the dimming of the light (Part 12)
the Colonel had got his radio in working order late yesterday and by some clever wiring had added a small twelve volt bulb to the electricity supply from the spare car battery. It had enabled him to spend most of the night revising how to use the thing and he had been in contact with radio 'HAMs' both in Britain and elsewhere in he world
we eagerly awaited his news
it was refreshing to know that our little solar tickle recharging system provided not just power from the spare car battery to drive the radio, but a small amount of light as well
but that was positive a little something that was good whilst the overall depiction - the biggest part of the shrinking view we had in our rapidly diminishing world quickly degenerating into despondency
Our daily visit to the village hall was worrying it seemed that probably a third of the community had succumbed to the Vomiting Virus that was already becoming a problem
What more possibly was to come? How long before the traditional winter influenza epidemic hit the population - in a normal year it would by now be overdue
and might already be here - sweeping across a silent county - devastating big cities we had no way of knowing. What's happening to that bloody radio? Other diseases? Dysentery due to poor hygiene? How were others coping with the lack of sanitation?
diseases not yet imagined taking root - any thing was possible, but without communication how could we know? The more we thought about it the more horrible the potential became
and to us it seemed prudent that we avoid contact with others
it was a time to think deeply and ruthlessly
Already our survival habits were changing our supply of fresh water from the tank in the attic had been used up now we were dependant on the small pool in the orchard its water continually refreshed by the spring in the hillside. We took the precaution of filtering the water first through a large clean handkerchief and then boiling it for twenty minutes before drinking it
What little rubbish our reduced existence was generating, we transported by wheelbarrow to the far end of the orchard and simply left it there to rot or rust. Any thing that could be burned we used as fuel
but we could not help speculating what others were doing particularly for drinking water as well as food as tins and the like were, for many now running out
what about those who had no land or lake?
How were those in towns coping particularly the big cities such as London and Manchester already several of the villagers had approached our house with various requests food mainly and fresh water
Disregarding any feelings of compassion we turned them away humanity was fading and we resolved to become selfish keeping our resources to ourselves
inevitably many would die but we wanted to survive as long as possibly
Predictably we recognised growing resentment and hostility towards us
how many were already dead were gangs looting what, if anything was left in the supermarkets what why? Did people help each other or was it all degenerating into selfishness and violence?
so many questions and so far hardly any answers
Where was the colonel in his efforts to make contact using his radio?
(To be continued)
Peter Hunter 2012
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