When The Lights Go Out
You awaken to a deafening silence; the bedside clock is blank, no hum of the air conditioner and no traffic noises. The silence, is unlike any you have ever heard before. Habit makes you reach for the coffee as you enter the kitchen and you have the filter basket full of grounds before it sinks in you have no power.
You grab the cell phone and it’s off. Pushing buttons, removing and replacing the battery has no affect. You are shut off from the world. The inside of the refrigerator is damp and has that peculiar smell that only the insides of refrigerators have, when they are warm. Condensation is dripping off of everything.
The power goes out from time to time and it will only be a few hours, you convince yourself, and yet something nags at the back of your mind. When the power has gone out in the past people still raced back and forth along the US highway that is a quarter mile from your house. Whether the traffic lights work or not traffic always moves along the highway.
You picked this house because it’s remote and yet you found that even at a quarter of a mile away you could always hear traffic. The nearest neighbor is two miles north. Now you feel the need to talk to someone, anyone, and it has only been a few hours.
It just dawns on you that you are trapped as your car is in the garage and the overhead door is electric. You have no idea how to open it, all you know is it cannot be operated by hand. Something must be done first is all you know, and what that is, is a mystery, something about springs, disconnect levers and balance and tracks. You did not pay any attention when they installed it; now you feel trapped, and it is quiet outside.
Two Hours Later
You need coffee so you fire up the gas grill and just as the pot of water you filled from water bottles is beginning to bubble, you run out of propane. The kitchen faucet, when you open it, delivers a hiss of air and the rest of them give up nothing. You pour the hot water through the filter of coffee grounds as it rests in the machine and let it slowly drip into the pot. It’s a slow process, the coffee took an hour to make and it’s horrid.
Now you begin to worry about the lack of electricity. You are not sure how long it has been out because it went out while you were sleeping. Not normally a breakfast eater, you are now hungry and you have no way to make anything.
Fear of the Unknown
Was there another 911 type of attack, who hates us today? No storms, not any flooding or high winds that you could see, so what happened? You had heard somewhere that the power grid could be shut down by remote control or some such thing, and some people even have devices that could destroy all of the electronic components by some type of electrical pulse. You were never one to give into the propaganda about doomsday or the Mayan calendar; however, now you are getting worried because it has been close to five hours and it’s getting hot inside the house.
Dusk the First Day