Day 223 – In Virginia, they – Part n+1

It’s…. BACK!

Word count: 755

“Soup?” Karin took out a heavy looking pot from the cupboard and plonked it on top of a large range gas cooker.

The kitchen was cosy in a post-apocalyptic kind of way. Everything was a mess – there were pans and pots, ladels and knives dangling from overhead timber beams. All the walls and wood had been splashed with a water shade of seaweed coloured paint and looked more than a little worse for wear. The fridge made an unnatural humming noise and the lights, dimly lit, kept flickering as if in a storm. The worktops were layered with a fine coating of black dust and grime. Despite this, however, the warmth emanating from these walls was immense. Karin was being such a friendly host.

Tanya was sitting in the living room, wrapped in a blanket and watching the roaring fire. Jerry was keeping Karin company in the kitchen, though secretly this was more to do with his own insecurities about which one of them was more likely to be able to protect him if they were suddenly attacked.

“I’m alright, thanks,” he declined Karin’s offer.

She put on a pot anyway and extracted a batch of the green coloured liquid from the fridge. At that point, Jerry was all too glad to have refused a bowl. The thought occurred to him, however, that it at the very least was not red.

“How long have you lived here?” Jerry asked.

“About fifteen years. Moved here with my folks back when I was only thirteen and stayed here ever since. They’re dead now, but they left me this place. It’s my life,” he words were slow and drawn out in the slow American accent, “What about you?”

“Oh I don’t live here… just passing through…I stopped for coffee.”

“I bet you regret that now.”

“Just a bit…. I’ve actually forgotten why I was driving up this way now. Today’s all been a bit of a blur.”

“It’s been like this for a lot longer than a day, mister, so count your lucky stars you don’t live here cos you’re life would have been turned a lot more upside down if you had.”

The soup started to bubble away now. It stared back at Jerry, temptingly.

“Does Tanya want some soup?”

“I don’t know, I’ll ask.?”

Jerry nipped into the living room and leant on the door frame, “Do you want any soup, Tanya?”

“Oh yes please, I haven’t eaten anything in ages.”

“One soup for Tanya!”

Karin arranged bowls on the worktop and sorted out spoons for them too.

“Are you sure you don’t want any? I’ve not got much else in the way of food I can give ya….”

“Oh go on then, I suppose. It’s just that I was offered tomato soup earlier…”

“And they wouldn’t take no for an answer?”

“Something like that…”

“Well my recipe is no tomatoes – guaranteed!” Karin grinned, retrieving another bowl and spoon and laying them side by side the others. “She’s a great girl, isn’t she?”

“Who, Tanya?”

“Yeah. I’ve met her a few times now – well I guess she doesn’t remember. No worries. But she always struck me as a genuine girl. We don’t get very many of them around here nowadays.”

“No, no I guess you don’t.”

Karin ladled the soup into the bowls and handed Jerry is and Tanya’s.

“Let’s go through to the living room, it’s much warmer in there.”

Karin gave Tanya her soup and sat down beside her. Jerry, meanwhile, took his soup and stood by the window, staring at the darkness through the thinnest of slivers between the curtains. It was strange being here. He should be somewhere else right now, perhaps home, perhaps on work. His mind was so addled with terror and fear and images of tomatoes that he was too confused to even remember where he was supposed to be and what he was supposed to be doing there.

As he stood by the window he wondered what tomorrow would bring; how would he get out of this mess and would the three of them all come out alive? Jerry was not built for warfare, he was not designed for tactics and survival of the fittest. He did not know of guns or how to kill people efficiently. The whole thing scared him beyond belief. The longer he stood at the window, the more these thoughts consumed him: and the longer he stared out the window… the more he wondered if anyone was staring back at him.

~ by S.G. Mark on May 17, 2012.

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