Last Living Soul
Opening his eyes, Alec took in the dim and dark state of his bedroom. The sky outside was overcast and gave barely enough light for his room. Yawning, he sat up, rubbing at his head. The digital alarm clock on his bedside table was dark, useless. He often wondered why he hadn't bothered just chucking it out since the power had gone down almost two weeks ago. Unless you had a watch or a battery powered clock, time had no meaning anymore. The power outage had caused enough panic, though. Mum had a fit due to the food in the ice-chest and fridge slowly spoiling since they couldn't eat it fast enough. Dad was equally freaking out now that their rations consisted of canned goods and other non-perishables. Food was food, Alec reasoned. Be grateful for what little they still had and were able to obtain.
When they still had power, the three would sit on the sofa every night watching the news or anything that could tell them more about what everyone was calling The End Days. Nobody knew how it started or where it came from. Some speculated it as government drug testing gone awry. Mum said it was most likely the fault of the American government, if that were the case. They were always doing weird shit like that, weren't they? Alec had seen all the weird videos on YouTube from the conspiracy theorists. FEMA Camps, UFO rubbish and whatever else some crackpot could think of. Though he never found anything related to what they were currently dealing with, he was pretty sure now that whatever it was, it was from someone's government. Whether it was the UK, America or somewhere else, he just didn't know and now weeks later, didn't care. The twelve year old just wanted to make it through another day in one piece.
He used to think that such catastrophes like this only happened in horror films. The dead rising and feeding on the living, infecting others and eventually spreading across the country, across the world. There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Citizens of the world were encouraged to remain indoors and avoid the larger cities. He supposed that was one benefit of living outside the city limits, the grey-stone cottage tucked away off the main road, closest neighbors being half a mile away. This meant an isolation that he was unprepared for, not knowing what became of many of his school mates, unable to find out. No power, cell service now non-existent, the young man's whole world now consisting of his home, his Mum and his Dad.
It was cold upstairs, the chill cutting through his sweat-shirt and flannel pajama bottoms. Most of the heat from the wood-stove barely made it to the upper level of the house, the temperature change felt the moment you hit the first landing of the steps before the final short flight to the second floor. With all the main level windows being covered and barricaded as well as most of the doors, one would think the heat would travel better. Clearly not the case. Teeth chattering and body shivering, Alec slid from his bed and grabbed his robe, pulling it tight around him, muttering to himself as he searched the dark room for his slippers. He could hear his parents downstairs, talking in hushed voices. Probably debating over whether to wake him or not. Why? Not like they had anywhere to go, right?
Christ, he was hungry. The meager rations they'd managed to wrangle barely sated his hunger. There was only so much one could do with what was on hand. Trips outside to the creek in the woods were done with care and never without a weapon of some kind. Anything that could possibly need refrigeration was rare. Alec realized that he would probably kill for a glass of cold fresh milk and some scrambled eggs. And sausage. Don't forget the sausage. If he had to stare at another can of Chef Boyardee or Spam again, he would throw up.
It was dark downstairs, only slivers of light coming through the boards that he and his parents had nailed up against the windows. His Dad was familiar with some of the basics needed for survival in a situation like this, but only because of his brother's excessive knowledge of zombies. There was a benefit to hearing Uncle Mike rattle away through the various movies he made his Dad watch when they were kids, apparently. Pointing out the fatal flaws that survivors always make. Growing up, it had bored his Dad to tears, but now he couldn't have been more grateful.