Blackout

It’s hard to get used to the darkness, a frightening blindness but a shield from the scavengers patrolling the deserted streets.

Since it happened, nights seem to last forever, moonlight blocked by a permanent canopy of thunder clouds. They charge across the skies whilst storms swirl in their wake. Brutal rains and winds batter the landscape. Armageddon smashes the land. Most of those I see in the few hours of daylight, believe it was God’s retribution on a world of sinners. The rest likely don’t think too deeply, preferring to epitomise manhood. Five days and five nights passed, in which time, people went through a past-life regression. Gone is the alcoholic over indulgence of the twenty-first century. In its place is a cave man. Everyone keeps their distance. They have their own crosses to bear.  But you can see in their eyes, they’re not looking for allies. This is every man for himself.

The earth continues to shake, those structures still standing, totter in the winds. Soon the pile of bricks will grow higher than the bodies.  Communication has broken down. We have no idea whether we are all that’s left or the civilised world isn’t far away. The ultimate tool of evolution; the mobile phone is embarrassingly useless.

I’m desperate to find a friendly face, or maybe someone who knows something for sure. Universal ignorance prevails. I didn’t recognise anyone in the scrum that followed the quake, my family disappeared completely. I thought about looking for them, but where? I can only move in daylight, and there’s no guarantee I can find shelter.

So I cling to the cellar wall of my ruined house. Craving warmth, I’m wearing four layers of clothing. No fire, no light, no company, no food. The world is stripped of its comfort, nature restoring its balance.

I hear voices above the ground, they’re searching again. I hold my breath, praying silence will add to the darkness. Shivering with fear, I question whether I can exist in this new world. How long before I’m lost to the blackout?

© S.G.Norris