Sixth Challenge in Writing Course

Here was our prompt: You haven’t left the house in seven years. Why? Write a scene to illustrate this.

Alex opened the cupboard, and counted the tins. With only thirty-three cans of flaked white tuna left, his supplies weren’t going to last forever, and the next supply convoy was still a month away. Jane, Alex’s cat, rubbed against his leg. She could see the tins, and knew what they were.

“Looking forward to a month of tuna?”

Alex didn’t know if he could come to terms with eating a can of tuna each day as his only meal, but he knew it was better than what was outside his apartment.

Picking up a paper, the headline read, “R2 Virus Mutated”. It had been seven years since the virus had changed, and now Alex was alone in a building meant for over two hundred residents.

Searching through drawers, boxes, and cabinets, Alex hoped to find something, anything other than tuna to supplement his upcoming month. In a corner near the door, sat two shotguns, and a large glass container of home brew beer that Alex had made.

Looking down at Jane, who was following underfoot as he made his way around the apartment, Alex confided in his feline companion. “I suppose that I could always just drink the beer, but then I wouldn’t have anything to trade with. Besides beer and tuna doesn’t sound much more appealing than tuna alone.”

Alex knew the traders would have a variety of supplies. They were the ones that brought him all he needed to brew them some beer. It gave him a purpose, and kept them from trying to invade his place and take the little that he had.

A loud knock shook the door, and Alex snapped up his shotgun. Pushing his cat behind him, he called out. “Who is there?”

Waiting for what felt like an eternity, there was no response. Alex repeated his request and pointed the barrel of his gun at the middle of the door. He quickly began to believe that it was his mind playing tricks on him. Sometimes, he could swear there were other people in his apartment building with him, and once he had been caught by one of the traders talking about meeting someone that he later found out had died months before.

The knocking continued but it sounded as though it was coming from down the hall. Alex was hesitant to open his door to investigate. He remembered the clean-up teams removing dozens of bodies from his building, and how virulent the disease was. He thought back to the people trying to scavenge everything to build up a life for themselves.

The traders, immune to the disease, had told Alex of the few survivors they had met, and how many of them were still contracting the virus through stupid mistakes. With one hundred percent lethality, Alex was leaving nothing to chance.

2 responses to “Sixth Challenge in Writing Course”

    • Yeah, my teacher has a whole box of prompts like these. Some of them are really fun to try and write. In the class, on person wrote about prison, another wrote about a fear of leaving their house, and another wrote about a cryogenic accident. The variety of directions that they took it was cool. For me, the first thing that popped into my head was disease. Probably because I wasn’t feeling well.

      I can’t imagine you not being your social self for that long. No wonder you are quickly pushing through your mining in Minecraft. 🙂

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