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Mechanical Failure, part IV

May 14, 2013


I’ll never know what started the big outbreak. I just know that there was chaos at the shelter that day. When the dead broke through the chain link fence, there was no stopping them. I’d been listening to local reports on my radio up until that point and I remember feeling like I’d been punched when someone said that the school was overrun. I kept hoping that my husband had somehow managed to get away, but when he showed up at the house, he had a huge chunk of flesh missing from his neck. I don’t remember much more about it because I got pretty drunk and stayed that way for a couple days, up in the attic. Twice I climbed down the ladder with the intention of going outside and letting the dead bite me. Both times I talked myself out of it while my hand was on the doorknob.

After that, I never heard from anybody else in my town or saw another survivor. It seemed like the whole town was wiped out in a single day and maybe it was. I hope that there are other people still alive in town – I just haven’t seen any and it’s been a couple months now.

I keep waiting for the power to go out, but so far it’s still on. I’m guessing that since our electricity comes from Hoover Dam and the water is still moving, the dam may keep running for a while by itself. Or maybe there are people keeping it going. I just know that I don’t want to be here in the summer if the grid does finally fail. A few years ago, it got up to 117 degrees a couple times. That kind of heat can kill you. Even with my air conditioning still running, I’m going to need to move because it’s just too much work to keep a garden alive here, though I’m managing so far. Once winter is over and it starts to get warm again, I’m going to Oregon. I guess I can do whatever I want and live wherever I want as long as the dead cooperate.

My back yard is all garden now, except for the pool. My plants are struggling but I’m finally learning how to keep them alive. I tried planting a few things in September but it was just too hot for them and they quickly wilted and died. After that, I got some books and started reading up on gardening, as well as other survival matters. I started growing some lettuce and squash seeds inside and once it cooled down I moved them to the yard. They’re actually still alive and it’s November now. As long as we don’t get any bad frosts this winter, they should do well.

I store water in the pool. The water was still running for a while but it stopped after a couple weeks and I really don’t know why. I was still getting a trickle of it from the faucet for a while, but I quit using it because I started thinking that if there’s nobody at the treatment plant to run things then the water probably isn’t getting treated. Then I started thinking about things like infected bodies floating in the water and maybe blocking the pipes. I get water from my pool now and treat it before drinking it. It hasn’t rained since the first outbreak and I noticed today that the level in the pool is dropping faster than I had hoped it would. That worries me. Maybe we’ll have a wet winter. If not, I may be moving sooner than I had planned.

~to be continued~

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