The End. Short Story.

My final exam is tonight, yay! in about three hours and I havn’t studied yet. boo-urns.

After tonight I’m done till mid january, woo! I’ll celebrate by watching Dexter. My parents and I are having a marathon of it. They’ve only seen bits and pieces here and there so it was decided they should watch it all, though they already know about the horrific punch in the face the end of season 4 is. Also, rewatching season two, I take back what I said about feeling bad for Lilah. As far as I could recall it was just she was unbalanced, but getting her life on track and Dexter tipped her over. Nope. Psycho bitch all the way. Deb is still awesome, made even more so for her instant dislike of Lilah.

Ok. that was kinda random, so I apologise for that, however I stand by what I said.

My mum had a party on Saturday night with the relatives from her side of the family, it was fun, but very, very tiring. I ended up going to bed fairly early, I was barely able to stay awake, but it was fun. There was also karaoke, lots and lots of really loud karaoke and no, I didn’t sing, I was far, far too sober for that. It was a good night though. Also, very proud of one of my younger cousins for managing to de-cracker the entire christmas tree, single handedly! (Well, minus participation from others in pulling them). It’s very impressive. We had millions of them because we never use them so they build up. Plus we have a black bag full of the things.

Anyway, on with the show!

——————————————————————————————-

The End.

Adam walked slowly, enjoying the cool air. It had been hot the last few days, an unexpected heat wave had struck the entire country and though it was night it was still muggy, but still slightly better than the day time. The heat would break soon, it would have to. He had showered twice today and already felt the need to shower again.

He didn’t really know where he was walking, he just wanted to get out of the house, the windows were open in a vain attempt to catch the breeze but it didn’t seem to be working. Carla was getting testy, she always did when it got too hot and he decided a walk would be best for everyone. They already had an argument, and they both needed to cool off, get control of themselves. She claimed she never intended it to happen, but he sometimes wondered if she just liked the drama, the excitement. They had broken up before, after a stupid argument, it was over something petty, though he couldn’t remember exactly what it was, he knew it was stupid. She had blamed him of course, though she instigated the break up.

They had been apart for two weeks before they had gotten back together. The two weeks were kinda nice for him, though he would never tell her. She had moved out, leaving him with the house, and had gone to her friends. She didn’t really have much choice in that matter, he wouldn’t have allowed her to stay in the house, after all, it was his, he’d paid for it and his name was on all the documents. Sometimes he wondered if she was worth it, mostly on nights like this, where they had an argument, or when one was about to begin. Was a few weeks of peace really worth a screaming match that could have repercussions for days? When he got back she’d probably still be angry with him. Or she would be remorseful but not want to give in. Either way it would be glares and monosyllabic answers for a few days. She could never be wrong, never. She was always right no matter what the argument was about, he was always the bad guy.

He paused for a moment, trying to decide which way to turn, he looked left, then right and after a seconds hesitation he turned left. The houses were mostly in darkness, people going to bed early to try and avoid the oppressive heat. It felt strange to be out here alone, he couldn’t see anyone else, it looked as though the houses were empty, abandoned. It felt like he was the only person left on earth. He stood still for a moment, listening for the sounds of cars and traffic, but there was nothing but the sound of his breathing and the wind lightly rattling the trees. He shivered despite the heat, his entire body turning cold. He didn’t know why it freaked him out so much, but it was definitely creepy.

He looked around once more, then continued walking. He felt nervous, but couldn’t tell why, after all, it was such a stupid thing. Of course he wasn’t the only person left in the world, he’d seen Carla only twenty minutes ago. Besides, people who are dying or disappearing don’t stop to turn off the house lights. The street still had power, the lights were on so everything must be fine. He shook his head slightly, trying to dispel the thoughts as he continued on his way, walking slightly faster. He smiled, trying not to laugh at himself. It was the most ridiculous thing he had ever thought of. He could hear someone running in the distance, then the sound of a group running. People were still alive, he wasn’t alone, he could relax now. But still, he felt nervous. It was probably just the sound of so many people running, natural reflexes and all that. They were moving away from him though, so that should be reassuring, right? Besides, who would flee without their car? It would take a few extra seconds and be far faster. It was just a group of runners out training for a marathon or something, that was all.

He’d be home soon and then he’d probably end up watching a movie or something while Carla sulked. They might even have some ice pops, they’d help cool him down a little. He wasn’t too far away from the house, he could cut through a few alleys and be back in five minutes or so, but did he really want to cut through some alleys? He considered it for a moment, then decided he should walk the longer way home, walking through alleys wouldn’t help the feeling of unease he had. There were a few houses up ahead who had their lights on and for some reason, it made him feel better. They were probably awake and should anything happen he could always bang on their door. They might not let him in but they would call the police. He turned and out of the corner of his eye he saw a shadow dart from behind a wall, startled, he spun around. The road was still empty. Great. Now he was seeing things. He considered jogging home, then decided against it, it was too hot, even now the fast pace he was keeping was tiring him out more than it should. He was incredibly thirsty, once he got home he’d have a big glass of cold water with lots of ice. He could see the glass, beaded with condensation as he took a long gulp. He was startled from his daydreaming by a loud bang, then the loud harsh yelling of a cat. Well, there were still animals about the place, even if humans had disappeared. A fox ran across the road ahead of him, it must have been startled by the cat or something, it leapt through railings and into someone’s garden, he had no doubt that it would continue it’s complicated path through the gardens.

He was starting to feel a little less odd, a bit more normal. It was late and that was all, he was just tired. Again he saw another shadow moving about, but he ignored it. It was just his imagination.

The rest of his walk was uneventful, he saw a few more shadowy forms but that was it, as he turned down the road to his house he heard cars somewhere on the main road. It was reassuring somehow, hearing the regular noises of humanity, like some great giant’s heartbeat. He turned into his driveway and, realising he didn’t bring keys, he rang the doorbell. Carla would be pissed but she’d just have to deal with it. He waited then rang the bell again. She must know it was him, who else would be ringing the doorbell this late, she was probably just being spiteful. He walked over to the wheelie bins and after a few moments on his hands and knees he found what he was looking for, a key, wedged into a gap in the paving. He worked it free then stood, brushing off his legs and hands.

He opened the door, “Thanks for letting me in.” It would probably piss her off more but so what? She was being a bitch. Normally sarcasm would rouse some kind of reply, but there was nothing. He dumped the key in the bowl just inside the door, he’d have to put it back later. He went to the sitting room and didn’t see her. She’d probably gone to bed. He went to the kitchen, intent on getting his drink. He filled a glass with ice, then topped it off with water, smiling as the ice cubes cracked and broke. He drained the water, the refilled his glass, the ice cubes now making light tinkling sounds as they hit each other and the sides of the cup. He sipped the water, enjoying it. He placed it on the counter, intent on looking for some ice pops, when he saw a note on the table.

He picked it up and scanned it quickly.

Adam, I’m sorry, but I can’t do this anymore. It isn’t fair on either of us. I’ll be back in a few days for my stuff. We can talk then. Don’t try to call.

I’m sorry.

He sat down, not quite believing it. He had considered leaving, that it would be best if they just broke it off, but he never really thought it would happen, why would it? Ok, they had problems, everyone did, but they worked through them eventually.

Adam realised how empty the house felt, there was only him now, alone. He sat at the table, unable to stand up. He didn’t know what to do with himself. Not anymore. Everything could change so quickly.

He tried to remember what their argument had been about, but he couldn’t quite bring the memories to the surface, no doubt something stupid, but was it really enough for her to leave. He felt dirty again. He got up, he needed a shower to wash away the sweat, the grime that coated him. It was too hot for all this. He entered their bedroom, stripping off as he went. He paused in the doorway, her suitcase was sitting on the bed, it was packed, but not closed. He looked at it for a moment before he went over and closed it. She probably forgot it or something. Maybe she was in a rush to go before he got back and she didn’t think she’d have time. He’d leave it by the door for her, in case she came back during the night or something.

He turned on the shower, the water was cool and pleasant. His arms and shoulders ached, though he wasn’t sure why. He hadn’t been doing anything too strenuous today. He grabbed some soap, then noticed that there was some dirt and grit in the shower tray. That was strange. He brushed the thought away as the water washed it down the drain. It didn’t matter. Not really. As he was washing his face, the soap stung his cheek. He rinsed it quickly and carefully probed the area with his finger tips. He seemed to have some scratches there. He thought back to his walk, trying to remember if he walked too close to a bush or tree. He couldn’t remember it happening. Maybe he had scratch his face himself, his nails were starting to get long. He stood under the water for a few moments, enjoying how cool it was. He eventually turned the water off, he had work to do. He needed to clean the house. Carla was gone now. Gone for good. He knew she wouldn’t be back. It was time to start his new life. Really, there was little point in thinking about it. He’d clean the house and then he’d be able to forget all about her. Maybe he’d plant some new flowers in the back garden. That would be nice. He had taken the shovel from the shed earlier, that’s probably what the argument was about. She was funny about things being in their place. He looked in the mirror, three long cuts were on his jaw, they weren’t too bad, they would heal quickly enough. He stretched slowly, trying to work the kinks out of his back, he threw his old clothes into the hamper, they were filthy, covered in dirt and grime. He got dressed, then sat for a moment, trying to decide what to do.
He had a lot of work ahead of him.

 

 

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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2 Responses to The End. Short Story.

  1. ficfaq says:

    Ah, well…you have got your POVs mixed up in the about…deliberate, I’m sure. Nice blog

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