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No more Triggers or Tomatoes

So, I did let the Triggers go in the end.  I kept thinking of excuses to put it off.  I don’t know if I was more afraid of them turning on me or just knowing how totally alone I am here.  The release went without trouble.  Frank was the only one who didn’t look surprised to see me.  He just said, “Thought you’d be taller.”

I’d thought the same of him, to be honest.  I was a little shocked at how thin and weak he looked, in the flesh.  I’d given them as much as I was eating, but I guess he was used to more, plus I’d been doing an hour on the exercise bike every night and morning, while he’d just been sitting there letting his muscles waste.  I took him to the exit, handed him the padlock keys and told him where the others were.
“Are asking me to let them go?” he said.
“I’m not asking you for anything,” I told him. “It’s up to you, they’re your problem now.”
He walked away without looking back.  He looked defeated.

That was a week ago now.  I guess they either came through for me and didn’t tell anybody else about the store, or they’re dead.  So now, I don’t have a hell of a lot to do with myself besides check the proximity alarms, watch the screens, exercise and run up my power supply, read the socnets and run down my power supply.  And target practice – I reckon it’s not a waste of ammo to make sure I can shoot straight.  The Triggers weren’t exactly company, but they were a reminder that I wasn’t alone in the world.

I have a little concern for my sanity in isolation, a new appreciation for my blogging buddies.  I’d best answer the meme of the month so they don’t abandon me.  Mei wants a Recipe for Disaster: What am I eating, and how am I cooking it?

Well, it’s not all been dog food.  The tinned sausages didn’t last very long, but I make sausage shapes out of spam and corned beef and it’s not even slightly the same, but that’s the closest thing I’ve got to a recipe.  If you got dry egg you can add a bit of water and roll it in that, then in cornflour before frying it, but it doesn’t improve it much.  It’s also salty, which makes me thirsty: not good since I got to be careful with my water supply, and I’m long since out of beer.  I’m catching rainwater through a guttering system I rigged out of plastic cups and hosepipe, and I’m fine for now but trying to store it because I know I’ll get low come summer.  I saved me some big bags of dried beans, rice and pasta, but it does get a bit bland, especially now I’m out of tinned toms for risottos – and they seemed inexhaustible a month ago.  I miss them with a yearning that borders on grief.

I don’t think it’s possible to realise, unless you’re living off tinned food or trying to go vegan, what a remarkable foodstuff the tomato is. Farewell to sweet, sharp, succulent red, laced with the bitter tang of aluminium. Hello to the salty blandness of stock cubes, and the chemical aftertaste of monosodium glutamate, henceforth my lifelong companion.  Ash, my trusty guide to growing your own sanity, keeps blinking me info on making drip-feeders to preserve my most precious resource, and is again encouraging me to get going on a roof garden – he has touchingly unfounded faith in my ability to keep stuff alive.  Still, it’s not like I can’t fit the attempt into my social diary at present, so before long I might go plumbing the undiscovered depths of my digital veridity, even though I can’t expect to strike tomatoes till Christmas.

Want to know what I got in abundance, though? Moisturiser. Metric fuck-tonnes of it, I tell ya. If I could only find some recipes calling for 2 jars of Oil of Aloe, I could open up a damn restaurant up here. As it is, I may starve to death within six months, but I’ll die smooth as an adder’s ass-crack. Let the sky stay clear as a soap bubble – I’ll get all my moisture directly through the skin in the form of provitapeptilide Z, clinically proven to stop the seven signs of dehydration (all except for, you know, dying and such). I won’t age, I won’t wrinkle, I won’t crack in the sun. Archaeologists will find me out here in 100 years’ time, and marvel at the miraculous Colmart Mummy.

She led a pampered life,” they’ll say, “anointed daily in sacred unctions, whose production could have fed and watered a hundred slaves for a hundred years.  Truly this woman represents the very pinnacle of the decadence that destroyed her society.  And why was she lavished with this wasteful abundance while those around her perished?”

And here the camera will linger on my still-succulent lips, the firm tautness of my forehead, the eye-sockets where never a crow has set foot, though my liver has shrivelled within me like a shrink-wrapped turd.

“Because,” they will say, “she was worth it.”  And they’ll be wrong.

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About Elaine

To those who are reading because they know me: Hey Macaronies, pull up a carton and block the aisles awhile – you are welcome here. To those who don’t know me: you know me. You hear my voice every week as you wheel your brats down the aisles, overloading your trollies with overpriced E-numbers, underpriced cotton panties and the tattered shards of my dreams, you shuffling, undead scum of the Earth. Just kidding. Greetings valued customers. My name’s Elaine, and I’ll be pointing you in the direction of the magnificent deals and very special offers available on this blog. If there’s any way I can enhance your reading experience today, please leave a snotty comment and I’ll do my best to feign interest.

22 responses to “No more Triggers or Tomatoes

  1. Mei

    You eat better than I do, at least. Why are they wrong? You are worth life, as much as anyone.

  2. Elaine

    There’s many worthier sitting around dead. And I’m not exactly doing much with my life except hoarding a pile of tin cans and driving away anyone who comes near.

    • Ash

      So let somebody join you. You must be able to find somebody up to your standards on the Quarantine Free forums. There are plenty of possibilities.

      • Elaine

        Yeah, but most likely ones are a) the forum was set up by the state to find quarantine refusers, b) the best offers on the forum are from looters looking to find the best stores, c) on the off-chance I do pick a genuine applicant they’ll assume I’m state or a bandit looking to reel them into a nice deserted location, rob them and deliver them to a quarantine camp. Seriously, about one in 20 hook-ups from those sites go well. I’m not going near them.

  3. Jack

    Way I see it, nobody deserves the best hoards and most secure locations, so if anybody’s gonna have them, why not us?

  4. Fiona

    And she doesn’t actually have all that much, that was part of the problem with having the Triggers, wasn’t it?

    I feel bad for you guys, and me with all these eggs now.

    • Mei

      Don’t feel bad, Fiona – it is good to know that others can keep a good community alive, even when we worry for ourselves. Do you give eggs to your neighbours in a truck like the fish?

    • Elaine

      Sorry for the delay in seeing this: I went down to the stores to take an inventory and work out how long I can afford to stay here, and found a whole crate of remaindered Shiraz I’d missed before. Been too crook to charge my system for a couple of days.

      Mei’s right, even if my atrophied heart is stuffed full of petty jealousies and grudges, I guess it’s good somebody has fresh, nutritious food while I force down pallid peas, unrinsed, from a tin, trying to ingest the ghost of a vitamin. You enjoy those fresh eggs. Do you have them boiled runny so the hot yolk runs down the shell when you dip a crispy chip in them? Do you have them poached, sprinkled with a little dill and salt? Protein, oh god, how I miss you.

      • Fiona

        As for my recipe, I cook them in a little water on the solar oven whenever the weather cooperates, and it takes about an hour. We still get grid electricity, some of the time, but it’s very patchy and I’m trying not to rely on it.

  5. Fiona

    Wow, how I wish I could courier a dozen eggs to Beijing University campus, the Colmart in Canberra, Australia, and caravan at no fixed address, UK. Wait, I don’t want to leave Jack out – have you been successful at finding any livestock to adopt?

    And yes I’ve switched tasks to egg distribution, by bicycle now. The truck was converted to alcohol fuel but in the end they couldn’t make enough of it to keep it going.

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