The land all the way to the horizon was smoking gently. A haze hung in the air. No wind came to blow it away; no rain loomed.
“Why did you tell me to push the button, sir?”
“I didn’t tell you to push the button. I was on two calls at once. I was trying to get the Prime Minister to understand that we were not going to push the button, but the call got switched to your line just as I said the last part.”
“I asked if you were sure.”
“I thought you were the Prime Minister. Your voices are very similar.”
“So I pushed the button.”
“Yes, you did.”
“And then they pushed their button.”
“We had worked so hard to get to this point. It was all going so well.”
“Up until I pushed the button.”
“It’s not your fault, young man.”
“Well, I guess I have a long time to think that over.”
“You have enough food and water to last until it’s safe to go outside again. I hope that they provided some entertainment, too. I doubt you are going to get any news or outside information, since even this line won’t be up for much longer. The blast did a lot of damage. We won’t release your name. No one will know that you pushed it. I hope you make it through until it’s safe.”
“I’ll do my best, sir.”
The call ended and the line was suddenly dead. No dial tone. He turned on the television and saw only snow, something he remembered vaguely from his childhood. He looked out the window one last time, closed the shutters tightly, and locked and sealed them. Everything was battened down, safe from the aftermath, except, perhaps, his sanity.
I gave Eric Misener this prompt: Write from the perspective of someone in the same situation as the Greek, Cassandra – she sees the future but no one believes her.