Flash Fiction: Hunger and Socks

A lot of my flash fiction is stored on a tumblr blog. I fell out of the habit of using tumblr before they started censoring my fun but sometimes head over there to scroll through my old posts. There are nearly 50 slices of story there, many of them ideas for something greater.

I’ve been transplanting my favourites here and I was surprised to note that neither of these two had made it over yet. I love these stories. “Hunger” because it’s creepy and didn’t start out that way. The idea in my head when I first looked at the picture disappeared as soon as I started to write, the story below happening instead. “Socks” is me at my sentinmental best.

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It’s the Snowpocalypse

It’s the snowpocalypse and, let me tell you, this is not the way I thought I would go. When imagining the apocalypse (something I do with disturbing frequency), I figured it would happen in one of two ways: dreaded disease or someone bombing the crap out of the United States. Both seem equally plausible, don’t they?

I have stocked the basement with supplies. We keep the camping gear down there. It has running water and heat (gas, in case the electricity fails), our huge collection of board games, daughter’s craft supplies, food (beans, beans and, for variety, some more beans) and water. If we get bored of board games, we can set up the tent, pretend we’re actually camping. Or, we can take turns pretending the elliptical machine is running. Imagine the workout you could get making that thing go with no electricity? We could stare at the blank TV screen, maybe play with our reflections. There’s a kickbag down there. We could take turns kicking and punching it. Or we could fight each other, as a measure of stress relief and to practice for the inevitable invasion of gun-toting survivalists who will be after our beans and board games.

I have looked into sealing the entrance with one of those sneaky false floors. Make the stairwell look like a closet, one with an innocuous keypad mounted on the inside wall. The floor would be really thick steel. Something only a dedicated post-apocalyptic burglar (or alien equipped with acidic saliva) could burn through. After all, we’ve only got beans to share.

We also have a weapon down there. A recurve bow with a slack string and about three arrows. The tip is hanging off one. I think we’ve shot it at too many trees. My daughter has a bow, too. A post Hunger Games ‘toy’ that is pink. Despite the wrongness of taking down a deer with a pink bow, that’s probably how it will happen, but only after we’ve enraged the mutated beast and it has finished trampling us.

The gas will run out before the beans, so we’ll have to freeze dry the strips of venison. We’ll know how to butcher it. I have a book. I do not have a strong stomach, but somehow I think that will be the least of my worries after the end of the world.

Or, I could just order three of these:

The video is in Japanese, but really, the pod speaks for itself. Sort of. There’s a pole inside, and dingy carpet. Do they expect us to while away the post apocalypse learning to pole dance? Or is that all we get to hold on to as our safe place rolls between disasters? I’ve already planned what to put in those handy compartments. (One of them would have to function as a toilet, wouldn’t it? Practical and gross.)

You know, these would be perfect for the snowpocalypse. They’re crush-proof, float and can withstand 9.3 tons of compressive pressure. Plunge distance is limited to 25m, so we’d have to cruise carefully around the Poconos. We could order them in white and travel incognito as big, shiny snowballs. The aliens (taking advantage of our weakened planet) might not recognize us. My mad family might end up as the rearguard of all humanity.

Scary thought, isn’t it.

I talked to my husband about the life armor and explained why we should order three. One for me and the cats, one for him and daughter and one as a spare. He wanted his own, of course. I predict we’d all end up in the one my daughter orders. The pink one. We can roll over the mad deer and play pinball with the aliens (hoping the toilet compartment doesn’t flip open).

Then, when the snow melts, my daughter can go back to school, I can write something other than crazy blog posts and my husband can return to his daily routine of gaming between conference calls.

Stay warm, everyone!