Tuesday, 8 December 2009 - 5:10 pm

Mindless prophets

We found the garden centre we’ve been looking for. Tucked away in a back-street of a little town, with acid-scoured signs limply pointing the way.

The front doors were broken inwards and some of its tools are missing, but there wasn’t anyone here. There are rusty stains on the floor that I think were blood pools, once upon a time. Something terrible happened here. Something else cleaned up the bodies. I don’t particularly want to find out either part of that equation.

We’ve stopped to take stock and see if there’s enough equipment for us to build a farm with. So far, it’s looking possible – most of the stuff here isn’t a lot of use in the After, unless you know of a way to make things grow like we do. There was even a couple of boxes of food tucked in a corner, probably belonging to the people whose blood stained the floor out front. We’ll be able to eat for a couple of days, if we’re careful.

They have a small greenhouse out the back here, but it’s not big enough for us to grow as much as we need to. Some of the panes are broken and we don’t know what kind of damage the rain might have done to the soil inside. We still need to find the flower farm to make this work.


Late last night, I finally snagged an opportunity to use the tests I had stolen from the pharmacy. It turns out that peeing on a stick is harder than you might think, especially when you’re trying not to get it all over your hands. My nerves probably had something to do with how difficult it was.

Waiting that full minute for the line to show itself was hard. It felt like forever, pacing around the little public toilet at the back of the store we had stopped in. I wondered if anyone had noticed me sneaking off. I wondered if any of the girls had seen what I took while they were looking for sanitary items. I wondered if someone was listening at the door. More than anything else, I wondered how a minute could take so long to tick by. I guess it’s true: a watched stick never changes colour.

Except that it did. I got hopeful at one point, sure that the time was well past and the stick’s paleness meant I was in the clear. But it had only been forty-five seconds (I was using the laptop to time it) and as my excitement faded, the blue line filled up. I stared at it, as if it might be a blip, as if it might fade again right away.

It stayed. A slender blue marker to tell me that what I had feared was true. It felt like a neon sign burning in my hand – I wrapped it up and stuffed it into my pack, in case anyone might see it through the closed door. Then I got out the second test kit and tried again. I barely had any pee left in me, but I managed it. Once could be a fluke, after all. A kit spoiled after all this time sitting on a dusty shelf. Two felt like a chance for reprieve, or confirmation.

Both plastic peed-on strips are tucked in my pack now. They match. Stupid little mindless prophets, telling me my future.


I’m going to be a mother.