Saturday, August 22, 2015

Windy nights

The wind howled like a wounded animal. The signal was gone from the TV and all that was left was static. The boards of the house creaked in agony. I stood up from the dusty couch and gave the receiver a gentle punch, and then a harder one. No go.

I try to look out the window, but the wind is so strong and the rain so dense that I can hardly see a foot ahead. I’d never seen such a nasty storm before. There seemed to be something odd about it, though. The light was strange.

And then I heard something hit my roof. Startled, for a moment I just stood there and did absolutely nothing. Then I heard another bump, a louder one. The hair on the back of my neck bolted up. It’s better that I get this over with quick, I told myself, so I went up the stairs.

I couldn’t risk going out there with the wind so strong, but I wanted to go as high up, so I opened the door to the attic and climbed the latter. To my surprise, there was a large hole in the ceiling, a downpour coming in outside. In a puddle made by the rain lay a figure. It was a woman, dressed in something weird – an outfit with protrusions that made it resemble a kite. No doubt startled by my sudden emergence, she got up, took off her goggles and gave me a weak smile.

“Sorry about your antenna.”

Saturday, August 15, 2015


I saw it again today.

Living alone can make you paranoid. It had been ages since I’d last seen shadows in the corner of my eye, but the fuzzball just kept appearing out of nowhere, and I knew it couldn’t have been me just seeing things. It bumped into my cabinet, for Christ’s sake.

That night, I heard the bang, I saw the cabinet shake and the little critter hit it and make a run for it. I jumped out of my bed and chased after it. I couldn’t see it anymore after I made a corner, but I heard a faint tapping somewhere downstairs. I didn’t turn on the lights, because of course such things only exist in the dark in stories, and then I just descended down the stairs as fast as I could. Big mistake.

My foot seemed much more eager to greet the small creature than me and went ahead much faster, and before I knew it, I hit the stairs with the back of my head and was tumbling down. As I reached the floor, moaning in pain, I could’ve sworn I heard the tiniest of laughs right in my ear. And then the pain was gone, and so was any sign of the creature. I never saw it again.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Month of the Sky

The countdown had begun.

It was a peculiar feeling, knowing I had a month left. And I knew I couldn’t tell anyone – they said my time would be cut short then. With no way to warn the people about the impending apocalypse, I did my best to just enjoy the rest of my life for what it was.

It wasn’t easy. For the first week, I couldn’t sleep. I had panic attacks and almost told my friends. But after that paralyzing sensation went away, after I was done shaking like a leaf, I felt relief. I found that I could ignore my bills and leave my job. I suddenly had a whole reservoir of cash, because I didn’t need to save up anymore. For the following two weeks I lived a life of decadence, touring the world, sleeping in luxury hotels and enjoying the most exquisite entertainment.

And then there was one week left.

I felt a void. I felt emptier than my wallet was at that point. I realized this was the end, for real. Some people started talking, the news sometimes mentioned something about the end, but despite that, life seemed to be going as normal for them.

I had no idea what to do. I thought of visiting my parents or some old friends, but there didn’t seem to be any point to that. What can you talk about when there is no future to set your eyes on?

So I got in my car, and drove away. I packed all the food I could take, though I still took too much, I think. One person won’t really it a lot in a week. I parked my car by a cliff where I had a clear view of the ocean, and I set up camp near the wood. For the next few days, I lived my life in silence, accompanied by little more than the sound of the ocean, the rustling leaves, and the hints of the presence of wild animals.

On the last day, I did nothing. I sat at the edge of the cliff, watching the sun make its descent into the water. The sky looked bloodied, redder and redder the deeper the sun goes. As the stars twinkled into existence one by one, I took a deep breath and took in the view one last time. I knew that was the very image I wanted to preserve forever. Hoping that even after death I could still see it.

I closed my eyes and I still saw them. And everything was quiet.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Into the Woods

I don’t know if it was days or weeks that passed since the power went out. At first, people thought it was a regular power outage. Everyone just lit candles and let out tiny sighs to express the inconvenience, but then they just went to bed, expecting everything to be back to normal the next morning.
It didn’t.
Still, that wasn’t enough for a panic. Everyone kept a stiff upper lip, chatting nonchalantly about the weather and how the lack of Internet made them go out more and appreciate the gorgeous pine woods. It was a beautiful summer then.
Things started going downhill later, however, as was to be expected. With no working fridge, the food was going bad really quickly, and the local shop wasn’t receiving any new stuff. We soon started running short of food. To top it all off, one of our kids got sick and we were out of medicine. With no drugstore in our village, I had to walk to the city, with the hopes that the drugstores hadn’t yet been plundered. I kissed my wife goodbye and she gave me a large knife. It was for my safety, she told me, as there are wolves and lynxes in the wood.
I could smell the change in the air as I left my house. The village was getting tense. I was worried the neighbors might try to pull something. I just hope she locked the house, I thought. And then I had this sinking feeling – the city might as well be in chaos. What if I don’t come back alive? I did my best to shrug the thought off and just go, but it still hanged around at the back of my head as I made my way into the woods.
I completely lost track of time. The forest was dark and I really couldn’t tell if it was still day or night already. How long had I been walking? It struck me as odd that I was the only person in the village taking a journey to the city – surely, the others were running out of food too. Nevertheless, when I heard a crack, I flinched. I turned around and saw nothing in the thicket. Only darkness. I wasn’t sure I was even going in the right direction. Then I heard what I thought was a growl, so I made a run for it. A stupid, stupid mistake.
Before I knew it, my leg was pulled up above my head and I was hanging upside down near a tree. I saw a lynx run by on the ground, but he paid me no mind. As I swung around like a pendulum, my consciousness drifted away. I was engulfed in darkness, convinced that was it. This is how I die.
But then I woke up. I felt wet. The gentle rays of the sun illuminated parts of the wood, revealing a distinctly human figure smiling at me with pity. It was my brother, battered and scarred, but he was there to free me. And he was carrying provisions. He’d come all the way from the city to save me. We were all saved.
For now.