#howIwidow

dehydration by grayson queen

For today,  I thought I’d share something the hubs wrote because I still am not up to typing, and he always enjoyed helping me keep my commitments. ♡  Enjoy!

———————

I watched a homeless man spray window cleaner into his mouth.

I check my lips with my tongue and they’re still dry and cracked.

I don’t know why I check.  Maybe I think they’ll get better, but it makes it worse like picking at a scab.  In this circumstance the original injury is dehydration.

It’s only in these worst case scenarios do we begin to notice how intertwined our body is with our mind.

I watched a woman drink herself to death with a bottle of vodka.  She said to me, “If you use your imagination, it could be water.”

There have been multiple statements on the news advising the population that alcohol is not a viable source of hydration.  In fact it will only hasten dehydration.

I can’t sleep.  I’m afraid to look at the clock because I’m sure it’ll tell me it’s coming on five in the morning.  I can’t sleep because my body won’t let me.  My body is sending signals to my brain and the primal instincts in my skull are screaming.  It wakes me every hour warning me that if I don’t do something I’m going to die.

At first I didn’t notice anything my body was telling me.  I’d wake, go to the bathroom, go to the kitchen, wander around the living room, wonder what I forgot and then fall back asleep.  It repeated like this for two nights.  Until finally, bleary eyed, I woke and stumbled into the bathroom.  I ran the tap to take a sip.  I’m lucky the water had already been shut off.  All I got was the squeal of air in the pipes; otherwise I don’t think I would have realized what I was doing before it was too late.

I watched a man point at me threateningly just before he jumped off the roof of a seven story building.  He was about my size and the floors were probably a standard nine feet apart.  Accounting for initial acceleration and drag he’d be traveling at about 38 miles per hour.  It only gave me one point eight seconds to move.  It takes the average human about point-three seconds to react and it took me a second and a half to calculate all of this.  It was shear chance that he was a bad aim.

I’ve decided that there is no point in trying to sleep.  I watch TV, mainly re-runs but sometimes the news, which is like poking at the dying embers of hope.  It was just what one could expect from the news.  The same facts are repeated every thirty minutes for three hours.

It started four days ago in Seattle.  The hospitals were swamped with some mysterious disease.  It didn’t take long for the CDC to be dispatched.  It took even less time for most of the population of Washington State to die.

Later, the analysts would say it was the rain that had spread the virus so quickly.  After which there was a mass exodus of all US coastal regions.  I suppose the desert never looked better when the thing you are running from is water.

That’s what they say is the culprit.  For the millionth time, every ten minutes, the person behind the desk says, “Don’t drink the water.”  As if their words were responsible for every human on the planet.   As if any one currently alive didn’t know the earth’s water supply was now poisonous.

On the second day, thirty-six hours after the first symptoms in Seattle, the buzzwords began coming out of the woodwork.  Every station had their own title for what was going on, “Water Scare”, “The Seattle Incident” and on and on.  They all seemed to agree on using the same pleasant sounding terms, “water rationing” to mean no water, “stay indoors” to mean fend for yourself, “military aid” to mean martial law, “zero hour” to mean the last possible hour for humanity to survive after all the water runs out.

Somewhere down the line, a scientist or a reporter, someone who should have better things to do then give pretty names to ugly things, called the syndrome H-O-R (hydrorejectamenta or H2O Rejection.).

And so now everyone is worried about getting H.O.R.

I watched a man drink all the water from a fish tank.  Afterward, I sat staring at the elegantly finned creatures flip-flop around wildly with no hope of survival.

The fish are still alive.  Not the ones in the fish tank, the ones in the ocean.  No one knows why.  Scientists feel that the key to the whole mess may lie there, so says the brave anchor man.

These same brilliant wordsmiths/scientists also tell us that all active water sources are contaminated.  They’ve been quoting Kurt Vonnegut–Cat’s Cradle–Ice nine– all the world’s water supply is interconnected.  The rain water that killed Seattle is probably in the Gulf of Mexico by now.  What all this means to us non-TV analysts is that every lake, river, stream, pond, puddle and ocean is deadly.  All we have left to drink is bottled water or self-contained water sources and only those stored from a week before.  Everything else after that is tainted.

You can imagine the rush after the news hit.  Lucky for us, we’re under military aid… I mean receiving military aid.  Every place that had water supplies was ransacked by the army.  It was for our own good of course, but not so great for me.  I’m out here wandering around in the middle of the night slowly dying of dehydration.  I suppose it’s a better than quickly dying of dehydration.

H.O.R. is death by quick dehydration.  They say to imagine your body suddenly becomes allergic to water.  Histamines are your body’s natural way of ejecting foreign bodies it deems harmful.

It ejects the water.  Literally.

Most of Florida is dead or dying.  They say it’s the humidity.  When water goes airborne, the virus goes airborne.

The first symptom is a runny nose like any other allergic reaction, except that your nose never stops running.  There’s a constant trickle of liquid mucus.  The second symptom is stomach pain, cramps, nausea like you’ve caught a stomach flu with one added feature.  Salivation.

Your mouth begins secreting hot saliva in so much excess that it over flows your mouth and dribbles off your chin.  Every time you try to swallow it back your stomach wretches threatening to vomit.  The only option is to lean over and your spit drain into a puddle.

