Tuesday, 16 August 2011

F3 - Cycle 44 - "TEMPEST FUGITIVES"




This weeks F3 challenge is inspired by the 'unrest' we are experiencing in the world today - be that social or economic.

This story was sparked off by the recent unrest and rioting in the UK.

TEMPEST FUGITIVES

How much longer? That’s all I can think of; surely this has to end some time?

The looting started soon after it became apparent that there wouldn’t be enough food to go around. Pretty soon people were raiding shops for any other ‘tradable’ items to barter for bread and milk. Gangs broke into warehouses and ‘appropriated’ food, fuel, anything that could have a price in the days to come. It didn’t take long for society to falter. Food supplies finally ran out as the transport system ground to a halt, crops rotted in the fields and in the land of canned goods, the man with a tin opener was king.

The motorways became graveyards where vehicles littered the carriageways as a frightened population tried to flee the anarchy in the streets. Some died in their cars through thirst or hunger, scared to escape the congestion on foot; others died trying to protect what little they’d managed to take with them. Ransacked wagons with their doors ripped open lay like huge dead animals, the remnants of their cargoes spilling out into the breeze, carrion to be picked over by both the opportunist and the desperate.

It’s been six months now. The night curfew echoes with cries and shots and with no power to transmit or receive, the Great British Public no longer sit watching the TV to live vicariously through 'Big Brother' or 'Britain’s Got Talent' or any of the interminable ‘soaps’ and dramas. Until the power ran out the TV networks were swamped with news reports and when the internet was still alive the constant chatter on social networks meant fact became far more curious than fiction.

With the breakdown in society and police backed into submission the army had been called in to deal with the situation. They managed to create enclaves where it was possible to survive but the vast majority of us are on our own in this. Ingenuity and lessons from a time before microchips may be all we can rely on as we all learn to ‘make do and mend’.

A few months have knocked our civilisation back into the dark ages, where it’s every man for himself, jealously guarding the pitiful scrap of territory they believe to be their own. The ‘have’s’ and ‘have not’s’ fought it out and we became a nation of ‘I will take’s’.

Cynically, I think how much we probably deserve this ‘payback’ from a society as smashed and broken as those shop windows; we wanted a better life for the next generation, they wanted rights without responsibilities and now they are biting off the hand that feeds them.

What good, now, the politicians’ posturing and promoting initiatives and treating the ‘symptoms’ of a sick society rather than dealing with the root cause of the canker that has sapped all sense of pride and self-worth? Too late, the horse has bolted and a 'free for all' has become a 'free for none'.

‘O brave new world,’ Shakespeare’s Miranda breathed, ‘that has such people in it’. Even with my sparse education I recall she marvelled at a world unknown to her. Now our world will need to be more than brave if we are to survive this current tempest.

Another volley of shots. More shouting. A disquieting litany as I pull the blanket tighter. I can’t remember what it’s like to settle down to sleep without fear. Surely it must end soon?

But then I remember – it’s 2012. Perhaps those doom-prophecies were right after all, foretelling the demise of civilisation and rise of anarchy as the harbingers of Armageddon.

The saying goes: tempus fugit, time flies. Is time really running out and are we merely fugitives from the tempest?

Is this just the beginning of the end?

13 comments:

  1. I read your post and I could feel the tension rise in my throat.You captured the sense of anarchy perfectly. These are very scary times and my biggest fear is for my children. we all need to pray.
    Blessings, Joanne

    ReplyDelete
  2. "rather than dealing with the root cause of the canker that has sapped all sense of pride and self-worth?

    Sue if society does break down this is the way it will go, But I wonder what is "the root cause to this canker?"

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mike - probably comes from believing the 'Ad-men' when they say 'You can have it all!' followed by the sad realisation that you can't!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sue this post is right up my alley! It would fit right in on my blog...except you did it so much better, with words and all. Great one!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Food supplies finally ran out as the transport system ground to a halt...

    Speaking only about the United States the information I learned in briefings before I retired from the National Guard was that no American store had more than three days worth of food on hand. That literally everything depended on safe transportation from distribution centers.

    This implied that if the roads became unsafe for even a short time people would go hungry and with that things would become very messy.

    What good, now, the politicians’ posturing and promoting initiatives and treating the ‘symptoms’ of a sick society...

    Here in the States its exceptionally easy to blame the politicians because of their collective failure to lead. But speaking as an American about my own country the people continue to elect these corrupt and narcissistic idiots in spite of everything.

    Excellent story Sue!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awesome and chips. Nuff said!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very brutal and right on the money. This, I'm afraid, is what MIGHT await us if something isn't done soon to 'fix' what ails society.

    Here in America I'm waiting none too patiently for someone (meaning Presiden Obama) to initiate a new Work Jobs Program ala/Roosevelt. But it may be that that ship has sailed.

    Why can't we ever learn from history? That's what it's there for.

    ReplyDelete
  8. We can work it out. The troubles that seem to be insurmountable today will fall to a concerted effort to the do best we can to help our fellow inhabits of this big blue Marble we call home survive and thrive. wcwio.com. Sorry about the plug Sue.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have to agree. If we go down, this will be the way. No power, no computers, no social networks, no ipads, just instinct and the need to survive. One has to wonder how most of us would fare. I certainly hope I never have to find out. You have shown us a true vision of unrest when all we've known has fallen. Will we be able to pick up the pieces and begin again? Would we even try...

    Excellent job with this one. Loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great description of anarchy! As an eternal optimist, I'd like to think we could pull together somehow if the infrastructure collapsed. But this is probably more realistic. A grim tale, for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Apt and of the time but more commentary or essay than fiction, maybe?

    ReplyDelete
  12. 'A few months have knocked our civilisation back into the dark ages, where it’s every man for himself, jealously guarding the pitiful scrap of territory they believe to be their own. The ‘have’s’ and ‘have not’s’ fought it out and we became a nation of ‘I will take’s’.'

    I've long imagined that that would be the way of things the world over, as opposed to any cooperation. Great voice of just an everyday person explaining the downward spiral of civil order. Thanks for sharing

    L Turner

    ReplyDelete
  13. You've captured what it might really like to be in those times of unrest. And I love those 3 last paragraphs, nice way to end!

    ReplyDelete