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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about a girls experience in an empty town.

Submitted: August 28, 2016

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Submitted: August 28, 2016

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I slump on the ground, unable to move. I don’t know what to think. There is no one, absolutely no one around. I can’t comprehend it. Where is everyone? I close my eyes and lift my hands to my head, kneading my temples as if trying to knead away the confusion.

 

What happened to make this day so different? It just doesn’t make sense, something like this just doesn’t happen.

 

I am crumpled on the ground next to an old bench in a little park, a completely average park in the middle of a completely average town. Nothing weird or wrong should happen. But it has. And I’m only left to wonder.

 

The bench is flaking with bottle green paint, the rotting wood visible underneath. The grass beneath it is either dead or dying. Around me is a seemingly random placement of brightly coloured swings, slides and climbing frames. Scattered like marbles spilt across a child’s bedroom floor. Their colours are teasing, calling out to kids who aren’t there, who may never be there. Why might they never be there?

My mind just keeps coming back to that one question. Why? I don’t doubt that anyone else in my situation would be wondering the same thing. My mind is racing with questions, questions that may never be answered. It’s a never-ending circle, making the feeling of oncoming tears stronger and stronger with each lap.

Why did everyone disappear? Did they actually disappear or did they leave? If they left, did they do it by choice?  If they did leave by choice, why did they leave me? Is it the whole country? Or even the whole world? Is there anyone else out there in the areas I can’t reach? What even occurred to make something this… scary happen? And the circle starts again. Why?

 

I look around desperately, my body shaking, my eyes hungry. Hungry like feral wolves, devouring everything in their path, searching endlessly for another person. There is no other sign of other human beings. It is a ghost town, full of memories and nothing else. It’s empty, no one else in sight. I am alone. Suddenly a thought, pure and clear, silences every other questioning worry in my head. I have the whole place to myself. My body stops shaking as realization sinks into my bones. There is no one around but endless opportunities are everywhere. I am alone, yet not.

 

I remember an activity that I did in school when I was very young. We had to write about what we would do if we had the whole world to ourselves. Many kids said they would do everything, some said they would live in a castle, some even said they would live in a zoo. I can’t remember what my answer was but when it comes down to it, what would you really do? It’s an interesting dilemma.

 

I stand up and take another glance around. The colours no longer seem teasing and the town, no longer haunting. The voices and questions that had previously been rioting in my head no longer scream for attention. My head is clear. I can see a world of opportunity in front of me. There are so many options but I have to be careful. And rational.

 

While I miss my family and desperately want them back I still have to think of myself. It’s me who is stuck here alone. It’s me who has to consider my life’s new path. It’s me who has to make sure this place is just fine for when everyone returns. If they return.

 

I walk forwards towards the park exit and take notice of the gate. The gate’s style matches the fence it’s joined to, but is so much more dilapidated. Its paint is peeling and it hangs limply off one hinge. It looks miserable, like it has given up. If I had just given up and turned away the responsibility, would I have ended up like this gate? I try not to think about it too much but considering this gave me a burst of confidence. I will beat this situation. I will be responsible and carefully think through every action I take. I am the caretaker and manager of this town now and I am going to do it well.

 

Walking past the old gate, I study the town around me. For now, it is mine. Every empty shop, every blank window, every cracked footpath, all under my rule. It is up to me to care for and maintain this town. I know I can do it, I might not have initially but I know now. Now, it was just time to prove it.


© Copyright 2017 Allie W. All rights reserved.

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