Sooner or Later
They always say the world is about to end, No Ozone Layer, New Cold War, Human fertility decline, Terrorists, Fundamentalists, plain old Metalists. Actual Concerns, Possible Concerns and Conspiracy Nuts.
They always say....
I’m sorry, I haven’t introduced myself yet. I’m.... Well, I suppose you can call me Mr Barcham like everyone else who reads the gate post. I was going to be a Chemist. But then, I suppose I am, playing with the supplies I can find, trying to make life a bit easier (Not so much H.E. but certainly I.E.). I was a Survivalist, or at least, thats what my Missus laughingly called me. I wasn’t really. I tried to be, maybe it saved mylife, probably saved a few other lives. But I recon I could have done it better. At least. I should have done it better.
Now, now I suppose I’m a Father. I never intended to be.
It started like every other apocalypse. A few notes in Scientific Journals, a minor footnote in the broadsheets.
Then it got to the next stage. On a slow day (obviously, no celebrity had exposed themselves that day), one of the tabloids run a shocker headline WORLD ABOUT TO END!!! or some such bollocks. and then it simmerd for a while. Maybe there was a question about it in Primeminsiters Questions. A while later, the broadsheets picked it up again, more serious now. Now people were dying, and not in some poor insignificant country, real people.
Close the Borders, shut down international trade. Keep it out, keep it out! The Cry rang across the pages, the radio, across the screens and in the streets people were hyped up, scared and nervous.
The Goverment acted to shut it out, but it didn’t work. It was already here.
The Old Coast Road
Norfolk, very Flat Norfolk. Thats the sterotype, and it’s true, in the most part. But North Norfolk, thats better. Not so long ago, the Glaciers rolled down along here, crushed it and shaped it. Not great Valleys or Fijords, but rolls. Norfolks Mountain Range. all 50’ of it. The lazy wind comes in off the north sea, enough to flay you in winter, and the salt spay makes the tree’s lean inland. The Cliffs fade to dunes and the beachs go on for miles.
The Tractor chugged to a halt, and I turned off the engine. I dismounted from the oft repaired, badly sprung seat. Khan and Terry were riding Shotgun in the trailer. Literally in their case. I had the only real gun, but in rural norfolk, if you knew were too look, there were shotguns and sheels in plenty. 10 minutes with a hack saw to take the chokes off, and they fired slugs just as well. Admittidly, innaccurate, but so were the boys. 2 Shots was all they’d get at their effective range anyway. And it was the having that was important. It ment that others had to respect you, because you could fight back. Not having guns made you a target.
Target? Others? surely you didn’t think we were along in this world, now did you?
We needed Car Batteries, But I knew we wouldn’t find any. I’d bought them all from Mr Punch back when he was alive. This time, we were looking for somthing in particular. The Problem with looking for somthing in Particular, in Mr Punchs yard at least, was that he was the only one he knew where things were, and he wasn’t left to tell.
I had seen it once before. Clinker Built, clean lines, hardly broken. Needed a new ridder and tiller, and I would guess a new mast, but first we had to find the dam thing. I’d cheked more than three quaters of the great storage sheds of corrugated Iron that some of the scrap was stored in, but I was still looking.
The Light that filterd in through grimey windows was barely enough to illuminate the shadows. but thankfully, my LED torches lasted, though I had run out of spare’s for my bulb ones.
A Click, and the electric light, gone from most everywhere else, returned to the little corner of the shed, as me, and the two boys poked through the old cars, rusted parts and other gubbins.
We Heaved, and hawled. The boys Grunting and pulling on ropes, while I Grunted and pushed the back. Or the stern I should say. We had Found her. 25’ long, single masted, I don’t know how she ended up in Mr Punches shed, because she was a beauty. It were a good job she was mounted on a carrige though, else we’d never have got her out. But with old scafolld polls as leavers, and more brute force than you’d think we could manage, we got the boat into the trailer. This Autum, when the Equinox tides brought in the herring, we would be there for our share.
The Road throughn the village is still slightly disconcerting to me. The houses Derelict, some smashed, some boarded up, one burnet out shell. We Had long ago picked them clean of anything useful. The Vegtable Gardens are now run wild, but we still forage from them. The flint built walls and houses will one day be a source of material for our own projects.
Or, if we fail at civilisation, a source of tools.
My own House it’s self is typical of Norfolk. Red Brick Cornerd, tiled roof, and the flint and cement mix. Big and two storried, with the loft converted. a Horse Shoe of Sheds, Barns and stables surround another two sides, leaving an open courtyard, The final side is the drive. It used to be open, but now, the Gate I put in bars the way.Corrugated Iron bolted onto an old frame of Salvaged Scaffolding. It’s more of a symbol than anything else, it’d be easy enough to climb over, just like the flint and brik walls surrounding part of the land, the only really impenetrable defence are the old hedges. Wild Plum, Black Thorn, Hawthorn and Brair, with larger trees of Oak, Ash and Beech interspersed along them.
On one field, Two Dozen hutchs, filled with chickens, everyday, a couple of handful of left overs, and some mussle shell, every day a fresh patch of ground to scratch and peck to death. The Hutchs move up and down that feild, and by the time they are back where they started, the scarred earth and chicken shit has become lush grass again, even in winter, they only need a few more handfuls of scraps.
Another field had my flock of Jacob’s Sheep, they thrived on rich summer, autum and sping grass, though we needed to bring in extra cut hey to keep them in winter, rolled grains did just as well, and if necessary, I would cut winter pine tops, which sheep hate, but will eat, right down to the bark.
The final field had my cattle, half a dozen redpole cows, with their calves, and Lord Horance, the bull. I don’t know about all bulls, but redpole bulls are fine, when they’re getting some regular.
Mouser was on the gate that day, sitting on the platform up the big beech tree, scanning the horizon, with one of the less cut down shotguns. He waved to us cheerfull, and as we aproached, clamberd down the ladder and opend the gate for us, grinning as we wheeled the Boat inside. I had told them what we were looking for, and they were all longing for a taste of fresh fish just as much as me. However, Mouser knew the rules, Important announcements before fun, and so he told me of the guest waiting inside. Looking around, I realised that under the shade of the tree, tied to one of the beechs lower branchs, was a horse. It must be Charlie.
Wow, thats a lot, and theres more too, plenty more. I just wanna know how it's going so far, thanks for all the Comments that I've got. Any speculation as to the PAW cause or ither random stuff would make me very pleased. Because I have a head too small for most hats at the moment, it needs increasing.
More comming tommorow