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... the dimming of the light... (part 23)

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

  1. ... the dimming of the light... (part 23)
    … the dimming of the light… (Part 23)

    Peter Hunter


    Day thirty…

    'At first I wasn't sure whether she as waving or not… I did not have my glasses on and we had all agreed to avoid people…
    … even those who had been friends for years…' This obviously did not sit well with Alice. '… it is hard' she confessed, '… to suddenly not acknowledge people who for years you have invited into your house - exchanged gifts such as eggs and pheasants, apples and other produce , runner beans in season…
    … all those sort of normal things…'
    'it's called living…' I added, ' the civilised everyday behaviour that separates us from animals and aides peaceful co-existence…'
    'And now has ended, or is coming to an end.' judged Alice.
    'It has to… it must… if we are to survive long after what has happened…' said the Colonel, 'everyone else must be treated like super-infectious lepers.'
    'that's the point…' continued Alice, 'I tried to ignore her waving… pretend I hadn't seen her… but then she called… 'Alice… please come nearer… it's important…'
    'I walked down the slope to be closer - but I made sure to keep the fence and the wide ditch on our side, between us… I am sure she understood.'
    'Mum died the day before yesterday…' Julia fought back her tears, 'I know she was getting on a bit - we think it was not her age but that Yellow Death that is sweeping the village…'
    'I expressed my sympathy as well as I could… but it did not surprise me… in view of what we have learned from comments shouted at us from a distance in the last few days…'
    'What else did you find out Alice…?' I asked
    'Quite a bit… they buried her immediately… in the chicken run… they are getting their drinking water from a spring in Fir Wood, along with several others who they are unable to avoid…'
    'Better than trying to use ours…' I commented, surprised by the note of hostility betrayed in my voice, ' the less contact we have the better…'
    'You've made that very clear…' Alice continued, 'as far as Julia knows about half the village appears dead and everyone seems to keep very much to themselves assuming that this Yellow Death thing, is a modern day plague of some kind. There are hardly any children or old folk left…
    … and some of the council house folk in Brook Lane have been causing trouble begging… a shotgun has been used to threaten…
    … and there has been a lot of thieving…'
    Things were not getting any better…
    … 'Aliens… it can only be aliens…' pronounced Alice… in her latest attempt to explain our predicament - why we are without electricity or power of any kind, why already half the population of Britain at least lay dead and rotting in their homes… in streets and fields…
    … why we seem faced with short term extinction…
    'Julia… at least she agrees with me…'

    *
    The news did not help my depression. It was made worse by increasingly worrying symptoms as the lack of medication slowly took effect…
    As the benefit from my drugs wore off I became increasingly wobbly, I needed to pee far more often and I developed a constant thirst…
    … all classic signs of the Type 2 Diabetes that were obviously reoccurring…
    all with a significant deterioration in my energy levels and a very bad temper.
    How, I wondered would it continue… gradual deterioration … or perhaps succumbing easily to one of the health problems that were plaguing the land…
    … at least my absence might help the other survive a bit longer…

    *
    'Couldn't Toby… Tobias Archer return as a space man or something? Alice was still on her aliens fantasy… 'Could he return once again and save this country?'
    the coin dropped… with me at last… she was referring to a book we both had once read, …too late… the tallyman… a work of fiction starting in 1415 at the Battle of Agincourt and finishing in 2016 when World War Three appeared on the verge of starting. In the book, Toby Archer was a reincarnation of a fifteenth century archer resurrected on a number of occasions throughout the centuries - always rescuing England from moments of grave danger…
    … the woman had a point… although it was fiction…
    … and I was not so sure I believed in all that…
    and if we ever needed saving… it surely is now…


    (To be continued…)
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    Credits to respectful owner (y)
     
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