…twilight kingdom…

Some kind of industrial accident, that’s the explanation so far in the news. Although broadcasts are few and far between lately. It seems like all the old TV shows are on repeat, the weekly soaps have gone down to just one episode per week. In general there have been noticeably fewer live broadcasts, of any kind, TV or radio. Rumours are of course rife on the internet. I’m never sure I can believe what I read. But just 12 months ago the press would be clamouring to pin this on some ‘terrorist group’. I keep waiting for the turn about when that becomes the official story.

It started quite suddenly with ash fall. Not loads, just a little, enough to be mistaken for snow. The weather reports claimed it was blown in from the Gulf Stream, the result of volcanic activity. Strange that no eruptions were reported in other media. I think they hoped we’d turn a blind eye. It would all be over soon and no body would remember the odd day that there was soot in the sky. It didn’t stop though, as it turns out. It kept up for days. To be honest it struck me that the source seemed a lot closer then they would have you believe. In the local press there were reports of an explosion in a rural power plant. Seldom more than a paragraph or two. Small print, no headlines, tucked away in the middle pages away from the important news, like who the latest celebrity was dating.

The ash gave way to real snow fall. Obviously temperatures plummeted. It was a novelty to start off. Kids cavorted in it, thoughts of a white Christmas made folks feel fuzzy and warm. ‘Snow days’, were a little luxury, a day off for those who couldn’t make it in to work from where they were. Although workers grew less keen on their free ‘bunk- off’ days, when the snow persisted, and companies insisted on unpaid leave. Schools closed. Kids were ecstatic, their parents much less so. Local shops began to run out of basic necessities due to deliveries not making it though. Street corner Co-Ops, reminiscent of post communist Moscow, populated by irritated customers. Wild eyed and increasingly desperate, queuing for dry goods and tins, in place of bread, milk and butter, clutching tightly to their chests cheap bottles of own brand vodka.

Today I took a walk in the park. There was nothing else to do. I hadn’t been into the office for days, but working from home was giving me cabin fever. I just wanted to feel like everything was normal again. The days seem to be getting shorter. And for all the white around me, I was taken by the darkness. I felt oppressed like the sky was falling in, surrounding me. It muffles everything, making me whisper, drowning out the world in White Silence. Obliterating even the statue in black’s features, his knee raised like a commander’s, striding out of his supernatural battlefield. Powered flakes fell thicker, some hovered in back draft, suspended. Now I could barely see a foot in front of me, my only landmark, the man on his podium, as lost to me now as the foot path. I shook my umbrella and turned instinctively towards the park gates and home. I couldn’t stop the words from echoing in my head……
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

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