Imagine something were to happen, whether it’s the dead rising from their graves, an unforeseen epidemic or just plain old nuclear annihilation, and that by this time tomorrow you found civilisation had collapsed: what do you think you would miss the most? By this, I’m not meaning anything associated with the basic struggle for survival, such as food, water and a safe place to hide, or people you might have lost, but rather those little luxuries of civilisation which we take for granted each and every day.
Would it be the warmth of an electric blanket on a cold winter night? Or maybe it would be the ability to pull out an album and listen to the voice of a long-dead singer? How about a still-warm batch of freshly made chocolate brownies, or lying back on a sofa with slice of pizza and a cold beer while watching your favourite movie for the umpteenth time? Would you, like Tallahassee in Zombieland, dream of finding a stash of uncontaminated Twinkies? Or would it be that extra special cappuccino from your favourite coffee place which you treat yourself to whenever you’ve had a really bad day? Would you miss going to see a live band at your favourite venue? Or to a theatre to see a play? Or laughing yourself silly at a stand up comedian? Would the thing you’d miss the most be a long, lazy breakfasts in bed on a Sunday morning? Or Christmas dinner with your nearest and dearest? What about the luxury of a long soak in a hot bath? Or curling up in your favourite chair to watch the latest episode of the TV series you’re currently addicted to? Would it be driving too fast down winding country roads in your beloved sports car? Or would it be dropping into your local pub after work on Friday afternoons to catch up with your mates and have a couple of drinks to get the weekend started? How about intimate dinners in little neighbourhood restaurants? Or dancing all night in dimly-lit nightclubs to the latest tunes? Or would it simply be a large slice of chocolate cheese cake served on a clean white plate?
For me, I think it would be books. There’s a point in the movie 28 Days Later where Selena says to Jim ‘You were thinking that you’ll never hear another piece of original music, ever again. You’ll never read a book that hasn’t already been written or see a film that hasn’t already been shot.‘ It’s almost a throw away line, but whenever I hear it, it resonates with me. While I could survive without books, I couldn’t live without them. They are what I turn to when I can’t sleep, or when I need to escape from the real world for a while. Reading books helps me develop ideas and learn new things. They cheer me up when I’m feeling down, and some are so often revisited that they feel like old friends. Books are a simple pleasure in an increasingly complex world, and if everything went wrong tomorrow, they are the things I’d miss the most.
From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.
To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.