How Frank Delano Changed The World But Not As Much As He Hoped

The post-apocalypse is going to be OK, as long as there’s a few men left like Frank.


“The question is, what kind of adults do we want them to be?” Frank stared at the smoke wisping up from the firepit.

“We can have kids – well, you kids can. You will. Heck – it’s pretty clear that you are.” Frank glanced at Elle, who blushed and held Malik’s hand tighter. She had just started to show – but Frank was sure of the others were in the same condition.

Frank shook his head. “I’m not here to moralize. You’re doing exactly the right thing. Mary and Cameron started even sooner.” Frank felt the lump rise in his throat, then drop. Even his grief was exhausted. “But Mary’s gone, and Cameron and I will just have to make it. We’ve got to do it for Emily.” He looked at the infant, limp asleep in her father’s arms.

“We’ve got good walls and fences, and we’ve got food growing. When we fight among ourselves, we don’t let it get too bad.” He looked at Cyrus, and then to Mike. The meaning was lost on nobody.

“I don’t know how any of you were raised. I don’t know if you went to pre-school or had a nanny or got straight-As or if your daddy beat you. And the only reason I might care is how you treat my granddaughter.”

“So I called a rules meeting.” Frank’s gesture wasn’t big, but pointed to where the city once stood. “I know most of you liked Mary, and I like to think her mother and I had something to do with that. Well, it wasn’t by accident.”

“I’m not going to say we should give kids whatever they want. Louis thinks I’m scary and mean, sometimes, and I’m sure I am. But I will never give up on helping him be the best person he can be, because that’s what I decided, back when he first found the camp.”

Louis built and tumbled towers of gravel as the group sat in the erstwhile parking lot. He perked up when he heard his name, but it was just Frank, just talking, as usual.

Available from the publisher and on Published in Finding Home: Community in Apocalyptic Worlds, December 1, 2011 by Timid Pirate Publishing.