Last to Leave

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

'Last to Leave' is about a teenage boy named Felix and his best friend Jet who live in the small town of Lakehill together. And then one day, everyone in town except from them mysteriously disappear. As they work together to find out what happened, strange things begin.

It starts when Felix was eight 

 

The rest of his classmates are too loud for him. When they play tag at recess or try and climb on anything in reach, Felix is sitting under a tree at the edge of the playground playing with his Nintendo he snuck into his school that day. When they talk too loud in class, Felix covers his ears and tries to ignore them. When they try to talk to him for whatever reason, Felix doesn’t reply with more than two words. Maybe three, if he’s feeling extra social that day.  

 

It’s not that he hates the people around him. They’re just not as interesting as the fictional characters from his favourite cartoons, or as cool as the heroes from the video games he likes. They’re just... kind of there.  

He’s not friendless, despite what it looks like.  

 

Jet Sato is a nice boy. He likes to tell jokes and pick up bugs. Felix thinks he would probably hate him, if the other boy didn’t persist in designating himself as Felix’s ‘bestest friend in the whole world’. When Felix would ignore him, Jet would double down ten times harder. Eventually, Felix started talking back to him because he found out they like the same video game. Maybe one person to talk to wouldn’t be so bad, little Felix thought.  

 

Felix isn't good with words. But if he was, he’d thank Jet for forcing them to become friends. Even at seventeen, he still has no idea why Jet liked him so much when they were kids.  

 At eight years old, Felix finds out he likes movies more than people. Everything in real life is so boring, where are the talking robots and magical trees?He likes the big, adventurous fantasy worlds more than boring old Lakehill. There’s a thought at the back of his head that never goes away. Nine years later and it’s still there.  

 

If I could leave this place, I would.  

 

That thought does go away eventually. Not that he came to peace with the people around him, or that he suddenly decided that Lakehill is where he wants to grow old and have kids.  

 

But when you're stuck under a giant-ass colourful dome with no one but your best friend, things start to get interesting.  

 

You see, it really starts here:  

 

At seventeen years old, sitting in the passenger seat of his best friend’s car, and trying to figure out what the hell that flashing light from outside is. 

 

 

But before all that, 

 

Felix is in his bedroom, headphones on and watching a film on his phone. It’s part of his nightly routine. One thing that isn't part of that routine is his mother walking in and saying his dad wants to talk to him downstairs. Deciding he can’t ignore his parents, Felix complies. But he has no idea what his parents must want from him at 1:30AM in the morning.  

 

His father is sitting on the couch with his legs crossed, a tell Felix has picked up on that he’s trying to be authoritative. It just makes him look like he has to pee, but Felix never voices this. What follows is the most frustration Felix has felt in years.  

 

His dad tells him he’s worried about the amount of time Felix spends locked in his room. Saying its unhealthy. Saying it’s upsetting that his own son seems to not want to spend time with him. While this is all being said, his mother is nodding along. Damn.  

 

It was when his dad says he will be taking away all of Felix’s electronics that Felix snapped. He starts shouting about how boring this town is. How mundane everyday life is. How he can't even go a full hour without wanting to crawl away back in his room. He says more, but it's in a haze. But when he sees the hurt in his dad’s eyes after calling him mediocre, that’s when Felix knew he couldn’t stay the night there. He messed up.  

 

Lakehill air is always cold, even during the summer. So, it being in the middle of May doesn’t make Felix feeling any warmer in just a thin t-shirt and shorts. He didn’t have time to change before running out of the house, he was feeling desperate to get out of there. And now, he’s sitting on the sidewalk at the corner of his street, waiting for Jet to come pick him up. When he left, Felix texts his friend, asking him to meet up. Despite it being so late, Jet says yes.  

 

“You look more dead inside than usual. Are you going for a ‘dead on the outside’ look as well now?”  

