Finished until January! Woo!
My week has been going ok, been a bit weird, my sleeping schedules suddenly gone wonky, which I want to fix before it sets in properly. Beyond that nothing really has happened, also, as an aside, I’m really paranoid I’ve already titled a short story with this, though I can’t seem to find it on the blog. Maybe I intended to call something that and it was given another title. It would help too if I saved the damn things as they’re titled, but I didn’t do that until short story #90 or so, before that they just had random words/descriptors. According to WordPress and their search function I should be in the clear!
On with the show!
From The Depths.
He sat on a chair, it was quite comfortable. It was funny that things could be comfortable at a time like this. He spun around once, twice, then stopped, facing the vast windows. The entire wall seemed to be made of them, no doubt they gave amazing views of the glittering metropolis below and still would, if the metropolis still existed. It really gave a good view though. He watched as a flood of smoke flew into the sky, boiling and rolling over itself, followed by a shower of sparks. Something collapsed. Well, something else. This building was empty, it had surprised him at first, but not now. Now he could see it. It was one of the few remaining high rises. It wouldn’t last much longer, he knew it. For now though, it was still standing and so was he, well, he was sitting. It felt as though he was the only person left alive, but that was not the case either. He had seen them, huddled together, running, screaming, dying. He had seen plenty of death over the last few days.
It had happened as most things do, with out warning or a big fuss. It just happened. Maybe someone knew about it, but that someone wasn’t him. He was lucky in a way, he had just moved to the city, he knew no one here. When it happened he thought that it was just an earthquake, it was the thing that made the most sense. He and everyone else that had been standing were thrown to the ground, things fell off the shelves, the entire room shook for a good minute before it stopped and for a little while after there were the occasional tremors. Of course it was an earthquake. He, like others, had pulled out his phone, though he immediately put it away, after all, who would he call? Others around him were trying to ring loved ones, but it wasn’t working. There was no signal, he checked his phone and it too was useless. He stared at the screen for a moment, wondering what to do, he felt guilty, he should have rang his parents, let them know he was ok. The network appeared to be down for the moment. Probably because everyone freaked out and tried calling each other at once. Or maybe a power outage. The lights here still worked, but what about the cell towers, surely they need power. What about the satellites though? They couldn’t run out of power, didn’t they send out cell signals these days? He put his phone back into his pocket and looked around, people were still shaken, but most seemed to be doing fine, he had only come into the bank to get his new account number, but that could wait. He walked through the doors and outside, car alarms were blaring, traffic was still stopped, would be for a while. He was free for the day, he didn’t start work until Tuesday, he was just trying to get things tied up before starting. He started to walk, the subway would no doubt be broken. God help the poor people that had been down there, the trains could have come off the track or anything. The journey back to the apartment was quick, though even then there were few people about. He took the stairs to his floor, not wanting to risk the lifts, especially as the ground was still shaking every now and then. When he got in he turned on the TV, no doubt the news would be filling everyone in on what had happened. The TV flared to life, the light hiss of static. Nothing. He changed the channel. It was the same on every single one, that white, static-snow. That was odd, quite worrying. He picked up his house phone, then listened for a moment. Nothing. Of course it might not have been turned on yet, they said it would take a while.
He left the apartment, not sure what to do with himself. He knocked on the door across from his, a woman lived there, Ashley, she was nice. There was no answer, it was mid day still, she would be in work, wouldn’t she? He went back into his apartment. The power was still on, he checked the taps, so was the water. There was that at least. He had only really planned on going to the bank and that would be a wash for the day. Still it was an interesting start to his new life. It was strange to think about. New life. Completely new. He looked around the apartment and wondered if it was really worth it. Well, time would tell, wouldn’t it?
