A reading-snack from the 2022 post-apocalyptic novel, which can be read independently, yet it is also the final part of the the TWO JOURNEYS TRILOGY.
She and my son had been looking forward to have a child, but it was not to be. I had my suspicions why. The pandemic had not only caused the deaths of billions of people, so only a few thousand people had survived. Without humans, there was no maintenance, and one by one all the machines had come to a standstill. Thus, the storage baths for the nuclear fuel elements weren’t cooled anymore, and the liquid had subsequently evaporated. Once that had happened, the uranium and plutonium rods of hundreds of reactors had overheated and Poof! evaporated into the atmosphere. I shuddered at the idea, and hardly shared it with anyone; this would have a dramatic effect on humanity, on life on the planet, on each single one of us… I suspected that it may have caused my daughter in law’s miscarriage too.
For all my books, I love to think through possible scenarios of what could happen. Yet, although hard science plays a central role in each story, these novels are still pure fantasy, and also always focus on the human factor. Here’s an example:
On the tenth day, after I had carried out all different types of diagnoses and after trying out all kinds of medication, I found myself standing at the bottom of her stretcher and looking down at her sleeping body. She had lost weight, her hair was messy and listless, her face pale, her hands and feet cold, her skin looked like thin paper. This was it. I was losing her.
I pulled over a chair, sat down next to her, and stroked her sleeping head. Tears filled my eyes. She looked beautiful in her sleep, her chest moving up and down, ever so slightly. I held her hand and envied all those that aren’t so obsessed with technology and seeking solutions as I was. They would have stayed with Vora in the terminal and would have helped her pass away quietly and quickly. Instead, I had tried to get her on her feet again, even after I had buried the idea of flying over the Atlantic. Gorilla me fix – it was my wife’s favorite saying to describe me. Hungry for action I didn’t understand the true problems people had. I had tried to fix things again, and again, and again… and it had gotten me nowhere.
I waited next to her. The lights were turned low, just the way she liked it. At about 3 a.m., she woke up. I saw her eyes flickering and they found me. She tried to smile. I smiled back and stroked her hair.
“Alan.” Her voice was weak, and I had to bend forward to catch her words. “Alan. Go north… your only chance…” Her voice broke off.
I nodded. “Yes, I know, Vora. The north.”
She nodded weakly and swallowed hard. “Can you… please take me outside.”
I quickly went out and checked. The weather was good, even warm. Returning, I raised her stretcher, covered her with an extra blanket, and rolled her outside. The dogs came along. I parked the stretcher in the driveway of the emergency department. I had a chair standing there; occasionally I had used it to stare at the night sky. It wasn’t a beautiful spot, on the road, but since she was on her back and looking up, it was fine.
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Originally posted 2018-01-26 05:11:00.