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This week’s prompts for InMon (Bekindrewite’s Inspiration Monday) were a bit difficult. The domestic difficulties at my end didn’t help. But after a bit of a tweak I’ve submitted a rehashed version of Long, lonely winter. This piece uses memories of ‘Cold War’ training I received in the 80s.

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Long, lonely winter

Only the select few had been allowed into the shelter. That was two months ago, now the systems recycling the air and generating power are running low on fuel. Water and food rations are almost exhausted, and the waste systems struggling with the constant flow from those lucky enough to be confined there.

Councillor Sutton is the new leader, the man to take them back into the world. “The plan says it is now be safe to leave, and rebuild a normal life.” His voice is powerful and positive. The image is of an Eden, a new beginning. “We’ve heard nothing from Area Command for two weeks, we can only hope they are safe. Open the door.”

The scouting team formed up. Their job; to search for, and make contact with, other surviving groups.

They pushed open the heavy steel door. Instead of the longed for rush of fresh air, they were assaulted by warm, dry fumes and an acrid stench. On the paved approach to the shelter lay a group of blackened, decaying bodies. A family had arrived at the shelter too late, and perished in the aftermath. The scene beyond, lay ashen grey and bare under a dark sky. No buildings, no trees, no grass. The stark reality of a nuclear winter spread before them.

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This was submitted in response to a prompt on Bekindrewrite, for 30 April 2012

(c) 2012, K Patrick Moody