#SoCS – Silence

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “silent/silence.” Use one or both in your post. Have fun!

From the diary of Jennifer Saunders

The view beyond the double glazed windows was one of complete desolation. There was no moon glowing brightly in the darkness of the night. Not a single star lit up the unwavering darkness. The thick layer of smoke and dust that had wrapped itself around the earth was impenetrable. The cocoon mankind had created for himself was complete and effective.

As I stood watching, the showering of snowflakes swirling and dancing in the air increased. They were difficult to see in the relentless dark. A splattering of slightly lighter grey in the greater darkness. Worse of all was the stillness. It is hard for me to convey the stillness. All my life there had been noise, the murmur of people moving about in the office or on the street outside, the chirps of birds welcoming the morning light, vehicles on the streets outside, televisions and other electronic devices buzzing in the background. The silence entered my head, bringing with it a horrible feeling that there was no life left on earth beyond this small cottage where Tom and I were bidding our time. A feeling of panic grew inside me, swelling and growing, threatening to overcome me.

“Mom,” said Tom, coming up next to me at the window. “Look at the sea, it looks so unchanged, doesn’t it?”

Saved by my extraordinary son from descending into a pit of despair and anguish from which there may have been no return, I looked at the ocean, watched it heaving and moving under the dark sky. I realised that I was wrong, the silence was not complete, and the gentle sound of the waves lightened my feeling of oppression and lifelessness.

I turned and drew him into a hug. I still have Tom, I’m not alone. I pushed any thoughts of John from my mind. The chance that my husband had survived the nuclear explosion in London was slight.

We had a lot to be thankful for. Glen left this cottage, his planned refuge, well stocked with long-life candles, food and fuel. His planning had been impeccable and in addition to the quantities of slow-burning oil we found in the house, the largest shed was filled with wood. There were also canisters of gas hidden in the cellar. It made me feel as if I was standing on a tinder pile that could go up in flames at any moment, but, it seemed to have been here for a long while and the house was still standing so my unease about natural heating supplies are probably unfounded.

I signed, thinking about my flick of a button heating at home. People hadn’t used wood or gas for heating since they had been banned by the World Government. How did Glen get his hands on all this wood and gas? Even prior to the ban on fossil fuels being implemented, they had been extremely expensive due to shortages. Beyond the financial reach of most people.

“Let’s make some dinner,” I said, draping my arm around Tom and walking towards the small but well-equipped kitchen.

Over our meal of reconstituted soya mince and powdered potatoes, Tom and I started talking about books. I was a great reader and I had passed this love on to my son, but both of us read on our electronic devices. These had reached the end of their useful lives due to the lack of power. Paper books had become unavailable for purchase by the public due to the ban on cutting down trees ten years ago. I miss the feel of a paper book, I signed wistfully at my memories of my youth when I had a whole bookcase filled with books. Most people read on their devices but there were still libraries which kept one copy of all books published.

“I wish we could visit a library,” Tom said. It gave me turn to realise his thinking was along such similar lines to my own.

“There is a library in the village. I did think about us driving to it and having a look around to see if there are any people about and whether anything was still functional, but I am worried that we could run into trouble. We don’t know what is happening in the world outside of this small piece of farmland.”

We haven’t seen a single person since we arrived about a month ago. Where are all the people?

You can join in Linda G. Hill’s SoCS challenge here: https://lindaghill.com/2019/05/31/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-1-19/

41 thoughts on “#SoCS – Silence

    1. Thank you, John. I am kicking some sci fi ideas around. I am fascinated with the potential implications of advanced digitization and automation especially with the increased polarisation in the world. Looks like a recipe for disaster to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One can go online and see very exclusive Fall Out shelters that are already in place. Expensive to get into – like a hotel without windows. Private rooms, common areas, air purifiers… generators etc. But they are already there and stocked.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Here’s a start for you; Luxury Bunkers

            Personally I don’t think that even by the time my grandchildren are adults global warming will be an issue… but precautions for climate via natural changes or man assisted do need some rearranging.

            Liked by 1 person

        1. Apparently, the circumference of the radiation sickness from the explosion is not that big. It is carried on the wind so people immediately down wind would be badly affected but it would not directly impact people further away. Of course the cancers down the line are probable and scary.

          Liked by 1 person

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