“If it was a war,” Susan argues, “Then where are the bodies?”
“Perhaps they were eaten. Maybe they rotted. I don’t know.”
Dr. Thrang stays out of it, busying himself taking samples and looking at them through his spectrometer.
“I think it was something else,” she says, folding her arms. “Nuclear war would have destroyed everything.”
Dr.Thrang put shis instrument away, picks his way across the rubble.
“Well?” Susan asks.
“I found traces of an unknown biological agent,” he says.
“I can’t tell until we get back to the lab. One thing’s sure. We’ve all been exposed to it.”
Thanks to Rochelle for using my photo this week. My daughter and I took a trip to the ruined Searsboro Consolidated School in central Iowa, built in the 1920s to allow children from surrounding farm communities to attend high school. It’s hard to remember now, but the one-room schoolhouse was still common in much of America until after World War Two.
The wholesale collapse of family farming that began during the Reagan administration stripped rural people of a way to make a living, all but destroying the small towns in the midwest. The rise of corporations such as Walmart finished the job by killing the local businesses that supported them. It wasn’t a war, exactly, but the effect was much the same in the end.