Archive for March 22nd, 2011

Fortnightcap: Take Me Back

Take Me Back

A Fortnightcap by DL Thurston

Creative Commons License

One day Virginia wasn’t there anymore.

There were no warning signs, there was no explosion or noise, it just wasn’t there.  We watched on the news, horrified, from our hotel room in Philadelphia, realizing that everything we owned and everyone we knew was in Virginia.  And now Virginia wasn’t there.  There wasn’t even a great slagheap that could be sifted through, examined and tutted over.  Instead, drivers headed southbound on 95 were leaving Baltimore and thirty minutes later passing through Rocky Mount.  Physicists were interviewed on the news, asked their opinion about the anomaly, and all were stumped.

Support came in from around the planet.  Rallies in world capitals, people waiving blue flags and holding up signs “Today we are all Virginians.”  No.  We’re Virginians.  The last of a dying breed.  We’ve been asked to check in with the government, an attempt to figure out how many people died.  Did they die?  They’re certainly gone, and no one is quite able to find them.

My parents.  My in-laws.  It’s overwhelming.

People want to donate money, but they’re not sure where to donate it.  The Red Cross can’t do anything, there’s no one injured to help.  There are promises to rebuild, but rebuild what and where?  People are starting to ask questions.  Fox News broke the ice by pointing out there are now two Democratic senators who don’t actually represent a state.  MSNBC pointed out that there’s also eleven Representatives, eight of whom are Republican, in the same position.  I’m glad to know that people are really caring about the important things right now.

The news here in Philly has interviewed me several times, the real live Virginian in the city.  How did I escape?  How do I feel?  I don’t have answers for them.  I didn’t escape, I was just on vacation, some sort of horrible and fortunate and devastating coincidence which means I’m here while Virginia is gone.

People want something to blame.  Terrorism is brought up.  Radical extremism.  Divine retribution.  Sunspots.  Vaccines.  Global Warming.  Everyone has some theory, which doesn’t help in the end.  When all is said and done, everyone is wondering if it could happen again, and after some hemming and hawing no expert going on the TV can say anything other than “I don’t know.”

So here we are.  My wife has family in Maryland willing to take us in until we can get our feet under us.  I don’t know how I feel about being that close to where Virginia is supposed to be, but there’s nowhere better for us to go.  Perhaps we’ll go west, live on the California coast.

So wish us luck.  And remember Virginia.  People are already forgetting it.  A celebrity did something stupid, the Middle East got three percent more dangerous, and the loss was gone.  People don’t talk about Virginia anymore.  I appear to have misplaced my Virginia’s drivers license.  I’m trying to keep remembering it, but it all feels like a strange fever dream.  Is it possible that there never was such a place?

No.  It had to have been there.

Right?

Fortnightcaps are biweekly experimentation into short form fiction. All Fortnightcaps are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. So if you like the story, please feel free to link people back here. And if you didn’t, maybe the one in two weeks will be better.

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