Archive for February, 2013

It’s been beautifully warm and then bitterly cold. Last week, we even saw our first real snow storm since this all began. We were trapped for the entire weekend until we were able to dig out our little house. It reminded me how in my life before I should have been more appreciative of public services like snow plows and snow removal. 

It was bitter and cold and we were thankful for it because it meant that we did not have to deal with The Man in the Ice. But then, it started to get warmer out. We had days where it felt like spring. I would stand with the children and we would stop doing chores. We’d put our faces to the sun and just feel the renewal that was coming.

It amazes me how much more in-tune we have become with the natural world since ours lives changed. Our moods align with the temperature and the weather. It was so nice for those few days. It made all of the snow melt and made it easier for us. Javier though paid close attention to The Man in the Ice. 

One morning we could see the ice beginning to break up. We both stood there watching him, as his fingers began to slowly protrude through the ice. It was disgusting and stomach churning to watch these purple/brown bloated fingers worm there way through the weak parts of the ice. If we helped to pull him out we knew he would break apart. If we let him struggle to get out we figured the same would happen to him. 

His eyes said that his mind was muddled, probably both with decay, his unceasing hunger and the temperature of the near-freezing water. 

“If we leave him in there, he will spoil the lake. If he hasn’t already,” said Javier as he drew me closer to him.

“But how to we remove him?”

“A really big net.”

“Even if we had one of those, we’d still have to get it underneath him.”

“I know.”

Javier was already half way up the hill towards the woods before I could respond. 

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Shelby’s Story

Posted: February 1, 2013 in Life Before
Tags: , , ,

I find it very hard to talk to the kids about their life before. It’s different for them then it is for us. As adults we expect things to come at us. We’re usually never ready for the big things like the death of a parent or the loss of a job, but we expect those things to happen at some point. Kids don’t think like that. Kids though sometimes I think more resilient than most adults, just don’t expect the worst because normally they haven’t experienced the worst and haven’t lived long enough to see how surprising and upheaving living can actually be sometimes.

So, here’s what I know about Shelby van Horn.

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Shelby’s Story

Shelby was ten years old at the time of the apocalypse. She was born on March 10, 2001. Her parents were both doctors and she was an only child. From what I knew of them, they adored Shelby and catered to her a lot. Shelby is quiet and often shy. In school, she found it hard to make friends and often liked to read more than she liked to be around other kids. This worried her mom, probably more than it should. I always admired the inherent gentleness that Shelby has and her quiet ways. She was often a calming influence on our class at Alcott Elementary.

On career day, in our life before, Shelby spoke about wanting to be an artist or a writer. She said she liked to create and live in worlds in her mind. She found fantasy to be her favorite genre. And now look at us, all living together in some fantasy world it feels. Sometimes I wonder if we live in Shelby’s head and that one day she’ll wake up and this bad dream will end for all of us.

One can dream…