He spent a long time that day, sitting by the graves. He just didn’t know what else to do. Angus, who was a female Husky, stayed with him. He had always liked the name Angus, and when they got her as a puppy, his wife thought a girl’s name would be better, but he had won her over. The dog wouldn’t care, he said. She would answer to what ever they called her, so Angus it was. She was a good, loyal dog who had loved them all and protected the kids. The kids. My kids, he thought, and cried again. Some time later, it started to rain. A light sprinkle, the kind his wife had loved so much. They stayed for a little while longer and then slowly walked down to the house. Just as they went in, the electricity went out. He went to the basement to check the breaker box and found that nothing was wrong. Upstairs, he looked out the window at the house across the county road. The people there always left their porch light on. Now it was off. Well that’s it he thought. The electric is gone. He and his wife grew a pretty good size garden and liked to can fruit and vegetables so their pantry was pretty well stocked. It was almost April which meant that the garden would need to be started up soon. They always planned ahead and had all the seed ready for planting. Cold frames had already been started and now it would mean more than ever. It would mean he might not starve.
Later in the evening when lights from the lake houses should have been on, it was pitch black. His house was about a thousand feet away from the nearest house on the lake and he could always see them down the road. But there were no lights anywhere. None across the lake either. It proved he was right. The coal plant where their electricity came from must have shut down. Nobody left to run it he supposed. He had a small generator and a couple cans of gas so running a cord into the house gave he and Angus a lamp, and a hot plate they used to make candles with afforded him a hot supper. Angus had dog food. He would have to come up with something better than this or times would get tough. Their water pump in the basement was wired right into the breaker box so he had no running water. They had a rain barrel though so boiling a potful on the hot plate gave them something to drink. He also had plugged the refrigerator into the generator so for the time being they had that. With the deaths of his family so fresh, it was hard to think of much else. But he knew he’d have to get busy figuring out how the hell he was going to live in a world without people pretty soon.
After he ate he did something he had never done before. He lit up a cigar in the house. He liked to smoke them but never in the house, subjecting his wife and kids to second hand smoke. No one around now to tell him any different. Doing something normal like having a smoke, cleared his head. so he stayed up late making plans. Unless he was going to live like a cave man he would need a permanent source of power. Solar power seemed like the way to go but he knew nothing about it or how it worked. A visit to the library was in order. There were a lot of things he was going to have to learn and learn in a hurry. He had Spring, Summer and Autumn ahead of him but the time would go by quickly and Winter would kill him if he wasn’t prepared. He thought he could pick up and move South where he wouldn’t have to worry about cold but that got him thinking about other people. There must be others who survived this thing like he did. Where were they? What would they be doing?
He thought about movies he had seen and books about end times like Stephen King’s, “The Stand.” He wondered what others might do. There could be people who would take charge and become dictator types. There could be religious nuts. There could be people who went crazy from grief and would kill anyone they found. Others might have the same idea of moving South and he decided the best option would be to stay right where he was and prepare for what was to come. so he got out a pen and paper, lit another cigar and went to work.