Promises

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
As I walk down the stairs, I start to remember the promise I kept making.

“I did the best a 60 year old Schizophrenic could do, Edith…”

Submitted: May 08, 2017

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Submitted: May 08, 2017

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Wake up! It’s 10 already!

These words echo through my head. I feel the gradual rises in affliction as the words repeat. I do not know whose voice is it that echoes in my head. It sounds like my own, but isn’t. 

I check my wrist watch, it’s still 3am. 

I get out of bed and dress up in my Sunday best, but I do not know why I do it. “Get the hell up you idiot!” I remember these words as clear as day, the voice is my own, but I cannot recall saying them.

Bleary-eyed, I stumble towards my front door. The house is empty and the furniture draped with sheets which once used to be white. I call for my wife and son, but the only sounds I hear are the muffled thumps of my footsteps.

“Oh right, it’s 3am. They’re still sleeping, silly old me” are my thoughts. I amuse at my own forgetfulness and head to the kitchen to eat the leftovers from yesterday. The fridge is creaky, a rather old make. It once was pristine in white, a dusty cream now adorns it. I open it to find mouldy bread, weeks old. Nothing else is to be found. I stagger past the kitchen door, take off the sheets from the couch and sit down with a sigh.

“Dad, are you awake?” I wake up with a start. No one’s there.

“Those voices again, huh?” I think and glance at my wrist watch, 7am it says. I could drive to the supermarket to buy some food in a few hours. I am starving, and bored. I put the television on to watch reruns of last night’s shows. The television never turns on. 
“Could this get any worse?” I say. 
I read a newspaper to while away my time, it is dated ‘May 30th, 2024’. “Pretty old” I mutter. The American Presidential race reigned on the cover.

“Massive flooding in South and South-East Asia”.

“Food shortage causes massive unrest in the Middle Eastern and African regions”. These were pushed aside by the would-be Presidents of the country with extra-planetary territory.

Reading six year old news doesn’t interest me much, I check my wrist watch for a third time and hope it is 9; 8:56am. I could head to the supermarket now.

As I leave, I notice that my car is in ruins. In fact, the whole neighbourhood looks abandoned. Confused, I walk back to ask my son about this eerie morning.

I wobble up the creaky stairs, careful of the bad spots to avoid creating a ruckus. I knock on his door. No answer. 
“Must be sleeping” I think and enter his room. It is empty, and the furniture covered up. Same for my wife and daughter. Even my cat is missing. Something is definitely wrong.

Nothing makes sense; the 6 year old newspapers, the deserted house, draped furniture, nor the voices in my head. It is a puzzle I can’t solve. Fuzzy bits and pieces of my memory are still in my head; I remember my son being taken away, and a massive evacuation. 
“We’ll die if we don’t leave dad” I hear my son saying.

“I can’t leave Edith behind!” I reply. 
“Mom’s dead Dad! You have to let go now!”

I refuse to believe him; running as fast as my legs can carry me. I run from my son who is still begging me to come with him. I remember the chopper lifting off, my son’s screams, the Army evacuating the citizens. I run amidst all that to reach my home. To reach where Edith lived. 

She wasn’t there.

I remember it all slowly; they said that the Earth was dying, and only a few could leave the planet. My son worked for NASA, so I assume he had a ticket to the ark.

My wife was dead, my son probably wasn’t on the planet, and I was possibly one of the few surviving men on Earth. I never had a daughter.

‘May 30th, 2030’ is the date on my digital clock, my son’s 32nd birthday. I wonder whether he had any cake, wherever he was. I had survived on preserved food stolen from other homes and supermarkets, but they eventually ran out. I didn’t have the means to travel further to scavenge other places. 

I was about to be starved to death.. 

As I walk down the stairs, I start to remember the promise I kept making.

“I did the best a 60 year old Schizophrenic could do, Edith…”

The step under my legs finally gave out, and I crashed down the stairs.

There was a loud crack. 

“Seems like this thick skull finally cracked” I think, as I notice blood on the floor. 

“I did my best to keep our promise Edith, I protected it till the day I died…” I said, as I breathed my last.


© Copyright 2017 Kian. All rights reserved.

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