 

Looking up from the ground, Felix sees Jet’s car parked in front of him, with his friend’s face poking through the window. He didn’t even notice the car approaching, only taking notice hearing another person’s voice. Must have zoned out, he thinks.  

 

He stands up, shivering as he’s reminded of the cold. “Maybe I'm just trying new things.” He says back at Jet, not moving from his place on the pavement.  

 

It’s a couple of seconds before Jet pushes the passenger door open, signalling at the shorter teen to get in. Felix gets the hint and rushes in. “Do you want my jacket?” Jet asks, taking note of the way his friend is shaking.  

It’s a letterman jacket. Totally not Felix’s style. But now’s not the chance to be fussy. “Please.”  

 

Jet ends up telling him they can't go back to his place because his siblings are sound asleep for once. Felix remembers Jet telling him how hard it is for both his little siblings to sleep through the night, so he doesn't press. Jet asks Felix if he wants to talk about it. Assuming Jet means why he was asked to pick him up in the middle of the night, Felix declines. He just wants to go to sleep. They decide on parking at the top of a hill at the edge of town, and then they can sleep until morning. It’s 3AM already and school starts at 8, so it’s not like they have that much time to wait. They both sleep to the sound of each other’s breathing.  

 

Felix thinks he’s still dreaming when he wakes up. It’s so loud for no reason, so he covers his each with both hands. Moving his hands made him realize he’s awake, so he opens his eyes. The sky through the car window looks like a bright orange, the car must be facing the sun. But the more he wakes up, the more he realizes that it’s not the sun that’s orange, but some sort of coloured mist.  

 

And then he remembers the noise. Sitting up straight rather quickly, Felix’s mind is disoriented. All he can hear is the sound of some sort of storm, and he can only see the mist swirling around quickly. It’s like some sort of sandstorm, Felix thinks. But that doesn’t make sense, there's no sand in Lakehill 

 

He doesn’t even have time to collect his thoughts before a flash of white light can be seen at the other end of the town. The hill they parked on is high up, so they get a view of the whole town from there.And this light, it’s spreading. It’s spreading quickly, and racing towards where Felix and Jet are. It’s all going so fast.  

 

Snapping out of his trance, Felix remembers Jet is right next to him. “Jet!” He yells, shaking the sleeping boy violently. The light is still spreading, it's getting close “Jet, wake up!” 

 

The other teen wakes up immediately, eyes following what Felix is looking at. Felix’s heart is beating faster by the millisecond. He’s scared. He’s about to reach for the car door, but the light’s too fast. Before Felix knows it, the light is covering them.  

 

And then everything goes white.  

 

It lasts 3 seconds.  

 

And then it’s gone.  

 

Gone. The light. The mist, The wind. It’s all gone. Like it was never there to begin with. Felix’s eyes are so wide. Maybe I've gone insane.  

 

“Jet.” 

 

“Yeah?” 

 

“You saw that, right.” 

 

A beat. 

 

“...Yeah, man. I saw that.”

 

Okay. So not insane.  

 

Staring out the window, Jet starts to talk again. “The town looks...fine. We should drive back and figure out what just happened.”  

 

Felix agrees. So that’s what they do. His mind is still racing like hell. And things just keep getting stranger.  

When they reach town again, the streets are empty. Not a single moving car in sight, despite the number of people who need to go to work in the morning. No shops are open. They drive past their school, nobody is there. Opting to ditch the car, Jet starts running around outside. Checking every shop and looking through every window he can see. Felix follows. 

 

The more they search, the more they realize. They’re now standing in the middle of an empty street. Nobody is here. Nobody is anywhere. They’re completely alone. 

 

A storm, a white light, the disappearance of a whole town. This all feels like something straight out of some sort of video game.  

 

And Felix has never felt more alive.  

 

They’re back in the car now, on the way to driving out of town. Jet checked if there was internet connection on his phone, there wasn’t. So, the only way to contact someone would be to see them in real life.  

