The empty wrapper flips and somersaults its way down the high street towards me, ducking in and out of the shadows between the downcast gaze of the streetlights. It’s the only thing moving in that once congested thoroughfare. The shops stand empty, the street silent but for the faint sound of the wind as it plays its mournful symphony, the percussion of the windows shutters above me and the reedy crescendo of letterboxes stuffed full of unopened mail.
Everything is in order. It’s not the dramatic apocalyptic scene that we’d always envisioned. Cars are parked neatly in their spaces at the side of the road; doors are closed and windows remain unbroken. That’s how it was when the Event happened: nothing really changed in the world, no big bang, no screams of pain and panic, and no news stories with rolling tickers at the bottom of the screen spelling out our impending doom. People just went home, kissed their husbands or wives, played with their kids and put them to bed, and then… were never seen again.
Hands in my pockets and coat collar drawn up under my chin, I wander aimlessly down the middle of the road. I turn into a side street, walk between rows of town houses, neon lightning flickering from behind the windows. Amber eyes watch me from behind a half-licked paw as I walk past. It feels strange to be observed now; I work hard to resist the urge to hold my hand up and shield my face from that haughty glare, the eyes hold questions and accusations “What you doing here two-legs, don’t you know that we rule the world now?” I want to turn and shout that we’re still here, all of us… here and yet not here, but my accuser has already closed its eyes and gone back to cleaning its face.
Everyone is here, yet no one is.
Except me, alone. All alone. I wander the dark streets and listen to the sounds coming from the houses, brought to me on a wind that sings the song of the end of all things.
Maybe one day, if I keep moving on, I’ll find someone else who isn’t stuck inside playing Dragon Age: Origins.
I’m not playing it. We can be miserable together.
I’ve heard about these newfangled things on the internets where people play a large game together. Momopurgus or something like that. Heard of them? The government says that only deviants and pedophiles enjoy them, though.
Momopurgus or something like that. Heard of them?
I have this RSS feed full of blogs that talk about them.
I’m picturing all the words having been sucked out of it, like fire in a backdraft, and with the door to Dragon Age having now been opened, those words will soon come rushing suddenly back with unparalleled explosive intensity and incinerate my mind.
The government says that only deviants and pedophiles enjoy them, though.
I always find it amusing that in most developed countries the largest collection of deviants is the one that’s supposedly in charge, and which spends most of its time and energy accusing everyone else of being a deviant.
I’m with you, brother!
Until Friday, when it’s out in the UK.
I’m right behind Zoso. Until… whenever I can find the time. I have the damned thing, but some bastard leprechaun cursed me with a grown-up sense of responsibility when I wasn’t looking, so now I feel like I have to get other stuff done before I can play.
Anyone have a de-curse potion I can borrow?
Melmoth, did you write that, or rip it from somewhere and not give the author credit? Coz it’s bloody good. Don’t take that the wrong way, I’m not saying that because it’s good you can’t have written it, but if it is an extract from a novel I’d like to know which one.
@Zoso: Excellent! Until Friday, and then you’re dead to me.
@Ysh: You’re dead to me too then, although I’ll probably weep and leave flowers, because you were at least repentant, and I’ll miss your passionate rants.
@Cap: Entirely the product of my mind as far as I know, although I will admit to attempting to channel William Gibson when I wrote it. Thanks for the compliment.
I really did like it, and I feel a bit like Oliver Twist in demanding more.
It’s like walking down a residential street in the late afternoon and catching the aroma of someone’s dinner through an open window. You have no idea what you’re experiencing but it smells delicious; you like it and you want more. And then you get home to steamed fish, brussel sprouts, & cauliflower w/ cheese. That’s life for you.
You don’t like cauliflower cheese or Brussels sprouts?
You’re dead to me.
There’s not going to be many of you left at this rate.
I love cauliflower & cheese. Brussel Sprouts? Not so much. Does that make me half-dead? Sort of like the picture on a static filled TV. It’s neither there, nor not there.
Purely random thought…would zombies who feast on cauliflower & cheese be a little more odorous than your more common brain-eating zombie?
The Gibson channelling was good, by the way. I knew it reminded me of something — thanks to Capn John for digging at it.
Brussels Sprouts are boss. If they’re made the right way and doused in butter.
Re: zombie diets. Dunno. Am not experienced in the kinds of farts brains cause.
Sorry — BRAIIIINNNNNZZZZZ