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... the dimming of the light... (part 13)

Discussion in 'Stories, Fiction & Essays' started by Daisuke_Jigen, May 5, 2016.

  1. ... the dimming of the light... (part 13)
    … the dimming of the light… (Part 13)

    Peter Hunter


    Day 13…

    … has dawned… dull, depressing and totally devoid of optimism… the low dark cloud layer not just caressing the tope of the downs - more a suffocating embrace - or should it be a stranglehold that squeezes any joyfulness from the day…
    … the only good thing maybe, is that we are still alive if indeed this is life… our now condemnation to nothing more than a struggle for survival - a future however short…
    … a future - consisting only of a pathetic fight to stay alive…
    Less and less food… little to drink… and the prospect of living amongst people rapidly descending to the state of wild animals…
    … or is that an insult to animals.
    Maybe, maybe the best thing I could do is shoot Alice… then myself… a mutual suicide rather than a slow undignified death…
    … it might be the kindest end…
    Yesterday provided an example of the way things are going… Alice answered the door to a stranger. He asked for help, for food… any thing... When she firmly refused saying we did not have enough for ourselves… his manner turned threatening…
    … and she had to bang the tin can - the alarm warning we had suspended inside the door… the prearranged signal calling for help from Chris who was working in the tractor shed… and the stranger slunk back to the lane…
    … muttering incomprehensively to himself…
    … problem solved… this time… but things would surely become more difficult, more sinister - and we certainly resolved not to answer the door at after dark…
    During these events - one of the villagers hoping for our help had disclosed there had been several more deaths in the community mostly elderly including the old boy that was relying on his granddaughter's generous *phcorner* milk…
    … obviously it was not as nutritious as they had hoped…
    … my foreboding intensified… it was not good, nothing of any optimism… and I was particularly depressed that I had considered murdering my wife to be followed by my own suicide…
    … in addition my medication had run out…
    But so far I had little reaction… which did not surprise me as its effect when changed was always slow… except I already was starting to pee more frequently… a predictable symptom, but one which could be psychosomatic…
    … but one which I regarded as a sign of things to come… along with a vast increase in thirst and a general deterioration of my energy… but there was absolutely nothing I could do about it…
    … my potential suicide still remained attractive…
    Nothing, absolutely nothing remained good quality. Even our lovely cats… whether it was that we were no longer feeding them or perhaps some other reason - we were seeing less and less of them - indicating that much of their former affection had merely been 'cupboard love'.
    Whether we could adjust to our now primitive diminished existence I did not know and maybe we no longer bothered…
    … our adjusted life was becoming nasty and we were ceasing to care… it was everyone for themselves… the survival of the fittest… and my age probably played a large part in these feelings…
    Recognising this… with ample time due to our increasing isolation… I spent more time practising with my hunting bow and my collection of arrows… becoming quite good as my skill returned…
    … it gave me a certain level of confidence…

    * * *
    … satisfied with my practice with the hunting bow I returned to the house… to the warm blazing wood fire… the only comfort I enjoyed during that god-less winter - to find Sharon, Chris and Alice being updated by the Colonel on his progress so far with the short wave radio he had set up…
    … almost nothing…
    … just one contact… a radio amateur inTibet who, although speaking excellent English - knew nothing about the current state of our country…
    … he passed on news about the USA, India and China… nothing of great import… everything depressingly normal… so obviously they were all working an apparently thriving…
    But of the UK, Britain and England - he knew nothing. He did not even know there was any problem…
    The Colonel explained; with the amateur radio techniques he'd used in his youth - it was normal to know the frequencies and call signs used by those you were contacting. Without these it was difficult to contact others, as he had to make virtually random transmission, hoping on luck that a call would be answered…
    … he had not been lucky…
    Also he reported that the Winter Vomiting Virus appeared to have become more sever and already some babies and two or three old folk had died in the village…
    … and could only speculate on the mortality in the towns… the bodies the conditions… gangs and looting if anything was left worth looting. We imagined the District Hospital, emergency generators long out of fuel, staff departed to try and join their families…
    … all the support systems long inoperative… no more food or water…
    … just a carpet of sad rotting bodies…
    Again we discussed preparing to defend our interests by force if necessary…
    I finally lost what little will to live I still retained…

    (To be continued… if I am able…)
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    Credits to respectful owner (y)
     
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