Horror and Thriller Fiction posted June 8, 2017 Chapters:  ...32 33 -34- 35... 

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A chapter in the book Let's Laugh 6

Time Of Cleansing

by Barb Hensongispsaca

He was so tired of being alone. Waking alone, eating alone, sleeping alone, crying alone. It had been three years...three long, hard, boring years. At first, he spent his time looking for anomalies, anything that was different from normal. He was looking for changes, any change, no matter how small. Sometimes, he even imagined changes...a wrinkle, a cut, a blister, a pimple, a color, a bruise, a headache...anything that was not even there.

"Was that wrinkle there yesterday? Where did that bruise come from? Am I losing my mind?" he would ask as he checked his body every day.

He lived over two hundred miles from ground zero, and yet he could see the mushroom-shaped cloud when it unexpectedly happened. A day that changed billions of lives had arrived. That's when his family ran for the shelter. His father made the underground shelter many years before, when talk of war broke out again. War! It did happen. But with the nuclear bombs, it didn't last very long. He got there first to open the door for his wife and children, but when he turned around, they were gone.

Ten days was all it took for enough bombs to get past the defenses that were in place to destroy them - ten days to destroy six lifetimes of progress. All the advancements destroyed and with no communication, there was no way of knowing how bad the nation was suffering. He had the radio on all the time just in case someone was able to broadcast. As the time passed, the radio still remained silent.

There was more than enough food to last for many years. He had been stocking the shelter, knowing that one day, life on this planet would end. People would ultimately destroy one another, leaving a few to rebuild.

He tried everything to keep his spirit up during the long transition from destruction to the safe return to the surface. He kept checking the radiation meter even from day one, hoping he was wrong and the mushroom-shaped cloud was only in his mind. But the radiation level stayed the same.

It had been three years and a few days when he noticed the radiation meter was not registering any radiation on the surface. He tapped it with his finger to see if it would move. He replaced the batteries after testing them and still no radiation count.

He wanted so badly to open the doors to see if the world was livable. He wished he had spent the extra money and had the periscope part in the top so he could just look through it to see if the outside world was ready to accept human occupation again, or if it was still rebelling against man's inhumanity to man.

He decided to take a peek outside, open the door just enough to see. The door seemed to be welded shut. He grabbed the handles with both hands and pulled. Nothing. With his other hand he reached up and released the lock. That third arm that grew on his back while in the shelter would come in handy.

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