Blood On The Moon – Part 2

It was sudden… I suppose; sudden to me at any rate. The cold war was long over, and everything was going along pretty well if you ignored the occasional crap from Hussein or one of those clowns. But they posed no real threat. Did they? Hell, it was probably one of them that blew everything up. Who knows? But still… why me? How, and why, had I alone survived?

The noise from the blasts was horrendous. Unlike anything I’d ever heard. A roaring, almost like the sound of metal being torn apart, followed by a loud rush of hot air as if the world had exhaled a dying breath. I can only assume that it has affected the whole world in the way it has affected the few hundred miles I have seen. The nearest of the blasts was in Austin. I counted ten or so, all the same day, from every direction. The best I can figure, for I’ve not explored all of them yet, the blasts wiped out every major city in Texas, and then the fallout, or whatever it was that made the sun go crazy, did the rest. There was nothing left now… but me… and dust.

I stayed in or near the cave during the blast period. It all happened in one day. A few hours actually. On the second day I had ventured out, but only for a few minutes. The sun had begun its burn, and it was unbearably hot. A few minutes were all I could stand. Even then, I had blisters on my face and arms when I returned to the cool shelter of the cave. The cave was one of many in the granite-filled area west of Austin, and this particular one I had sought shelter in was a few miles east of the small settlement of Smithwick on FM 1431. The mouth of the cave was on the south side of the farm-to-market road and ran under the highway to the north. It became deeper the farther north you went in the dark, granite hollow and ended about a quarter mile from the road. An underground stream provided me with water. I didn’t eat. Haven’t eaten since the blast. The water vanished on the second day, and the cave began to crumble on the third, forcing me closer to the mouth of the cave and the un-Godly heat. I cringed in the shadows and waited for what I thought was certain death.

The lack of an appetite was one of the things that made me wonder what sort of limbo I was in. The desire and need for food had left me almost immediately after the rumbling had faded from the last blast. Thirst was always there, but hunger was no longer a part of me. I vacillated wildly as to my actual state of being. Most of the time I believed that I had died… and was in hell.

The need for water was persistent, a driving force, so I went on. I slept when I could find shelter. I needed very little sleep actually, and I sought cover only out of habit. There was nothing to fear. I was hopelessly and utterly alone. The sky was strange and dark, and the sun appeared to grow weaker with time. I had no real concept of time. It was of no use or consequence. There had been no night or day for weeks, merely different shades of twilight. The temperature appeared to be constant. Cool and dry. Very dry. Sometimes I thought the air I breathed was fine dust. I could feel it as it entered my body and then exited. It had no taste… no smell. I wondered at times if the air was what sustained me, for though I had no need for food, and my need for water had begun to wane, I somehow maintained my strength and was able to go on. I felt no pain, I had no needs, and emotions were becoming things of the past.   To be continued…

3 Comments »

  1. Sherry Mashburn said

    purgatory or limbo?

    • I’ve always thought this story to be prophetic, and wonder if the character is a spirit roaming the earth after the world has been destroyed. Perhaps, with millions of other spirits wandering all around him, but none can see, hear, or sense, the other. In a writers mind, could it be that hell is simply being alone in a world of silence?

  2. Sherry said

    now THAT’S a scary thought!!

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