“Do you remember when the world wasn’t like this?” She whispered to her partner as she searched for her hand in the darkness.
“Like what?” Her partner answered to her clutching the new found hand tightly in her own.
“Desolate, disturbing, baron,” she paused “On fire”
“Oh” she thought, “yes I remember, though sometimes I think it would be easier if I didn’t.”
The woman pulled her hand close to her chest, “Hold on to it Lisa. Hold on to your memories.”
Lisa turned her head to rest on the other woman’s shoulder, “I will Becs.”
Two hours later the two women’s bunker was crushed by a falling meteor, one of many that fell that evening, decimating not only the bunker but also their bodies. The women were never found but they were remembered which is all you can ask for in a world that’s crumbling before your very eyes.
The world didn’t end with a flash, a bang or even with a whimper, like that old poem said. In fact the world hasn’t even ended yet, but it’s certainly on its way down. As a boy I used to be able to look out the bedroom window and see tall trees, green grass, beautiful flowers even. Nowadays I have no window to look out because I live underground and if I tried to put a window into my little bunker it would kind of defeat the purpose of having a bunker.
My name is Martin Shores. I am the last known survivor of the Shores clan. Now that’s not quite as tragic as I make it out to seem. I only ever knew my brother, father and cousin. So really there could still be some of us roaming about this empty earth but it sounds more dramatic to say that I’m the last.
Before what I like to call The Trigger, I worked at the New York Times as a journalist. I was pretty good too, if I do say so myself. I always got the scoop on everything that was happening below the under belly of New York. Sadly, I did not get to stay in my profession for long.
Shortly after achieving my dream job at the Times the freak meteor showers began. Sure, they were sparse at first, a couple ten dead here, a couple hundred dead there, but the number escaladed as the meteor showers became more and more frequent. What’s worse is with the meteor shower came the horrible heat. I always enjoyed the cold myself and once the temperature hit always above 30 degrees I figured it was time to stop going outside. Sadly, a lot of people did not have this option and I watched a lot of good people go out in flames. The heat got so bad that people had to start wearing special suits to go outside. One of the major corporations in the world and one of my final interviews for the New York Times is Friedmont and Sons, created them. They made a wicked profit and it made a lot of people go after them for the torrential downpour of fire that’s been happening.
Alas, people had to let go of that theory as they blew to bits three months ago. In fact, almost all big time companies have completely gone under do to this rain of death. I’ve lost track of how many because the cable went out three weeks ago and the bunker phone died two weeks before that.
It’s been two months since I’ve actually spoken to another human being and at least six months since I’ve actually seen one. Since the cable went out I’ve been scared to even set a toe out of my 12 foot deep, two foot think titanium bunker. Every time I get close I hear a little voice in my head say you never know you could open the hatch just as a meteor is coming straight for your head. Yes, I probably let my imagination get the best of me but it is in the realm of possibility. So I tend to stay far away from the opening of my cave. Although sometimes I worry that even it won’t keep me safe.
Just before I lost communication with every person I may ever know, I heard the bunker across the street from mine was hit by a meteor that completed destroyed it. This news hit close to home as the women who lived there often brought over pie when they baked too much for the family get-togethers. As a thank you for their delicious pie I often mowed their lawn or shoveled their driveway if I had the time. Sure, I didn’t know them well but we were good neighbours.
Of course I’m sure the other reason my whole body started quaking when I heard that the two ladies had perished was because they had been in a bunker and had still been blown into tiny bits of flesh. It is this reason that I find myself thinking, if the bunker right across from mine wasn’t enough to save my friendly old neighbours how can I expect mine to protect me when the time comes?
I tried to be prepared when I came down here. It’s well stalked with canned foods, a microwave, bottled water, a tv and dvd machine, a single bed, toilet, sink; the necessities. Everything I thought I would need while I tried to survive what I assumed would be the end of humanity. After all it was meteors that killed out the dinosaurs. But I like to fancy myself smarter than the dinosaurs, because no dinosaur I ever heard of would think to hide underground.
What I hadn’t anticipated was my overwhelming desire to speak to another person. As the days increase I find myself longing for human contact. Something I never cared for and often avoided back when I wasn’t living in a bunker. I thought that perhaps writing in a journal would help quench my desire to communicate but all I’ve found is my journalistic curiosity returning. My mind is begging my body to climb out and see what is left of our scorched earth. I’m going to have to leave soon my curiosity and loneliness is getting the best of me. But, I will not leave my sanctuary today. Today the rational side of my brain has remained in control of my curiosity. It tells me that leaving is certain suicide. But I know it will not stay in control forever.
Perhaps tomorrow I will brave the heat and venture out of my new home. For now I will lie down on my semi-comfortable single bed and watch the blank TV as I drift to sleep hoping that when I finally leave I will no longer be alone.
© Copyright 2016 Jenny Shaw. All rights reserved.
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