I told Anna about Al’s deal. I think that was a mistake.
She thinks I should take the offer.
“We made the farm too big on purpose, we’re never gonna be able to keep all that good fresh.”
We were taking in the evening on the porch, enjoying the warm air that comes in spring, when it’s not really warm yet, but it’s better than anything we’ve had, so it feels wonderful. A breeze was rustling through the trees, and Evangeline was playing down by the water. We could here her gurgling laughter over the clacking stones on the beach.
“We can preserve the tomatoes, and the potatoes will keep for a while. That could keep us going during a dry season.” I bought all those damn mason jars for a reason.
“What, french fries and Ketchup?”
I rolled my eyes.
“I’m serious, we can do better than just survive.”
Better than just survive? What better? The concept of better went up in smoke with the rest of the world. I tried to explain, that survival for us isn’t guaranteed right now. We have to put everything we have into looking after us, because it’s gonna get harder.
She shook her head. “It doesn’t have to get harder. That will only happen if we hoard everything we have. We need to make it grow into something bigger than us if we really want it to succeed.”
She put her hand on my shoulder and squeezed, it calmed me. I sat down in one of the chairs.
“If we keep pushing for something better, we might be able to rebuild.”
She sat down in the chair next to me. Evangeline’s voice drifted up from the shoreline.
“Look, I know you want to keep us safe.”
“This is the best way -”
“I know, but look around.”
I actually did. I knew what was there: grass, evergreens, a low stone wall, and blue, blue sky, but I looked anyway. A slight breeze came in and caressed my cheek as it went by. Despite everything going on in the outside world, this place was always the same.
“What do you see?”
“Heaven.” I answered without hesitation. This place has always been heaven to me.
“Exactly, this place was amazing even before the bombs went off, and we are incredibly lucky to make it here.”
“Yeah, and we need to protect it.”
She gave me that look again. The “eight year old” one.
“Billy, if we were a day late we’d be dead right now. If you didn’t have all these supplies stashed away we wouldn’t have made it through the winter. Let’s share that with people, and we can build something beautiful.”
“Look,” she leaned her head against my shoulder. That wasn’t fair, I love it when she does that, and she knows it. “You don’t have to go letting everyone and anyone in, just think about it, okay?”
She wrapped her hands around my arm, and for a moment, everything was quiet. Everything was peaceful. I almost could’ve closed my eyes and pretended it was any Saturday night, that tomorrow we’d have to drive home and go back to the hum drum existence of everyday life. That I’d wake up tomorrow and grumble about the long drive back and all the cleaning we’d have to do before we left.
Woo! This train is rolling strong! Let me know what you think of the story so far and what you think will happen next in the comments down below! Check out