How much can change in sixty seconds? An idea. A thought. A text received. A text answered. A life can end. A life can begin. A proposal – the beginning of a lifetime together. Perhaps the apocalypse could happen in sixty seconds. The end. Animals. Art. Architecture. This. You. Me. Us. Everyone. All we’ve known. How many things would you miss if the world were to end today, tomorrow, right now? What would you miss the most? Art? Architecture? Technology? Hot showers? This pen? Me? You? Us?
I reckon I’m not suited for the apocalypse. Life without mod-cons. I’m a product of my generation. A modern girl. A nice house. Fashionable clothes. Gluten-free, lactose-free, animal-free, ethically produced. Food, friends, information at the click of a button.The apocalypse would kill me in five seconds flat. No food. No trust. No skills.
I am sitting in our lounge room; I guess you could call it a living room. I’ve not had much time to read lately. I’ve been busy catching up on missed classes, missed readings, missed appointments. The room is silent save for the scratch of my pen and the hum of the heater in the background. The heater is set to maximum, but I am still chilly. The night is cold. They all are now. The room is cluttered, filled with papers and boxes and who knows what. It smells of dust and beer and old farts. The light is bright for a living room, but I like it that way. It lets me read. It hides the shadows. The taste of my last sip of water lingers on my tongue. Water isn’t supposed to taste, but it does, and it lingers. I would rather be tasting popcorn. Or chocolate. I’m not hungry, but I eat all the same. It’s comforting and it fills the time.
I turn the TV on sometimes. When the silence is too much, too solid, too loud. I don’t pay it much attention, but it fills the void, staves off the emptiness. For a little while. I sleep on the couch as often as not, lights glaring, TV blaring. The bed feels too cold. Empty. The days are a series of motions, habits really. Shower, dress, brush teeth, study, eat, sleep, repeat. Each day bleeding into the next. Avoid thinking. Avoid dreaming. Avoid feeling. Everything is grey. Every second of every minute filled with nothing. Everything tastes of ash. Except water. Which tastes. And lingers.
I don’t know what I miss the most. I miss taste. I miss colour. I miss our todays, our tomorrows, our right nows. I miss you. I miss me. I miss us. How much can change in sixty seconds? A text received. A text answered.1 A car demolished. A life shattered. I’m not suited for the apocalypse. How much can change in sixty seconds? Everything.
1‘A text recieved. A text answered.’
My marker’s comments here read: ‘Omit. Unless you are going to capitalise on this concept in the narrative; somehow link a specific text message to an apocalypse, you don’t need to run through the concept again.’
This is the only instance in this assignment where I have ignored the marker’s advice. Instead, I have added the line ‘A car demolished.’ and changed ‘A life ended.’ to ‘A life shattered.’ This is an attempt on my part to indicate that this story is not about a global catastrophe. Instead, I have chosen to interpret the term ‘apocalypse’ quite broadly and written about a more personal apocalypse – the death of a loved spouse due to a car crash caused by texting while driving.
Related Post: Sixty Seconds (Original)
Categories: Fiction Friday