Tag Archive: post apocalyptic


Thankful

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Lila sat in the old abandoned road, at the corner, among the broken asphalt and weeds while her family searched in vain for food.

Dwade who had been digging silently in the dirt, apparently in deep thought, asked no one in particular, “What did turkeys sound like?”

Dad froze.  “Guess you wouldn’t remember would you?  That was…God I don’t know back in ’93 maybe.  No, had to be ’97?  Mara, when did we lose Jase?”

Mara’s head never moved as she silently tabulated, counting backwards in her head, she didn’t even move her lips just her hands.  Lila winced knowing that Mara was reading the scars that littered her left arm.  To Lila they appeared as nothing more than a gruesome reminder of some horrible accident involving sharp mechanical parts.  Not so for Mara, the unofficial historian.   To Mara each line had a story complete with location, date, and time which only she could interpret.

“Jase was in 2898 in the December ice storm before dawn,” Mara’s lank brown hair jerked sharply indicating her unease as she brushed her fingers over the blackened tip of her left pinky.  She had barely even touched the nearly perfect circle behind her elbow before continuing, “and it was three years earlier that the Walton’s were reported to be serving the last true Thanksgiving dinner.” 

“That’s right!  I remember it being headline news, something real catchy like…Walton gobbles while economy wobbles.”  The far away look in dad’s eye caught everyone’s attention.  He almost smiled.  Then reality slipped back in, over his lowered guard, and he resumed his search for unopened can goods in the rubble that must have once been a house.

Dwade’s eyes danced between Lila and Mara still hoping for an answer.  “Dad already told you D they gobbled,” Lila finally said, “it was kind of like screaming and coughing at the same time.”  Her shrug said to leave it there and so he went back to his digging.  With the addition of his attempt to imitate a sound he’s never heard while gouging the earth with his stick.

“Well the Walton’s can kiss my succotash,” dad proclaimed as he turned to face us with the rusted dented can of Libby’s held proudly in the air.  “I know what I’m thankful for this year, even if its not a turkey…to the feast,” he said and he meant it.

Lila and Mara made the briefest of eye contact.  Thankful.  The word sounded wrong in this context.  They could both remember what thankful use to mean, back before the pandemics jumped the species barrier and nuclear destruction of the ‘hotbed areas’ was deemed necessary, and this was not that

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A Better Question

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Davey's view

Heavy was the right way to describe it Davey thought to himself as he allowed a shallow breath past his parted lips.  Almost like it was water he thought as he lifted his right hand.  The resistance Davey felt in the empty night filled space above the arm of the rocking chair was foreign to him.  Turning his hand palm up he slowly rubbed his fingers together.  Collecting in minute beads a viscous liquid started to puddle in his cupped hand.  Davey’s eyes went skyward using the moon for illumination he could see…something.  Just a wisp of fog his brain reasoned, but the hair at the nape of his neck rejected that thought immediately standing on end.

The many childhood hours Davey had spent soaking up Hollywood’s post apocalyptic possibilities surfaced shouting for him to not leave the semi-safety of the covered porch, but tonight was about answers.  Since there was no burring sensation where the dew like droplets of oily liquid condensed he ruled out acid rain, still deciding on some iota of caution he pulled his shirt over his nose before walking out into the night.

Only a few steps and he could already feel the heat leaving the valley.  Growing up in the mostly dry climate of the desert Davey knew how fast the heat would drain back out of the sun baked rocks departing as if it had never been there leaving a chill that was hard to shake.  As the mercury plummeted the wisps in the air turned to more of a foggy haze, but rather than rising from the recently hot ground like steam it seemed to be sinking. 

Frozen in place, torn between the porch and the high ground he was walking towards, Davey noticed the watery light of the full moon catch in the mist throwing eery rainbows into the inky shadows.  Before he could react the dense cloud settled over him.  The greenish tinge of the fog gave everything the appearance of being viewed through night vision goggles,  but it was the weight of the fog which increased as its haziness gave way to opaqueness that Davey found the most disconcerting.

Within seconds he found himself face first in the dusty sand choking on the stifling cloud, his eyes streaming, every inch of him listless.  The lethargy made Davey almost not care that he had asked the wrong question, what instead of how, but then he heard the groan of the fog pressing down on his rocking chair and he smiled a drowsy smile.  He had his answer, if only he had thought to ask a better question.

Reader Note:

This is a continuation of my story A Heightened Sense of Things I hope you enjoy it!

A Heightened Sense of Things

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Michael Dressel~12 Night Poarch

As the night crept in, seeping into all the nooks and crannies where the light hid, Davey knew he should be leaving.  Knowing, though, had never been the same as doing not for David Sawyer.  So though it was foolish and risky he waited out the night.  He sat back in his mother’s favorite rocking chair savoring the croak and groan of the old and weather warped rails.  The sounds rose and fell in time with the rocking motion of his sneaker clad feet.  With the touch of his toe, croak, as he rocked back onto his heel, groan.  Davey couldn’t stop the smile from spreading over his somewhat gaunt and angular face.  He was serenading the moon he thought to himself, beckoning the danger to come ever closer. 

Still he sat and rocked.  As the daredevil within was celebrating its victory and his common sense took a breather alone and forgotten in some shadowy corner. 

With something almost as physical as a pop it was night.  The twilight had smothered the last embers of yet another dimming day.  Then Davey stopped, mid rock, and waited.  His merriment gone, his life on pause, even his breath held.  Waiting. 

For more than a decade David Sawyer had run and hid as soon as the sun set to one of the many safe zones, where nothing could penetrate.  Where they were safe from chemical, physical, or even psychological attack so They said, but what They never said was why the safe zones were even necessary.  Years of eating up Their indoctrinated propaganda like it was life sustaining, and not once asking a question.  Because the threat was real… because the night was emanate… because logic said why would They lie?

So tonight David was channeling Davey the younger devil-may-care version of himself which had existed before the safe zones and the mindless fear.  Tonight he would know one way or the other if his lemur like behavior was warranted.  As the night air pressed in on him heavy with humidity and possibility Davey felt no fear only a heightened sense of things.

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