I let the world burn
Chris joined me three minutes later.
‘I brought up some crumble.’ He handed me the bowl.
‘Thanks.’ He sat down beside me and hugged me. I put my head on his shoulder.
‘I just feel so small and insignificant. We are all going to die someday. Probably tomorrow and then we will be forgotten.’
‘I will never forget you. Even if I die I will always always remember the girl I fell in love with. That small rather weird fifteen-year-old. And look seven years on. Married. I will never leave you. Even when the world burns down.’
‘Before I met you I would read books. Because they felt like friends. I read them to feel excited that maybe there were worlds out there which everything was alright and people had happy ending. Then I found you and I had my happy ending.’ Chris kissed the top of my head.
‘Come on. It is eleven. You had best get into bed. I will go and put the crumble back in the kitchens.’
The palace was so tense over the next few days. You could have cut through the tension with a blunt knife. Chris would disappear for hours and come back and pictures were off the walls from Dads rooms and my rooms. We went about our business as always. I spent more time with Cecily and Valentine as Vanessa and the maids grew more and more busy with making food and giving it to Chris.
That night everything changed.
I was shaken awake rather roughly by Chris. I cracked an eye open at him.
‘I am not lying this is a full-on red alert.’ That got me up and running.
‘Really? What has happened.’
‘America have launched nuclear missiles at Russia. We will be affected. Come on.’ I scrambled out of bed grabbing chargers for my computer, iPod, phone, spare clothes and everything. Most of my things were where Chris had put them.
‘How long do we have?’ Chris checked his phone.
‘Two hours.’ I grabbed more things.
‘Where are we going?’
‘A bunker. Don’t ask just come on.’ I followed him with Jane and Mary carrying more of my things. America over the years had been building bigger and better bombs and weapons. We were allies so I had no clue what would happen to us. My father joined us followed by Barney as we went right down past all the servants quarters. I paused on the steps.
‘Taylor come on!’ Chris shouted. I kept going. Next time it was my father who stopped.
‘Vanessa. She does not know.’ Barney grabbed his arm.
‘She is just upstairs with the children.’
‘I will go. My life is worth less than yours.’ Dad opened his mouth, but Barney had shoved what he was carrying into of my father's arms. We carried on going further down towards the ground. Barney and Vanessa caught up with us twenty minutes later with Valentine and Cecily.
‘Here you go.’ Barney took back his things. ‘I have put up the Shields around the country we should be safe. But just in case.’
‘I spy with my little eye something beginning with...um…W.’ Chris started. We were now walking along a completely metal section. The walls, roof and floor were metal with bright fluorescent lights guiding our way.
‘Wall.’ I guessed with a monotone voice. Vanessa started humming. And didn’t stop. She had a nice voice, but it was not helping to the mood.
‘Okay person singing as much as we like hearing it this is not the time.’ Barney said. The singing stopped and we carried on in silence.
‘Where are we going?’ I asked.
‘World war 2 bunkers. Should withstand three nuclear blasts fall right on top. Roughly a mile underground with an air purification system and lead walls.’
‘Right. Okay. I feel slightly better.’ My father pulled me into a side hug.
‘We will get through this together. Okay?’
‘Okay.’ I just wanted to be a three-year-old where people would do everything for me, but I was twenty-two and married and that would be selfish. Chris opened a large metal door with a rubber seal around the outside.
‘Come on in you go.’ Jane helped me with my things.
‘Is there any food?’ Vanessa asked. Chris nodded.
‘Enough for eight years. This thing is a house basically.’ Chris had brought down everything. There were so many pictures around the place and everything was safe. Including most of the library had been brought down.
It was four hours later when we heard it. A large resounding boom shook the ground Chris put his arms around me as I sat on my small bed. Mary had brought most of the bedding from the rooms down so we all decent blankets and pillows. There was a trickle of dust coming from above.
It had started.
Mary also had produced a pack of cards from somewhere and started dealing them out then bringing them back in.
‘How long will we be down here?’ Vanessa asked.
‘I have no clue. I do hope everyone is okay.’ My father answered. Chris never left my side.
‘Who has a gun?’ I raised my hand with Barney. My father cocked an eyebrow at me. Vanessa smiled.
‘Okay. I think we should pile them together and keep them reserved. Does anyone else know about this place?’ My father shrugged.
‘It is a well-guarded family secret.’ I handed over my 32mm pistol and throwing knife while Barney started pulling guns, knives, grenades and hell. Chris started doing the same. Soon we had a small pile of weapons on the floor.
‘The only thing we are missing is a missile launcher.’ Dad joked.
‘Damn, I left that in my spare underwear upstairs.’ We started laughing, but it was a hollow laugh. Barney walked over to the small larder and opened the door.
‘Do we have any booze?’
‘Barney we have underage children.’ Barney looked behind at me.
‘She has been having alcohol since she could drink let it go.’ Vanessa shook her head.
‘Tony let it go. We will be stuck down here for some time. I took nuclear physics for my Ph.D. The radioactivity will ruin the world. The bombs are really strong these days. We might be the only survivors.’ Chris gripped my hand hard.
‘It will be okay.’ I nodded leaning into him. I rested my head on his shoulder while he placed his on top. I shut my eyes just enjoying the feeling of Chris breathing in and out. I heard the click of someone taking a picture on a camera, but my cares and worries were too far away to hold on to. There was another resounding boom and more dust.
‘There goes another.’ The bombs landed hundreds of miles away but their effects would have hit the world hard.