A Cry in the Wilderness
There is a tree growing in my living room and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about it.
I could – and probably should – go and rummage in one of my neighbours’ sheds; I’m not the kind of girl to own an axe or indeed, as I have discovered, anything very practical at all.
So many times, I’ve cursed myself – why didn’t I pay more attention? Why didn’t I take the time to learn how things worked, how they were made? Then I’m reminded that I do not need to curse myself because I have been well and truly cursed already and am in more of a sorry state than the saddest, most fervently witch-afflicted character you’d find in any fairytale.
How I came to be so totally alone, I have no idea. It’s been 59 days since I last saw another human being. In films, people know why the apocalypse happened; there are zombies trundling around, diseased corpses littering the roads, dying survivors telling their stories, nuclear waste… but not here. I went on one of my camping trips, to an island far out in the fjord, where I go to recharge – just me, a small fire, my tent and a heap of books. Three days later I rowed back and found… emptiness. Not a soul.
Nothing works, of course. No communications. I have no idea whether it’s just my town that’s been wiped out – and did everybody die? Or did they run from something terrible? I’ve tried going in search – of people, supplies, any news at all – but when you don’t have a clue what happened, that’s a scary business. There are shadows of apocalyptic hellfiends round every corner.
If I’m the last human – or one of them – left on earth then someone’s having a laugh. I don’t know how to do the simplest of things; I can only win a pub quiz if I cheat and use Google. I’ve never grown anything from seed; have no idea how electricity is made, how to make a vaccine or an antiseptic, how to fix up a broken bone, or make glass, the notes Mozart or Beethoven strung together so beautifully, or the words to Shakespeare’s works. All lost, all lost.