Sir Bob awoke in his large bed and sat up, looking around the spacious bedroom
. He wondered how long he had been asleep, since all the clocks in the house always showed the same time, and got up for breakfast
. He walked through the halls and corridors of his gigantic old house, and almost half a mile later he arrived at the dining room. His manservant
was setting out the food on the end of the long dining table, but Bob was feeling more adventurous today. "Set out my breakfast on the lawn
today, Jarvis!" he said cheerily. Jarvis nodded. "As you wish sir."
Bob walked out of the dining room and through another labyrinth of hallways and rooms, trying to remember whether he really was Sir Bob. Maybe he was Master Bob or even Lord Bob; Jarvis had called him Sir for so long, as long as he could remember in fact, so perhaps he was right. He swung open his front doors to be greeted by his favourite sight - the vast expanse of perfectly-trimmed lawn which stretched out in all directions right down to the horizon. He breathed in the air and went down the steps to the single deck chair next to a small white table, and sat down. He watched the sunset directly opposite him, a fiery painting spreading its orange fingers through the perfect blue sky. The sun was always setting.
Bob's thoughts were interrupted by Jarvis bringing his breakfast to the small table next to him. He set down plates filled with his favourite foods - bacon, pancakes, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, sausages, buttered toast, everything he loved. He began to eat as Jarvis stood nearby, ready to leap to his master's command. "It's an especially nice sunset today, isn't it Jarvis?" commented Bob through a mouthful of eggs and toast. "Yes sir," agreed Jarvis in his impeccable accent. "Quite beautiful."
The sunset put Bob in a reflective mood. He ate slowly, his mind slowly mulling over the thoughts strolling through it. After almost an hour of silence he spoke. "Jarvis?" he called.
"Yes, sir?" replied Jarvis immediately.
"What's over there?"
"Over where, sir?"
"Past the grass. After the lawn."
"I really don't know, sir."
Bob went quiet again. For as long as he could recall he had always lived here in his enormous mansion with his manservant, spending his days sitting outside on the lawn and gazing at the sunset, drinking tea and eating sandwiches. How long had he been here? All his life? He didn't know. He didn't know how old he was, or even what he looked like. There were no mirrors in his house. "Jarvis?" he called.
"Get my walking things ready, please. After breakfast I'm going to walk across the lawn and see what's there."
"Very good, sir."
Bob finished his breakfast and went inside to get changed. He felt something as he got dressed, something breaking through all the comfort and routine in his life, something driving him on. He was excited. "Jarvis!" he called. "Get me some sandwiches, please. I may be gone for some time. Make them with cheese on, too; you know how I love cheese."
Before long Bob was standing at his front door in his khaki shorts and walking boots, while Jarvis helped him with a small backpack full of food and water. "Do take care, sir," he said, a small waver of emotion in his stiff voice. "I shall, Jarvis," said Bob, his heart full of adventure. "Thank you for your help today, and I hope to be back soon!"
Bob set forth across his expanse of lawn, walking toward the ever-setting sun. His cheery gait soon led him into the distance until all Jarvis could see, standing at the front door, was a tiny speck with a sliver of shadow trailing behind it. On and on walked Bob, for hours and hours. Eventually he felt himself getting tired and decided to stop for a rest and some water. He sat down on the soft grass and opened his pack, pulling out the water bottle and taking a long swig. He turned around, thinking to wave to Jarvis back at the house, but when he did he saw nothing. A bolt of fear shot through him as he realised he had come so far that he couldn't even see where he had come from, but it wasn't long before his fear turned into excitement at the thought that he had never been this far away before in his life.
Bob arose and carried on walking. He walked for what seemed like days, without looking back once, but still there was nothing but cut grass in all directions and the bright orange sky set on fire by the sun in front of him. Bob had thoughts of turning back, but soon realised that Jarvis had given him more than enough of his favourite cheese sandiches to last for a week, and carried on.
He ate, drank and slept so many times he lost count, but after an eternity of walking, Bob realised something. The grass was slowly turning into hard ground. After another few days there was no grass at all, just acres and acres of smooth, rounded stones stretching as far as he could see. Then, one day, just as Bob's sandwiches began to run out and he was beginning to feel tired and hopeless, he heard a very quiet, very soft noise. Looking around he could see nothing, but he was certain that the static air carried a gentle whisper from somewhere in the distance. He carried on walking and eventually saw, beneath the sky, something shimmering.
Bob ran toward the strange sight, watching it grow bigger and bigger until it filled the horizon and reflected the everlasting sunset on a vast orange and silver blanket - Bob had found the sea. He saw the waves gently lapping on the stones and heard the soft sounds of water in movement, and wondered how this came to be. He collapsed to his knees in confusion and wonder, bruising them on the stones. The sunset seemed far more vivid here, and there was a terrible loneliness about the whole scene, a sense of something ending with a long, sad sigh.
"Well done, sir," said a familiar voice behind him.
"What...?" whispered Bob, spinning around to see Jarvis standing there.
"You've reached the end of the world, sir. Congratulations."
Bob stared open-mouthed at Jarvis, then turned to look at the sea, and slowly arose. He felt himself filled with a peacful kind of anguish at the loneliness stretched out across his surroundings, and realised that his whole life had just been pulled out from under him. He felt as empty as the place he was standing in, and walked slowly forward into the water until it reached his waist. He looked up at the sun one last time and kept walking. Water came up to his chest, his throat, his eyes. Soon he was totally submerged, looking forwards over an underwater vista of stones just like the one back on land. The seawater flooded into his lungs, but he didn't resist. He just slowly drowned and let the currents take him, while the remaining minutes of his life left him numb.
Everything soon went black and he was utterly alone, floating in nothingness until he felt that too slipping away. "Well done, sir," said a voice behind him. "That was today's little adventure." As if a veil had been removed, Bob shot upright in his bed and saw that Jarvis was standing next to him. "Did you enjoy that one, sir?" he asked.
"What..." muttered Bob, looking bemusedly around the room.
"I said, are you all right, sir?"
"Oh... oh yes..." said Bob, slowly coming round. "I... I think so..."
"You were calling out in your sleep, sir."
"Ah yes," he said, calming down a little. "Yes... I was having another one of those dreams."
"Oh dear, sir."
"It was very real this time though," said Bob with a frown. "More realistic than the others... very realistic indeed."
Jarvis smiled knowingly and went his way to prepare his master's breakfast and set it out on the vast lawn in front of the setting sun. There isn't much else to do at the end of the world.