What has actually happened, none of us really know. We’ve been cut-off from all outside information for days now.
I jus’ know we are suffering the effects of an E-M-P – an electrical magnetic pulse.
It started while I was sitting at our computer, typing a story for my blog. I had the television on in the living room as I was listening to the Glenn Beck show.
Suddenly everything blanked out. At first it didn’t seem like a big deal, power outages happen and I figures NVEnergy would have the problem solved in an hour, if not in a few minutes.
I was so wrong.
My wife, Mary, was in town and when the power hadn’t returned after two-hours I decided to call her. I don’t really like having a cell-phone, but I keep one with me incase I need to get a hold of her, my son, or our friend Kay.
Unfortunately, my cell wasn’t working either. So I pulled the old ‘Princess’ phone out of our closet and plugged it into the phone jack since our other home phone’s operate on electrical power.
It didn’t work either. Then it dawned on me, her business phone operates on electricity too.
And even though I knew it wouldn’t work, I dialed Kyle’s cell-phone and then Kay’s. I had no way of knowing exactly where they were as Kyle was working for a temp agency and Kay was visiting family in Las Vegas.
Soon I became worried about Mary, scared for her safety and wondering where she was at since I was certain she had left her shop hours. So I grabbed my truck keys and with the intent of going to look for her, I tried to start my truck.
Oddly, it was dead. So I went next door and knocked, wondering if I might borrow one of their cars.
Bridgette told me Mike had not made it home and she hadn’t heard from him as of yet. She also tried to start her older model VW bug and it too, wouldn’t start.
Luckily, she had picked their son up their son from school before the power went down. So she didn’t have that worry to contend with.
As I walked back to my front door, Tom from across the street hollered to me, asking, “Can you get your truck to start?”
“No,” I answered.
Quickly we were joined by Bob, who lives across from Tom on the corner and Gary who is my next door neighbor on the other side of me from Bridgette and Mike. We all compared our situations and found they were nearly exact.
Only Bob, who has an old 1927 coupe, could get his vehicle to start-up. It was at that moment that I realized what had happened and decided to voice my opinion.
“Can I borrow your coupe,” I asked Bob, “So I can go pick up my wife and perhaps find my son?”
Bob hesitated; he had to think about it, which I don’t blame him in the least. Finally, he handed me the keys.
Within 20 minutes I was driving through the streets of Sparks, which were littered with cars and trucks. I found the same thing on Kietzke as I headed towards Mill and Mary’s business.
By this time it was dark and devoid of people as I wheeled into the parking lot. I pulled in front of her shop and banged on the front door.
At first I figured she was no longer there, but then I saw her press her hands on the glass, cupping her face to see outside and into the darkness. I could see the fear in her face and her swollen, red eyes from crying.
Isolation can do this to a person, no matter how strong they might be.
She turned the key in the door and stepped out. We stood there hugging each other for at least a minute.
Soon we were dodging vehicles left in the roadway, abandoned where they died. We were on our way to Kyle’s mother’s home, where he lives.
Once parked in the driveway, I rushed to the door and banged on it. No one answered and I returned to the vehicle, puzzling over what to do.
Mary suggested we jus’ head home and I agreed. It took us no time to drive up into Bob’s driveway and park.
While Mary and I set ourselves to work right away, going into our back yard and digging a large hole. The ground is hard and by the time we finished, both our hands were raw and blistered.
The next morning, we lined the hole with the rocks we’ve had in our yard since we first moved here and which I’ve been too lazy to move or get rid of. Then we pulled our old metal ice chest out of the rafters and filled it with the frozen food from our freezer.
It took us less than half-an-hour to bury the hole with the hope of keeping the food from rotting. I knew that it might not work, so soon I might have to go out and find some fresh meat.
As we were covering the hole, it occurred to me that I might be able to communicate with someone beyond our neighborhood. I had forgotten that at one point I had studied to get my Ham radio license, and I still had much of that equipment, including a telegraph key.
Within an hour’s time, I had my crystal radio set out and I was working to tune it to anything, a voice, music, Morse code or even static. I found a voice, though faint and fading in and out, that told me what I had already suspected.
It was a worthless message, obviously pre-recorded and left to repeat in an endless-loop. Though it wasn’t what I had hoped for, it did bolster our spirits to know there was something out ‘there’ beyond jus’ us.