Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fallout

November 21st, 2011


I don't know why I'm writing this.  I don't really see the point.  I'm expecting the power to go off any day, now--I'm surprised it's lasted this long--and then what use is this computer going to be?  I guess this is just my attempt to keep my sanity, in a world that doesn't make sense anymore.  And maybe one day, historians will read this the tale of someone who survived, at least for a while, after the Bombs dropped.


It was fall of 2011.  I can't remember the exact date.  Almost a month ago, I guess.  Too much has happened.  Ironically, it would have been a bad day, anyways.  My girlfriend, Gloria--an apt description for her, because, trust me, historian, she WAS glorious--and I were at a restaurant.  Nothing really fancy, it was just a mid-week lunch date.  She told me that she was leaving me.  There was someone else.  And then, almost as if God felt like emphasizing the blow, the flash came.

I don't know how many nukes were used.  Enough to basically level the country, and the ones that the Good Old US of A threw back were enough to level the world.  No cities left.  Not even a millionth of the people alive that once were.  The entire planet, gone in a series of flashing lights.

Somehow--grace of God, I guess--I survived.  I literally have no idea how.  I guess I went into shock for a while.  Finally, I realized that I was still sitting at the table of this restaurant, which was now in pieces.  Most of the wall next to the street was gone, the booths and tables demolished, in fragments strewn around me.  Somehow, my table was almost perfectly fine.  Rubble was scattered atop it, but it was still upright, and I was still sitting at it.  My food had disappeared at some point, as had Gloria.  I guess she's dead, now.  I don't know why I'M not.

I finally left the ruins of the restaurant and started walking home.  It was a long walk, longer than I'd ever walked before, but I finally made it, a few hours after dark.  My house was mostly intact, scarred here and there, and with all of the windows broken, but intact.  I climbed upstairs, went to sleep.

Over the next few days, I started to worry about survival.  I started scavenging around the neighborhood, and finally gave up and began the long walk to a Home Depot.  The place was in shambles, but there was still a lot of stuff around, ripe for the picking.  I loaded up on boards, locks, everything I would need, and began a very frustrating walk back home, pushing a shopping cart of tools and pulling a lumber cart loaded with wood behind me.  A few survivors were on the streets, and I got paranoid as I passed each one, knowing the new world we found ourselves in could turn very nasty, very quick, but no one bothered me.  The most I got were a few strange looks, people wondering why I was worried about nails and hammers when more important things like food were still easy to scavenge.

I got back home late, and began to board up every window in the house.  It blocked out all the natural light, but security was more important.  I started working on the front door, and installed six new deadbolts.  I was going to save the other four that I had for the back door, but I finally decided to just board it up, and I used the four deadbolts on the door to my bedroom, the place where I knew I'd be most vulnerable.


I'll continue this later.  I need some sleep.


November 23rd


Hello again, Historian.  Somehow, the power is still on, and I haven't had to use the generator I picked up a few weeks ago, yet.  I was honestly surprised to find it at the Home Depot--which, by the way, was a store where you could get home-repair type stuff, since I imagine they don't exist in your time--but it was there.  At the same store that I got everything else, ironically.  In fact, there were still PLENTY of generators, which is kind of sad.  I know that there are survivors other than me, I've seen them, but I guess very few of them have realized that eventually, the power WILL shut down.


I mentioned before that I'm trying to keep my sanity, but it's getting harder.  I keep hearing this ringing in my ears, at the most random times, and it's starting to really get under my skin.  I don't know if it's just something in my head, or if maybe it's because my hearing is damaged from the sound of the explosions.  Either one makes sense, I guess.  It didn't start right after the explosion, though, I don't think.  I remember the flash, the roaring sound in my ears, but the ringing didn't start until later.


I do know that I'm starting to lose it, though.  I'm hoping it's just shock, but I keep losing track of time, forgetting what I'm doing, forgetting what I've done.  Earlier today, I guess I had made up my mind to try and scavenge food, so I guess I trundled off to a grocery store to see if there was anything left to scavenge.  I don't remember making the decision to go, or even actually GOING, I just know at one point I looked down and realized that the wheel of the shopping cart I took from Home Depot was caught on a piece of concrete jutting from the street, and it was loaded full of stuff.  Canned goods, mostly, some toiletries.  The essentials, stuff that would last.  I got the wheel unstuck, took my stuff home.


I got almost all of the way home when someone came up to me, asking where I got it all at.  Wanting to know where I was, where I was going.  He was trying to distract me--he wanted my food.  I could tell.  Luckily, I started carrying a baseball bat, and I saw it tucked inside the cart.  I pulled it out, got it ready.  I didn't want to hurt him--I don't want to hurt ANYONE--but there aren't that many resources left in the world, and I couldn't let him take what I had rightfully found.  He finally got the message, backed off.  I kept turning back, checking on him, but he only stared after me, didn't follow, and once I turned a ruined corner, we left each others sight.


The ringing.  There it is again.  I can never tell when it's going to start, and I can never tell when it's going to stop.  Sometimes it lasts for hours, sometimes for minutes, sometimes for mere seconds.  Sometimes you think it's finally stopped, and then BAM there it is again, right out of the blue, driving you up the fucking wall.


