Post World War III
The Alarm went off. When I asked what time it was my wife told it was 11 O’clock in the morning. She was about to leave for work. Cursing myself for sleeping late, I looked out of the window. On the street only a few people were walking while many were basking in the park beyond the street. No vehicle seemed to be moving.
I reminded myself that I was in a changed world. The D-day was as recent as yesterday when war broke out. It lasted just for a day. In the end, there was a blackout. Besides power, all communications stopped.
The next day I read in a handwritten newspaper how the war mysteriously dried up 80 percent of oil reserves in the world, including what was left in the pipelines. Temperatures across the globe fell by 10 degrees. The earth had changed the orbit, i.e. a few centimeters away from the sun.
From across the street I saw a friend waving at my window. In fact he had been a computer engineer with an MNC, and now he became jobless— all networked computers were bombed out by viruses destroying all databases. Yet jobs existed but only for those who could restore them running on whatever batteries left, rather they were building data from the scratch. Poor guy he had no clue whatsoever about another job, other than marketing some gaming software for kids. He didn’t know how to put together two words, even for writing reports to make a living like me to continue working as a journalist.
Millions like him turned unemployed overnight. But I was not unnerved, as I was a part-time reporter managing to write about the current crisis and sending reports by snail mail to my editor in the city.
Reluctantly I got up from my bed and washed. Then I cooked my breakfast over a makeshift charcoal stove. I went out to buy the day’s vegetables, since the fridge was not working. On my way back I had to stop at a news stand to pick some latest news, by word of mouth. I came to know that the soldiers became refugees since government was in no position to pay their salaries, or there was no need for them in the first place.
The dream to live in a border-less society became very real, thanks to the bloodless war that defused all warheads stockpiled, at a single command from a super computer. The post III-world war air attracted some strange electrons that made any mechanical motion impossible. Many veterans posted in jungles had to use bows and arrows in case of civil war breaking out, or they had to counter any threat from the diehard renegades foolishly clinging on to extremist ideologies.
People who used to be share brokers were being sheltered in the outskirts and gainfully engaged in rock quarries. Some soldiers were kept on the standby to take the injured stockbrokers to the hospitals, when they got into fistfight using rocks. Car dealers and insurance brokers were accommodated as couriers to deliver relief work, including letters on foot. The apocalyptic or doomsday forecasters were given the jobs as the weather forecasters and stationed at vantage points on the high-rise buildings.
After I collected the above bad tidings (received mostly by word of mouth) I met a facebook friend for the first time in person. He was bargaining hard with a vegetable vendor who refused to take currency and was demanding gold rather. I could recognize that fellow, though he still insisting he was from Los Angeles. (In fact he was from south of Vindhyas like yours truly).
I trudged toward my home. I saw a notice posted on our door front. It was said to be from the post- war community office. It read that our home was being taken over by the government to shelter some foreign tourists who were stranded due to the war.
I woke up sweating from the nightmare and cursed, “O, Yesterday night I fell asleep during a show on Discovery Channel that I remembered as something like this, ‘Prehistoric Man and Early Society.’”
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Your nightmare is really frightening. I feel it is a sort of eschatology. Jim Simmons' book titled 'Last generation' predicts that the end of the world is likely to take place on 23 12 2012. Though it is based on some superstitions, Old Testament and some other predictions, many people argue that nothing would happen in Dec. 2012.
But as per Malthusian theory of population, when the population grows beyond proportions, the sickle of death would harvest the crop of the womb. Natural disasters, calamities like tsunami, earth quake and some other catastrophe would be there to end the world. Your nightmare is going to cast its shadows for a gloomy and pathetic finish. I am writing this just to share your views and as you said, a day will come when we've to barter gold for vegetables and other essential commodities.Very pessimistic, pathetic and plaintive indeed.