Author : Sharoda

I’ve been out on the porch watching the sky; I’m out here pretty much all the time since I had to medicate Sharon. The sky is beautiful now, day and night, filled with shooting stars and colors that you just don’t normally see.

Sharon was fretting and praying and frantic and begging and erratic to the point that I had no choice. I was so afraid she was going to hurt herself. Yeah, I know how stupid that sounds but I have to be a little optimistic, if only for her sake.

Grabbing a beer from the cooler I see Lucy next door standing on her porch, looking up at the sky. I clink a fresh bottle on mine and she turns and comes over. She takes the offered beer as she sits on my porch steps, leans back and looks up.

“How’s Sharon?” she asks. Lucy’s a nurse, she gave me the tranquilizers.

“The same.” I answer. “How’s Chet?” She started her husband on the same pills the day before she helped me with Sharon. Chet was, well, he was always a bit high strung.

She looks at her shoes and then over at me. She shrugs and mumbles “Same” and pulls at her beer.

“I was gonna broil some steaks.” I say. I’m so proud of myself for the generator. I got it back just before Y2K. I felt stupid as hell then, now, both our houses have electricity while just about everywhere else doesn’t.

“No thanks,” she says putting her beer down unfinished. “I have some things to do and I have to…take care of Chet”. She sounds tired.

“OK”, I finish my beer. “I’ll see you later”.

“Goodbye”, she says and walks back to her house. She stops to look at the sky and then goes inside.

I go into the house and start dinner, all the while wondering what Lucy meant by “Goodbye”. Was she gonna take Chet and leave like all the others? Where the hell would she go? Everyone else scattered like rats leaving a sinking ship, like it mattered. Maybe she was going to try to be with family; this would be the time.

We didn’t have any kids, neither did Chet and Lucy. It had always grated on Lucy but Sharon never minded; now, I guess it was a blessing. I guess you could say…

There was the sudden thunderclap of a gunshot.

“Oh shit! Oh shit! No!” I hear myself yelling as I run out the door, “CHET! LUCY!”

I hear the sound of the second gunshot before I get half way across their yard. I can’t bring myself to go into the house.

Back in my kitchen I finish dinner.

“Everything OK?” Sharon mumbles.

“Ya honey, everything’s fine.” After dinner I put her back on the couch and turn on her favorite movie again. I go out on the porch and have another beer.

I try to remember exactly what they said on TV. If the mission failed, we’d have an incredible lightshow a few days before the end. The effect of all the crap falling into the atmosphere ahead of the asteroid and the way the sunlight reflects all around and through it; a multi-colored light show day and night.

Well, the mission to blow up the asteroid did fail. Some BS about trajectory and core density and megaton yield and blah, blah, blah…they missed. And now we’re all dead. And there’s no TV or radio or phones to even say when.

Now I just sit on my porch with a beer, looking up and waiting.

The sky is beautiful, I’ll give them that.

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