|21st December 2012
Author: JWolf-LP PM
A school boys experience of the potential end of the world.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Tragedy - Words: 1,226 - Published: 08-20-12 - id: 3051895
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
21st December 2012
The end of the world isn't what I expected it to be. I pictured thunder and lightning. Lava erupting from the ground. Tremors every minute. I imagined people screaming, running around like headless chickens. Car alarms ringing constantly, and the smell of fire in the air.
Instead, it's actually quite quiet. It snowed yesterday, and it is now settled on the ground. It's slightly icy in places too, particularly on the road because the gritters haven't been around out village yet.
I walked to the corner shop earlier to get some bread and milk. Said hello to Mrs Rodgers from down the street. I gave her a hand carrying her bags home, because her arthritis has got bad recently.
I tucked into a couple of cheese sandwiches for lunch. Checked what was on TV tonight, hoping that the end of the world could wait until after nine so I could see Home Alone.
It's ten o'clock now. This time yesterday I was worrying that it would start the minute the clock ticked over to midnight, and the calendar officially read, 21st December 2012. But nothing happened. I think I heard a cat scurrying outside, but only because I was forcing myself to listen for the slightest little noise.
Live news broadcasts have now taken over the telly. I'm not sure if I feel sorry for the reporters or not. Are their lives so bad they have volunteered to work today? Or are they being forced to cover the end of the world for everyone else's benefit. That has got to be the true graveyard shift.
I pour myself a glass of Coke. I'd normally have water if I felt thirsty at this time, but what the hell? Two hours left to live, if I can't go wild now, then I can't do it anytime.
We've got our Christmas decorations up. I helped Dad with them a couple of weeks ago. We got a real tree for a decent price as well, so I put some tinsel and a star on it. Mum already has the presents wrapped and assorted neatly underneath it. Don't know why though. I wanted to open them a week ago. Now they're all just going to be a waste of money.
I hear a scream outside. Is it starting? I rush to the window, and duck down beneath it. There's some chatter and footsteps. I can see a group of five or six people.
My heart starts to beat fast, but I want to stay as quiet as possible. I want to hear everything. I want to hear it begin. I've heard that dogs have better hearing than people, but we don't have a dog. Maybe next doors will bark loud enough to let us all know when something happens.
Another scream from the group, but it's just some drunk people messing about. I think I recognise them from school. They're two or three years older than me though. I guess they're drowning their sorrows. Not a bad way to spend their last day I suppose. No hangover this time.
Ten fifteen. Mum and Dad went up to bed half an hour ago. Unbelievable. They just said goodnight as usual. I felt a knot in my throat as I replied with the same. I watched them both all the way up the stairs, and they didn't even look back. I guess they're not dealing with it very well. They're in denial. I might go into their room later. I won't wake them up. But I just feel like I didn't say goodbye.
A group of people on TV are debating what's going to happen. Most of them seem to doubt that it's the end of the world. Well more fool them in one hour, forty minutes. This is it. They can't handle it, but it doesn't change it. This is the end of the world.
Their conversation comes to an end with a pop. The TV goes black, and the lights of our house go out. Of course. It has to be dark. It has to be silent. I should have seen that coming. No way would the end of the world happen with TVs on in the background, or anything other than the moon and stars offering light.
I fetch a torch from the kitchen, but it won't turn on. There's more noise from outside. People have rushed out of their houses, wanting answers for the sudden power cut. I open our front door, step onto the porch and look out at them. They are panicked. They are panicked, because they weren't prepared. I myself, feel quite calm. Under the circumstances, at least. My heart seems to be doing strange things, but maybe I'm just over-conscious now.
I feel a droplet of rain land on my nose. And within seconds, I am drenched. The heavens open and rain crashes down sounding like machine gun fire. It takes a moment for my body to acknowledge what has happened. But then I start shivering uncontrollably. My teeth chatter to the point it actually hurts my gums. My clothes are soaked through.
But I don't move. The others run back inside their houses, retreating after their short outburst. A car passes, going slightly faster than the 30mph speed limit. I notice I have made a few steps forward.
The car starts to swerve from left to right. The brakes screech, but the car continues down the road, jerking from side to side until it sways up onto the pavement and comes to a halt on someone's lawn.
There's a lot of shouting. But I can't tell where it is coming from. There are silhouettes in a lot of the house windows but distorted ones that are only illuminated by candlelight.
I see lightning in the distance, and then thunder roars. It's like when you turn the volume right up on your iPod, even knowing yourself that it's far too loud. The next bolt of lightning crashes to earth, and causes a tremble. The whole sky lights up and I want to see The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. But they're not there.
Something doesn't feel right. Or, more appropriately, it feels too right. I wanted more from the end of the world. Thoughts deep down inside me whisper that this could just be a normal thunderstorm. But I stomp that thought back down, and wait for the judgement to come. It will come.
I look up to the window of my parent's bedroom. They must be awake. They must be scared. I told them what was going to happen tonight. But Mum always said I have a wild imagination.
My feet aren't under my control anymore. I've found my way to the middle of the road without realising I'd taken a step. Maybe I'm just trying to force myself to be noticed. I'm not usually an attention seeker, but now it just seems more like respectful acknowledgement. If we're all going to go, I may as well offer to be first in line.
Another flash of light. This must be it. Must be. My body goes stiff, as the light gets brighter and takes over my vision. There's another screech, then a horn. Too many thoughts whirl around my brain making no sense. It gets hot. Then there's a big bang.