Acupuncture After The Apocalypse

Found Myself Muttering Something

Wednesday is my usual day off, but I found myself muttering something about needing to do paperwork and driving up here to my office anyway.  So here I sit, at the front desk of Chicken Soup Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, writing you. (Don’t worry: I don’t consider you “paperwork.”)

It’s hard having Eve’s whole familiy living with me. It just is. I love Eve, don’t get me wrong. But Mason is in a dark funk that’s obvious to me, yet it goes completely unacknowledged by him or Eve or anyone else. Then there are their daughters. They’re so wild, they’re almost feral. It’s rare that I walk into a room where the two girls are and find something that doesn’t alarm me. When they’re indoors, they spend all their time trying to mix together chemicals they find in the basement so they can cause explosions, and when they’re outdoors, they try to coax the coyotes into becoming their pets. Yesterday, they managed to put a bow on one—don’t ask me how. (It was pink.)

Yet even the girls’ craziest actions are soothed over by some sort of calming narration by Lark—when you try to ask them what they’re doing, she always makes it sound as if everything is completely under control and ordinary.

As for Eve, she’s one-fifth the Eve I remember, and four-fifths something else. She seems terribly worried and emotionally battered. I get this, I do—after all, there’s been this series of events we call the Apocalypse, so it’s not like she’s the only one in this condition. But there’s definitely something else she’s not telling me.

Jill Riddell is a writer in Chicago. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute and has a weakness for nature, magic, and pennies abandoned in sidewalk cracks.