… the dimming of the light… (Part 1)
… the night felt wrong …a least it seemed that way. The light patter of rain on the roof, the horse-like neighing call of some dabchicks on the lake answered by the sharper more aggressive shriek of a pair of coots…
… but something was different - not right. As I blinked to clear my eyes and accustom my sight to the low cloud obscured moon-glow from the window I realised the answer was the lack of any other light source.
… I had slept well… maybe for the last time in my life. Monday - should have been just another uneventful day. It seemed too dark, no alarm clock display to be seen - not the usual glow of the landing light through the crack round the bedroom door…
… different - not so unusual as we often had power-cuts- they seldom lasted more than two or three hours, but it was January and the house was cold…
… the background central heating was obviously not on.
I fumbled for my bedside torch. The battery was good and I found the telephone - to ring the electricity supplier, but there was no dial tone…
… it seemed the line was not working.
My mobile was no good. Even if the network was alive and well there was never a signal here in our little valley.
Waking my wife Alice in the dark pre-dawn: 'Power cut - hope it doesn’t last too long. Phones out as well… not good…'
'I'll make you breakfast. Cold sausages O.K. and do you want cornflakes?'
'I grunted my affirmation.'
'Then I'll light the fire…'
'Still want to go to Waitrose?' I asked, looking out of the bedroom window - then without waiting for Alice's reply, 'the whole bloody village is dark. Strange - it must be a big power cut - normally it's only half the house at any one time… it's in complete darkness except for the occasional car.'
Inconvenient I thought but nothing particularly unusual - although it was the first time I could remember losing the telephone as well. At about ten we set out for the town a few miles east, to do our weekly shopping. The road was surprisingly quiet and after about two miles we stopped to speak to two people in a stationary car in the lay-by opposite. They might have come from the town. They had been travelling for twenty or so miles and said they had seen no lights from house windows, traffic light were not working, The only sign of anything unusual was an intermittent broadcast on the BBC saying 'Standby for emergency information at Twelve Noon'.
Following this somewhat alarming information we returned to our home…
To be continued…
© Peter Hunter 2012
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