I woke up this morning and I wish that I hadn’t.
He got out of the bed in his dingy hotel room and crossed to the window, hardly daring to open the thin curtains. He was afraid. Afraid of the orange light flickering through the cheap material. Afraid of the curious lack of noise from the city street below.
Afraid of what he might see. Or what he might not see.
Convincing himself that it would be better to find out what was happening, he ripped the curtains aside as swiftly as he would rip off a band-aid. The grimy window provided a less-than-perfect view of the street, but it was sufficient to see what he needed to see.
The supermarket across the street still hadn’t fixed its neon sign. So the source of the orange light was explained easily enough.
The fact that it was the only source of movement in a packed street was not as easily explained.
He cocked his head in interest, examining from a distance the seemingly frozen people lining the streets. In front of the cinema, a young couple were trapped in an endless lip lock. A paper boy was unmoving on his bicycle, the rolled-up newspaper he had just thrown hanging absurdly in front of him. A busker on the street had her saxophone to her lips, but the notes had died when she stopped playing.
And still the neon sign flickered over them, the movement seeming garish and exaggerated in contrast to the motionless masses.
He moved back from the window, sighed, and got dressed. The shower didn’t work, but a single drip of water was hanging about half a meter from the ground. Another was swelling ominously from the shower rose, but it never fell.
He sighed again. He’d been waiting for this to happen.
Resigned to what he had to do next, he picked up his gun and walked out of the hotel, without checking out, into the bright, stale sunshine.
I woke up this morning and the world was ending.