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25

unnamed story (Part 17)

By the time Clay arrived with half the pharmacy in a couple of large brown bags Samantha and Jennifer had left. He found the rest sitting at the dining room table deep in conversation.

“Clay” began Patti “Why couldn‘t you have slept with an electrician or a plumber?”

“Yeah, or a carpenter or engineer?” added Donna with a laugh.

“We’ve come to the conclusion that we could be the most useless group to ever face an apocalypse” said Tina.

Denise rummaged through the bags of drugs, found a few bottles to her liking and went to lie down on the couch.

“It sounds like you girls have been thinking about some big picture stuff” said Clay.

“Yeah. Now that the shock is wearing off we have some unpleasant realities to deal with.” As the words left Donna’s mouth those unpleasant realities started to line up in everyone’s mind.

Tina started the recap with “If the power goes out how are we going to heat or cool our houses? Are we going to have to move down south come the winter?”

Then it was Patti’s turn; “I never thought about it but if the plumbing stops working where do we go to the bathroom? I’ve heard the term composting but I have no idea how it works.”

“Ok, it appears I didn’t bring back enough pharmaceuticals” joked Clay. Sort of. He did give the bag of drugs a quick yet longing glance.

“I don’t even know how long lights and phones and toilets even go on working without people there to manage them. Fix them when they break. We could be one windy night away from the end of the world as we know it.” Patti said.

“We should move now if we’re going to move so we can start a vegetable garden.” Tina seemed more motivated to leave Philadelphia than Patti for obvious reasons.

Looking around Clay finally asked about Samantha and Jennifer.

“They went back to their house.” Patti said.

“Were you talking to them about this stuff too?” inquired Clay.

“A little. They didn’t seem ready to deal with facing the future.”

“It’s only been a couple days. They’ll get there” he replied.

“Yeah. I don’t even know if it’s sunk in yet.” Donna said. “I’m talking about all these plans but it doesn’t feel real.”

“Did Denise calm down?” Clay asked.

“Yes she did” came a voice from the other room. “I’m feeling sleepy but I can still hear you.”

“Glad to hear it” Clay yelled back.

“So…” Patti began, a little nervous about bringing up the next topic. “If we are in fact the only people left, we need to start thinking about procreation.”

That brought the conversation to a dead halt.

“I know… I know. But if the power goes out I’m not sure how long sperm lasts until it spoils.”

Unconsciously Clay glanced down at his manhood.

“Not your sperm.” Apparently nothing went on without Patti noticing it. “I mean, if anyone else wants to have a baby or three. You can’t impregnate us all. We’d end up with a bunch of inbred grandkids.”

There was a short burst of nervous laughter but it fizzled, leaving Donna and Tina with their mouths slightly agape.

From the other room was heard “I don’t want to have sex with a turkey baster”, proving whatever pills Denise took were beginning to do their job.

“And I don’t want to be crapping in the woods and wiping with leaves” added Tina. “We should prioritize things. Start with the food and shelter stuff before moving on to future generations.”

Clay worried that Patti might take offense at this but she just smiled and seemed to agree.

“I get ahead of myself sometimes” she said.

“We should buy a ham radio. See if anyone else is out there” yelled a somewhat incoherent Denise.

“Why don’t you come back in here if you’re not going to sleep” asked Clay but was greeted with nothing but silence.

“I think I’ll go throw a blanket on her. Poor girl” said Patti, getting up and headed to an upstairs closet for something to cover Denise with.

“We’re all poor girls” Donna said quietly.

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