THE WATCH by Linda Simoni-Wastila

After the wolves killed the sheep, then Damien, I fled the backcountry. Without cricket and tree frog song, the silence grew too deep.
I packed light: food for a lifetime, clothes and boots, food, and all the guns. One photo of my love, sewn into the pocket over my heart. The audio of our poetry.

On the last night, I siphoned 30 gallons of ethanol to power the ATV, and sloshed the rest around the perimeter of the house, the shed, the still. The timber flared with a loud wumph. The wolves gathered, mesmerized by the flames. Their low snarls trailed me as I drove from the forest, the evening star obscured by smoke.

It took three days to reach the City. From the top of the watch tower, I watched the horizon. The tinny pop of guns from the last of the resistance punctuated the low whine of advancing tanks. For some reason, these noises comforted me.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “THE WATCH by Linda Simoni-Wastila

  1. Randal Houle

    I appreciate that particular way you encapsulate the theme. Nicely done.

  2. An amazing twist on the need to transition, the leaving behind, the necessary move. Nicely done, Linda.

  3. whine whine…(Sorry I couldn’t resist after Michael’s comment, although I was tempted to say “fizz, fizz” instead!) This is great, Linda. So unusual, is it apocalyptic? Set in some countryside in a foreign country? The wolves driving the person from the country has a particular resonance for me. I found myself wondering what an animal dominated land might be (over human domination). Curious thoughts all. Thanks!

  4. Hey all, thanks for reading. Not sure why this came out apocalyptic, but it did. As soon as I saw the theme ‘urban convert’ I had an image of a watchtower. The story is how to get to that tower, and why. I’ve not done apocalypse before, but it was fun and fed my dark side. Peace…

  5. Kim Hutchinson

    Apocalypse is a great response to the theme. Awesome read.

  6. Except for the reference to the resistance, this could have been any type of apocalypse. I kept imagining zombies though. :)

    What a cool take on the theme! I never would have thought of this, but it’s brilliant.

  7. grey johnson

    What a hauting read that was. You imagination is something to envy. I love the way you llisted food twice. It surely is that important…especially when packing light.

  8. guy

    There’s too much confusion,
    I can’t get no relief.
    Wolves, man, they burn my wine

    hmmm hmmm mmmm hhmmm

    All along the watchtower…

    • No way! Guy, that song must’ve been sooooo buried in my subconscious. But it IS so perfect! I kept thinking BODYSNATCHERS by Radiohead. Neither served as inspiration, but glad there is a soundtrack. Peace…

  9. Al McDermid

    You do this type of story well. What I great setting, so much implied, and yet, so much that is clear. Makes me want to read the novel.

  10. Pingback: Week # 30 – Urban convert | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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