We stood there in our dark apartment and stared out at the city. It was surprising to see the city in such a state. Not a single light could be seen. Of course there were two city-wide blackouts before, but never as long as this. I suppose it was the sign of the times. Nobody had the income to meet the demand of the vastly raising fuel price. Soon the demand hit the people hard and it brought the animal out in them. Months later the army claimed the fuel for their tanks and other military vehicles. Soon the world fell silent in these dark times.
Bicycles became a common sight, but there were many people falling into a deep state of depression. Two years later and coal could not meet a global demand anymore. Countries were buying coal off each other till they decided to stop selling. America was the last to fall under, of course, but eventually we lost or energy as well. The funny part is once the world realizes it is losing all its resources we use them a lot faster than we ever had.
Today is the day the world falls dark for the foreseeable future. I held my wife close and listened to the screams as the populace on edge begin to break. We heard screams, we heard arguments and in twenty minutes we heard gunshots.
“What do we do?” Beatrice asked me.
“The doors are locked,” I replied with a shrug. “Beyond that we have nothing.”
“The world has fallen and we’re not going to hold it back with cheap lock.”
“We can if I installed that lock.”
Time passed and we continued to stare through the window. The gunshots we heard before disappeared and silence returned. Some may believe that it would be a catalyst for violence, but most normal people would rather hide. It isn’t a fifty-fifty chance that people will fight or fly, people are cowards and will preserve themselves as long as possible. Not that doing so is a negative thing, because we were in the same boat.
“We need to leave,” Beatrice whispered.
“We need to leave. It isn’t safe in the city.”
“That much is clear, but leave where and why are you saying this now?”
“Don’t shout at me. We didn’t exactly have much choice months ago when everything with wheels stopped running. Now I think that walking is a better alternative to being shot.”
“Nobody is going to shoot us, we have nothing of worth.”
I tried to reason with here, but we both knew that in this moment reason was slowly leaking from everybody’s mind. In a world turned upside down we were left without civilisation and nobody to lead us. We were slowly reverting to our primal instincts and for me and here it was to run for the hills. I sighed deeply before standing up.
“Right, if we’re leaving this place we leave now,” I replied. “While everyone is just starting to panic, because any later and we will be caught up in total chaos.”
She didn’t need further convincing. Beatrice immediately started packing what she called a ‘go-bag’ which would contain only the essentials; which in our limited apartment was spreadable food, half a loaf of bread and our toothbrushes.
“Our ‘go-bag’ looks more like a ‘go-purse’,” I muttered ‘lugging’ the bag over my shoulder. “You think it will weigh us down?”
“Shut up and let’s get out of here,” Beatrice replied. I was beginning to hear the first quivering of panic in her voice and decided to quit the jokes.
A minute later we were out in the hallway and were surprised to see that we weren’t the only ones who had this idea in mind. Our entire floor was carrying bags out into the hallways and heading straight for the stairs. Knowing it would be better if we stuck together in large groups, Beatrice and I followed.
Once were outside of the building it was all a matter of direction. I watched as fathers and husbands gave orders to their families to follow and lead them off bravely down the street.
“Honey, where do we go?” I asked meekly.
“I’m hungry,” Beatrice replied.
“Well, what do you want; peanut butter or spreadable cheese?”
“Both sound incredibly appetizing, but I will pass.”
“Are you telling me the only food we have won’t feed you?”
“Not right now, thanks.”
“You know you can’t be fussy in an apocalypse, honey.”
“I know that, but the apocalypse hasn’t set in yet. Let’s go see if that burger place is still going.”
Beatrice immediately began walking up the street, an entirely opposite direction to everyone else. I jogged to keep up with her.
“What makes you think it will be going?” I questioned. “There isn’t any electricity in the city!”
“Well, maybe they have a gas stove.”
There was no reasoning anymore. Once out on the streets the panic had set in and I lost my wife to a delusion. Still, I would never leave her alone, so I decided to play along with the madness. We continued up the street in silence and upon turning a corner we saw the burger place lit up like a Christmas tree.
“You have got to be kidding me,” I murmured. However, before I could state my surprise, my stomach rumbled and I realized this might be my only chance to get a take-away style burger in a long time. The thought saddened me and the two of us walked over to the glowing building.
Upon entering we were greeted by a depressed looking employee who we gave our order to. We found our seats by the window and waited for the food to be ready.
“We should really visit my mother,” Beatrice murmured, staring out at the fire and running people.
“I am not visiting your mother,” I replied stiffly. “Even in the apocalypse I couldn’t care less to hear her voice.”
“You never liked her.”
“Nope and she never liked me.”
The weedy server appeared with our burgers and we tucked into them greedily. As we ate we watched a military APC run over an abandoned taxi cab and a mass of people run towards it, throwing Molotov cocktails. We soon became too distracted by the salty taste of the chips and ordered a second serving of them.
“These are really good tonight,” Beatrice noted through a full mouth.
Be sure to follow!