An Innocent Sun
by Bill Lapham
Mary Kate and Jane Tammerville did everything together, even before they met. They were identical twins dressed today in pony tails, tee shirts and jeans.
Barbara Tammerville, their mother and lifelong farm girl, usually called them by the same name: Marykate’n’jane, like ‘dot com’ was supposed to follow. They were driving the family car to visit their grandmother in town when they heard three shrill tones on the radio:
“This is a special broadcast on the National Emergency Broadcast Network: A solar flare has detached from the sun and is headed toward Earth. It will strike our magnetic field in eight minutes. The consequences for humanity are unknown but thought to be dire. Stay tuned to this station for details.
“Finding a deep hole to hide in will result in your baking like a potato in a microwave. Standing outside will likely fry you like an egg on a hot griddle. The odds of anybody surviving are slim. Good Luck to all.”
Mary Kate slowed the car to a stop on a dirt road. They were surrounded by farmland: corn, soybeans and cows. The sun looked innocent, high in its blue dome. They weren’t sure whether to get out of the car or stay put.
“Does this mean we’re going to die, Mary Kate?” Jane asked.
“I think so, Janie.”
Jane put her arm around her sister. They were both shaking like frightened kittens when the sky turned orange and black.
Mary Kate put her hand to the windshield.