They’re about to cross the sign that says ‘Lakehill’ at the entrance of the town when they crash into something. The car stops, and all Felix can see some sort of invisible force outside. As he gets out of the car to inspect it’s suddenly not invisible. It’s pink and blue and green and moving around and-  

 

Looking at the sky, and what they just crashed into, the colours are everywhere. And Felix realizes something.  

 

“We’re under a dome.” 

 

 A colourful dome. And it’s pretty, it’s really pretty, Felix admits to himself. The colours and shapes on the dome reflect on the town, and everything looks cool for once. Crashing into it must have triggered the transparency to go away. 

 

It’s a couple of hours of walking around aimlessly before Felix says they should investigate what’s going on. They were already doing that as soon as they woke up, but now it’s a clear mission.  

 

The full mission, as Felix decided, goes:  

 

Step one: Look around for clues.  

Step two: Find out why they’re under a dome.  

Step three: Find out why they’re the only ones under the dome.  

Step four: Fight the big bad who’s doing this and save everyone else. 

 

...Jet has some problems with that last step, but he lets it go. 

 

 Before starting the mission, they go to Jet’s house for a change of clothes. No one's home, not his mother or his siblings. He already knew they’d be gone, but the concrete confirmation stings Jet. Felix doesn’t notice. After getting changed, Jet picks up his camera that he’s had for years. This whole situation is bizarre, and kind of terrifying, but at least he’ll get a good few pictures. 

 

The first thing they find that’s out of place is near the centre of town. In front of a garden area, there is a statue of a woman. Jet and Felix have lived in this town their entire lives, walked this path a million times over again. And this statue was definitely not here before. It has to mean something.  

 

“Maybe uh, we can talk to it?” Jet suggests. It doesn’t sound plausible, but nothing about this situation was plausible, so Felix doesn’t oppose.  

 

Jet tries to talk to the statue. It doesn’t talk back. 

 

Felix picks up a small rock from the ground and throws it at the statue. Nothing happens.  

Yeah, they really have no clue what they’re meant to be doing with this information. There wasn’t a statue, and now there is. It has to mean something, or be important somehow. But right now they decide to ditch it to raid a fancy restaurant for food.  

 

A day goes by, and then another, and then another, and then another. They rotate between looking for a way out and looking to see if something unusual is happening. And they do see unusual stuff. On day two, the dome is a dreary green. Theres lighter green as well, standing out against the background. They’re both chilling near a wooded area, taking a rest from searching around. Jet takes a photo.  

 

And then there’s a bird. They haven't seen any living things other than each other in this dome until then, and so they rush towards it, trying to see where it’s going. And then it-  

 

It glitches.  

 

It glitches. 

 

It glitches, and then it’s gone. A real-life bird just glitched. Felix is almost buzzing in his spot from excitement. Something like that happened in a supernatural movie he likes. And he’s witnessing it in the flesh.  

 

On day three, there’s acidic rain. It only lasts about twenty seconds, and it doesn’t sting any more than a mild pinch would. But still, Felix finds it fascinating.  

 

On day four, they hear a noise that sounds like a plane. They were both sleeping at that point and woke up when they heard it. But when they looked to see what it was, they came up empty.  

 

It goes like that for a whole week. Strange things happen that might be clues, but they don’t know enough to actually follow these clues. So, Felix just sits back and plans to see what other cool things happen. Because to him, this is all immensely fascinating.  

 

It’s not until day eight that they start getting somewhere.  

 

They went back to the Lakehill sign that in front of the entrance to down, where they ran into the dome. From here, they decide to inspect it up close. They even brought flashlights. Tonight, the colours of the dome are pink and yellow, so everything’s bright.  

 

An hour later and Felix notices something. That time they spent walking around the edges of the dome took them near a park Jet used to play in when he was a kid. Felix would go sometimes as well, but only to sit on the swings and read a book. Not even swinging. It was here that Felix noticed something about the dome.  

