Jolting awake in a cold sweat, Dan glanced at the clock on the nightstand. Reality came crashing back to him as he realized the nightmare real. The alarm clock was dark; just a paperweight on the nightstand now.
The power had gone out a little over three weeks ago and things were getting bad. The first few days were okay. People were friendly and willing to lend a hand to anyone else in need. But after all the food, water, and supplies were stripped from the stores, things began to change.
People began to loot shortly after the first week. Most people didn’t have a whole lot of cash lying around to help get them get past the first few days, so they became desperate. The banks had no record or means of giving out cash without power either. All the money people were keeping in the banks was virtually gone overnight.Not only did the physical money run out quickly, but the store owners jacked up the prices early, knowing they could capitalize on the situation as well. So, with desperation setting in, people just started to take what they needed. This lead to the stores trying to defend their stock. Dan recalled how quickly the whole scenario escalated. Within only a few days the police had lost control, buildings were smashed, cars were burned, gunfire rang through the streets and just like that, all the supplies were gone.
Dan was a little more prepared than most, although not as much as he’d like to have been. He had a good supply of canned food, flour, water, rice, and sugar stocked in the basement to last a few weeks if he rationed it. He figured he had about another two or three weeks worth of food to go before he needed to abandon the house in search for more food himself. Not that he wasn’t looking already. Being outside the city, he had snares laid out along some fields for rabbits. He hadn’t caught one yet, but a few snares were tripped already, so it was only a matter of time. He wished he had bought a gun when he had the chance. But, with all the gun regulations, courses, fees, permits, and rules to follow, he had put off the purchase year after year. Now it was too late to worry about.
He got out of bed and looked out the window. The sun was just starting to brighten the sky to the east and he figured he’d get up and start some work around the house. He had been trying to make his house appear like it had already been looted while at the same time, fortifying the inside to keep unwanted people from getting in.
Just as he was buttoning his jeans he heard a gunshot crack from out on the street. He grabbed his shirt and kept low as he made his way to the living room to get a look at the situation. From the bottom corner of the living room window, he stuck his head slowly up to get a look. He could just make out the silhouette of a body laying on the road as the sun brightened the sky. There were three people standing around the body looking down at it. He saw the body move a little just before a second shot rang out.
The sight of someone being executed right in front of him made Dan fall back a little. As he did, he bumped the coffee table by the couch and a lamp on top fell towards the window in what seemed like slow motion. It was like the whole world went silent except for the sound of the lamp hitting the window with a solid thud. Dan pinned himself flat against the wall, his heart beating ferociously.
“I hope they didn’t fucking hear that,” he whispered as he slowly peeked through the window to see where the men were standing on the road. There was no one there! Before Dan could even react there was a loud know at the door.
Thump! Thump! Thump!
“Hey, we know you’re in there!” Shouted a voice from the other side. “You can make this easy by just opening the door.”
The doorknob rattled as Dan moved towards it. He really wished he had a gun now. All he had for defence was a small knife, a baseball bat, and a hatchet. He unclipped the hatchet from his belt and put his other hand on the doorknob. This was going to have to be quick.
With one smooth motion, he opened the door while simultaneously starting his swing with the small axe. As the door opened, he adjusted his swing and managed to clip the first person at the door in the side of the neck. It made a dull thud as the sharp hatchet went almost halfway through the man’s neck. Dan looked him right in the eye as he pulled the hatchet out. He could pinpoint the moment the man knew his head was nearly removed and the man immediately fell to the ground. As he continued to move out the door, Dan slid the knife out of its sheath and slammed it up under the second man’s chin with a clean fluid motion. The man let out a panicked gargle as he frantically tried to stop the river of blood now flowing from his jaw. At the same time, the third man – the man with the gun – tried to take aim at Dan but it was too late. Dan had already thrown the hatchet towards the gunman and it hit the guy square in the forehead before the man could even get the gun pointed in the right direction. The hatchet connected with a loud smack and the man looked completely stunned as his lifeless body fell forward. He landed squarely on his face, which drove the hatchet in even farther.
Dan looked back at the man with the knife sticking from the bottom of his head and jerked it out before the man fell back, still clutching his jaw.
“Looks like you picked the wrong house to loot!” said Dan to the man as he gargled his few remaining breaths.
Dan walked over to the man with the hatchet in his forehead and pried it free. He wiped it and the knife off on the dead man’s shirt and put them both back in their sheaths. He dragged the three bodies to the end of his driveway, lining them side by side. He then went and dragged the executed man’s body from the road and put it beside the rest.
As he strolled back towards the house, Dan gathered all the bags the men had been carrying, as well as the 12 gauge shotgun. He racked the action a few times getting the last 4 shells out of the tube. Dumping the bags onto his workbench in his garage, he found two more boxes of shells, 3 cans of beans, some paracord, 2 cans of beer, and another small knife. Except for the gun, these guys were not prepared at all.
Dan reloaded the shotgun with shells, put the remaining stuff in one bag and headed back in the house as he cracked one of the beer.
“At least I don’t have to worry about a gun anymore,” Dan announced to himself, closing the door behind himself as he entered his house. “Those rabbits won’t know what hit’em!”