options, we had decided the best thing was to kill the women but keep some girls for later. The women might be too old when the plants grew back; the girls might be too young, but then we could just wait a while before starting a family.

In the end it all worked out. Sometimes, when we sit around the fire with the kids, just talking about this or that, I miss the old days. Everything was somehow sharper then, when anything really could be a matter of life and death.

And sometimes I still miss the taste, of course.

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