What would you do if your world collapsed? If the power went off, the supermarket shelves were bare and your water supply dried up? For Katie and her family the answer was simple: survive.
Fifty years have passed since the plague struck, and in the community of Sunrise they hold a yearly Remembrance Talk to ensure their history is never forgotten. As its oldest citizen, Katie is the one who delivers this presentation, guiding her audience through the events that shaped them.
There have been trials and tribulations on the lake island they now call home. Many people have given their labor, love and lives over the years, but the community has come through it all, a new dawn after the dark times.
All of the post-apocalyptic stories I’ve seen or read (those that I recall anyway) show either a small band of survivors under threat, or a tyrannical army trying to take control. Either way it looks a desolate place.
What I couldn’t remember seeing was the story of ordinary people trying to rebuild, at least not as the central story. So I tried to imagine what it would be like after a virus had wiped out most of humanity, how they would handle the realities of food, water and shelter when very few modern humans do more than camp outside their homes for a few days.
I sought out a few resources, watching documentaries and reading a few books on what it would be like, and then I let my imagination go.
Showing the development of a community, especially over such a long time frame, presented issues with regards to length (and audience engagement). It took a while for me to come up with the idea of a presentation, essentially treating the reader as a member of the audience, and it seemed to make sense to have it form part of an oral history.