Eased into Darkness. Short Story.

I have my conferring today, hooray!
Once I have that piece of paper it’ll be too late for them to realise their mistake. My plan is once it’s in my hands I’ll just take off running across the stage and not stop until I’m clear of the campus.

It should be a good day, I’m going out for food with my family, then someplace that does cheap cocktails. I’m not feeling that great so I probably won’t be drinking that much, which is disappointing because I was thinking I’d try a couple of different cocktails. Oh well. As long as I don’t throw up/pass out on stage, it’ll be fine.

On with the show!

_____________________________________________________________

The night was mild, warm but with a faint coolness to it.  Jaime sat in his back garden, reclined on a sun bed and sipping from a bottle of beer. Beside him, on the ground, was a bottle of whisky, as yet unopened. He took another mouthful of beer and swallowed. There was a blanket beside him, however it was unneeded. The small table held the remains of his dinner and a guttering candle. The house behind him was dark, as were the houses all along the street. Not even the streetlights were on. They had been turned off for the next two hours. When they returned, he would take his booze and head inside, where he would continue drinking. It was silent, almost unnaturally so. There were no cars, no animal noises. Laughter started next door, high and at the edge of sanity, it cut off suddenly. He glanced toward the wall, wondering if he should go over to them, but he wanted to be alone for the moment. He took another drink, followed quickly by three more. He was trying to take a drink every time a star winked out of existence, but so far he wasn’t able to keep up. It didn’t matter though, the goal was to get drunk and that was coming along nicely. They didn’t know what was causing it, nor what would happen in the end, but he didn’t care right now. He didn’t think the world would end. He hoped that it would continue on. Sure stars were going out, but they were far, far away. Surely what ever was doing it would stop before it reached earth.

People had seemed resigned about everything. There had been a few riots, but they fizzled out quickly, much to the surprise of everyone involved. There were stories of some governments locking down everything, but so far they were unconfirmed rumours. Jaime took another drink, finishing off the bottle. He put it down beside the other empty one and picked up his last beer. It was the last beer he had in the house and he didn’t plan on buying any more. If he did, he would just drink it all and if the end was coming, he wanted to be at least semi-conscious when it came.

It had been noticed three months ago, at first it was thought it was some kind of error, but it wasn’t. First, one star was gone, then another and another. It had started to speed up too. First it was one a day, then one every few hours, then one every few minutes, now it was ten every minute or so. The sky seemed emptier, but it didn’t look noticeable different from before. Jaime chalked that up to the lack of star visibility before all this. Usually he’d see maybe ten if he was lucky and looked really, really hard. Now there seemed to be millions flooding the sky. Had he seen this four months ago, he wouldn’t have thought anything was wrong. Another at the edge of his vision disappeared, he took a gulp. He heard one of the neighbours slam their backdoor. He took another drink.

When he was done, he put down the empty and picked up the whisky, it was comfortingly heavy in his hands, he twisted the cap which clicked satisfyingly, then he unscrewed it completely and took a mouthful, letting it settle before swallowing it, enjoying the burn as it went down. He knew he wasn’t the only one getting wasted, on the air was the faint but unmistakable smell of marijuana, probably those college kids a few doors down. Perhaps, after the lights came on, he would pay them a visit, see if they were willing to share. It had been many years since he smoked a joint, but it might be pleasant, at least for tonight.

He had stopped looking at the sky when the lights returned, flickering to life hesitantly. He stood unsteadily and went to the house, he stumbled into the sitting room and collapsed onto the couch, careful to keep the bottle steady. Couldn’t spill any of that.

He was alone. Completely and utterly alone. He had friends,  he had a girlfriend, he had a family. Had being the operative word. Janice had dumped him four months ago, then he realised that their friends were really her friends and they sided with her. His friends were dating some of her friends, so they chose to follow their girlfriends lead. He hadn’t talked to anyone from his old group in three months. The last conversation ended with vague promises to meet up both knowing it would never happen. He was an only child of people who were only children. His mothers parents had passed away in a car accident before he was born and his father never spoke of his parents. Jaime’s parents were both dead now too. His mother at fifty six of lung cancer, his father three years later due to an aneurism. He knew that he should be spending time with people he loved, but there were no people he loved. Not anymore. His work colleagues were just that. They didn’t meet up outside the office or go for drinks. There was no camaraderie there.  He took another drink, then carefully set the bottle onto the table. He lay back on the couch and picked up the remote. He was tired but he didn’t want to sleep. He flicked on the TV and found something. The noise was soothing, he closed his eyes, it almost sounded like there were other people in the room, muttering and murmuring to one another. He fell asleep like that, a faint grin on his face.

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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.
This entry was posted in Sci-Fi, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Eased into Darkness. Short Story.

  1. mcscripturus says:

    You have a talent for writing! -M.C. Scripturus

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