He shook his head, barely able to believe that it was only the day before yesterday he had been at the bank. Then everything went to hell. Literally. It had been easy enough to get here, more worrying than anything else. He kept expecting to get attacked, run into one of the gangs he had heard about before everyone started disappearing. There was no worry of that thing finding him, it was too large to miss and if it found him, well, he wouldn’t have long to worry about it anyway. There was no getting out of here and, if it truly was the end, he might as well have a good view of it. It had been a tiring climb, but the seat was still comfortable. He reached into his bag and took out a bottle of water, quickly he unscrewed the cap and drank deeply. When he was done, he took out a roll he had prepared. He gave it a quick sniff, then started to eat. Dinner and a show. He didn’t know what was going on everywhere else, but he assumed that it was only here, that everyone else was ok. He had no basis for thinking that, he just wanted it to be true. If it was true it would mean everyone he knew was still alive, probably watching what was going on here, horrified, but alive. He chewed thoughtfully, that was assuming that they could see what was going on in here. He hadn’t seen any helicopters or planes going over head. The border had been kinda hazy when he had been at it. Maybe it was like a tinted window, they could see out, but no one could see in.
After he realised what was going on he had tried to get out of the city, he wasn’t the only one with this idea. The place was packed but that made no difference. No one was getting out. There was something blocking everyone from leaving, a weird, almost milky barrier. You could see out, but not very far. No one had seen anyone on the other side. Theories were rife, some people wondered if maybe there was nothing on the other side. Maybe the entire city had been transported somewhere else, some other planet maybe. They had seen it on some TV show they said. It was ridiculous. He had a hard time believing that was what had happened, even now. It just seemed so unlikely. Some people stayed at the border, others started drifting back towards the town, people were going in ones or twos, a few larger groups here and there, but very few. It was there he had heard about the gangs, roaming the streets. Reports varied, but most agreed that the people were insane. Some groups wandered naked, others clothed, some had weapons, other didn’t. One thing they had in common is that they would attack anyone they came across, human or those things. They would beat either to death then eat the flesh or as he had heard from some, do other things to the bodies. He didn’t know how much was true and how much was rumour, but he didn’t want to run across one of the gangs. He hadn’t either, he thought now they were mostly rumour with a dash of Chinese Whispers, maybe someone had seen a group attack one of those things and everyone just started to warp it with the retelling. That was most likely.
He swallowed the last bite of his roll, it was a nice meal, even if it was going to be his last. He had taken the ham out of a Deli, the windows had been shattered, but there was some meat left and it smelled ok. He watched it, staring openly, it was unaware of his presence, of course it would, he was nothing. It seemed to crave destruction. He had no idea what it was, he assumed it came from underneath the earth. It would explain the earthquake. The ground still shook when it walked though. He took another drink of water and wished for something stronger, a good scotch maybe, that was supposed to be a fancy drink, right? He might as well get plastered off something classy. It was the greatest movie the world would ever see and he had a front row seat. He sighed, he wanted to have someone to share this with. It was a little grim, dying alone. What he wouldn’t give for someone, anyone. Even Ashley would have done. He didn’t know the girl, not really, but she would be someone. A friend to talk to, share stories with, commiserate. But at the end it was only him. Him alone at the end of everything. He took a sip of water, then threw the bottle across the room, it struck a computer monitor, which fell from the desk and crashed to the floor, the screen cracking. He laughed. It had once been top of the line, now it was nothing but junk. The power still kind of worked, intermittent. One moment it would be fine, the next darkness, then nothing for a few hours before things started to flicker, then die once more. He didn’t know why it was still going, but he was thankful. Alone was one thing, but he didn’t want to die in the darkness. The creature turned and for a moment their eyes met. He felt it. That thing, staring into his soul. He shuddered, then vomited, eyes still locked with its. They were impossible, so impossible but so beautiful, colour, bright yellow, reds, blues of fire, swirling around the dark iris, shining, golden, sparking, shifting, mixing. The creature blinked, he started to shiver uncontrollably, he was frozen, unable to move. The creature started to walk towards him, slowly in the ponderous way it had. The power came on, lighting up the tower, sending up a bright beacon. He stood from his chair and started to walk towards the windows. The stood at the wall of glass and placed his hand against it, it was cold. The creature continued forward. He began to smile.
It was the end and it was so beautiful.