Today I wanted to share a flash-fiction story I wrote a few years ago. It was right after having read a series of books on the impending doom of an asteroid about to hit the earth. Beauty in darkness. This is Backdrop Apocalypse.
I jerk awake. My eyes open softly, heavy with the pain of sleep, filled with grains of diamonds. I can’t see anything. My glasses are on the nightstand next to me. I don’t grab them. I walk to the bathroom and take a look at myself in the mirror. What I see is nice. I cannot see anything for I am near blind without my glasses. My teeth demand brushing, they scream, in unison, to be freed from grime and muck. There was a bacteria party in my mouth last night. As I enter the shower, I see colorful balloons hanging from the outside of it. Someone’s birthday, I wonder. Or another one of those celebrations. They won’t matter anymore. The water feels rejuvenating to me. I enjoy letting it fall down my neck, it tingles and reminds me of my youth. All the water in the world won’t make me younger. At least all the water in the world wakes me up once more. I might now be ready to face my mirror image. I grab my glasses but avoid the bathroom. Fully clothed, I walk downstairs. Someone is waiting for me. Or were they, on another day? Someone sits by the kitchen table. The table sparkles with kitschy sequinned sunflowers. I hate it but was given it as a present. It would feel wrong not to present it as the centerpiece of the kitchen. I walk over to the drawers, take a pair of purple scissors, and cut the tablecloth into tens of pieces. Someone is watching me. The tablecloth looks much nicer now. Destruction can be a beautiful thing. You are being dramatic, someone says to me. Your mom is being dramatic, I answer. Someone smiles at me. I make breakfast: eggs, gravy, bread, pancakes, leftover fries. I vomit in the sink. My skin has turned the same color as my puke. Have I become someone else? Someone turns on the TV because they are interested in the news. Lots of nothingness. There’s a countdown of ten minutes. I know what it is for but I don’t want to know. Ten more minutes, huh, someone mentions. From outside the window, there’s a scream. People have been screaming a lot lately. Pointless expressions of sound. It’s better to be quiet and have breakfast. I don’t clean up the sink, I rinse my mouth and eat fries dipped in gravy, wrapped by eggs. There’s a light outside. It’s a crimson shine. Someone opens the curtains and looks outside. Eat, I say. No, someone says. Why, I ask. Not hungry, someone answers. Someone tells me instead what they see outside. The countdown is at three minutes now. Someone sits down opposite me. Someone produces the ring they used to wear from their pocket. It fits the one I’m still wearing. Someone puts on the ring and takes my hand. Forever more, someone says. Forever more, I reply. A tear runs down my face. The countdown is up. The light outside becomes brighter, the screams more intense. In an instant, someone and I are gone.