#SOCS – Falling from the sky

It took her thirty minutes longer than usual to get home on that fateful day, even though she left the office at 3 P.M. Everyone who worked in the central business district seemed to be on the move and all the traffic lights were clogged with lines of cars. Dozens of people were milling around the train station. Jen couldn’t know for sure, but she guessed that the train service was in disarray. After witnessing the scenes of devastation on the television shortly before she fled the office, she was not surprised at the great panic around her. People wanted to get out of the city, even though Birmingham had not as yet come under attack.

Only once she had inched her way through the traffic jams on the major roads and maneuvered her car onto the back streets, did she appreciate how quickly people were reacting to the news. Knots of people stood about on the pavements waving their arms about and talking excitedly. Others, were running out of their houses and packing valuables into their cars. I wonder where they plan to go, she thought.

Five minutes later, her own home came into view. After parking her car on the street right in front of her door, she gingerly entered, wondering how much Tom knew and how he was reacting.

Her beautiful, fair haired child ran up to her as she closed the front door, flinging his arms about her he declared: “I love you, mummy. I am so glad you are home. Have you seen what is happening on the television?” She nodded, gently pulling herself free from his suffocating embrace. “Yes, I watched some of the footage at work. That’s why I’ve come home. We need to get away from the city.”

“Where are we going to head for, Mum?” Tom asked.

“I don’t know yet. I will think about it while I pack.”

Tom followed her as she headed up the stairs to the bedrooms and starting flinging clothes into a suitcase. “London’s been hit,” he continued amiably, as if they were having a conversation about a visit to the zoo instead of the destruction of mankind. “A lot of the television networks have gone off and if you turn to those channels you only get snow. There are no messages on the communicator either. No instructions as to what we should do.”

Turning to face her son, she asked: “Have you heard from your dad?”

“No messages have come from him, Mum, I checked my iphone and my ipad. It’s strange, as I would have expected him to use his microchip to log in and contact us.”

Tom moved to his wardrobe and selected his favourite tee-shirts from the pile. Handing them to her to pack, he said: “I think we should head for rural Scotland.” His mind had clearly moved on from thoughts of his father who, as senior employee in the military, had a microchip embedded in his brain to facilitate his tapping into any available database, at any time, while on the move.

Oh God, I hope he’s still alive. Inhaling deeply, Jen pushed thoughts of her husband from her mind and focused on what Tom was saying to her.

“… the buildings and houses where the bombs hit will have been completely destroyed. There will be no underground or train services because the tunnels will have collapsed and the trains will have been crushed. We have two things to worry about, Mum. Firstly, will Birmingham be a target and, secondly, the fallout which will already be falling from the sky. Getting away from the city will help with the first problem but we don’t know if all of the bombs exploded on the ground. If any exploded in the air, the radioactive particles caused by these weapons may enter the stratosphere and then they can take months, or even years, to settle. They may also settle anywhere in the world.”

Despite all the chaos and her anxiety, Jen was still amazed by her son’s agile and amazing mind. How does he know these things? 

“What should we do then?”

Tom looked her directly in the eye. “There is nothing we can do about the fallout so there is no point in worrying about it. We can only try to get away from the city so that we are not close enough to suffer from burns and eye injuries if Birmingham comes under attack.”

“Okay, let’s get packed then.” Maybe Tom is a survivor after all. With his PTSD and OCD, I thought he’d fall apart at the threat of radiation sickness, but here he is taking it in his stride. The threat of immediate death obviously outweighs his concerns about future illness and death.

This piece of flash fiction was written as a continuation of my SOCS post from last week called Explosion. Linda’s prompt below tied in neatly with my on-going ideas for this little tale.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “fall from the sky.” Write about anything that falls from the sky–real, imagined, or idiomatic. Have fun!

You can join in here: https://lindaghill.com/2019/05/03/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-4-19/


27 thoughts on “#SOCS – Falling from the sky

  1. I remember living under the fear of a day like this. You captured that concern, very well. It’s ironic how knowing more about the situation made us feel more in control – you captured that well, too. Of course, it was a false sense of security, but…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One could almost pull this story from the headlines… things are so dicey.
    One of the reasons I have to seek out some good news everyday.
    One can only hope that those with some shreds of intellect survive.


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