Fiction: The Sky Has Fallen

By A. L. F. Fagan

“Sir, you need to stand back from the counter, NOW,” the sheriff said in a loud, commanding voice. While he said this, he had one hand reaching for the canister of pepper spray on his belt. Behind him were two members of the National Guard. 
The customer, who was clearly agitated, reluctantly complied. “Look, I just need to get my prescription filled,” he pleaded.
“The pharmacy is working on it as quickly as it can, considering the huge volume of orders that need to be filled. Everyone will be taken care of as soon as possible.”
The line of customers stretched from the pharmacy counter all the way to the entrance of the large grocery store. Waiting there,were people from every race, gender, and ages from mid-teens to senior citizens. Near the back of the line stood a man in his mid-thirties, anxiously waiting. 
Another customer of a similar age shopping for groceries, stopped and said, “Hey, Jim, it looks like you’ve got a long wait ahead of you.”
Jim smiled and replied, “Yeah, Bob, I’ve been here for almost an hour, and the line has barely budged. I hope that they’ll still have some of my anxiety meds left by the time I get to the counter.”
“The store has been getting multiple deliveries each day, so you at least have a chance.”
“I hope so, I’m completely out. I’d have gone somewhere else, but all the pharmacies have had a run on these medications.”
“Everyone needs dope to cope with the current crises. Drugstores are struggling to keep anxiety medications in stock, and the manufacturers can’t crank the stuff out fast enough. The latest reports say that there is a big push in Congress to finally legalize weed in an effort to fill the void and keep people from going nuts.”
Jim retorted, “A lot of good that will do, we will still have a problem with high demand and limited supply. You can’t grow the stuff overnight.”
“I hear you. Still, authorities need to try everything possible; we don’t want anyone else jumping out of their window.”
Jim shrugged. “Damn those solar flares! Who would have thought that they could cause so much chaos?”
“The scientists don’t know when it’s going to end, but until it does, cell-phone service will remain mostly inoperable.”
“It’s amazing how dependent we’ve become on these things.”
Just then, they heard a female customer near the front of the line scream, “I NEED MY MEDICATION NOW!” 
Bob shook his head and stated, “It’s like Black Friday in July.”
“This is going to take forever.”
“Good luck, Jim.”
“Yeah, Bob, have a good one.”

A. L. F. Fagan was born and raised in Washington DC and is currently living in Maryland. He has a BA in speech communication. Most of his career had been in theater tech. Andy enjoys reading fantasy, science fiction, and history. His leisure time is spent cycling and playing guitar.