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Total Blackout – PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 153 (part 1)

PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 153 (part 1)

This morning, before heading to work in Jean Morvan's fields, Pierre Marchais paid special attention to the calendar. It was September 23rd.

It had been five months since the world had changed, but more importantly, it was his father's birthday. His mother's birthday was the following week. Joël Marchais was turning fifty-four, and his mother fifty-six. Pierre's own birthday had already passed, and for the first time since leaving his native Normandy, he hadn't received any calls to wish him a happy birthday. At his former job, hardly anyone knew his birthday, although it didn't matter much to him.

He hadn't done anything special that day, not even a slightly better meal than usual. He hadn't even given himself a gift. Pierre had simply continued to do what he had been doing since he arrived in the peaceful commune of Saint-Pabu: working the land.

Equipped with gray rubber boots, he was bending over to harvest the potatoes he had planted when the risk of frost had passed. The area wasn't negligible, but it wasn't comparable to what was allocated for cereal cultivation.

Fortunately, he wasn't alone. There was Jean Morvan, the owner of this plot, with whom he chatted a bit and who was always available to answer his questions when he had them. There was also his wife, Nolwen, and their only son, Killian.

The latter had been a high school student just a few months earlier and had wanted to pursue higher studies in an art school. All his plans had shattered at the time of the blackout, as there were no more art schools, and art itself had become a distraction in a world that could no longer be distracted by anything. Playing beautiful music, painting a beautiful picture, sculpting a beautiful bust with clay; none of this could feed a population. So, he had joined his parents in the fields.

Young Killian was a good boy. Pierre found him honest, hardworking, and very mature for his age. Many young people his age had not accepted as quickly as he had to set aside their passions. He continued to draw, but only after the day's work was done. This usually ended at dusk, like everyone else or almost everyone.

Even though everything took much longer without modern machines, it was inconceivable to work in the dark. Without street lighting, it was impossible to see anything once night fell. Only when the moon was visible could one distinguish the rural landscape.

They had to weed the plot, then make sure the weeds didn't grow back so that the nutrients in the soil wouldn't feed them. They had planted potatoes that had started to sprout, but had cut them to create more plants.

Pierre had rediscovered the simple fact that the potatoes he used to find in supermarkets were just roots that didn't need much to grow and produce new potatoes.

Since July and August, they could harvest the fruit of their labor, but because of their other work, especially the wheat harvest that couldn't wait, they were only doing it now.

The leaves have been burned by the sun<

/em>, Pierre thought as he dug into the black soil. I hope there will be plenty!<

/em>

In Pierre's mind, it was a bit like playing the lottery. It was impossible to know in advance what the harvest would be like. Some plants could be generous, and others not. Being so late in the season didn't favor the harvest. If potatoes didn't like the sun to the point of becoming inedible once exposed, they also dreaded moisture.

Fuck! I have many that have started to rot! Shit! And some of them are big!<

/em>

According to Jean, potatoes grew from spring until mid-summer. The condition of the leaves indicated the most favorable time to harvest them, which was between May and August. September was really the last chance month.

At least we'll be done before winter. Hmm, we would need a greenhouse to be able to produce all year round.<

/em>

The community couldn't afford to lose even twenty kilos of potatoes, as their survival depended in part on this harvest. They had held out so far thanks to the fishermen, the previous harvest, other vegetables, and fruit trees.

However, there had been a problem with cereal crops: without tractors, farmers had been forced to tend to them by hand. But how? Few of the elders had experienced the period before the green revolution in the middle of the previous century.

Jean, who owned several plots partly dedicated to wheat and rapeseed cultivation, had been forced to watch part of his fields rot on the spot. Everything had been sown the previous year between late summer and mid-autumn. The harvest would have been good.

Pierre wasn't sure, but he thought he had seen that bear-shaped man cry.

Despite the mobilization of all the inhabitants, including the youngest, not everything could be harvested before the return of the rain. Jean Morvan was far from being an isolated case.

Pierre straightened up and observed the sky with concern. It had become dark and threatening in just a few minutes. A heaviness seemed to weigh on him and the Morvan family.

Chapter end

Catalogue
NATHAN BELCOMBE - DAY 1
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 1 (part 1)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 1 (part 1)
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 1 (part 1)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 1 (part 2)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 1 (part 3)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 1 (part 2)
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 1 (part 2)
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 2 (part 1)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 2 (part 1)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 2 (part 2)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 2
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 2 (part 2)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 3 (part 1)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 3 (part 2)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 3
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 3
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 4 (part 1)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 4 (part 1)
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 4 (part 2)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 4 (part 2)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 4
KARIMA ALI - DAY 5
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 5 (part 1)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 5
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 5 (part 2)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 9 to 17 (part 1)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 9 to 17 (part 2)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 9 to 17 (part 3)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 18 (part 1)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 18 (part 2)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 18 (part 3)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 18 (part 4)
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 21 (part 1)
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 21 (part 2)
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 21 (part 3)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 22
KARIMA ALI - DAY 22 (part 1)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 22 (part 2)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 31
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 68
KARIMA ALI - DAY 88
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 94
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 124
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 153 (part 1)
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 153 (part 2)
AMIN SAIDI - DAY 155
AMIN SAIDI - DAY 157 to 164
KARIMA ALI - DAY 169
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 188
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 195
KARIMA ALI - DAY 216
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 232
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 245 (part 1)
KARIMA ALI - DAY 245
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 245 and 246
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 246
KARIMA ALI - DAY 253
STEPHANIE LEMOINE - DAY 253
PIERRE MARCHAIS - DAY 259
KARIMA ALI - DAY 262
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