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An Interview with Buck Mathews

Mr. Mathews is a robust fellow, fit and a bit muscular, who admits to being in his early 30’s. He was kind enough to allow me some of his valuable time, it being time for Spring plowing, for this interview at his rather large, 6 bedroom home several miles north of Spokane.

Buck grew up on his father’s farm in northern Idaho, but went into management consulting in Spokane after he graduated cum laude from business school. It’s strange how fate sometimes takes us full circle. It did for him.

AP: So, Mr. Mathews …

BM: That’s just “Buck”.

AP: Okay … Buck. How did all this happen?

BM: You mean the end of human life? I have no idea. I woke up and everyone was gone. Just me.

AP: That must have been pretty shocking to you.

BM: Well, yeah! I mean, how would you feel if everyone you knew suddenly vanished from the face of the earth? Just a pile of clothes and a bit of desiccated dust.

AP: I guess I wouldn’t handle that very well. So what did you do?

BM: I went back to bed.

AP: Back to bed? How anticlimactic.

BM: Seemed like a good idea at the time. I think my subconscious needed time to process the situation. I’m sure I was heading down a slippery slope to madness. Whatever, it worked.

AP: So, what did you do next?

BM: Well, I took stock of the situation and figured that whatever had happened, it looked like I was going to have to live out my life alone and I’d better get back to basics really fast. So I scouted out a nice farm about the right size — this one — and stocked it with some animals. I also started “shopping” at all the stores in Spokane for food, clothes, and anything else I could find.

It was on one of these scouting trips that I ran into Jean.

AP: Jean?

BM: That pretty black lady over there (he nods towards a good-looking lady who looks to be in her twenties, slender with long attractive legs. She’s busy in the kitchen, rolling out some sort of dough on a counter. A bit of flour is smeared across her brow).

AP: Ah, very pretty. So how did you find the other lovely ladies?

BM: Well, Gloria came to us (he indicated a woman slightly older than himself who looked like she belonged more in a saddle than the couch she was occupying. She looked up at the sound of her name, smiled, then resumed her reading). She spotted our smoke on her way to town and investigated.

Harry, the boy who seems to be everywhere at once, was shopping in town when I spotted him and his dog. By the way, he’s not as normal as he seems; Jean, who used to teach school, tells me that his IQ is well over 200.

Anne and Tess, the two you passed going out the door when you came in, were in Seattle when I went over there to “find” generators for our dam.

AP: I remembered an attractive older lady in her forties and a blonde bombshell who couldn’t have been more than 20; she filled out her plaid work shirt extremely well. I’d almost tripped over the threshold when she’d undulated by me.

BM: By the way, did you see the dam? Nice swimming and fishing in the pond behind it.

AP: Yes, I saw it and it looks like it would be a fine place to swim in the summer, but not in this chilly weather.

BM: Smiles tolerantly.

AP: So, what are you going to do with all of this? Marry the women?

BM: All of them!? Mister, I’ve been married before. How would you like to be nagged by four women at once? I’d as soon slit my throat and die without the torture.

AP: Still, it’s just you and the four of them. And the earth needs to be repopulated.

BM: If you want that kind of grief, you’re welcome to it. (He rises, indicating that the interview is over.) I’ve got to get back to plowin’ or the ground won’t be ready for seed when it warms up in a couple of weeks.

AP: I shook his hand and headed back out to my car. The gas probably won’t hold out much longer. I’d best think about getting a good horse.

Buck’s last words about the women rang in my head. Something about how he said it made me think that he wasn’t entirely against the idea of taking on all four women as wives. He had that look of speculation in his eyes while his words denied it. But I didn’t want to press him on it. He’s a good 3 inches taller than I am and looks a heck of a lot stronger.

I’ll try to do a follow-up interview in a year to see what’s going on. That is, if I survive. I’d best think about getting a farm of my own. Maybe Buck will give me some tips on how to manage one. I grew up in the city and the selections at the grocery stores are getting a bit thin. Some of the cans are starting to show rust and the power’s been out for several months.



1. Finding time to Write | Al Philipson, Science Fiction Author - April 5, 2014

[…] the way. If you haven’t read Buck’s interview (Children of Destruction), by all means give it a look. He agreed rather reluctantly to the […]

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