The house is quiet, the streets are desserted, there are no lights in the city.
Over the summer, with clear skies and warm nights, the darkness didn’t seem so odd. I was raised in the country with no streetlights — I’m used to that absolute black. But fall blew in on a storm two days ago that knocked out all the electricity and had us all pulling out the wool sweaters. Between the heavy cloud cover and the fact that no one wants to put a light in the window, and the fact that dawn doesn’t come until 6:30….
I feel like it’s all coming apart at the seams.
I was awake to see the early morning dark because I got tapped to guard the kitchen warehouse last night. Apparently, I’m one of three people in the whold staff who can use a gun without blowing my foot off. With the General gone, things have gone from got to bad to HOLY FUCK pretty damned quick. We’ve got people from the outlying ‘burbs pouring into the cities on the rumour that it’s better here. We’ve got people from the city leaving for… I don’t know where. In the day time, it’s confusing but still normal. New-normal, but it was safe on the streets. The rumours were flying fast — the General’s daughter being held at Gitmo, troops on the Mass./R.I. border, spaceships at MIT (which really wasn’t the most ridiculous thing we’d heard, believe it or not) — and people we gathering at any public space to talk, natter, worry, debate, argue.
Once the sun went down last night though, with no electricity, it got bad. There were roving gangs of looters and roving gangs of “neighborhood watch” types trying to defend their little chunck of city, and roving squads of military types who are trying to protect everyone but don’t have a command structure right now.
I know all of this because I spent the night sitting at the warehouse with a loaded shotgun, some emergency flares, a bullhorn, and an extra-strong cup of the last coffee in the city. Happily, in Cabridge at least, guns are pretty damned rare among the general population and the Neighborhood Watch types and the looters were mostly unarmed. And there’s really nothing quite as frightening in the dark as the sound of a double-barreled shotgun being ratched. Most folks would give up. Things died out about midnight, happily.
We did let one group of armed types with uniforms take some food. Not a lot, but we weren’t sure that they weren’t actually the military types. I miss the General.
Today is going to be tough. Tonight is going to be tougher. If I wasn’t so wired and tired, I’d be panicking.
My folks called on the cell last night. They and their dogs are on their way up today. They are putting as much food in the car as my dad can manage. I asked them to bring dad’s hunting rifles, too. And I told them to come in the daylight only and on backroads only. It’s going to be a tight fit with them and Gil. Not that we’ve seen Gil in three days, what with the “convention” going into overdrive.
Avery was a little white around the eyes this morning as she took over guard duties, talkinga bout her relatives in Kansas. She’s sort of the driving force that holds this little kitchen together and if she bugs out…
I’m so tired.