Science Fiction

I was out walking Piedo, at the edge of town, and I heard it: KaBwamb. The explosion came first, then the sound. The debris of scrap wood and sidings flew like bats awakened from slumber. The scrap wood and sidings are everywhere. It looks like Armageddon and I’m the only one left. I’m the only one left. Well, Piedo’s left too, but that’s it: Me and Piedo. I’m the last human on the face of the Earth. Damn it.  

    It reminds me of when the exterminator came and sprayed my roof for bees.  The exterminators killed them all or so he thought. A few hours later, I examined my roof and there was one bee looking for their honeybee, going in circles, lost. I’m that bee.

   So, first things first:  Food. We gotta find food. What are Piedo and I going to do for food and bathrooms?  Piedo will be fine, but I need toilet paper. Need to focus on food, though. I try to picture the town of El Chico before the explosion. I retrace my tracks and figure out where the local deli was. We go to where the deli was.  When I look, everything’s burnt to a crisp and I don’t see any meat, but Newton’s First Law of Thermodynamics states, “Matter can neither be created nor destroyed, only enjoyed,” I think. I think that’s what it said. Honestly, I don’t remember this stupid law, but Piedo and I look around for scraps. Dogs are smart that way, so Piedo finds a scent, follows it and I follow him. He smells around the dirt and cockroaches and he finds something, but it’s under a large piece of scrap wood. Pedro tries to move it with his nose, but can’t.  

    So, I squat, put my hands underneath the wood, and stand up and we both see it: twelve slices of black burnt meat with flies, ladybugs, and other vermin getting at it. Right now, I don’t give a shit, we need food. So, I pick up the meat (think it’s roast beef), before Piedo gets it and I shake the meat it the air, hard. The insects that can fly, fly away, the rest fall to the ground. I gotta remember to avoid sand dunes since fire ants can freaking kill me. I wish I had water to rinse off this meat and soap for my hands. There’s ash everywhere. I split the meat in half and place half in front of Piedo. Piedo is a doxen, which is a small breed, that means his stomach’ll get full sooner. I’m a white male who’s 210 pounds; this’ll hold me ‘til dinner, hopefully. I wish I could find bug spray, though.  

After we eat, Piedo seems content and yawns. Great. The last thing I need right now is to burn precious calories carrying Piedo, but then I remember, Piedo found the meat and our house is gone. All my clothes, my rare books, and my bed are gone. We got nowhere to sleep and all the hotels and motels are burnt down too. Then, I look up and I see a small light. A small white light. Maybe we’re dead and that’s the light we see when we die. It’s small, but it gets closer. Maybe it’s God and we’re in Heaven or Hell. But, as the white light comes closer, I see another man with a dog on a leash. Weird. I look at my shirt. I have a red polo on. I look at the other man’s shirt. It’s a white Oxford. This means he isn’t me. It’s not my reflection. There is still life on Earth. If it’s a woman, we can start the human race over, maybe. If the dog’s a bitch, Piedo can restart the canine race.  

After forty-five minutes of walking we meet each other. The man, Paul and his dog, Butch, are male. Damn it. Thankfully, though, Paul and I both speak English. We compare vantage points. He saw the same explosion. He was a tailor, I was a bartender. He had a wife named, Mary, two daughters and a Jack-Russel Terrier named, Butch. I had a girlfriend named Sue. He’s hoping Mary and the two daughters (Sue and Michelle) made it, but I doubt it. Sue’s probably dead, too. So, we’re two male humans and two male dogs, Earth is over after us.

But, we walk. I tell him we retraced where the deli was. Paul laughs. Paul says he found where the rest of the deli exploded. Paul tells me it’s where the laundromat was and says he’ll take us there. So, Piedo and I follow them. We see the deli’s remains and Piedo and I drool. There’s five hanging hams, ten t-bones, and sixteen full rotisserie chickens. Some stuffing, corn, carrots, and other fruits and vegetables and scattered around, too. It look delicious, but we have to budget for all of us. I start to calculate and think. Then I realize we need to make a refrigerator, but how? All the ice would’ve melted in the heat of the bomb, if it was a bomb.  

   So, I think and I remembered in my history class from high school, there were two ways our ancestors kept meat fresh before our ancestors invented refrigerators: salt and dehydration. If we put the meat in the sun, bugs will get at it and/or it’ll rot. Salt. Where can we find salt? Surely they’d have salt in a deli.  

We look through the rubble, no salt. So, we decide to carry the meat and sides on our backs (not the dogs’) and keep walking. Paul and I look for other necessities like toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, and other stuff, but can’t find it.

We’re screwed. Then, Paul and I notice the sky changing color. Normally, the rainbow of a sunset would be beautiful, but here, it was like when the boss told me I got half-an-hour to finish a three week project. We have to find shelter, salt, and something to keep all of us warm at night. Paul and I talk. He says he saw a cave before, so we retrace our tracks and find a cave. We climb a steep hill to get to the cave and I inspect it for animals like bears or bats. Thankfully, there’s nothing, but the ground is hard. So we walk inside and the temperature is like fresh ice cream at a fair. It’s freezing. The four of us sit in a circle: me, Piedo, Paul, and Butch. Paul and I talk about what we think happened. Are we at war? Did North Korea misfire a missile? ISIS? Other terrorists? Why did God save us and nobody else? Or maybe this was an act of God. There came a point though, when we became too tired to talk. So, we put the meat and sides at the back of the cave and each laid down with our dogs cuddling beside us (our wife and girlfriend are gone) and fell asleep on the hard cave floor. God knows what would happen tomorrow.

April 24, 2020 20:54

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