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The End of the World - A Story - Part 1
Since joining HubPages I have written mainly articles and reviews, and this will be my first piece of creative writing. It could be a standalone piece but I also think I may attempt the use the story as the beginning of a screenplay or short film I would like to write. It is my first attempt and very rough but I would like to add future installments or even fine tune what I have.
Hopefully you like it, and come back for future installments!
Part 1: Seven-Thirty-Seven
Today was the day the world ended…
I stood there, thinking about what could have been. I thought about all the things that I wanted to do that I had put off until tomorrow. I used to tell myself I would be somebody, that all my dreams would come true one day. It didn't take the impending mass destruction of the planet for me to know that my life wasn't going anywhere. But that sure put the seal on it though.
I thought about my family, trying to burn their faces into my memory so that I’d have something good to hold onto if I woke up in Hell. I thought about what happened next, if there would ever be another world like ours one day. I thought about the magnitude of what was about to happen, in the grander scheme of the universe. Who am I kidding? I was thinking about her.
It started about two years back. I was a young hot shot at an agency, and I was in New York for a pitch. As was the norm back then, I nailed it and was celebrating accordingly when I saw my cell phone light up back at our table. I had been ignoring calls from my mother all night, but this was Jessica. I was missing her birthday that night for work, so I thought it would be best if I answered her call. As I looked around the bar I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of people answering their phones. EVERYBODY was answering their phones. When Jessica gave me the news I understood why.
One year, three hundred and sixty four days later the world was a different place. All hope of stopping what was coming had been lost. At first humanity had united, like something from a Hollywood blockbuster, flags flying and world leaders rousing the masses with speeches about the will to live and the strength of human kind. But with every month that passed, the people began to realize that some hoo-rah pep rally wasn't going to save us. Nothing was going to save us, and when people start to figure that out, things get messy. When people know that they only have a few months left to live, their perspective on things like the law and morals tends to get a little diluted.
My perspective hadn't changed much. But that’s mainly because I didn't care much for the world in the first place. After Jessica left, let’s just say I lost my way a little bit. Maybe I never knew my way. Maybe I’d just been following her. Either way, it didn't matter. I minded my own business while the knowledge of our demise turned the world around me into an urban wilderness. The cities were a free for all. There was no law, no such thing as property. People took what they wanted, lived where they wanted, and the only sense of structure was created by those who were strong enough. The strong prayed on the weak, the weak prayed on the weaker. I just sat back watched it unfold.
About two months ago, it hit me that we were running out of time. I didn't care about the world, but I knew if I was ever going to see her again I’d have to do it now. After that day she had gotten on a plane and headed back to England to be with her family. A few months later, if you wanted to be on a plane you had to be in with some pretty nasty people. I was becoming a nasty person, but not that nasty. My only hope was a boat. That was risky business, but I didn't have much choice so I made the arrangements.
I made it to the coast without a hitch, keeping my head down. My contact, John, lived in a small shack nearby. I knocked on his door, but nobody answered. I decided he must be prepping the boat this evening, so we get a smooth departure that night. As soon as I rounded the corner, I saw the smoke, and I knew that I would never see her again.
I saw the boat, burning, blown apart from the inside. A red circle with a diagonal line through the middle had been painted on the side of the main cabin. John was hanging from his own mast, smoke enveloping his lifeless body. The end of his world had come a couple months early, and I was beginning to think I’d like to trade places with him. I hoped that somehow, some way she would know that I had tried to find her. But she didn't. How could she.
Fast forward to today. The day the world would end. The experts had it down to the minute. Don’t ask me how, because I didn’t care, but they said the heat would sweep over New York at 7:37pm on November 15th, 2017. It was 7:35. I stood at the top of the hill, looking out on the city. I didn't know if it was the sunset or the end of the world that was casting the red glow over the horizon, but either way it was a beautiful view. If the world was going clock out, it was going look good doing it. I closed my eyes, and I thought about her face. I clung to her memory, like it was the only one I had. I wondered if I’d see her soon. I imagined her one more time, and then I let her fade away. I was ready. The world had been destroyed two years ago the day we heard the news. This was just the cleanup. It was time to put this broken down, mess of a world out of its misery. It was time to put me out of my misery. My watch beeped, 7:37pm. I took a deep breath, I waited for the ground to rumble and the skies to roar. I waited for the heat to sweep over me and take me wherever it was I was going next. I waited for the world to end.
And then it didn't…..