Face, Meet Sidewalk

Violet is Prepared

Posted on: May 20, 2011

Violet looked proudly over her stockpile one last time. If it was coming, she was ready.

She had at least two years’ worth of bottled water, toothpaste, and non-perishable food items tidily tucked in her basement storage area, just in case. She had a small arsenal of weapons at her disposal – an aluminum baseball bat, a potato gun (and a root cellar full of ammo), and a sharpened boomerang.

Bring on the zombies. Violet was prepared.

She had always been a cautious woman, ever prepared for her earthly needs. She made sure to have enough of everything to last her a while. Over the years Violet had made it a point to lay in stores of enough tea, dry goods, and reading material to last through a small- to medium-sized apocalypse. Having it all stacked neatly in a small corner of her basement made her feel so much better. Granted, two years’ worth of food was not a lot, but at Violet’s age, chances are she wouldn’t need much anyway. Better not to leave much for the looters to sell on the black market.

And it came in handy every once in a while. One winter, there was a snowstorm that kept the city immobilized for four whole days. Violet waited it out, patiently, as warm and well-fed as ever. Eventually, the neighbours shoveled a path to her door and hammered on it, intruding rudely into her peaceful afternoon. They’d looked comically relieved at seeing she was not only alive, but well, all alone in her house. Her mildly indignant response probably put some of them off, but she’d hardly been in the mood for a visit. She decided not to let them know too much about her stockpile, fearing they’d start thinking of her as just another crazy old bat. Anyway, she never went over the top when she collected things she might need, but the idea that someone might come into her house after she was dead and imagine her lying in stores like those bomb-shelter nuts was a little disturbing.

So she was ready, just in case those wing nuts down south were right, and the Zombie Apocalypse was imminent. She scoffed at the very thought. And anyway, she was a little more concerned about the Rapture than some fictional virus.

Violet had never been very religious. The more she thought about it, the more convinced she was that religion was just a way to get people to be nice to each other. To bad it didn’t work over there in the Middle East. But really, she thought, that’s what it came down to. Be nice or God will be displeased. Smacked a little too much of “just wait till your Father gets home” to be all that palatable.

No one had ever asked her – you simply didn’t talk about religion in Violet’s circles – but if they had, she would have to admit that she probably didn’t even believe in God. At least not some omniscient controller up there watching everyone scurry around doing His bidding. Violet was glad no one had ever asked her, though. It wasn’t something she was ever too anxious to say out loud.

Violet acknowledged that her spiritual beliefs tended more towards superstition than any kind of organized religious doctrine. More real to Violet than God was black cats,  or the prohibitions against passing someone on the stairs, or opening an umbrella in the house. Those were practical things. So much more useful than God. She was hard pressed to concern herself with the existence of an afterlife – the idea was simply unimaginable. She much preferred to operate on the assumption that this was all there was to life – and if it turned out otherwise, well, she would just have to cross that bridge when she came to it.

Still, there was always a niggling little doubt in the back of her mind. What if?

When rumours of the Rapture started floating around at Thursday bridge club, she listened with a quiet self-satisfaction. Although she outwardly ridiculed  the idea of Judgment Day (this Saturday, coming soon to a street corner near you), the fact that her little stockpile might come in handy was immensely pleasing.

Her bridge buddies seemed a little flustered by the whole idea of the Rapture. The religious ones got all smug, but those who were the Easter-and-Christmas-only crowd at church almost seemed a little panicked by the idea. She wondered how many churches were a little fuller than usual on the Sunday before Armageddon. How many last minute repenters would this whole ridiculous thing bring out?

Either way, Violet figured it was a win-win situation for her. If there was a Rapture, and she was wrong, then it should be over pretty quickly. If not, no harm, no foul. And she still had enough toilet paper to last the rest of her life, zombies or no. Still, she hadn’t made many plans for next week. One never knew with these things.When you looked at everything that had happened in the last 100 years, you had to admit, anything was possible.

Violet minutely adjusted a can of tomatoes so that its label lined up precisely with those of its neighbors, and clicked off the basement light. Slowly, she climbed the stairs, feeling every one of her 89 years. In the living room, she turned her favorite recliner another inch closer to the picture window, sat down, and picked up her knitting. Might as well be productive, she thought, as she settled in to wait for something to happen.

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1 Response to "Violet is Prepared"

I think I know Violet…

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