Vashon After The Change
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Imagine, if you will, that your community were to be suddenly and inexplicably cut off from the rest of the world. Without warning and without exception. No communication, no flow of resources, no evidence that the outside world even continues to exist...nothing.
What would happen first? On day two? Day forty-five? Day two hundred and sixty? How about the first winter? And the second?
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The Day Before
On July 16th, 2017, minor decisions took on life-altering significance.
Sean - When will you be home?
I don’t know. The kids are grouchy. - Bonny
Sean - Where are you?
Just east of Coeur d’Alene. - Bonny
Sean - Ouch. You gonna drive all that way tonight?
Guess not. We’ll grab a room. - Bonny
Sean - Good idea. Give the kids a hug for me.
Will do. See you tomorrow…xoxo - Bonny
Journal Entry #1
The water that surrounds our island used to be like skin. It held in our beach sand and our leaning trees, our cliffs and running streams, our sloping fields and etched ravines. Like skin, it marked where the organism, that was our island, ended and the rest of the world began.
Until the change.
That’s when, as far as I can tell, the water began to resemble a space suit and the world around us became a void.
“I wish I had a gun.”
Sunlight lances through the salal, illuminating the berry stains on my brother’s face. His head feels like a boulder on my calf and my foot is going numb, but I don’t say anything. I just chew slowly on a young pine needle and listen.
“Do you think they’re gone?” His whisper is a shout in the dusky silence.
When my parents decided to buy the property, the plum tree was an overgrown mass, shrouding itself in limbs that drooped under the deadly weight of superfluous branches, their tips pressing into the dirt, competing with the roots for territory.
Before unpacking even the kitchen dishes, and despite the cold December air, my Mom took an entire day to ruthlessly cut away seventy percent of its mass; exposing slanted, inner trunks to the icy breath of winter and the light of short days.
The pony shied as another gust shook the trees around us, the scent of cedar whipping through our hair.
“This is stupid.” I imagined the cart flipped, the road littered with hundreds of cracked eggs.
“You want to skip it?” my brother snapped. Nerves, not the chill January air, set his voice on edge.