OCTOBER SURPRISE: A Halloween Tale
by Jim Naughton
The following is a work of fiction.
The following is a transcript of a tape-recorded communication discovered 31 October 2047 during the course of a house-to-house sweep by members of search and rescue/recovery teams of the Provisional Government of the North American Federation of Free Territories and its Expeditionary Force 1 (EF1).
EF1, utilising former FEMA and Department of Energy operatives working as supplementary units within the larger Federation task force of medevac, scientific, technical, and security staff, had been operating in the Greater Philadelphia Metro area.
The humanitarian expeditionary mission was unilaterally authorised by the office of the Premier Pro Tempore and issued from the Federation’s capital, in Edmonton, Alberta, on the occasion of the conclusion of the recommended thirty-year minimum quarantine period in effect in all contaminated areas continent-wide beginning October 2017 and tentatively ending October 2047.
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY
Hello? Can you hear this? Jesus, this thing probably doesn’t even work. Wait. Okay, I can see the tape turning.
I don’t know how to tell this properly. There’s just too much I don’t know so I’m just gonna say what’s goin’ on here right now, and relate some of the things that led to this. I can only tell you about what I read or saw, and I can only give my own interpretation of what it all means.
We’re still here, in Philly, and more or less safe.
We have the house pretty much boarded up, and jerry-rigged metal plates are covering all the ground floor street windows, nailed from the inside. It seems pretty secure. I used to hate the steel bars that the previous guy installed over the rear windows but now I’m glad we have ‘em. Same for the fireplace. I’m really happy we installed the woodstove when the kids were small. My wife had said our little hearth would be “nice at Christmas time” but now it’s the only way to cook or stay warm. Our gas stove worked for the first couple of days but you had to light it with a match. Then it just stopped, like everything else. Plenty of firewood is available but goin’ out and salvaging it has its own hazards.
When they called last they said they were still in California, but safe.
How safe they are is anybody’s guess.
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