3 comments

Science Fiction

It was another day at the shop in the Piedmont region, and Debbie dusted the displays. She grew weary of the quiet, pin dropping eeriness. She goes over to Booth 51 and grabs a radio. While thumbing through the range of channels, Debbie comes across one that plays music as opposed to talk radio. She turns the volume to a bare audible level. Some sudden noise towards the back of the shop now got her attention. Debbie strolls towards the back of the shop. A shelf clip had given way, and an avalanche of books now rested on the floor in a heap. One by one, she retrieves the books and finds each a new home. A chime goes off towards the front of the store. Debbie makes her way back up front. She projects her voice to greet whomever entered but after a few seconds, she doesn't hear a response. She decides to make a lap around the shop. Debbie scours the booths for any visitors but to no avail. Meanwhile, she notices some price changes to make, and meanders back up to the office. She sits down at the desk, grabs a notebook, and thumbs through a list of older items. Momentarily, she feels the desk rattle and glassware clank and cling off in the distance. Mini earthquake, perhaps? The rattle subsides and Debbie rises from the desk to go observe the shop. She looks out a side window and does a double take. Something is flurrying around outside. She backtracks to the front entrance, and peers out the door. Flakes are flying and reflect off the sunlight. The temperature seemed to drop some since earlier in the day. Debbie looks at the ground outside, and drags one foot along. The mark isn't wet but dusty. She goes back into the shop and Christmas music is playing on the radio. She looks at the calendar at the current month of July. Debbie knows that retail establishments usually start playing holiday music later in the fall. Things didn't match up. Why would it be cool in July? What is the weather doing outside? What caused the tremor earlier? Then the phone rings. Debbie answers. An automated voice on the other end prompts her to look outside. She hangs up the phone. Out of curiosity, she sticks her head out the door and looks towards the sky. The sky is crimson and orange. She then turns towards the wall clock which reads 3 o'clock in the afternoon. She also noticed the flakes had accumulated more on the ground. Debbie accesses the situation and grabs the emergency protocol manual. She thumbs through the different chapters: Burglaries, Fires, Earthquakes, Acts of God. She goes over to the front entrance and flips the sign and minimizes the lighting. She then counts the till in the register which hasn't changed in a week. Debbie gathers her belongings and locks up the shop. She unlocks her car door and gets inside. The factory tint on the car windows makes the outside sky look more ominous with a brownish hue. Debbie scans through the radio channels. REM's “It's the End of The World As You Know It” comes on. She continues to channel surf and prays she will not end up driving off the road or, even worse, the road will not come to an end. Debbie catches the last part of the news when she arrives home. A monster sandstorm from the Sahara had trickled in a strong wind current. Could this event to be blamed for the change in weather? She googles this on the computer, spending hours reading and researching and perusing legit sites. She also remembers the old adage “Red sky at night, sailor's delight – red sky in morning, sailor's warning”. This prompts her to google some more sites pertaining to coastal conditions. Before she knew it, the time crept by and it was nearing 1 am. She signs off the computer, checks her work schedule, and realized she was off the next day. Before climbing into bed, Debbie pushes the cancel button on the alarm clock. She tosses and turns for a few minutes, then drifts off to sleep.

An envoy of cars headed towards the shop with their blinding headlights amidst the orange and crimson hue outside. One by one, each car parks diagonally in single file. The occupants exit the automobiles and make a beeline into the shop. The line outside is wrapped around the building, while inside the shop, it's feast or famine.

Debbie jerks in her sleep, but continues to rest.

Customers wheel and deal, and the register hums to a consistent ringing of sales. No time to do a cash drop as it is one after the other.

Is it a full moon as well? What prompts the influx of foot traffic all of a sudden?

The last few customers exit the shop with their goods as the door slams behind them. Click goes the lock. The shop looked like a small war zone inside. No time to ponder but recovering the shop will take several days.

The next morning, Debbie rises out of bed and peeks out the window. The sky is pristine and a clear blue hue. She calls the shop and Leanne, who is her assistant, answers the phone. Leanne is startled from boredom, and replies that all is well. She hangs up when a customer approaches the sales counter.

Debbie then wonders about her previous dream. How can it come true? An influx of foot traffic would do wonders for the shop, changing displays more often. Let alone how it would look in the books. But where did all those cars come from and what direction? She spends half the day, contemplating the future for the shop by studying regional maps and other similar shops nearby. To end her day off, Debbie dims the lights, pours a glass of iced tea, and opens her door to her back porch. She looks off to the distance while the sun sets.

December 11, 2020 23:55

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

3 comments

Such a creative one!

Reply

Writers Block
12:18 Jan 29, 2021

Thank You!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply