21 comments

Fantasy

Before bed, I put my clock ahead one hour for daylight saving time. When I woke up, I realized I've gone forward a lot more than one hour. The amount of dust that covered my blanket was fucking insane. I checked my phone, dead; checked the clock on the radio, dead. The power must have gone out. Good old Casio soldiered along no matter what, displaying midnight 1st November 2020.

I got up, didn't feel anything weird or out of place. The dust really scraped my throat. Fresh crisp air poured inside through the bedroom window. A pitch-black night was on display. No street lights shone, no cars moving back and forth, no sign of people. Just stillness and darkness. It was about this moment that fear slowly crept up on me. The flashlight was now essential. Pockets were stuffed with phone and charger, pen and pad. I got dressed in yesterday's clothes and went outside my apartment. No elevator, no light sensor. Knocking on doors was met with no answer. My chest rose faster and faster as numbers counted down, each floor emanating the same emptiness. Once outside the cold sweet night air filled my nostrils and for a moment all was right. Looking around the street for signs of activity was in vain. No one was there. Not even a stray dog or some living animal. No birds chirped, no crickets, nothing. The flashlight earned its rest. Dark indistinguishable shapes slowly revealed themselves in the moonlighting. All was calm, even the wind took care not to disrupt things.

The disease. That was it. The diseases wiped everyone and everything clean out of existence. They kept getting sick. No matter what treatment, gurus, witches, science, prayer, no matter what, they still got sick. I was sick. I got quarantined a few days back. They said to stay inside and call if symptoms got worse. I stayed inside, alone. No wife to share a bed with, no living family members. My best and only friend was miles away, we kept in touch by calling. The walk towards the city center was uneventful. No signs of corpses, not even clothing on the ground, protective gear, signs of struggle or destruction. No fucking garbage. I was stunned knowing how these streets usually themed with garbage. I checked doors to flats, shops, gas stations, restaurants, etc. All were locked. Shining yellow bright light through windows provided more confusion. Nothing to indicate a disaster, a mass extinction. All was arranged neatly. Shelves were stocked. That's when I realized everything was untouched. They cleaned it all up: the dead, the garbage, the filth and destruction. They wiped the slate clean and started anew. They did it all in accordance with their vision and dogmas. All was ready for life to begin again. But they too disappeared off the face of the earth, leaving a beautiful sandbox with all the things one would need to enjoy and prosper in life. striking the glass with the butt end of my light I robbed a supermarket. It shattered into little harmless pieces. I waited patiently for something to happen. Noting. All my fear went away. I helped myself to shelf-stable food. Upon reading the label to my surprise there wasn't an expiration date anywhere to be found. Even the fruits and vegetables were fresh and delicious. Beers were plentiful so that kept me happy for a few hours. Lack of electricity limited communication with all others. Busses weren't running, car batteries were dead. It made me wish I had a bicycle, that way I could have traveled to the next town over. The situation had me staying put inside the store. I had time to think. Had the people died off and the elite took over? Did they also perish shortly after that? The dust in my room, did that preserve me, the microorganisms within it? What about the magic food? And what the fuck happened to the electric power? Empty beer bottles kept sliding across the marble floor. The butane gas stove provided the much-needed heat. I found a cool sky jacket in the sports section. The small pocket knife was sufficient as a weapon although the past hours have convinced me that no life was present in this town. No insects scurried. Dare I say no bacteria, viruses, spores existed; the absence of life, sterile. No power, right? No spark or flow of energy, just space and time. That's when I realized my wristwatch showed 5 am. Time continued to function the same, seconds piled on the right side where they've always done. Fiddling with the buttons I'd turned off the daylight savings feature and suddenly with a flash of light, an energy portal opened up. It was magnificent, like purple thunder, like rushing water. It was all thanks to Casio, the brilliant super-duper Casio - LOL I'm sorry, I'll get back to that depressing shit now.

I had turned off the daylight savings feature, even set an alarm one minute ahead but to no effect. Scribbling down some notes helped chip away the boredom. Revisiting old writing gave me a sense of home, of familiarity. Those fragments proved I was a living, breathing thing that left footprints on this Earth, that experienced joy and freedom, at least until I got sick and locked up in my house. I tossed the notepad onto the flames and watched it burn. Truth be told I wanted to be erased out of existence just like everyone else. The flame rose higher as it engorged the paper turning it into ashes. I pondered why the sun didn't rise. Casio proudly displayed 8 am. Darkness had made itself at home. The disturbance in this ecosystem was me. Climbing through the broken window I marched towards the city limits expecting to find a dome or canyon. Anything that would limit and ground this absence. Yet there was no limit to it. I marched along the side of the road, threw away the flashlight. No need to light a path. The darkness was never-ending. And so is this edginess.


March 29, 2020 19:41

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21 comments

Maria Limerick
13:15 Apr 06, 2020

You did such a good job establishing a mood and character for your narrator, even within just a few lines.

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Miles Gatling
17:10 Apr 06, 2020

Thank you Maria!

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L. M.
18:43 Apr 12, 2020

I agree. Good job with characterization and the way you elicited the mood.

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Amany Sayed
00:41 Apr 06, 2020

Loved how the character was essentialy quarantined and the lines about the dust. Great Story!

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Miles Gatling
01:13 Apr 06, 2020

Thank you Amany!

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Amany Sayed
02:09 Apr 06, 2020

No Problem! Good Luck!

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Anna K Firth
23:53 Apr 05, 2020

Several good lines in this story. You might consider breaking up your paragraphs more for readability; short paragraphs are much less intimidating. You already know how I feel about the language. :)

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Miles Gatling
01:12 Apr 06, 2020

Hi Anna :)) Hope you are well and healthy. Thank you, much appreciated.

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Carille Durbin
18:36 Apr 29, 2020

Great! I like the realistic dialogue, even if the person is just talking to himself!!

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Miles Gatling
10:23 May 03, 2020

Thank you for reading!

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Gloria Salazar
13:50 Apr 26, 2020

Very interesting, the descriptions of emotional chaos were great. I like the open-ended conclusion that makes me want to figure out where he goes, what he does, and how it all ends for him.

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Miles Gatling
10:24 May 03, 2020

Thank you for your kind words!

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Deanna West
03:31 Apr 08, 2020

Beautiful, it kept you wanting to know what else would happen.

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Elaina Wyrd
18:34 Apr 07, 2020

very meta, made me smile. loved the sort of false resolution with the daylight savings feature, made me do a double take. thanks for sharing!!

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Miles Gatling
04:15 Apr 08, 2020

Thank you for reading. Much appreciated

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Brandon Rich
18:04 Apr 06, 2020

"The disturbance in this ecosystem was me." That line captures a lot of my feelings right now. Very emotionally relatable piece Miles.

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Shirley Medhurst
12:12 Apr 20, 2020

yes, this line was my favourite too ! I also agree that shorter paragraphs would improve the overall piece. I loved the build-up and the confusion of the narrator.

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Vrishni Maharaj
10:14 May 27, 2020

Great story!

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Adrie Byman
15:55 May 13, 2020

Short but strong!! You did a very nice job embodying the character. keep up the good work!👊

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Miles Gatling
19:07 May 13, 2020

Thank you so much Adrie! The word <embodying> is flattering. I'm so happy you associated my character with me and my personality: the fact that I use bad language and joke a lot. You understood it perfectly. Thank you!

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Adrie Byman
20:41 May 13, 2020

Hahaha!!! no prob 😁

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