 

There’s the shape of a small square in the dome. Can’t be any bigger than the size of his hand. The square is white, and inside it holds something that might actually help them get out of here.  

 

Felix doesn’t notice Jet leaning over his shoulder, trying to look at what is inside the square as well.  

“That’s a keyhole,” Jet says 

 

And he’s right. Right in the middle of the square in the dome is a keyhole. Logically, this can only mean one thing.  

 

 NEW MISSION OBJECTIVE: FIND THE KEY. 

 

They start by searching the houses. Lakehill is a small town, but they underestimated how long it would take them to check every single house. Halfway through, they end up in Felix’s home. He’s not been back here since day two, when he came to collect his clothes and toothbrush. They’ve been sleeping in Jet’s house most nights. They don’t find any special keys in his house, so they go on to the next one.  

 

It takes them three days to check every house. After that, it’s the school they check. And then it’s the shops and restaurants in the middle of town. And then it’s the mall.  

 

Two weeks go by. They find nothing.  

 

But Felix isn't discouraged. It just means this mission takes a lot of effort, and he’s played enough video games to know that not checking every corner of a setting will result in a loss. Although the main mission is still to find the key, there are side quests as well. The strange things keep happening around them, but Jet usually tells Felix to just concentrate on finding the key. The way out. Felix does ignore them. Sometimes. But usually, he’s up and following whatever new thing is happening before his mind can catch up with his feet. Jet says nothing after that. Until he doesn’t.  

 

 

 

They’re in the town centre again today. Jet brought a baseball bat and ball with him, saying playing with Felix for a while would help him not miss his little brother too much. Felix had known that Jet’s brother had liked baseball, mainly because Jet would complain about the sport his brother being into not being basketball. Felix was never one for sports, but he’ll throw the ball for Jet. He accidentally hits the statue at one point. His aim has never been good. 

 

They only play for five minutes before Jet calls for them to stop, saying they still need to look for the key and can't mess around for too long. Felix is about to reply, but then he sees another bird. Just like the one from before. Before he knows it, he’s following the bird, wanting to see if this one will glitch too. Maybe it’ll do something even more exciting this time. He can't wait to see what-  

 

“Felix, if you're not looking for a way out then I'll find one myself, okay?” 

 

Jet’s tone is off. He says it so seriously, but he’s barely ever serious. Not in this way, at least.  

 

“What do you mean?” Felix asked, because he genuinely doesn’t know where this is coming from.

  

Jet isn't looking at him when he answers. “Look,” he sighs, “You know I've got a family to take care of. I know you know. And yet, you’re still treating this whole thing like it’s some sort of game. So, I'm just going to look by myself for a while, okay? I don’t have time to live in your selfish little fantasy world anymore.”

 

And then Jet is gone. Walking towards his car and driving off. Felix doesn’t even have enough time to think of a response. So, he doesn't say anything at all.  

 

Maybe... maybe he has a point.  

 

Nothing really feels right anymore. He just wants everything to go back to normal. But Jet isn't talking to him, and it's not like Felix can just go home and sulk in his room. Well, he could, but it’s not the same without hurrying past his parents, who would call to him, and the last thing he ever said to them was hurling insults and- 

 

It hits Felix at once.  

 

He’s completely alone.  

 

He looks at the sky. The dome is darker tonight, dark blues and reds swirling around itself. He then looks at the baseball bat lying on the ground. Maybe he could beat his way out of this dome. He picks up the bat. And then he’s noticing the new addition to the town again. 

 

“That damn statue is taunting me.” 

 

The statue. The suspicious new statue that magically appeared as everything changed. Its existence is pissing Felix off right now. Tinted dark purple from the colours of the dome, it’s sickening for him to look at. Before he has a chance to stop his thought process, he’s walking towards it, bat in hand.  

