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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Dark · #1811450
We do what we must.
You know, we used to think we would be safe in the bomb shelters, that if we stuck it out and waited for the fallout to diminish, we’d get through it and somehow life would be peachy. We had food for a year and water for a lifetime. That seemed like enough. What we neglected to consider, however, was that after the blast, there would be no more animals to hunt, no more good soil to till. The good folks at Midwest Nuclear Research had seen to that.

Cut the pieces smaller. Stew needs smaller pieces.

There are no words to describe how difficult life is now. No longer are the pillars of security still in place. The day we opened the big steel doors of the bomb shelter at the courthouse, we half-expected to go celebrate our survival at Cindy’s diner around the corner. But it was—of course—gone. The good folks at Midwest Nuclear Research had seen to that.

My hands are shaking, you do it.

There is a silver lining to everything, and I suppose we wouldn’t have the will to survive if we didn’t look for it. All those little things that used to haunt us—getting a job, paying loans, facing social ridicule, et al.—simply disintegrated. The good folks at Midwest Nuclear Research had seen to that.

We have any salt left?

No, every pain was replaced by hunger, the animal instinct to survive. Not a moment goes by when our stomachs aren’t slowly devouring themselves. We are down to six of us now (We were forty when we first left the shelter). Times are hard; the good folks at Midwest Nuclear Research had seen to that.

Can we eat the head? Yeah, put it in the stew. Nutrition nutrition.

Yes, times are hard, but we manage. Hunger has forced us to do the most degrading things to survive, but we do what we must. It used to seem so wrong, like it was the ultimate immorality. But all in all, it’s one less mouth to feed, I guess.
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