It Started in the Night

It started in the night.

BOOM…

Silence.

BOOM…

Silence.

The locals weren’t sure what they heard. If you asked old Mac down at the junk yard, he’d probably wipe some sweat from his forehead with a rag covered in grease, stare at you hard, and say aliens. If you asked Tom, down on the corner of 4th and 8th, you know the one; the one that you went for the good stuff, he’d tell you the state was moving machines to the outskirts of town, and the sound was them turning them on. You’d go home, put on a pot of coffee, and maybe read a chapter from your favourite book, but once you turned the light off and pulled the covers up, with the sheet just a little too short for your toes,

BOOM…

Silence.

BOOM…

Silence.

The weird part was how no one else seemed too concerned about it. “Tha’s just the ghosts having their fun in the fields,” Hank at the grocery would say, packing another dip into his lip. “Those punk kids were at it again last night”, Delores would say from her front porch as you walked by, trying to get home before dark. You tried to call the stateies, but they don’t know what you’re talking about, and they don’t care about your little town. Nothing real interesting ever happened there. Tonight you stayed up extra late, and you can feel the coffee wearing off, so you brew another pot. It’s stronger this time. Stronger than you meant for it to be. And you wait. The night comes, and the dark comes, and you wait. At one point you had to piss so bad you thought you might have to clean the carpets again and what if you missed it, but goddamn it you had to go, so you’re sitting on the toilet listening. Listening to silence. You unwound that old clock your grandmother gave you. It ticked too loud and you wanted to hear everything.

Finally it’s so late that you can’t keep your eyes open and you know when you go to the bakery in the morning the girl who hands you your loaf each week is going to look you up and down and say “are you sure you’re okay mister?”

So you unplug the pot and pour those cold coffee remains down the sink, toss the grinds into the garbage, and fall onto your bed without taking your clothes off. You’re drifting off to sleep, thinking about that pretty girl who works the front counter at the pizza place down the road from you and that funny way her smile crests higher on the left side when she asks what you’re there to order and then you hear it,

BOOM…

Silence.

BOOM…

Silence.

Your eyes snap open and it’s like the coffee never left you and you leap out of bed and you can see the rhythmic flash of green light coming through your curtains beside your bed; the ones you keep closed all the time so that the sun doesn’t wake you up in the morning and so how could anything come through the curtains?

BOOM…

Silence.

You run to the curtains, tearing them open, please god, you think, please what is it that could do this, and what you see is,

Nothing.

It doesn’t matter how long you stand and stare, there is no light, and there is no sound. The sun comes up and you stand there in front of your window watching as the people come out of their little homes to go to their daily lives and you haven’t slept, haven’t eaten in days, don’t remember what it feels like to shower and no one asks you if you saw or heard anything and you know that this is how the world ends just as you know the night is where it comes from. You do not know where it goes.

You don’t know the last time that you slept. The nurse tells you what day it is today, but that doesn’t mean anything. When did your hands get so wrinkled? What’s that smell? Who are you?

The medicine is kicking in now, and you can feel that it’s time to go soon. Maybe this time you will go and not come back. You lay down in the bed that they made for you and it is warm and you remember there was a pizza that made you smile once and just as you close your eyes,

BOOM.

Silence.

BOOM.

Silence.

.

.

The end.

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