Things to Come – Part 1

By | January 15, 2007

Friday, 14 January 2022

Christopher paced up and down the corridor outside the delivery suite. He wanted to be in there with his wife, but apparently the danger of infection was now too high. The last thing he wanted was to lose this child, their previous attempt at starting a family had resulted in a miscarriage in the summer of 2020.

Felicity had known there was something wrong with the pregnancy from the outset. The doctors had reassured them both, all the tests were fine. They would be proud parents in time for Christmas. That summer was the hottest on record, then again they always were, every year the mean temperature rose.

Maybe it was partly the hot summer one bright June brought searing cramps, then devastating pain and haemorrhaging that took their child and almost took Felicity. The hospital didn’t have enough blood. He’d had to slip a roll of 500 Euro notes to the shifty SHO before she’d call up the two litres they had given her. Thank goodness she was O positive, anything more exotic and he’d have lost her too.

And now he would miss the birth. The doctors and nurses shuffled around in biohaz suits. For the first week Felicity and the baby would be in isolation from everyone, including him. That was the world they now lived in.

Antibiotics were failing humanity, and that was just the war on bacteria. The viruses were different every year. There had been the bird flu of 2008, then the Ebola in 2012. The UK population now stood at about 9 million, it’s lowest level for two hundred years. But the British Isles had been left relatively unscathed. The Channel, traditional defence against invasion of all kinds, had served to isolate the country from the plagues that had left Europe almost empty of human life. The only breach in those defences had been closed when the Channel Tunnel was sealed by the army demolition teams in 2015.

Half of the lights in the corridor ceiling were out of action, the cluster outside the delivery room viewing window flickered intermittently.  Christopher stopped in front of the window and stared at the curtains that prevented him from seeing his wife. There was a moan, it was Felicity, then a cry, a new voice. His melancholy turned to joy as he heard the first sounds from his newborn son. He rapped on the glass. Minutes passed, he banged again with his fist.

The curtains were drawn back and he was greeted by a stern stare from the midwife inside. In her white suit and respirator he could only see her dark brown eyes and a glimpse of olive skin, but it was enough to know that she was not pleased about a mere father interrupting the vital work she was undertaking, delivering a new life into the world.

Behind her he could see felicity, tired, hair soaked with perspiration, cradling their son in her arms.

“Congratulations Mr Brown.” A voice crackled over the intercom, it was the midwife. She had an accent that hinted at Spain, a refugee, one of the lucky ones that got across the channel. “They’re both quite well.” Christopher could have sworn he saw tears in her eyes, successful births were so rare these days, perhaps it was relief. Or maybe joy, there was precious little of that either.

Christopher felt light headed, he staggered back against the corridor wall opposite the window. He slid down, crouching on the dusty floor and began to sob. Tears of joy for his new son mixed with a bitter despair at the realisation that the world in which his son would grow up in was becoming a world that Dante himself would have recognised.

His mind retreated to the previous spring …
… a warm wind blew up the Humber estuary from the North Sea. They had laid out their blanket and picnic on a sand dune. The sky was sapphire blue, flecked with sparse, high cloud, the unforgiving sun demanded factor 80 and still the UV prickled their exposed skin as they lay together. The food and drink had been a treat, fresh and very expensive ham from government “surplus” as Christopher euphemistically referred to his black market purchases, and wine from the Edinburgh vineyards too.

The towers of the bridge still stood, now marooned in the middle of the five mile wide estuary. The on-ramps had been all but destroyed by the hurricanes and the brown water of the river lapped around the sections of roadway that had fallen from their cables. It was a miracle that the towers of the bridge had not crumbled under the weight of the main suspension cables. But no, it stood as a monument to man’s ingenuity and his inability to control the planet and his effect upon it.

It was a sad place, almost abandoned, only accessible by cycling up a strip of high land that had not been inundated. And therefore secluded.

After eating and finishing the bottle of wine they held each other, one studying the other’s face intently as they did when they had the time. They had a three day pass, but two of the three days would be taken up travelling and only today, the second day, would be theirs to spend as they wished.

They had met at the height of the 2012 epidemic, macabre how life’s milestones were now marked by world events. Felicity had started school the week before 9/11, her mother died a month after the London 7/7 attacks, Christopher’s brother had been caught up in the first nuclear exchanges of the Israel/Iran war, incinerated by the airburst over Ben Gurion.

They tried not to imagine what might happen next. Despite all the horrors that had gone before, the lack of resources, food, water, fuel meant that all the remaining states still vied for control of key parts of the planet, albeit with less vigour than they had before. Their armies were weak and ill-equipped, populations sparse and weary of conflict.

The breeze lifted strands of her hair and let them drop over her face. He had to kiss her. His hand slid around the back of her head at the base of her skull, making her tingle with anticipation. Her lips pursed in readiness and were pressed to his, gently but firmly. Her hand rose to his face and stroked his cheek, already showing signs of re-growth after his morning shave. It was impossible to get hold of decent razorblades these days.

They were in the open, wide vistas stretching in each direction, but not a soul to see them. His hand reached down and lifted the hem of her long linen dress, exposing the pale skin of her thighs. He broke from her lips and, turning, slid down to her cotton covered mons. The crotch of her panties was already wet, she had been waiting for him to take her since they began eating. The rich perfume of her was intoxicating, pure, unsullied, born of love and lust.

He rubbed his face between her thighs, forcing her legs apart. His stubble rasping at the fabric and scratching her soft skin. She reached out and found a gratifying bulge in his cotton trousers. One by one she popped the buttons on his flies, then slid her hand inside to grasp his cock. She could feel his tip, wet with precum, felt him draw breath as she spread the viscous fluid round his glans.

She lifted her hips to aid the removal of her underwear, kicking them across the yellowing grass when they were below her knees. He dived back towards the neatly trimmed thatch between her legs, tongue seeking out her hot opening, his chin impaling her clitoris with stiff hairs. She coaxed his stick prick out of his trousers, wanting to see and taste the wetness oozing from him.

She pulled at his member, almost making him lose balance and collapse on top of her. Her tongue lapped at him, tasting, massaging, devouring his cock. She could feel him working on her opening and labia, he was lapping now, drinking down her juices in long strokes that ran from clitoris to anus.

Her teeth snagged his frenulum, gently, painfully, just the way he liked it. Now he had to have her, he raised his head and drew his throbbing sex from her mouth. Now they were face to face, her pussy exposed to the warm breeze, swollen and wet. He positioned himself above her, arms either side on the dry grass. Then with a single smooth movement pressed the tip of his cock against her labia. They resisted for a moment before allowing him to slide into her, every delicate contour of their sex’s interacting to produce a symphony of moist, breathtaking sensation.

Moments became hours as he moved in and out of her, slowly, firmly, forcing her to take all of him. Stretching her ever so slightly. They stared into each other’s eyes again, each watching the other’s joy as he quickened his pace. When he came he cried out but never broke away from her gaze. Their orgasms met and merged, each feeling the other’s, and as they ebbed a single tear welled in her eye and rolled down her cheek …

… Christopher returned to the present with a thump, an orderly ran over his foot with a trolley piled high with refuse sacks. “Sorry mate”. The green-clad garbage collector whistled his way to the next junction and turned left, out of site.

The floor of the corridor was littered with rubbish and coated with dust. It mirrored the entropy of the city outside, abandoned buildings, power cuts, water riots. Entropy engulfing the world.

So why did they want this child? Perhaps the hope that something might change.

It would. Soon.


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