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‘There are two types of people in this world,’ she said, and then she said nothing for a very long time. She had an annoying habit of doing that. Having no fear of silence, she reveled in the awkward tension of a suspended sentence. After an unusually long pause, she turned to me, her profundity primed for release. ‘People like you,’ she said, looking at me with something between fondness and pity, ‘And people like me.’


She often made grand statements like this – not quite sure what she meant but liking the sound of the words and hoping to get a juicy argument out of it. I didn’t take the bait. Wasn’t in the mood for it.


‘Oh’ I said. ‘Well that simplifies things, I suppose.’


Undeterred, she pushed further, not yet sulking but working up to it.


‘You don’t want to know what I mean?’ she pouted


‘I don’t think you know what you mean.’ I lay back down on the soft grass, dismissive.


‘You never take me seriously,’ she huffed, hugging her knees to her body in a signature strop.


She was half right. For the first glorious months of our relationship, I hung on her every word. I lived on the poetry of her, on the heady depths of her. She was exotic, an intellectual, a true thinker. Or so I thought, until I realized that it was all an act pulled out of the ether. She was as deep as her next whim.


She spoke mostly for the sake of talking. She spoke to be admired, to confuse, to belittle, to ensnare. For two miserable years, I played along, an unwitting pawn, but now I knew her tricks as well as I knew my own. Before she even uttered a word, I knew what kind of conversation to expect by her many mannerisms, secret signs that only I could understand.


She was not a bad person. Of course, no one is entirely. But it had become apparent that our individual agendas no longer overlapped. She didn’t notice the shift, just as she never noticed anything that I said or did or felt, unless it fueled her fancies. Nonetheless, I pulled away from her. Every ounce of me objected to the break-up but my gut knew it was inevitable. My gut knew from the start, in fact, but I had mistaken uncertainty for butterflies.


A sudden pang of guilt moved me to action. I’d indulge her, for old time’s sake


‘Go on, then. Tell me what you mean.’


She dropped the offended act at the merest invitation.


“You see, there are people who make the rules of the game. And then there are people who follow those rules”.


I smiled. We both knew which part I played in this particular scenario. It was just like her to be so matter-of-fact about it. My starry-eyed subservience had long been her running joke.


She was right, though.


But, at least I get to choose whose game I play, I thought happily to myself. There was a time when I would have said it out loud, asserted myself, as if my flimsy and infrequent rebellions were enough to keep the game fair. But, I was glad to find that that time had passed. Instead, I simply took her hand, kissed it and said softly, ‘You’re right – you’re always right’. And then I got up and walked away from her and never looked back.

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Stock footage of various primates in their natural habitat of County Cork, Ireland ;) (Some of it is a little too zoomy but hopefully still useful maybe sorta).

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Hoorah, hoorah.

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We think we're independent, and growing more so... But cut our precious power for just one night and we realise that we can't even make a cup of tea without the help of nameless thousands.

We'd call round to a neighbours' but we've never met them. All our 'close' friends live a thousand miles away at least. Just distant avatars. Can't borrow a candle or a box of matches from a fairweather Facebook friend.

Your food spoils, and you'd have no means to cook it it even if it hadn't. You're freezing cold or boiling hot depending on the season. You update all the usual social media outlets with your pressing power-less trifles. Your mood is bouyed by 'likes' and sympathetic messages. Hashtag 'blametheblackout' is soon trending. All a bit of a lark, a little adventure in a risk-cleansed world of convenience.

Then, all goes quiet.

We're civilised for as long as the batteries last on our mobile devices. After that, anarchy reigns. For all our modern airs and graces, we're right back at square one. Except that who now knows how to fend for herself? To light a fire, pick the berries that don't kill you, grow a crop of vegetables or skin a rabbit?

So accustomed to the gently rocking cradle of alternating current, we've forgotten about the dark.

But the dark hasn't forgotten about us.

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CONTRIBUTE HERE


==


WRITERS: Contribute Stories, Personal Experiences, or Historical Facts about Blackouts.


==


Thanks!

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I think you're keeping secrets from me
I think you're lying through your teeth
And I couldn't know where you go when you go
But I hope that someday you will see
How evident
All your little secrets are to me


I think you're making it up as you go
You think you're subtle but
Your colours show
And I can't explain why I stay when I stay
But I hope that someday you will know
How it feels
To let all your little secrets go


E B7 A E B7
A Am E A B7 E

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Life is a lot like the sea;


Sometimes, it is calm,


and sometimes it is stormy,


But it is always teeming with immeasurable quantities of faecal matter.

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There's nothing like lounging on the veranda, daiquiri in hand, soaking up the midday sun


and fantasising about the day when it will, inevitably, explode,


annihilating every last living thing in the galaxy.

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A voiceover for Amber's story <3

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Well, this is rather embarrassing, but for some reason I felt compelled to try out some accents :P

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It's important to think about the future, for you, and for your family. I sometimes spend a whole afternoon thinking on which of us might survive a zombie apocalypse.


Not little Timmy, of course. Too slow. We'd use him as a decoy.


Because that is what family is all about.


 


(My narrator, Barbara Stevens, is a forty-something housewife with a Southern US accent, sweet as pie but filled with a vibrant, festering hatred for humanity)

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