Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Flash Fiction: 1/6/13

Found this in my drafts folder....

I started writing again, and I ended up with a flash fiction piece I'm currently expanding.

Ultra Violet

I like walking at dusk. Dusk is the end of the day, sure, but it's also the beginning of the night--and night is when I get my best thinking done. I walk through the park, which used to be a garden or an oasis for some people, but now it's a literal wasteland. At the end, a lot of people lived here, in tents or hobbit-holes, or up in the trees. Now even those parts have fallen in to disrepair.
The animals got out of the zoo, and some survived for a while but for some it was too hot or too cold. Ironically, I guess, for the bears the park was just right and now they've taken over the ice rink and a couple other places that used to be crawling with people.
The sign has fallen down. The sign that used to proudly announce the entrance to the zoo. It's all overgrown with vines and wild flowers--a veritable rainbow of floral arrangement no one could have designed if they tried. I think wild flowers are why I don't believe in God. Chaos is a more perfect designer than "intelligent design", and then we feeble humans sat down and worked out math and science and they are our justification for the chaos. But then when I think about mathematics and fractals and science and the laws of gravity...somehow my faith is restored.
It's sort of like how purple makes me think of beginnings. It's the beginning of the night when the sky turns purple. The beginning of a new spectrum of light when you've reached the end of a rainbow. The beginning of a new world order when purple flowers carpet the zoo, and the park where the yuppies used to walk their yappie lap dogs. They wanted to be seen more than they cared about exercising their mutts. Now they wouldn't be caught dead here, which I guess is lucky for them since most of them are. Dead, that is. Some of them aren't--they're on Mars or the Moon or floating in space on an all-expenses-paid-by-their-trust-fund lifelong cruise through the sky. I'm sure even some of them are dead, too, though.
I'm getting old.
There are remnants of whole households that had moved out here. It's like what I imagine Pompeii looks like, or looked like--or probably still looks like. I'm sure no one's bothered to touch Pompeii. Mattresses and campfires and tupperware bowls are carefully placed where people had their last moments as a family. Most were probably spent screaming. Cans from beans and metal pails are everywhere. I feel a strange urge to collect them, and drop them off for recycling. It's like having a phantom limb where civilization used to be. There's patches of overturned dirt where everyone agreed to shit in the ground. Some piles are probably treasures buried deep below, and if they aren't they should be. Would have been a brilliant place to hide valuables for someone with a good memory.
We built up from the Earth in at the beginning; literally crawled out of the primordial ooze and became what we were by the end. You'd think we'd have made it farther on round two, like some survival instinct from the oozey days would have kicked in or something, but a lot of people gave up. We'd gone soft--like we'd reverted back even further before the ooze and it was just too much effort to get back.
One mattress is on top of a box spring, complete with sheets and a quilt. I can't help but laugh. Who had the time for that? Who had the energy left? It looks like there's another quilt next to the bed, but this one's in-process of being made. The bed is lumpy. There's still someone in it--an old man, dressed as a woman. I remember Little Red Riding Hood and my heart jumps. He's dead, but barely. I touch his forehead. Cold, but the skin is stiff. Rigor mortis has set in. He has a patch of the new quilt in his hand. I take it from him.
Another ending/beginning. Goodbye life, hello freedom. Wherever he is now, whether he is anywhere or nowhere, he certainly won't have to worry about how bad he smells, or the fact that he shit the bed. I pull the quilt over his head. I put the half- finished one on top, too. Animals will get him, eventually, but not today. Not tonight.
I used to play this game-- a long time ago, in another life, where there was nothing. You started in a field or on an island, or in a desert, and you built up from nothing. At night there were these monsters that would come out and some...well most of them...made noises. Most--all but one. One would just sneak up outside your line of vision and suddenly you'd hear a sizzle and you'd know your life was about to end. Those were my favorite monsters because there was no fight, it was just the sizzle, an explosion, and boom--life renewed.
I think my survival is punishment. Really I do. I'm stuck in purple, knowing there's renewal around the corner, knowing this all has to end sometime, but never crossing into the new spectrum. Always waiting. Always waking up the next morning. 
The sky fades again from purple to black and the stars come out. The moon shines, its light now blemished by the colonies no one thought to build from reflective material. I close my eyes and feel the wind on my face.