I don’t know why I’m even writing this. I mean, seriously, who is going to read this? I am the only one left.
I tried looking. I spent years of my life wandering and looking. Years, calling into the everlasting night that has descended on the world. Hundreds upon hundreds of days longing for a simple conversation, longing for the exchange of even a few simple words. For the touch of someone else. It’s not meant to be. I am clearly the only one left. The world has become a ghost of its former self. There is nothing left, but skeletons (Of both buildings, society, and the dead.) and ashes.
I won’t get into the details of how it all ended. I don’t know much about it myself. I remember that it happened long ago when there were still people walking around. The only memory I have are snippets of a conversation about the catastrophe. They said the man that pushed the button only exclaimed, "It worked.” as the flash light up the night. That quick flash was said to have lit up the sky around the world. The sky became fire. Most died on that night when the darkness was dispelled by light. I was a child then, but years have elapsed. The darkness that was warded off in that night returned and swallowed the world in clouds of ash and dust. In the passing months, most died of starvation, exposure, or worse.
At first the solitude was suffocating. As a child, I hated it. I wandered from town to town screaming in the ravaged square for someone, anyone. I needed a friend more than anything else in the world. Someone to comfort me or at least show me that I wasn’t alone in all of this. I wept bitter tears for anyone to join me. Slowly, the silence became comforting. It was an old friend. It was my ever constant traveling partner. It never made its presence known, but it never left me. I woke to silence and I fell asleep to silence. It was comforting. It was constant. It was a couple months ago that it all happened.
Imagine that someone is watching you. Feel their eyes on your back. Feel them boring into you like a drill. Don’t even think about it. Don’t turn around. Stay still as long as you can without looking back. The eyes haven’t left you, if anything the stare has become more intense. Now it almost feels like someone is holding a lit matchstick to your back. Don’t even move your eyes. They are getting closer to you. Stay perfectly still. Do you feel their hot breath on the back of you neck? Okay. Whirl around. Scan the darkness looking for something, anything. There’s nothing. There was always nothing. Why am I even explaining this? Why am I even writing this? I guess I’m writing to make sense of it. To explain why I started feeling this way a month back.
It’s been about a week since my last entry. I don’t know for certain. I no longer have a calendar and I realize that even if I did have one, I wouldn’t be able to understand it. The feeling of being watched has grown almost unbearable. I can’t help glancing over my shoulder when I’m pissing on the side of the road. I scream out into the darkness for them to show themselves. There is no response. I know it sounds crazy (The fact that I’m alone in this world means I define my sanity so I guess there’s that illustration for how much I’m slipping when even I think I am slipping.), but I know that someone is out there. I am not alone here. I am not alone. I am not.
More days elapse like sand falling out of an hour glass.
I am seriously losing it! I know I heard it! I know it was there. I won’t lie. I had been drinking a little heavier than usual. You would too if you were experiencing what I was. I had drained an entire bottle of whiskey, but that was hours before it happened. I was not drunk enough for what happened. I was walking down the street of another abandoned town when it happened. A telephone rang. I almost twisted my ankle getting to the pay phone. I lifted the phone off the receiver and listened, nothing. No dial tone. No operator's voice. Nothing. I waited by the phone for hours. For something. Anything. Nothing.
Defining time has become meaningless to me.
I waited for days by the phone. It never rang again. I waited a few days more. I don’t know what scared me more. The fact that the phone might never ring again or that someone might call again. Still I camped out by the pay phone until necessity dictated that I leave. I raided another bomb shelter. The number of stocked bomb shelters are become less and less as time passes. One day, I think they’ll be completely empty and I’ll slowly starve to death. The worst part about that realization is that I don’t know if that will appear to me as a tragedy or a relief.
A lifetime passes by in the blink of an eye or it crawls by for what seems like an eternity, I don’t mind either way.
I’ve lost it. I won’t even pretend that I’m alright. As I write this, I know that I’m too far gone to ever resume a normal life. It happened again. I had holed myself up in a room for the night. I was clutching an old weathered .44 dessert eagle. It’s a powerful weapon, but utterly useless in a gunfight. No accuracy, too heavy, limited magazine. You might as well go into a battle with your own swinging cod for all that a desert eagle is worth in a fire fight. It’s the only thing I have and I know it’s not enough. I’m locked up in an old apartment. I have the mattress pressed up against the wall. A lot of good that is doing. From on the other side of the door, I can hear the singular sound of knocking.
Whatever has been watching me, listening to me, stalking me. It has finally found me. It is right outside my door. It knocks with three consecutive knocks, paused, three slow knocks, and then three quick deliberate knocks. A code if I know it, but Goddamnit; I can’t figure it out. Are the knocks letters or are they syllables? Do they mean anything? I listen to it for hours. My hands close tighter around the pistol and my cuticles go white. I don’t know what scares me more; the fact that when I throw open the door and I find that someone is there or that I may throw open the door and see nothing was there all along.
Time marches on, leaving Ozymandius as sand and shattered stone.
Sweet merciful lord! I’ve decided what I need to do. The knocking continued. It has continued for days. It has to be outside. Sometimes, it would die out and wait for hours before resuming again, but it never went away completely. It was always there. Someone is outside my door and waiting for me. I need to open the door. I walk to the door. I need to know what is out there. I’m overtaken by paroxysms of terror and elation. I won’t be alone any more or I’ll open the door into the yawning maw of solitude and infinity. I grasp the handle and I depress the lever. I jerk the door open and I scream. I know that nothing will ever be the same. I know that I will never be the same. I know.
Written by EmpyrealInvective