In honor of Halloween and the Werefrankenstorm of the Apocalypse, here is a story that I wrote last summer but which seems particularly appropriate just now. Enjoy!
Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. ~ Helen Keller
Friday, June 29, 2012
Loving Husband and I have been asleep for nearly an hour, little Sausage tucked into his crib in the next room. I wake to the first claps of thunder, and notice that the white noise machine in Sausage’s room has stopped running. I turn it back on, noting that the power must have fluctuated and caused the machine to turn itself off. Loving Husband and I sit in our bed watching the window flash — the lightning is like an irregular strobe light, more rapid and constant than I’ve ever experienced before. Over the next ten minutes or so, the power flickers repeatedly before finally going out altogether. We break out the battery-powered noise maker for the baby, fearing that without it the thunder will wake him. We hold each other close, listening to the storm batter the windows as we drift back to sleep. We’re confident that power will be restored by the next day, at the latest. After all, it is just a summer storm.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
The power still being out in the morning, Loving Husband goes out to get us some breakfast. From the car’s radio, he finds that power is out throughout the entire region, affecting some 2.1 million people. Based on our experience with losing power last summer, for the three days after Hurricane Irene, we have a terrible feeling that this could be a long, miserable experience. We watch as our (battery-powered) clocks register higher and higher inside temperatures, and our baby’s face grows more and more flushed. We all sleep downstairs, where it is marginally cooler than in the bedrooms.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
The power is still out. The inside temperature of our house is above 80°, and outside … well, it’s a lot hotter than that. We go to stay with some friends, B and C, who live a few blocks away and (for whatever reason) never lost power. There we hear a newscaster announce that at least seven people have died so far, from the storm and the heat. We don’t worry, since we are now comfortably air conditioned, ensconced in a cool basement. Sausage is excited about the extended play date with his friend S, B and C’s little girl. It’s like camping, only better!
Monday, July 2, 2012
There has been word of more deaths. Some are heat-related, though others are violent, the bodies mutilated. We laughingly speculate that the epidemic of bath-salts users is continuing, aided and abetted by the irrationality of overheated brains. We feel terribly sorry for those who haven’t managed to find themselves cool basements to sleep in, and are stranded in ever-heating houses, or who are out on the streets. I watch my child play with S, both of them shrieking with delight, and think how very lucky we are.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
The police are advising that citizens stay indoors as much as possible — it appears that, in the wake of the storm, and with so many people displaced, there may be a serial killer on the loose. Six more bodies have been found mutilated. For the first time, our crowding into our friends’ house seems less like a fun slumber party and more like safety in numbers. We drink blood-red wine and talk of dark doings, double- and triple-checking the locks on the door.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Fear is mounting. Thirty bodies have been found since the power outage began. Police think that there may be a group of killers working together, though they can’t find any links between the victims, which seems to rule out a gang war. Independence Day celebrations are muted, fireworks displays cancelled by order of the mayor. The city is both dark and eerily quiet. Instead of celebrating, we are all filled with feelings of foreboding.
Next time: Dystopia? Or Something Else?