 

And then Felix starts swinging. Repeatedly. He hits it again. Again. Again. Again. It’s doesn’t belong here. It doesn’t belong. He keeps hitting it until the stone is falling apart, crumbling at his feet. His arms are starting to hurt, and he wants to cry. Everything is falling apart, nothing is right anymore, and he doesn’t understand.  

 

And then, a key.  

 

He notices it in between all the rubble of the statue. He’s not even sure how he noticed it, his eyes are stinging from tears and the colours of the dome make it dark all around him. It’s turned a dark blue now. But he does notice, so he picks it up. It’s golden in colour, and weighs more than he was expecting. It just looks like a regular key. But...  

 

“Was this...in the statue?”  

 

It’s the key. The key for them to get out of the dome. The key he needs to put in the keyhole. It must be.  

And suddenly Felix is sprinting as fast as he can. His legs and arms hurt, and his eyes are still stinging, but he keeps running. He’s found the way out. He needs to tell Jet. 

 

But Jet isn’t in his house. So Felix searches the town for him. And he’s nowhere to be seen. At some point, Felix makes his way to the park, hoping Jet was inspecting the keyhole again. Maybe there w two keys, and he found the second one. But when Felix arrives, Jet isn’t there.  

 

And then, the wind starts.  

 

It sounds just like the wind that woke him up that very first morning. Except somehow, it’s louder. And the mist, the mist is back. But it’s not orange, it’s black. And it’s getting caught up in the wind and spreading everywhere. Felix can barely stand, he feels like he about to get blown away. He’s walking towards the dome, trying to reach the keyhole again, but this wind seems to have some sort of hailstones within it. Felix has to close his eyes so he doesn’t get hurt 

 

He doesn’t know why this is happening now. He can't see clearly and can barely move through the force pushing him back. Somehow, this feels typical. But he forces on, desperate to get to the keyhole. And it’s tough, his body is in more pain than before, but he makes it. He doesn’t think twice before shoving the key through and twisting. 

 

The wind stops.  

 

From the dome, the outline of a door appears. Felix can see a blinding light shining through. It’s like the same light that engulfed his whole town. He steps through the door, out of the dome.  

 

And then everything goes white.  

 

It lasts three seconds.  

 

When his vision comes back to him, he doesn’t know what he’s looking at. Everything is so bright. The room he’s in is a light blue, but he doesn’t even know if he’d call it a room. It’s so wide and empty, Felix wonders if he’s in another dimension. Before he can think too hard about it, he sees that he’s standing at the bottom of stairs. And so, he walks up them.  

 

He looks at his hands, then his feet, and then he’s touching his face. This feels too out-of-worldly he has to check and make sure he’s still actually here. Everything around him is like nothing he’s ever seen before. 

When he reaches the top of the stairs, he sees another door. He’s opening it instinctively. And what he sees in this room looks like... a regular office.  

 

It’s big, but not as big as the previous room. If that even was a room. The walls and ceiling are white, along with the floorboards. Sitting in the middle of the office is a desk. And sitting at that desk, is a woman.  

 

A woman.  

 

A woman whose face Felix just smashed in. Because it’s the same woman as the statue. And now he’s freaked out.  

 

She’s looking at him as he stands at the door. There may be some distance between them, but he can see her white hair and white shirt from above the desk. She doesn’t look too old, maybe in her forties. But her face is blank, so his mind automatically goes to the worst conclusions.  

 

“Are you the big bad trying to take control of my town?” Felix asks.  

 

She looks as though she’s contemplating the question for a couple seconds. Her eyebrows raise and she looks at the ceiling. “No. Not that I'm aware of, anyway.”  

 

He doesn’t believe her, so he voices that. He also mentions that the statue was eerieShe just tells him to come near and sit at the desk with her. He complies, despite the distrust he’s feeling towards her. He  

He sits. She talks.  

 

“I’m not evil, Felix. I just have a proposition. My name is Amelia, and I’m more of an architect, really.”  

Felix watches in silence. She continues.  

