Off the Grid

Leaving Grace and the kids was the best decision he had ever made. Sometimes, when he woke up to a dark sky, he still felt her voice in his ear with complaints about the butter being too hard and the stray glass that had remained on the couch table overnight.

Those nights he laughed, rolled on his side and fell asleep with a smile on his lips. She was somewhere in the city with her litter and her own mother probably passed out on the couch again.

It was one of those nights. Her voice had complained about the dust in his hut; that an adult human should not live in his own filth. He had laughed, rolled on his side and drawn the deer skin over his neck to keep the cold away, but the last chuckle collapsed in his throat as a burst of light broke through the cracks in the wall.

“No,” he whispered.

The wall turned dark again, but the image of the wooden slats with the bright light between them was still etched in his mind.

It took too long. He tried to close his eyes, but his muscles refused, as if they were aware of what was to come.

The acoustic shock was louder than his screams. He hurled his body down from the bed, but the hut began to shake before he could roll into the dusty darkness that hid below his bed.

Wooden slats fell off the wall; then off the roof.

One missed his head. A second slammed flat on his hand. A third bore deep into the left side of his stomach.

As the second burst of light broke through the wall, through gaps rather than cracks, for the fraction of a second he thought it was was sun. He saw his fireplace and the bowl of grilled meat. His eyes moved past the broken wall, his head turned to the left.

There was something dry under his bed, the corpse of a squirrel or rat or hedgehog, covered in a fluffy clump of dust.

“Sorry, Grace,” he said.

Then the shockwave took his breath.

Written as response to this writing prompt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.