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... the dimmng of the light... (part 30)

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

  1. ... the dimmng of the light... (part 30)
    … the dimming of the light… (Part 30)

    Peter Hunter


    … it seemed appropriate…
    … it seemed right that having become a murderer, although feeling justified in the circumstances… that I take a low profile for a while…
    Sharon and Chris had the good grace not to refer to the incident unduly… whether from consideration of my feelings or from embarrassment I do not know… but life continued…
    … with all three of us adjusting to the loss of my husband…
    and surprisingly, the absence of the Colonel…
    We obviously looked closely at the contents of his house… searching for anything
    that might add to our own survival efforts… the main items being the twelve-bore shotgun with which he had killed my husband and also another shotgun, a smaller single-barrelled four-ten...
    … a typical countryman's rabbit gun…
    … and a useful supply of cartridges for each weapon…
    Now all three of us each had a shotgun
    my twenty-bore, the twelve-gauge for Chris and the little four-ten for Sharon…
    …mthree of us each armed - plus the air rïflê and the hunting bow with a sheath of arrows…
    … we felt strangely secure and confident…

    *

    Now, we saw hardly a sign of life… whether most of the villagers had died or were, like ourselves keeping down low and avoiding contact with others to minimise contact with disease or confrontation…
    … we did not know…
    although the contents of the colonel's large domestic fuel tank would enable us to run his Land Rover for as long as we could envisage, our use was pitifully low - restricted to about twenty miles each mouth… up to the high downs to the north, where I would shoot a sheep with the bow… careful to save our cartridges for possible hostile human targets…
    The rest of our food came from our own property… fish from the lake… rabbits and squirrels, which Chris and I shot in the Old Orchard with the air rifles…
    Birds were also plentiful on our property, pheasants, pigeon and if we were hungry rooks and crows… the lake provided plenty… some swans, moorhen and coot… and always numerous duck… mallard, tufted and shoveller plus the occasional teal…
    Heron and little egret were also acceptable… although not so easy to kill… the most abundant bird was the Canada goose - often fifty or sixty on the lake… in normal times that would be considered pest proportions but now they were a bonus…
    Best of all, whenever we saw a deer on our property and I was able to get close enough to hit it with an arrow…
    … it provided a welcome and delicious addition to our diet..
    To save shotgun cartridges I had been designated as the hunter… using my late husband's hunting bows… and although we had a plentiful; supply of arrows, they were mainly reusable and we also had the time and skills to make more…
    … soon producing ones of acceptable accuracy…
    … we had all the materials necessary… wood in plenty… feathers from the wings of swans and geese for fletching… and we could carve arrow heads from oak and hardene the points in a flame…
    a perfectly good solution that pre-dated metal and was quicker than knapping flint…
    We were very aware that even if we survived the country, our country - the southern part of it where we lived and were determined to survive, would inevitably change…
    … as Chris so eloquently put it…
    'The way things are going, things like deer will increase, wild pigs will roam again…
    … the few wild big cats will multiple…
    … maybe southern England will one day, once more see the return of the eagle…'

    *

    In this manner our life continued… in its way, considering the circumstances it was acceptable and better then most. How long it would be so we could not tell…
    … but there was not any alternative that would not be worse… even if the power was somehow restored it would take years, if ever to return to normal…
    … for me, without my husband there would never be any true return…


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