It’s at this stage that a large percentage of the afflicted die drowning in their own secretions.  If you’re lucky, you come down with pneumonia.  Or you can stick around as tears begin to constantly trickle and finally comes the sweating as the remaining liquid in your body forces its way out of your pores.  I hear it’s fairly painful, like passing a gull stone or having a baby except over the entire surface of your body.

I watched a man drink the water from a can of corn. This is how desperate the situation is.  No one wants to die from H.O.R.  Instead they prefer to turn into half crazed savages.

There’s nothing to eat.  The department of agriculture doesn’t have men going around enforcing the water restrictions on chickens and pigs.  The four H club doesn’t have a secret police they can have make sure the goats don’t drink from the stream and they certainly can’t fine plants from tapping ground water.   So, whether or not the plants and animals are affected by H.O.R., they all at least carry the virus.

A man in Montana died after attacking a cow and drinking its blood.

“There is no guarantee what living creatures are affected,” says the beautiful weather girl what’s-her-name.  This is repeated every two hours and it probably wouldn’t have been said at all if they weren’t worried about people killing each other for their blood.

Me.  I’ve already accepted my death. Even took up smoking.  See, I’m just your average run-of-the-mill middle class single sort of guy.  I don’t have any special skills and I’m not linked to anyone of importance.  So, it didn’t surprise me when we were notified that women, children and families were going to be given priority rationing.  I understand, save the species and all that, but it doesn’t mean I like it.  A lot of people didn’t understand, though.  It didn’t seem smart to piss off the entire population of men in their prime.  In the ensuing riot thousands were killed and several metric tons of uncontaminated water spilled.

I don’t know.  Maybe this isn’t such a bad thing after all. Maybe the human race doesn’t deserve to make it out of this one.   I mean, we’ve been around for a couple of centuries and we’re still doing the same old thing.  We’re fighting and killing over trivialities, skin color, race, religion, wealth and a nice pair of shoes.  All I’m seeing here is people beating other people to death for the right to survive.  Somehow everyone assumes they have the right to live even if it means the extinction of the human species.   Which I thought was the point of living, to forward human existence.

I watched two people having sex on the side of the road.  The people who were watching said they’d been at it for hours.  They said they need to have a baby so that they could get more water rations.  Desperate humans overlook obvious logic.  It takes weeks to tell if you’re pregnant.

But who am I to rain on their parade.  Plus, bonus– an afternoon show.

There’s a suicide booth on seventeenth and Grand.  Well… not a booth so much as an alleyway with a curtain.  There’s a guy there, a religious nut, who owns a gun shop.  First he forgives your sins and then he blows out your brains.  He’s been at it since yesterday.  The military knows but won’t do anything about it because the demand for his services is so high.  The line wraps around two blocks.  Plus, the less people there are, the more water there is to go around.

Seeing as how I have little chance of survival and there’s such a limited water supply for the ones who might make it, I think it’s my civic duty to make the acquaintance of this fellow on Seventeenth and Grand.

Of course, there is always the off-chance that they find a miracle cure in the next couple of hours.  Boy, won’t I feel like an idiot.

Then again I’ll be dead, so it won’t matter.

26 comments

  1. What a story, it had me hooked from beginning to end. Your husband is an incredible writer to say the least. I’m glad he writes for you, and helps you keep your commitments. You guys seem like a real dream team, and it’s awesome to see. You don’t see many of those couples anymore, and it’s one of the things that helps restore my hope for humanity. I’ve been seeing that all over WordPress, and living it this week. How odd.

    Anyway, awesome post! I’m glad I saw it on my feed this evening!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. Unfortunately, my husband passed away last year so I don’t know if we qualify anymore as a dream team. I’d like to think we’re still a pretty solid team though, even now. Thank you for reading, he would have really appreciated your response.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. What an imagination! And after seeing today’s news, he may have been quite prescient. I’m feeling a bit doomed today.

    Thanks for sharing your hubby’s talent!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. He wrote stories I hate to love.

    I prefer to read dark horror that’s much more poorly written so it doesn’t give me chills and nightmares and so I can just, you know, not find out what happens! His stories are on my kindle. Just their presence kind of scares me but I love them anyway. 😉

    Liked by 4 people

    1. This is such a scary story, but yet so compelling, and you can’t stop reading. I absolutely agree, and even though I’m not a big horror story person, I did enjoy reading this. I loved the dark dry humor of it all too!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I really like his dry dark humor in this. The ending made me chuckle. This kind of reminds me of that M. Night Shymalan movie, The Happening, where the trees decide to take revenge against humanity. I like the contrast in this, the one thing life needs to live is the one thing that is killing everyone. Makes you think about the deeper meaning behind that, what are the things we think we need to live but are really killing us?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. He was such an amazing writer. ❤ I have a copy of this on my Fire Tablet. I downloaded it while I was still using my Nook and then forced my Fire Tablet to download the Nook app so that I wouldn’t lose this and all his other works that I downloaded.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Incredible story, I was hooked. Can you point me to somewhere I can buy his writing, if that’s still possible? Thank you for sharing, he was such a talented writer (and still is, because his words and spirit live on) ❤ And I hope your arm gets better quickly ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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