For September I’ll be pulling from several related short stories I wrote this summer, all dealing with the apocalypse.
Here’s what we have so far:
- “Special” – a pair of twins with special abilities living in caves due to airstrikes
- “The Graveyard” – a plague kills off most of a western mining town
This week it’s “E.L.E.” – a woman is out camping in the Minnesota Boundary Waters when disaster strikes. Like last week’s excerpt, this story was inspired by a trip through the setting this spring.
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My dad used to say that extinction level events happened every 700,000 years or so, and we were more than overdo. Nonetheless, when an earthquake hit while I was out camping in the backcountry, I ignored it as anything more than routine seismic activity. Sure, earthquakes rarely hit northern Minnesota, but I’d come out here to relax, not to increase my anxiety by worrying about stuff I couldn’t do anything about.
The ash came a couple days later. Forest fires weren’t uncommon up here, and even though we were under a burn ban, this wouldn’t have been the first time someone’s campfire took out a few hundred acres. It was enough to send me back to civilization, though, because it wouldn’t be pretty when that blaze caught up to me.
I’d just stowed the last of my gear in my canoe and was preparing to shove off when a man strolled out of the forest. I tensed.
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