Bit of a character sketch. I’ve written this scene fifteen-million times, but this is my favourite version so far.
There are storm clouds overhead. I can see them out the window. The sky is slowly getting greyer and greyer. It’ll be black soon. And then the rain will come. It comes heavy here, in great big slops like somebody’s put a bucket of rain up there and let it fall. And quickly too.
At least I’m inside. I’m stuck here, but I’m inside. I’ve been here for fifteen days. Door closed, nobody enters and the door is only not closed when they push food in. Haven’t eaten much, though. Haven’t talked to anyone for fifteen days.
Simon ain’t here. All that shit in over now.
Sitting against the tiled walls, it’s nice and cold and my forehead is hot, and I’m watching the storm brew overhread. That’s what is happening. Not much else to do, really. As if I’m waiting. But I don’t know what I’m waiting for.
It’s twelve o’clock now. The strap on my old watch is broken, but the clockface is still intact. Lunchtime by any normal standards. Havne’t seen a normal standard in a long time. Nothing gets pushed under my door today. Must be a meeting on. Or a massacre. Can’t hear anything here. No news, nothing. Everyone could be dead and I’d never know. I’d come out one day due to curiosity and find myself sole survivor surrounded by rubble and bodies. Not likely.
One o’clock, and all I’ve done for an hour is sit against a wall. Haven’t the strength to get up. Haven’t the means to get better to get the strength to get up. Co-dependance is shit Especially if everyone is liable to forget about you. Rain hasn’t come yet, though the clouds overhead are thicker and moving fast. Must be windy outside. I’m still hungry. There are rats in this place. I heard them and lately I’ve seen a couple. If they forget to feed me, I can go after them. They’d probably scuttle away. I’m too slow. Sometimes when I’m here I think about Charles Darwin. Learnt about him in school. About how our species is evolving to be better, smarter, more successful. But really we’re devolving. Into something that stares at clouds all day and dreams of eating rats. Someone walks past the door but doesn’t stop. I’m still here.
Two o’clock. Rain is falling. It’s just started. I knew the clouds would break soon. Something in the air, probably. Or just some sense I have. They’ve forgotten to bring any food today. They’re starting to forget about me altogether. Soon the food will stop, then the people will stop walking past, stop using the rooms nearby, stop inhabiting this place completely until it crumbles to dust and me with it. All the better.
It’s three o’clock and there’s noise. Noise close. Noise involving me. The rain is pounding hard, rattling the window, so I can’t really hear. I thought the storm would’ve started by now, but the clouds are still boiling up there, waiting. Like me. I’m waiting. How much longer can you stay in a bathroom, locked in by your own weakness, before you die?
There is a rap on the door, a sharper sound than I’ve heard in over two weeks. Before now, the place was full of gunshots and shouts, but now my ears have dulled and a rap on the door is enough to make me jump. A voice and then a boy.
The boy has shaggy hair like everyone. Shirt painted haphazardly red like they all do in this place. Black pants. Black eyes. He’s come to seek me out. He’s come here for help. Yes, seek help from the veteran, from someone who’s thought out this revolution, fought it out until they could no more. Yes, everybody once knew my name. But what have you done now? What new turns have you taken without my guidance? How much have you destroyed?
The boy looks at me and his weapon gleams in his hand. I will destroy you. We are young and will destroy everything of our predecessors. You are older and you thought you could hide. You cannot. I have come to seek you out.
There are no ears to listen and I have no strength to cry. All that comes out is a strangled gasp. The storm breaks over my head. I cannot see for the rain pelting down around me. The lightning flashes like his weapon and the thunder fills my ears full. The last this I see are his eyes, black.
This is the end of an era.