 

“The company I work for specializes in pocket dimensions. That’s where you and your friend were this entire time. Everyone else in your town is safe, they're still in their homes. No time has even passed for them, weeks for you w merely seconds in their dimension. The one I made for you was a test, for both of us. I wanted to see if I could create an efficient place where the people inside wouldn’t even be able to tell anything was off. I was off a little, with the odd occurrences that kept happening. I’ll work on that for next time.” She pauses, waiting to see if he’s digested what she just said. “I also won't include a statue of myself in the next one, I just like my own face.” 

 

“What was my test?” He asks, voice not hiding his confusion.  

 

I wished to see if you could get out on your own. Your friend was only there to make you feel less lonely, but it was only you who got tested. And if you did manage to make it out, my proposition would stand.” Amelia reaches for the glass of water on the desk, taking a sip before continuing. “I'm not the only person with this job, there are much more pocket dimensions out there. Some are even replicas of video games that the other architects liked growing up.” She looks him in the eye before continuing. “I'm here to offer you a job, Felix. Are you up for it?”  

 

This job sounds.  

 

Wow.  

 

It sounds amazing.  

 

But Felix still has more to ask.  

 

“If I say yes and start working with you guys, will I still be able to visit my home?”  

 

Amelia only barely lets the surprise slip through her features at the question. “We’re not exactly from your dimension. So, when you're with us in our pocket dimensions, which will be iour dimension, it’s tricky to guarantee you’ll be able to visit home without feeling like I'm lying.”  

 

Felix stays quiet, so she continues. “In all honestly, the reason I thought you’d be someone good to ask is because I didn’t think you’d miss your town at all.” 

 

He gets where she’s coming from.  

 

But she’s wrong.  

 

Lakehill is boring. And I've wanted to be anywhere but there almost my entire life,” he rubs at his hands, “but, I can't abandon my family to spend time in selfish little fantasy worlds anymore.” He looks up from his hands. “Thank you for the offer, but I'll have to decline.”  

 

Amelia exhales a sigh. “I understand, Felix. I must let you know however, I'm going to need to erase this entire experience from your friend's mind, before I put you two back home. It’ll be done while I'm erasing the pocket dimension. But I also must say that I'm new at this, and there's a possibility I might end up accidentally erasing your memories too.”  

 

Felix can feel a headache coming, and his eyes are stinging again. “Alright,” he says, “I just want to go back home.”  

 

He just hopes he can be less of a jerk even without remembering this entire experience.  

 

 

 

 

His alarm wakes him up. 7 AM, it reads. An hour before school. Felix lets out a groan.  

 

He showers, puts on his clothes, and goes down the stairs. He sees his parents eating breakfast together. He decides to join them. He suppresses a smile when he sees how shocked his parents look.  

 

They eat breakfast together. Felix apologizes for last night. His father apologizes for bombarding him with an intervention without notice. His mother smiles as she watches them.  

 

He leaves the house when he hears a honk from outside. Sitting in his driver's seat is Jet, opening the car door for Felix to enter.  

 

“You were alright after I dropped you back home, yeah? If you did end up sleeping in my car last night, I wouldn’t have minded, y’know?”  

 

“Yeah. I know.” He does know.  

 

“Good. Now, off to Math first thing in the morning!” Jet says in his fake excited voice. 

 

“We’ve still got half an hour of spare time, how about we go take some photos of this pretty tree I saw the other day? 

 

Jet looks surprised, and then he smiles. “Think we can make it back to my house so I can pick up my camera without us being late?”  

 

Felix looks at Jet as he speaks, “Won't know unless we try, will we?”  

 

Jet’s smile turns into wide grin as he starts the car engine up, heading for his house.  

 

It starts when he’s eight and ends when he’s seventeen.  

 

And that morning, after eating lunch with his parents, and encouraging his best friend’s interests, 

 

Felix smiles. 


Submitted: May 31, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Taylor A. All rights reserved.

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