I’m really only writing this because Anna said I’d go crazy out here if I didn’t. I don’t know, might just lose it anyway.
It’s good to be writing again, though. Never thought I’d say that. Then again, I didn’t expect any of this to happen. Though, for all the shit, the apocalypse sure has cut down on paperwork. Hell, I don’t think I’ve had to pick up a pen in six months.
Evangeline is handling everything like a champ, but I think she’s lonely. She came to me last night asking if, now that the snow has melted, she could go home to see her friends.
“It’s not safe.” I tried to explain, but how do you explain nuclear radiation to an 8 year old? How do you tell her that her friends are all probably dead?
Arsenal of Democracy. Fat lot of good it did us.
I don’t know if she understood, but she did seem to get we can’t go home, yet. How do I tell her “home” isn’t there anymore?
We managed to carve out a decent living through the winter, though. The cabin was fully-stocked with canned food, and supplies for a whole winter. Plus, enough deer come through here that we’ve had a fairly regular supply of fresh, meat. I gotta remember to thank Dad every night for buying this place. It’s saved our lives, and, luckily, neither the well nor the river has been radiated. Yet.
The generator is being a huge pain in the ass since the power went out in February. Gas is running low. I’m gonna have to figure out some way to keep the power on. A lot of wind comes in off the lake. Maybe a windmill?
Anyway, I’m getting tired. There’s a long day ahead tomorrow. Evangeline, Anna and I are building a farm! I had loads of seeds stored away, so we should get a good harvest going.
I feel like I’ve been sucker-punched.
Today started off normally enough. I got up at 6 and chopped wood for a half hour. Then checked the traps I had set. Nothing was caught, which was disappointing, but not a problem.
By the time I got back here breakfast was made and evangeline was up. She was bright-eyed, bushy tailed, and ready to start planting. My little angel was so excited.
If the Lord Almighty exists, it’s her that’ll convince me of it.
After breakfast, even the gardening was going well. It was a beautiful day, warmest we’d had in months. For a little bit, we felt normal working on our little family project.
Then Sheriff Brown came strutting down our driveway.
A self-important prick, but, credit to him, he didn’t stop doing his job when everything went to shit. I don’t know if anyone is even paying him anymore.
“Hullo Sheriff.” I leaned on my shovel. He was even still in uniform. The Baraga County Sheriff badge gleamed like gold in the sunlight.
“How are ya, Bill. JR said you made it up before everything hit the fan.”
“Yeah I stopped by his shop when we came up, see if he had any supplies. We left just in time.”
“Better than not getting out at all. Lotta empty homes ‘round here these days.”
“Is that why you came all the way out here? See who’s around?”
He looked at me over his glasses. “I’m afraid not. Some news came through over the radio, I’ve been going around letting people know.”
“What kinda news?”
“News about the war.”
I glanced at Evangeline, who was sitting in the dirt not ten yards away. She was patting down some seeds, but I could tell she was really paying attention to what we were saying.
“Angel, why don’t you go inside and get something to drink?”
She looked up at me. “I’m not thirsty.”
Thankfully, my wife is more perceptive than a psychic and swooped in. “C’mon honey. Mommy’s thirsty and if you come with me, we can sneak a chocolate while daddy’s stuck here.”
Thank you, Anna. Evangeline went with her, far more interested in the frozen chocolate treats we’d been rationing than anything the sheriff had to say.
“Well, what’s the news that brought you all the way up here?”
“D.C. has fallen. The president and vice president are dead.”
I didn’t know what to say. My mouth went dry. “How?” I croaked. D.C. had been fitted with it’s own version of Israel’s Iron Dome, it was supposed to be impregnable.
“Dirty bomb, we think. There were no missiles fired. Just some nut.”
There was a pit inside my stomach. It never left. It’s still here now as I write this. Sure the bastards had abandoned us to our fate holed up inside their safety net, but as long as the government was still around, we had a fighting chance. There was an America left. Now the whole damn world’s gone.
“Not everyone was inside the blast. There’s still a president, some guy about tenth in the line of succession.”
“The Secretary of Commerce?”
“Yeah, something like that.”
Lord help us all.
“So I just wanted to go around, let people know. Services might not be coming on for quite a while. People should have a heads-up and start looking for other options.”
“Thanks, Sheriff. I appreciate it.”
He looked around from the farm we had been tilling all morning to the cabin, and the forest behind. “Beautiful piece of land you have here, Bill.”
“Thanks, it’s sure useful now.”
“Yeah, this farm is going to be super valuable. Food’s running a bit scarce, ya know? Wanna be on the lookout for thieves and the like.”
I honestly wasn’t sure if he was earnestly trying to warn me or that was his subtle way of trying to extort me.
“Thanks, Sheriff, I’ll keep that in mind.”
We chatted a bit more, but he soon left.
No services. No meaningful government. No nothing. Hell, most the damn cities in the country are gone now, same in China, North Korea, Russia, Europe, and the Middle East. Everyone had to get involved. Everyone had to “protect their interests.” Now this is all that’s left, Anna, Evangeline, and this little patch of land in Northern Michigan, far from any strategic targets.
God help anyone who tries to take it from me.
I can’t think about this anymore. I need sleep. I need Anna.
So… what’d you guys think? This is gonna be the newest series of mini-stories I put up here, and I’m gonna be publishing them weekly. I hope you liked it!
15 thoughts on “The Gates of Eden, Part One”
Reblogged this on Ohhhwillow and commented:
Isn’t this an America we all fear for?
Obviously, I am a huge fan of what you do! It must be a real fear of the clued-up American, that one day they may pay the price for a leaders irrationality and sponteneity. I know this is a mini-series but a poets suggestion would be this: get some extra wee visual descriptions in! You have ALWAYS been good at those. 🔥 A pleasure, as always, to read your work
Thanks for the support! I tried to add some more into the latest chapter (though it kind of became a beast of a chapter as a result, ah well) I always appreciate constructive criticism! 🙂