SHIP: SS VENTURE
LOG: FLIGHT SURGEON ADAMSON-KANE MD
DATE: DAY 203 / YEAR 21907
It was the day before sunset. No one could tell what time the sun would go finally, and permanently black tomorrow and, to be honest, no one cared. It was too late to care. This was our last full day. A day where you could still have breakfast, lunch and dinner – if you were lucky enough to have food, that is.
A lot of people spent the day in a drunken or drug-filled stupor. One that would last until the blackout.
Others spent it committing any lewd act they could think of. Actions that before the die-down began they wouldn’t have dreamed of committing. Well, perhaps they would have. Dreamed about it, I mean. But they would have restrained themselves. Morals, religion, the law, whatever, would have kept them from acting their fantasies out. But now, there were no restraints. All manner of atrocities took place across the city. ‘Human’ had ceased to be a word that one could, in all conscience, use to describe what they, what we, had become. Every vestige of humanity had been abandoned.
Some families had barricaded themselves in their underground bunkers, had their last meals together, maybe prayed, ‘drank the cool-aid’, laid down in each others' arms and waited for death. Others had climbed to the roofs to watch the sun set.
The twelve of us, however, were packing the ship. All of the supplies we'd managed to collect were being packed into every available corner. We’d calculated that, with what we had, we could survive in space for nine months, to the day. The solar hyper-drive should get us to the base on Ventari before we'd need to recharge. From there, the plan was to trade our way across the galaxy, using our store of almost priceless heritage food seeds as barter. When we reached the Trajan Archipelago, we'd set up a new terra-formed colony on one of its smaller moons. We would start again. The end of one world, the birth of another.
Note to self: When planning to survive on meagre rations for a fixed period of time in a hostile environment, always, always, factor in a stowaway.
We had two. And it changed everything.
Why 'Running the Bathwater Stories'?
When I first started writing short stories I set myself a challenge. I had to write a complete short story in the length of time it took for my bathwater to run. It's not the fastest bath, I hasten to add. Other rules included that I had to sit down to a blank page, with no preconceived story idea and just start writing. Afterwards, once the time was up, I was only allowed to edit grammar etc. The very first one was the story entitled "Forever." The only one that doesn't belong here is "The Difference is, I lie for a reason," but I haven't figured out how to move it without losing the comments.