Get Out Now

Unexpectedly, my laptop rebooted and displayed an ominous image and a more ominous warning.

I stared at the screen, surprisingly unconcerned that the work I’d been doing had disappeared.

If this was real…who cared if I reviewed that new coffeemaker?

My chest tightened, a sure sign of an imminent asthma attack, so I took two quick pulls on my inhaler, grabbed a notebook and started making a list.

“Damn it, woman, you don’t have time for a list!” I dropped the pen and got moving.

Within the hour, I had packed bags for myself and my 2-year-old daughter, stuffed coolers with ice and food, bagged up dry goods and dog food and loaded the van.

Once the baby and the dog were aboard and strapped in, I started the van, raised the garage door and backed out. I expected to see my neighbors doing the same, but the street was quiet–not unusual for this time on a Wednesday. Pushing the control button, I watched the garage door descend before leaving.

“Where go, Mama?” Georgia asked in her tiny voice.

“Cabin,” I replied.

“Fishy, fishy!” Georgia clapped her hands.


The gas station was busy, but not crazily so. Was no one else warned?

With a full gas tank and a giant coffee, I expected to see an exodus leaving the city, but traffic was light. The baby shared cookies with Rufus, her  Golden Lab “brother”. I searched the radio for news.

We arrived at the cabin several hours later. I fed everyone. We went to sleep.

Sometime during the night, the city exploded in a giant fireball launched from God-knows-where by God-knows-whom.

No warning on radio or internet. So who’d warned me?

I thought: Roy!

But he died before Georgia was born…

Once again, Writers Unite! ignites a tale with a prompt.

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