November 30th

I don't know if the clock on this computer is messing up, or if I'm just getting worse.  If the date is right, and today is the thirtieth, then I've lost a few days, because it hasn't been a week since I last typed on here.  That was only three or four days ago, as far as I can remember.

I wish Gloria was here.  Part of me is glad she's gone, glad she doesn't have to go through the hell this world has become.  Every time I step outside, I know that I might not ever be coming back, and every time I lock the deadbolts behind me after I GET back, I know that I'm not entirely safe here, either.  There are maniacs out there, people who have taken this situation as a blessing to do whatever they want, no matter how wrong it is.  I'm glad Gloria doesn't have to live in a world this hopeless.

But at the same time, she centered me.  She always had.  I was going to propose to her, believe it or not.  I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, because she always made me better.  She cleared my head, she helped me focus.  Artists talk about their muse, the person or thing that is their inspiration in their work.  She was my muse in LIFE.


Now, all I have left of her is her memory.  She's the reason I carry around a baseball bat, instead of trying to find a gun somewhere.  She's the reason I try to go on.  As long as I keep her alive in my memory, she's not dead.


I went by her house yesterday.  It was a long walk, longer than the walk home from the restaurant so long ago.  All this walking is putting me in the best shape of my life.  I left before the sun came up, got there in the afternoon.  There wasn't anything left, just fragmented concrete that made up the foundation at one point.  There was almost nothing left in the entire neighborhood.  I stood there, staring at the gap in the universe where her house should be for maybe ten minutes before I finally left.

DAMNIT!  The Ringing is happening again.  Why won't it stop?!

December 18th


Everything is worse than ever.  The power finally went out, and I'm running this on the generator.  I'm almost out of gas for it.  There's lots of snow outside, too much to go out in.  Too much to go out in, there's no way I'd be able to scavenge anything and get it back here.


People keep trying to get in.  They pound on the door, the windows.  They try the doorknob.  I hide when I hear them begin their assault on my house, run up to my bedroom and 

FUCK THE RINGING AGAIN

It won't stop.  It KEEPS FUCKING COMING.


Anyways.  I go to my bedroom, lock the door, get my bat ready.  So far, I've been lucky, no one's been able to get in.  Yet.  It's just because there are easier pickings out there.  One day, they'll be REALLY determined to get in, and some fucking deadbolts aren't going to keep them away.


I had to turn off the heater to save enough of the gas to type this message.  I guess this is going to be the last one I can send, Historian.  My generator is going out, and with as much snowfall as we've had, there isn't any way I'm going to be able to get more gas.  It's already down to 40 degrees in the house now, and I turned off the heater, set to 65 degrees, less than an hour ago.  I'm nearly out of food, and I don't have a lot of blankets, and--the point is, I'm going to die soon, I think.  It's okay.  The ringing stopped, finally.  I'm going to save this.  Put it on a disc, and a flash drive, all the stuff I can think of.  Hopefully one day it'll be found.  And I'm going to go get in my bed, with my jacket, some heavy clothes, my blanket.  Stay warm as long as I can.  And when I can't take it any more, I have some Ambien.  They're sleeping pills.  I figure when it comes to that, I'll just pop some of them, and freeze to death in my sleep.  Better than being awake for it, right?  At least I'll get to see Gloria soon.

Goodbye, Historian.  I hope you're from a better world than the one I'm leaving.

FUCK.  THE RINGING STARTED AGAIN!


"Babe, just give it up," Alex said.  "He hasn't answered his phone for, like, two months.  He's obviously not going to."

"I just want to talk to him," Gloria said, setting the phone back in the cradle.  "I'm worried about him."

"I'm telling you, he probably split."  Alex sat down on the couch and flipped on the TV.  "When he came by last month, he seemed out of it.  Maybe he just decided to get away from it all for a while.  I'm sure he's fine."

"That's so weird, though.  You should have talked to him."

"Babe, I'm sorry, but I'm not about to go out and talk to your ex when he shows up at your house.  Not to mention, he was creepy.  He just stood there for like twenty minutes, staring at the house.  It was weird."

"We had been together a long time.  He probably misses me."

"Well, I'm thinking he's missing you all the way in Maui, then.  I'm sure he's glad he got away before this damn snowstorm came in.  It's ridiculous."

"It's just...that's not like him.  I don't think he'd just leave like that."

"I know, Gloria, but we've been to his house.  His windows are boarded up, he's got extra locks on his doors, and his mailbox is full.  His porch light didn't turn on with the motion sensor, and the doorbell didn't ring, so it looks like he even turned off his electricity.  I'm telling you, he's split.  And I can't really blame him.  You're a lot to lose.  It'll take him some time."

"Yeah...I guess you're right."  She sat down on the couch next to him, and he reached over, playfully pulling her onto his lap.

"Now," he said, a smirk on his face, "what say we generate some body heat to fight off this snowstorm?"

She smiled naughtily.  "Why, that sounds like a lovely idea."

7 comments:

  1. Good story, enjoyable read in the afternoon.

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  2. Haha, like the twist. Definitely didn't see that coming but had to chuckle. Nice writing as usual, interesting touch with the journal style.

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  3. Woah, really hard to stop reading after you start, nicely done.

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  4. The love of a woman can do great things, the lack thereof can do some of the worst horrors imaginable.

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