Friday, February 20, 2015

My Henry - Apocalyptic Flash Fiction by A.B. Shepherd #amwriting #flashfiction

It started nine days ago. Everything just stopped working. All technology, everything that required eletricity. Even the cars.

Rumor has it terrorists hacked into the electrical grid and blew up the communication satellites, but I still see satellites among the stars at night. Another rumor says it was a solar superstorm, but I didn't see any aurora. Some say it was a series of EMP bombs, but I never heard any explosions. The rumors are endless, but the result is the same.

We have lost everything we need to live. The grocery stores were looted clean by the second day. Water pumps don't work, so we have no fresh drinking water except what is held in our rain water tank. We can't flush toilets or shower. Can't afford to waste what little water we have on such mundane things. Our perishable food stores are rotting in the fridges and freezers.

I've heard there are people who prepared for this end of the world thing. Preppers, they call them. I've never met anyone who admitted such a thing though.

Folks with guns have taken to looting houses too. Robbing decent, hardworking people of their canned goods, batteries, and any thing else they think would be useful. Shooting their own neighbors if they won't hand over the stuff willingly.

A farmer who lives outside of town drove down the street in front of my house on his old tractor a week ago. I watched from my porch as Jan from next door chased after him holding her toddler up toward the driver, begging him to take the child with him to his farm. He ignored her and pressed a bit harder on the gas pedal. She continued after him, following until she was out of sight. I never saw her return.

I felt her pain roll down my cheek. The pain of a mother willing to give up her only son in hopes that he would live.

The looters had hit our street the day before and she had nothing left to feed him, and neither did I. My Henry and I would have shared what little food we had left with her and that boy, but those thieves got to it first.

Henry stood up to them. He told them to get lost, get out of our house and take their guns with them. I trembled with fear as I stood beside him, so proud of him for defending our home. They shot him in the head.

I fell to the floor next to him, screaming, "Henry! Oh my god, Henry!"

I couldn't do anything, he was gone. I hunched over his body as if to protect him from further harm, sobbing, as those thugs stole every last drop of life sustaining substances from our home. They only thing they left was the water in the tank.

Sometime later, I don't know how much time had gone by, I drew a bucket of water from the rain water tank, and found a soft cloth in the linen closet.  I washed away the blood from Henry's face and body and I scrubbed the floor and walls. I had to refill the bucket three times to get it all.

Then I changed Henry into fresh clothing, and dragged him to his favorite reclining chair. I pulled and pushed, straining for at least an hour until my muscles quaked with fatigue and my body dripped with sweat. I was much stronger then, when I'd had something to eat everyday.

Finally, he was seated in it, and I plonked his fishing hat on his head to hide the bullet hole, and pulled the lever to put the foot rest up. Now he looked like he'd comfortably dropped off to sleep watching football.

I covered him with the quilt his mother had made for our wedding present all those years ago. Didn't want him to get cold.

And we've spent most days together ever since. I talk to Henry every day, just as I have for the last forty years. He's a bit quieter than he used to be, god love him.

 And every once in awhile I feel the need for a little fresh air. That's when I sit on the porch and watch the chaos as the world ends.

After I've had enough I return to Henry to tell him all I've seen and read to him from one of the many books on our bookshelves until the sun fades and I can no longer see the print.

We sit together in the dark each night and each day I grow weaker from lack of nutrition

And I wait to die.

1 comment:

  1. Alas! this article depicts the destruction during the war. Life is very precious and human being love to live but sometimes life becomes so difficult that even death looks better than life.