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The Story:

They sat around the dinner table eating a meal of ham, green beans, and mashed potatoes. It was far more food than they were accustomed to having in one sitting.

Forks wielded by the children scraped the plates in a scarfing frenzy. They didn’t know the reason for all the food. They simply accepted it, knowing nothing of what was coming.

“Guys, slow down and enjoy it a little,” their father said.
“Can’t, Dad,” his oldest son mumbled through a mouthful of food.

He chuckled at his two boys. He was happy about the food, too, but he was mostly savoring the moment.

“You can’t come between these two wolves and their kill, honey,” his wife warned.

His youngest son growled like a wolf.

“Fair enough.”

He glanced up at the small chandelier hanging over the dinner table. The bulbs were still lit up, overpowering the light from the sunset streaming through a window. After checking his watch, he locked eyes with his wife and shook his head.

When his children had finished their meals, he decided it was time to explain.

“Guys, do you know how we cooked all of this food?”
“The oven!”
“Yeah, but we’re not supposed to use it,” his oldest noted.
“Correct,” he nodded.

He checked the bulbs in the chandelier again. Still glowing.

“Did we get to use it because you work for the electric company?”
“No, Paul. I’m no more special than anyone else.”

A hint of understanding appeared on the older boy’s face, and he slumped down in his chair. His mother reached over and pet his head.

“We used the oven because…”

The chandelier went dark, and all the home’s power shut off. He imagined lights going dark in a wave across the city and shuddered to think of the crimes that would follow in certain areas.

“…because it doesn’t matter anymore.”

His family sat in silence with the fading light of the sunset. He stood up and retrieved a revolver from the top of the refrigerator.

When he turned around, he noticed the sunset was causing the bulbs in the chandelier to have a majestic glow. Perhaps, it was a gesture from the sun, a promise to fill the vacancy left by electricity.


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