Fortunately, the drinks came then. The Whiskeyknitters took a grim medicinal moment and checked their devices.
“My phone’s not getting a signal either,” said Shannan. “Not even for texting.”
“I can’t reach Darren,” said Mera.
“Same for Bruce,” said Kate.
“Shit. No signal here either,” said Nancy. “I may need to head out to find my kid.”
Rachel looked at Shannan and shrugged. “The twins wouldn’t answer even if I could call them.”
“Yeah,” said Shannan, “the Wild Kingdom ignores my phone calls, too.” She got up to go look outside in case there was a mushroom cloud or some kind of horde attacking. Halfway there, she turned back.
“Who’s got the sharpest needles tonight?”
“Mine are pretty good,” Allison said.
“You can borrow one, but if you try to keep it, I’m coming after you with the other one.”
Allison handed over one of her needles, and Shannan headed back to the door armed.
“Johnny was going to –“ Allison cut off abruptly as Shannan pulled the door open. “Hey!”
The man standing with his back to the entrance turned to face the interior and quickly put his hands up in surrender.
“I didn’t do it!”
“Oh, sorry,” said Shannan, and lowered the knitting needle. The Texan, because of course they all knew who he was, peered past her into the pub.
“Oh, hey, sweetie,” he said, seeing Allison. “The lights all went out.”
Shannan waved him inside so she could look out. “Yup,” she said. “The street lamps are all out. There’s no music, either. People are just kinda standing around looking confused. No mushroom cloud, though. And I don’t see a horde, but I’m short, so I suppose it could just be on the other side of the Square.” Disappointed, she let the door swing shut behind her and followed John back inside.
“What’s with the horde?” said Mera.
“Tradition,” said Shannan, handing Allison back the war needle. “I worked on a syllabus for a class on zombie movies once. Hordes are a pretty standard trope.”
“Huh,” said Mera.
“Hey John,” said Kate. “We think it’s the apocalypse. Did you hear anything on the radio?”
John asked the server for an IPA, while everyone scooted over so he could sit next to Allison. They exchanged a quick kiss. “The apocalypse, eh? I was already out of the car when it happened, so I’m not sure. I was walking over from the deck.”
“Crap, what’s the name of the new server?” said Allison.
“Jen?” suggested Rachel.
“Hey, Jen?” called out Allison. The server walked over, bringing John’s IPA. “Do y’all have a radio or a landline? We’re trying to figure out what’s going on.”
“We have a landline,” Jen said. “Do you want to use it?”
“Yeah, thanks. I’ll be right there.” She headed for the bar with Jen. “I’m going to try calling my folks. They have a landline, and they’re outside the city, so maybe they’ll know what’s up.”
“Shit,” said Shannan. “Did anyone happen to bring cash tonight? If the network’s down, I just realized I have no idea how I’m going to pay.”