Atomic Instruction
by Zary Fekete, 3.49am May 10th 2022

David knew he didn't have a lot of time. The nuclear explosion had just lit up the lake on the opposite side from where he was sitting. He sighed. His stocking cap and scarf would need to come off before they burst into flames.

He hopped to his feet and immediately ran, leaving the lake shore, stripping off his fall clothing until only his tracksuit was left. He left his teddy bear behind…he wouldn’t need it. His training reminded him to keep the heat from behind centered on his head and shoulders. That way he could be assured he wouldn’t go blind from the blast light which was already gathering in his peripheral vision.

There were several other children who were also already running, but he doubted they make it to the blast doors. The personalities of the survivors might help to describe how the upcoming years of underground life would be if they made it past the fail-safe line. Susie was trying to bring her schoolbag with her. Directive #33: Bring only what you need. Mortimer was holding his cat. Directive #12: No pets. Tonya was the only one who he thought might have a chance. She was still holding her cat but he knew that she had studied the fallout instructions and she had always been hungrier than the other children. Directive #10: You are allowed one snack.