Fear is a warm gun

I awake at the crack of dawn — a literal crackkk; from a gun.

Yesterday night was worse than the nights before — heard at least six gunshots. Every time, I woke up screaming with tears streaming down my face and heart racing in my throat. Every gun shot makes me relive the horrific moment of losing her. Then the fear fades and I am left with sadness so deep that I sit and cry through the night. No amount of crying is going to bring her back, though.

Sometimes I wonder if I should get myself a gun and use it — just once, you know, to end it all.

Faint morning light is filtering in through the dusty curtains. My head spins a little from all the sleepless nights. I turn on the TV and raise the volume really loud. It used to drown out the gunshots but it doesn’t anymore. They’ve gotten louder and closer.

A newscaster is reading the news; a pretense of normalcy.

“Yesterday, Frezlo joined the list of towns that has gone under. Local law enforcement announced that they are pulling out, as the situation on the ground has become unsafe. The national guards are too stretched to cover the town at this moment. That makes Frezlo the 26th town to go under in the last six months. Authorities are asking the citizens to remain vigilant and…..”

News reporters have gotten around to talking about it efficiently; like weather or sports.

Going under. That’s the term they use. It was such a benign term of something cataclysmic: an anarchy of armed citizens killing each other.

I turn off the TV.

My stomach gives an angry grumble. I haven’t eaten in 3 days — except for the last remaining packets of cookies from ages ago.

I need to go buy groceries but that would mean driving 4 miles across town to reach the Walmart that lay beyond the under zone. It would take me at least 10 minutes each way even if I ignore all the signals. Ten minutes is a long time to be outdoors here. You could catch a bullet a minute.

I could move. I could go to a town, far away, that’s not gone under but it feels futile. Maybe in time I would get over the fact that she is not with me anymore and care enough to move. Or, maybe not. Perhaps, all towns will be under soon. What would be the point then?

I peer through the window at the ghost town. People are all hiding away in their homes and yet, the gun shots keep punctuating the hollow silence of a town waiting for its death. I wonder if the gunshots are people shooting themselves so they could get away from this hell hole.

I see a small boy -not more than 10 years old-walking across the street. My heart stops. What is he doing here? Where are his parents? He is heading with excruciating calmness to a home on the other side of the street. How could they be so careless? I am mouthing silent prayers that I never knew I knew. When he is mid-street, I hear a gun-shot.

I scream and shut my eyes instinctively. When I peer out with trepidation, the boy is still there continuing to walk like he never heard it.

A gun shot from another place.

But it’s coming closer every day and fast. Yesterday, I heard the loudest report of a gun going off that I’ve ever heard in my life. It must have been just a couple of blocks away.

I imagine gangs walking around shooting. Or maybe, it’s all those who’ve hidden away in their homes, shooting at anyone who walked the street, you know, in self-defense. Panic and self-defense are bad bedfellows.

I know that I should be buying a metal myself, to survive here, but I refuse to do it. It would feel like participating in the very sham that took her.

For long they made the specious cry about the right to own arms but instead created a society where you need to own one just to survive.

They took away my right to not-own arms.

I sit there by window watching the orange sun rise above the buildings; A new day of survival begins in Glotown.