So I’m doing a new thing, sort-of. “First Thought, Worst Thought” is similar to “12-Minute Tales;” basically I just write whatever comes to mind. Sometimes I may give myself a time limit or some other constraint. Today I set my timer for 7 minutes and 32 seconds because why not? This post is also a response to Fandango’s Flash Fiction. The image is courtesy of Joshua Koblin at Unsplash.com.
“Aw, look at that,” Harold said as he slowly drove down the empty street in his golf car. “All the stores are closed. That’s a shame. Not that I needed anything though…” He continued driving past the boarded-up storefronts until he stopped in front of one whose windows were obscured by newspapers.
He stopped his cart and approached the store, scanning the headlines. “Oh yeah,” he said to himself, “everyone is dead. Heh.” He shrugged. “I can be so forgetful.”
Harold resumed his drive through the desolate city, passing by empty windows. “You know,” Harold said to his partner in the passenger seat, “most people would be depressed, but I’m not. I was never much of a people-person.” His partner didn’t say anything. “And, you know, maybe it’s for the best.” Harold didn’t elaborate on this, choosing instead to let the silence of the warm sky above have its word.
Later on that day, back home at the abandoned Popeye’s he now called home, Harold spoke to his buddy some more. “But you know, I do sometimes wonder ‘why–why am I the only survivor? What made me so special?’” His buddy didn’t respond. “But then I thought, ‘maybe no one else was real. Maybe, I was the only living person and everyone else: parts of a simulation.’ Makes sense right?”
“It feels good to be special,” his partner whispered in the cooling darkness of the Popeye’s restaurant.
Harold nodded his head. “It does. I just wish there were others to acknowledge this.”
“You have me…”
“Yeah, but you’re not real.”
His buddy didn’t say anything.
“Well, time for some shut-eye. Need to hunt for some more supplies. I always wanted to check out the edge of town. I coulda sworn I heard something over there. Voices. But, I’m probably just losing it. Anyway, nightie-night.”
The light was then gone. And Harold, the hero, the main character of this horrific disaster, slept comfortably, as always, while his friend watched on.