End of the World – Flash Fiction
(originally from November 2007)
While waiting for my brother to come home I found myself with three options to fill the time. 1- do dishes. 2- finish taking off my cemetery pictures. 3- screw around in Word. Guess which one I picked? *hint* I am typing in Word right now.
Sooo… I wrote a strange story – it’s 500 and some words and a product of Don McLean again. In fact there are four phrases – not complete sentences – from the song Orphans of wealth in here :p one is three words, so I don’t know if it really counts….. anyway, here you go 😛
“There is no time to discuss what is right, there is only time to act. No time to contemplate or think, only time to do. When the tides rise where will you be?”
Those words had echoed through my small living room, followed by the hiss of static as the television stations disappeared. I thought it was a joke, that the newscaster had gone insane. He certainly looked maniacal when he’d interrupted Friday prime time to make his strange announcement.
Now, the rain falls against the window. The pattering sound seems to fill every moment, swelling until it’s a rhythm to go insane to. Darkness presses in on me and there is no light to hold it back anymore. The electricity went at half past ten.
I crouch against the white painted wall, rifle clutched in trembling hands to defend myself from the unnamable. Furniture lays overturned, broken glass glitters when the lightning flashes, remnants of the earth quakes. They started at precisely eleven; soft tremors that slowly grew to earth shaking proportions.
Where is our technology now? Where are our instant messages, our cell phones our beeping pagers? Where is all that noise that signals civilization and life? The quiet is killing me. It drums into my brain, worse than the sound of the rain, worse than the terrible fear gnawing at my ribs, worse than the bone chilling cold settling around me.
I wipe tears from my eyes – or is it rain falling through the broken roof? Shattered beams cast shadows like the hands of the dead reaching out through the never-ending darkness to clutch at me and drag me to hell with them. Memories flit like ghosts behind my eyes, cold and untouchable as they taunt me with moments that were at once warm and terrifying: farewells whispered over the coffins, a red sun rising lazy against a golden sky, cold heartbreak as I read the handwritten goodbye letter, a brightly lit Christmas tree glowing like a beacon against the white snow like a lonely sentinel.
Alone. I am alone, as I have been for all my life. Alone as I always wanted to be. There was no time of anyone – no time to listen or care; time only to work, to hurry, to trudge through the lonely days until somehow the true magic of life would be revealed. One more pay check, one more promotion, one more day and then the mysteries of happiness would be revealed. Yet I never noticed the trail of dead I left behind me: dead hearts, dead eyes, dead feelings, all murdered as surely as if I had used some weapon while I waited for happiness to be handed to me.
But there is no happiness now. There is the smell of death and the screams haunting the night between the cracks of thunder. There is the rifle; cold steel clutched in my shaking hands. There are my tears slipping slowly down my face as all around me the world ends. Alone in this darkness there is no one for me to cling to, no one to comfort me in these last terrifying hours. There is no hand for me to hold, no soothing words, no one for me to even say goodbye to.
There is only darkness.
Darkness and cold.