Thursday, June 2, 2011

Third Person Thursday: Being Too Ready for Summer

As Ned stood before the shelves stacked against the concrete wall, he thought back to his time spent stocking them. At the time, the task of preparing his fallout shelter for the worst-case scenario was a whim.

The summer had arrived and he started going down his to do list. At the very bottom on the crumpled loose-leaf sheet was: “Stock shelter.” So that’s what Ned did.

He acted almost as much out of spite as concern. If every single item on the list was done, his wife could not bother him for the rest of the summer. Ned envisioned lying in his hammock, entire afternoon spent fishing and heading down to the stadium to catch a game just an hour before first pitch if he so decided. He imagined himself playing endless rounds of golf and shuddered to think how intimidated his friends would be by his soon to be magnificent short game.

Yes, for once Ned planned on mastering his summer free time at the beginning of the season and fitting in all that he hoped.

For all the fallout shelters in the world, few of them are owned by people who actually expect to use them.

When the accident happened the choice Ned and his wife were faced with was live below ground until decontamination was complete or risk the one in a million shot that the toxins accidentally released from the nearby lab would not effect their nervous systems. That was how Ned found himself standing before the survival inventory on that day, a day when he was hoping to squeeze in thirty-six holes.

It wasn’t until that moment that Ned actually looked at the shelves and analyzed the true value of the items stacked upon them. It wasn’t until then that Ned recognized the influence of his mindset while stocking those same shelves. Now that he stood before them and really looked, Ned realized that his summer fever might just have gotten the best of him.

He was afraid to turn around and face his wife. It would be difficult to explain to her why ninety percent of the shelf space was occupied by cases of beer and bags of charcoal. He only hoped that the lasers he could feel his wife staring into the back of his head didn’t ignite said charcoal before he could figure something out.

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