hdhale wrote:Anyone like me and wondering where the people are?
I like you, and I wonder where the people are. So that's two for two!
Seriously (as much as one can get with this story, anyhow), the emptiness is overshadowing the rising sea as the central mystery of Time. It was one thing to find abandoned campsites; they're temporary by definition. And the comments about seeing no one (or as Cuegan oddly put it, no one seeing them, as if they expected hidden lookouts to raise an alarm at their approach) don't mean much because they knew nothing about the normal state of the area they were passing through at the Time. But the abandoned vineyard and now homestead are more troubling.
Maybe everyone's merely out at the local hoedown but it doesn't seem that way. Part of that feeling comes from "meta" reasoning: the narrative form being explored here lends itself to exploration and sparse dialog between two protagonists; it would not work so well (in my opinion) for having lengthy dialogs with characters encountered along the way. In that respect, this reminds me of my favorite work of fiction of any length in any medium: Adam Cadre's short quasi-interactive fiction Photopia
. (If anyone has not seen this, it it well worth the newpix or so of your time it takes to read/play through it. Free downloadable and online-playable versions of it are available a Google away.) Photopia
justifies the uninhabited and abandoned worlds of typical text interactive fiction, originally a technical necessity because interaction with inanimate artifacts is so much easier to program than interaction with thinking speaking characters, in-story in an extraordinarily poignant way. I wonder if Randall is doing something similar here.
Lighter theories are still in play, though. My favorite is still that "time flew" while Megan and Cueball were having fun (building sandcastles), leaving them far in their future where the locale they're exploring is abandoned for any number of plausible non-apocalyptic (or apocalyptic) reasons. That makes the whole thing a taking-an-old-adage-literally joke, but with an elegant meta-joke (to a more normal extent, time is flying while we wait for it) that would make it worthwhile.