The agitated voice in the phone had just finished the phrase about a massive missile launch when the call dropped.
“Damn, no mobile network. You think it is an electromagnetic pulse or something?”
“No, we would have seen it. Likely they just cut the communications to stop the useless panic.”
Two men sat quietly for a minute, then the younger one broke the silence.
“How much time we have?”
“I think about ten minutes.”
“Is there anything we can do?”
“Being less than half a mile from an obvious target, no, unless you got a helicopter in your pocket. Oh wait….”
The elder man opened the cabinet and began throwing the content to the floor, until he reached a bottle of whisky. It was almost empty, just a bit of liquid was sloshing on the bottom.
“Damn, I thought there was more left.”
“It’s ok, even if you had it all, there’s not enough time to get drunk already.”
“Right. Ok, we share,” said the elder one and casually sat on the window sill.
Outside of the open window, the late evening town was quiet. The smell of someone’s late dinner was wafting through the air. A warm wind was gently moving mid summer linden tree leaves in the yard. Sounds of a family quarrel were heard from the opposite side. And above all clear sky with stars and a young moon. A lone car passed by the street. Life as usual.
The young man glanced outside.
“What do you think is the…” the young man paused for a moment, picking the right word, “easiest – the flash or the shock wave?”
“I think the flash.”
The young man sat on the window sill too, the elder one passed him the bottle. He took a sip.
“You know, I’ve never tried anything that strong before.”
“It’s ok now, at least you’ll miss the hangover,” said the old one, and both chuckled.
The young one passed the bottle back.
“To the eternal life,” said the old man, gulped down what was left, put the bottle down and looked outside. “Strange. I thought that I got so bored with this sight every day, but somehow it looks so beautiful tonight.”
The young one suddenly smashed his fist against the wall.
“Damn, they should’ve cut off the communication thirty seconds earlier. Why did they rob us of our last minutes of a normal human life? What for? Why couldn’t we just live as usual until the very end, as everybody else around?”
The elder man didn’t reply.
“You know, once in a while I imagined a situation like this, it was always something romantic or heroic. I never thought it would be like this – just a random ordinary moment in life and suddenly it will be your last one. If I was with my girlfriend now, I’d know how to spend the remaining minutes, but I can’t even call her now.”
“Too late to worry, mate…”
“Look, there’s a shooting star! Or is it…”
“Doesn’t matter, make a wish, quick!”