"The country was looted, ransacked, ravaged. Rifled of every crumb. The nights were blinding cold and casket black and the long reach of the morning had a terrible silence to it."
That pretty well sums it up. A father and an son trying to survive after the complete collapse of civilization and all organic life, except for the few surviving humans. As they walk toward the south to a warmer climate they recall the early years of the apocalypse that they had survived: "By then all stores of food had given out and murder was everywhere upon the land. The world soon to be largely populated by those who would eat your children in front of your eyes, and the cities themselves held by a corps of blackened looters who tunneled among the ruins and crawled from the rubble white of tooth and eye carrying charred anonymous tins of food and nylon nets like shoppers in the commissaries of hell. The soft black talc blew through the streets like squid ink uncoiling along a sea floor and the cold crept down and the dark came early and the scavengers passing down the steep canyons with their torches trod silky holes in the drifted ash that closed behind them silently as eyes."
That's a heck of a word picture!
This story can be taken as a parable of life. It's a tale of daily continuing down the road of life even though all seems hopeless. The ending suggests the passing of the "fire" onto the next generation. The ambiance of this story is probably a good description of how it feels to be clinically depressed.
This story will probably provide motivation to survivalist to start stocking up their bunker for the coming apocalypse.