The Day the Earth Went Dark Day Four: Hope and Fear

      Static crackled in Drake’s Ear for the third day in a row. Drake stared out of the slit in the bunker and watched the wooden post that marked the coordinates that Drake broadcasted every day. Charley resorted to wearing her pajamas around the bunker for most of the day anymore. The heating system continued to work without any issues. Neither of them voiced the concern of what would happen in the mountains if the heater failed during December. The rest of while the rest of the world broke down in the chaos, they would remain safe, hopefully for a long enough time to survive. 

      “Why don’t you try to listen to the radio channels?” Charley asked. “Maybe someone was nice enough to start up one of the radio broadcasting stations.”

      Drake rolled his eyes as Charley requested the same thing every day, and every day the only band that played through the airways was static. The world hadn’t seen it fit to give them any form of hope. Drake felt like in the movies. There were always people like him who remained overly paranoid about the world’s situation to be better prepared. Instead, Drake didn’t know what was going on in the outside world. 

      Drake grabbed Charley and their bug out bags as soon as the riots started in the darkness of night. The humble suburbia village they lived in for most of their marriage declined into survival of the fittest faster than Drake expected. Most of the violence stemmed from his neighbors’ fear, but then he saw Cheryl blow away a kid from the neighborhood for trying to steal some food. The food remained useless once the buckshot tore through the kid and the bag on his back. That’s when he ran. Drake knew that he should have known earlier. Too much tension rose when everyone started locking themselves in their homes. Yet, the old side of him, the side that knew he should go to the bunker, listened to the lies of the Suburbia polluted side of his mind. 

      Drake let out a sigh, not wanting to begin another fight with Charley, and began his scan through the radio stations. First, he started with AM and received only static. Then Drake toggled to FM and began to scan through faster, sure that they wouldn’t find anything. Drake looked out his slit again and thought he saw movement in the tree line near the wood post. One of the yellow flags set up in the trees directly west of the post flapped up and remained standing. That’s no animal. Drake stood.

      “Wait, did you hear that?” Charley asked.

      Then Drake’s mind registered the radio that he had tuned out for a moment. Not wanting to lose his focus Drake turned the dial backward slowly as he watched out the bunker’s slit. Then he heard a voice that sounded more comforting than anything he ever hoped to hear again.

            “—and as per your request, we will give out this information every day at this time, until further guidance from my superiors. I close this transmission at 1910 UTC. Please standby for transmission tomorrow at 1900 UTC. Spaceman First Class Robinson of Dark Specter 1, out.”

            “Xal?” Charley asked. “Drake, he’s alive.”

            Charley started to weep just as a man emerged from the trees with an AR-15 held at the low-ready. 

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