... The Dimming of the Light... (Part 13)

by Peter Hunter

the dimming of the light (Part 13)

Peter Hunter

Day 13

  has dawned dull, depressing and totally devoid of optimism the low dark cloud layer not just caressing the tope of the downs - more a suffocating embrace - or should it be a stranglehold that squeezes any joyfulness from the day

  the only good thing maybe, is that we are still alive if indeed this is life our now condemnation to nothing more than a struggle for survival - a future however short

  a future - consisting only of a pathetic fight to stay alive

Less and less food little to drink and the prospect of living amongst people rapidly descending to the state of wild animals

  or is that an insult to animals.

Maybe, maybe the best thing I could do is shoot Alice then myself a mutual suicide rather than a slow undignified death

  it might be the kindest end

Yesterday provided an example of the way things are going Alice answered the door to a stranger. He asked for help, for food any thing... When she firmly refused saying we did not have enough for ourselves his manner turned threatening

  and she had to bang the tin can - the alarm warning we had suspended inside the door the prearranged signal calling for help from Chris who was working in the tractor shed and the stranger slunk back to the lane

  muttering incomprehensively to himself

  problem solved this time but things would surely become more difficult, more sinister - and we certainly resolved not to answer the door at after dark

During these events - one of the villagers hoping for our help had disclosed there had been several more deaths in the community mostly elderly including the old boy that was relying on his granddaughter's generous breast milk

  obviously it was not as nutritious as they had hoped

  my foreboding intensified it was not good, nothing of any optimism and I was particularly depressed that I had considered murdering my wife to be followed by my own suicide

  in addition my medication had run out

But so far I had little reaction which did not surprise me as its effect when changed was always slow except I already was starting to pee more frequently a predictable symptom, but one which could be psychosomatic

  but one which I regarded as a sign of things to come along with a vast increase in thirst and a general deterioration of my energy but there was absolutely nothing I could do about it

  my potential suicide still remained attractive

Nothing, absolutely nothing remained good quality. Even our lovely cats whether it was that we were no longer feeding them or perhaps some other reason - we were seeing less and less of them - indicating that much of their former affection had merely been 'cupboard love'.

Whether we could adjust to our now primitive diminished existence I did not know and maybe we no longer bothered

  our adjusted life was becoming nasty and we were ceasing to care it was everyone for themselves the survival of the fittest and my age probably played a large part in these feelings

Recognising this with ample time due to our increasing isolation I spent more time practising with my hunting bow and my collection of arrows becoming quite good as my skill returned

  it gave me a certain level of confidence

* * *

  satisfied with my practice with the hunting bow I returned to the house to the warm blazing wood fire the only comfort I enjoyed during that god-less winter - to find Sharon, Chris and Alice being updated by the Colonel on his progress so far with the short wave radio he had set up

  almost nothing

  just one contact a radio amateur inTibet who, although speaking excellent English - knew nothing about the current state of our country

  he passed on news about the USA, India and China nothing of great import everything depressingly normal so obviously they were all working an apparently thriving

But of the UK, Britain and England - he knew nothing. He did not even know there was any problem

The Colonel explained; with the amateur radio techniques he'd used in his youth - it was normal to know the frequencies and call signs used by those you were contacting. Without these it was difficult to contact others, as he had to make virtually random transmission, hoping on luck that a call would be answered

  he had not been lucky

Also he reported that the Winter Vomiting Virus appeared to have become more sever and already some babies and two or three old folk had died in the village

  and could only speculate on the mortality in the towns the bodies the conditions gangs and looting if anything was left worth looting. We imagined the District Hospital, emergency generators long out of fuel, staff departed to try and join their families

  all the support systems long inoperative no more food or water

  just a carpet of sad rotting bodies

Again we discussed preparing to defend our interests by force if necessary

I finally lost what little will to live I still retained

(To be continued if I am able)

Peter Hunter 2012

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