I have to take a moment to thank Cathy Stucker and BloggerLinkUp. BLU has been responsible for linking me up with my incredible guest bloggers Shaman Elder Maggie, Kate George and Danica Davidson this month. Today I'm lucky to have a tale contributed by poet/short story writer Shah Wharton. She's originally from the West Midlands, UK, and now lives in Dubai.
Journal of Rosa and Bella - A Post Apocalyptic Life - A Short Story by Shah Wharton
21st June 2012
I never knew how precious life was until six months ago, today. The Americans, the Iranians, the British – and then the world, all went mad. We were dying you see. Along with the planet. But no one wanted to stop it. Instead this.
The scientists had said it for years, and the Mayans forecast it correctly, to the day – The end of the world as we know it. There was a song too, I believe?
In times gone by, I would pray for a lotto win, or for a job offer, or a great exam result. More than once - I’m ashamed to say, I wasted prayer-time on winning the reverence of this or that man; “Please Lord, let him call me.” Lately, I look out to the ruddy sky line and pray for the living to stop fighting and reunite; not solely for us, you understand – but for all mankind who are left to walk around our fried planet. I doubt there are many.
How did it get to this – Jesus, what a nightmare? It’s so damn stupid. I sit here wondering why I used my vote on such a mad man. He took us to war and then to a full scale nuclear holocaust. My baby will inherit nothing but cancer and solitude.
28th June 2012
I believe there have to be others. Before long, madness would be the only alternative companion; well, apart from baby, Bella.
Indeed, since the wars and the bombs and Earth’s revolt; along with losing my family, friends, neighbours, weight and hair, I’ve also begun to lose my marbles, it seems. I talk to myself all the time now; though I think I did that a little before dooms-day. But now I see colours which dance on my breath, and nightmares pop up like hallucinations during wakefulness. This could be the pollution, the radiation - of course. However, at least twice I thought I saw people, who turned out to be a bin or a tree, and I have begun to feel increasingly suicidal.
I push such thoughts away – obviously. I kiss my Bella, holding her tight beneath the great big ruddy/blue sky. It’s beautifully odd.
We wait. We wait for survivors to find and liberate us from the fearful confines of our house.
July 10th 2012
I do realise that being suicidal might appear to be a contradiction, after reading my original statement about life appreciation, but not so. I do love life. Life itself isn’t the problem. I loved the life I had before the planetary demise, which I mournfully took for granted: The mom who would understandably lament each man I brought home; the dad who barely noticed me around his dinner table, yet felt such disappointment at my illegitimate pregnancy; and the menial job I originally took to pay off student debts, whilst awaiting a more worthy career opportunity. I remained there for over three years. I had Bella to look after.
Yes – I miss my old unappreciated life. I miss my old unappreciated family and friends.
Now life is too close to death. And therein lies the temptation. In fact, death and dust and radiation are all there is.
There were many looters in the mayhem of the aftermath. No doubt many of them have died since. Others must have moved away, leaving us behind. I should have trusted mankind a little more back then. We could have been with other people now, if I had. Instead, I took my Bella and hid - like a coward. I haven’t seen a single soul in over two months now, and the food supplies are running out fast. A stray Collie looked appetising yesterday. Would I eat it – probably not? I certainly couldn’t bring myself to feed it to Bella. I’d fear it might be infected – if it killed me, so be it. But not her. I doubt we’d be able to chew it anyway. Soft gums?
Bella has rice, mostly, though she left most of it again today. She has a shrinking appetite and bored taste buds.
August 2nd 2012
I thought I saw a policeman chatting with Bella on Wednesday. I put her outside in the garden, whilst I read a book I’d found on next doors, bedside table: ‘Great Expectations,’ no less! I rushed over to her, to save her or to meet a friendly man – whichever it would turn out to be. She’d laughed at something he said, and I wanted to hear the joke too. Instead of sharing, she hid him from me. When I challenged her about it, she said nothing and her expression gave little away. Poker-face. I hate that. I took her indoors immediately. She will earn her next treat. Bad Bella.
August 19th 2012
Suicidal ideas go round my head on a loop now. I spend hours away from home walking and talking things over with myself. I can't trust Bella. I tried to find food in the few shops still standing, which are filled with rotting corpses and little else. I got more rice.
I considered that if the normal social order was restored today, I might be sectioned and swiftly diagnosed with a multitude of disorders, and diseases. “She is a clear danger to herself, and society!”
There is no one to secure me. Poor Bella has only me – her crazy mother. Why should that have made me laugh? It did.
To be continued...