A/N: Last drabble. It was certainly an interesting ride; lots of mixed reactions. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this conclusion.


Ordinarily Modern

Drabble 8 – Apartment

There was simply nothing in there worth losing.

Smoke was rising into the pastel blue sky. People had stopped to stare; the constantly moving traffic had come to a stand-still. Pedestrians ignored the green light in lieu of taking in the new sight. Cars had their windows rolled down, curious eyes peeking out. Curtains of nearby buildings were tweaked aside.

All were staring at the burning apartment complex in the middle of the city.

It wasn't as though fires were unusual. Bonfires were the most common: the controlled blaze. There were of course the delinquent children attempting to break free from social restraints, but those were always small park fires, little specks of orange and red just under the canopy of the sky. But an actual building burning was rare.

It was funny, how he could smile upon seeing his home go up in flames.

He knew it was his apartment; the smoke was densest there, wafting away from the lower floors and thinning to the sides like a decorative fan.

Actually, truth be told, the view was far from exotic. The only thing attractive about it was the rarity within the modern era. Buildings and appliances were so well designed that the probability one would suddenly burst into flame was below 0.1 percent. The organic material was of course a different matter; they could rejuvenate, but nature always invited carbon to burn.

Reinforced concrete on the other hand…

It took awhile for the fire brigade to sort out the blaze; they, like every other person, had been caught slightly off guard. However, by the time the midnight sun blared through the sky, the apartment was left a sodden mass, and the crowd had dispersed with insincere murmurs. He knew as well as they did the incident in no way touched their hearts.

It failed to touch his own. There had been nothing in that apartment worth losing.

By late afternoon, he was cleaning up. He didn't bother with the salvaging process. He was quite well off by population standards – it was only the superscript at the bottom of a mountain of paperwork that had him slaving away. Anything else could be replaced.

Honestly, he didn't even need to be cleaning. There were plenty of others he could employ to do so; he had the means after all. He wasn't doing it for honour, or satisfaction, or even want. Why was he doing it? Because he wanted his hands coated with ash? Because he wanted to rake a fine comb through his life and salvage the remains?

No. He wasn't even doing it because there was nothing else to do. Fridays were always his day off. His wife was always at her parents' and their son at school. Saturdays were his day off too, but that was family day. So Friday was the day he cleaned the apartment. There was simply no reason to change that. It was just one of those things that had to be done by someone, and so he took the onus upon himself. After all, he did need to be doing something every Friday before night fell.

The only additional work would be the chore of additional shopping. But even that was simply a matter of filling out forms. Replacing things, even on a large scale, was pedantic but easy. And it wasn't like there was an infinite variety.

He could write a list on a piece of paper, and his wife and son wouldn't even know. After all, they hadn't lost anything irreplaceable.

He calmly vacuumed up the charcoal cat, then the remains of what looked to be a kitchen chair. As he did so, he started on his mental shopping list. A little more than the usual grocery shopping but it wasn't going to use up any extra brainpower.