The start chapter of a potential novel. I might continue it or try something else… It was written at high speed with no spell checking.
I hope you enjoy it.
I was walking down the street when I saw from the corner of my eye the guinea fowl watching me suspisciously. Its speckled feathers smooth against its sides, and oval body that I recognised as tasty, poised to scream and warn of my presence. However, this was Battersea High Street, in the middle of the day. Granted there were no other people around, strange in itself, were everything else normal. But everything was not normal. In fact, the guinea fowl’s scowl felt like the most normal thing I’d seen this morning.
I’d woken up to my alarm as usual, a leisurely 7.30am. I like to be woken to the sound of the harp, so I am lucky that technology has reached the stage where I can get such a thing on demand. Snooze button pressed, I had another 9 minutes before I could no longer justify not dragging my lumpen mass to the shower. But when I turned the shower on no water came out.
Damn it. They’d been threatening to restrict supplies, but it’s bloody April, how can we be in drought.
My morning ritual thoroughly spoilt, I threw on yesterdays clothes, why filthy a new set on my already less than squeaky clean body. They smelt ok, although I’d been wearing the jeans for a week now. When I say they smelt ok, I mean they smelt ok to me. Then. Now, looking back, I am sure they smelt fantastic. Some luxuries you don’t realise you how much you appreciate untile they are gone.
The lack of water was not a problem for my breakfast, I’d been hoarding water long before the drought warning. London is a vulnerable city, and I’ve always kept a supply of water ready fro when the pumps fail due to solar flare or terrorist attack. I never really expected anything serious to happen, but I just wanted the means of surviving until I could reach the civilization of the countryside. Act fast and get out of the city, find a defendable place with food, water and shelter. I’d not consider myself a survivalist, more a prepared practicalist with an insurance policy.
I got hold of the 5 litre bottle, poured water into a pan and lit the gas. It lit, then went out. I tried again. Exhasperated, I confess I swore. I tried a different hob. Nothing. By now I noticed that the kettle wasn’t making its usual protests as it excited the main ingredient of my tea. What on earth? I checked the fuses, all fine. So we had a black out, no water, no gas. So all I get for breakfast is bread? Fine!
With a carving knife I slice a doorstop evenly out of the bread that I made yesterday. I can make my own bread, but this was done in a breadmaker, much easier. I tip a liberal amount of extra virgin olive oil onto the slice and slap on some marmite. It’s ok, but not satisfying and I’ve no damned tea.
The birds are making their usual morning imitation of car alarms, rape alarms and mobile phones, at least they are acting normally, I think to myself. Suddenly I’m hit by the thought that I can hear no sounds from outside apart from the animals. My chest is gripped with that weird sudden pressure and the hair on the back of my neck leapt up. But then I hear a car going past. That’s fine… Until, from the other end of the street, I hear a scream and what sounds like a breaking window pane.