It was the end of the world, or at least it felt like it should have been.
I had no idea what to think when I woke up alive.
The squiggly gray blurred into focus, and dew dripped from a dandelion leaf.
And I had no idea where I was.
The dirt-crusted solid wood of the dog fence loomed cupped my world to the right.
Something slightly wet cooled my skin through my shirt. I pushed myself up on a clay-smeared arm. I knew exactly where I was.
A vagueness passed over me, and I had no idea.
For a few seconds, I could convince myself of that. Sets of seconds added up to several minutes, maybe
I couldn't sit in the mud in the suburb for much longer than that.
I wanted to stay there all night. All year. Until the earth faded from my life. But would my life fade...?
Would my spirit fade, so distant and washed that it lost all color and distinction?
I fancied that my life would fade. The image sat lighter on me than the others.
I wanted to float away, and my head spun in helium fuzz.
I sat up straight but slumped cross-legged soon. Then a dog barked, and I startled up.
The springiness in my legs, pulsing stiffness, compelled me another step forward, and another. Past the trees that trailed pine branches. I plucked one and put it in my mouth, crushing the round dark green with my teeth.
The texture was all I needed, so I spit it out and walked around to the garage.
It's actually my parents' garage, not mine. I'm living with them still. I missed an interview.
I could have made it if I left five minutes ago. Well, longer than that. Whenever I first came out here. If I hadn't lain down in the mud.
I'll get the next job. I promise.
I want to move out to the country, raise sheep, do manual labor. Have dogs.
I'll work for someone, just do what they say.
I can't stay in the suburbs, all this white paint.
The drainpipe runs down the garage wall. It's clogged with seasons-old leaves and needles, streaked with light rust and marred by heavy areas of oxidized iron bared to the elements where the paint chipped.
About a thousand people in this neighborhood, content and positive, successful and streamlined for the modern world. A thousand people whose drainpipes all have chips.
I love watching their cats sniff at the bugs.
© Copyright 2016 raincomes. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Flash Fiction
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