you and me – POSTCARD #11
This one is from Monica in New Jersey. These benign touristy postcards that are supposed to be pretty often give me the creeps, so maybe I can blame the theme on that…also another postcard contributor and writer Mike Sweeney (also from NJ) whose amazing story in Jersey Devil Press today tickled my post apocalyptic bone until this came out.
I long for summer.
The news said it was a world weather upset. That we should stay indoors and out of the black snow. When Dad left us at the cabin, he said he’d be back in a week with food. If someone came up the driveway before then I had to undo the hatch, poke the shotgun through and shoot. Dad made me swear I’d do this before they reached the second gate, he made me swear on Mum which made Henry cry a bit. He’s older than me but Dad knew it would be pointless giving Henry the gun. That’s just the way he was made. The black cold got to him way more than us. He was with Mum when it happened. He doesn’t talk about it, but I know that he picked up something was wrong and tried to warn her, that he pulled her out of its clutches even as it was tearing and biting at her. By the time he’d gotten the car home she was clawing at him from the backseat. Me and Dad came out at the screams and saw it trapped in the car with Henry trying to sooth it at the window. Dad made us go downstairs and pack. He said it wasn’t Mum anymore. By the time we left the Army trucks were heading into town.
Now we have two bullets left and the driveway is covered with their terrible shapes. But I won’t be using anymore on them. Henry holds my hand as we hear the second gate creak and see the thing wearing Dad’s clothes. As it howls and tears at the door I ask Henry if I can go first and he says okay, even though it will be worse for him, because that’s just the way he was made.