(© William Estes)
Bryan remembered the
noise. At first itís absence seemed like a blessing. He realized how wrong he
was. Laying in bed he hoped to here something else that wasnít a bird chirp or
a squirrel run across the roof.
He sat up. Nothing. Seeing
his clock was still on he had at least the satisfaction electricity still
worked. Getting out of bed became harder each day and he didnít know why. Maybe
it was his age or the amount of time he spent on his feet.
He turned on the radio.
Luckily he would be able to find out how far it spread. Bryan he listened.
Static filled his ears. Shaking his head he turned on his computer. It had a
limited battery life and he knew it. A button flashed on the screen Bryan
clicked on it.
"Iím glad to see youíre
awake," said the soldier at the other end. He was one of the three people he
talked to outside of the zone.
"Well, itís hard to get up
when all I have to do is check the meters and gather food from a store," said
"At least you donít have
to work," said the man. They paused for a moment. It lasted almost a minute. "Is
something bothering you. You donít sleep in this late usually."
"I thought I saw someone
yesterday," said Bryan.
"Thereís not supposed to
be anyone else in the town," said the man on the other end. "Well. Get to work
and Iíll see if thereís anything I can do on my end."
Bryan wandered the small
town. Several locations had sensors for the fungus spreading across the area.
One of the few people living the in country Bryan was stuck completing a job
assigned to him by the military.
Months ago a space probe
crashed into central Texas. On it was a purple fungus that quickly spread
across several counties. Most people who werenít able to get out of the county
within a few hours died. Bryan was one of the few people trapped.
Checking the next few
meters he walked to the liquor store. A meter was set across the street from
it. Bryan walked into the store. Like most of the stores in the town
electricity still ran. He stepped out with a twenty-four ounce can of beer.
After taking a few swigs
he walked over to next meter. He checked the fungus level. Green vines with purple
leaves wrapped itís way up a sign. Purple leaves replaced green leaves on most
of the plants. It was a sight he was becoming used to seeing.
Bryan checked the next
meter and then headed to the middle of town. The last two meters he was going
to check were located at bridges over a creek. That round between the north and
south sides of town.
He stopped at the next
store and pulled out a liter fountain drink. He drank it slowly as he walked
along the square. Most of the good shops long moved out of town before the
satellite came down with the fungus.
Purple flowers grew from
vines that wrapped around lampposts and columns Bryan stopped and starred at a
window. Inside were book shelves. He saw them before events took place he wasnít
impressed enough by them to break inside and steal them.
The library was broken
into during the first couple days of it happening. Bryan took out many books to
read later. It was after he discovered that internet service would be
unreliable at the beginning and dwindle down to an hour before and an hour
after they wanted to talk to him.
Bryan checked the last two
meters. They showed what he expected, but they were higher what he saw. He knew
why. Each meter was on the end of bridge over the creek. Purple and green
plants grew in and around the water. Dark shapes floated in the water. He
figured without anyone around fish were able to grow and multiply.
Bryan looked pass the
bridge. Movement caught his eye. He wondered if it was her. A second later a
bush shook and the movement disappeared. Bryan wondered if there were more
people in the town or just the one person he saw during his whole time.
Bryan turned on his laptop
and the satellite connected to it. Luckily didnít have to worry about extra
power going out. Solar panels and batteries allowed him to keep it charge up
for us. He brought the machine and turned on the connection.
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