Authors: Ewan Sinclair
Tags: #horror, #mystery, #apocalypse, #satire
(Copyright Ewan Sinclair 2011)
Published By Ewan Sinclair at Smashwords
Table of Contents
June was a
fine month. It drifted by lazily in a sad imitation of the smoke
from the adjacent factory. I was twenty five and I was bored. I
filled my time with endless media, media it seemed that manifested
itself everywhere, anywhere. The world seemed so full of noise, so
bursting with a raft of information, it was only logical to seek
out illegal movies and viral videos just to escape the chatter.
Then it was
August. A job interview burgeoning filled me with such promise. Ten
days and I might be in my dream job. A year and I might be earning
dream money. Such fantasies filled my head that I became a spectre
lost to a world between worlds, somewhere they claim imagination
interrupted by a banal bleating, the call ID said
answered grumpily. ‘What’s up...I’m not doing anything...yes, but
I’m tired...cheers man, bye.’ The shortened version was that life
was sweet, promising and full of pleasure. I could do what I
wanted. I had great friends, a great life and everything a boy
could want. In fact the world seemed made for me, nothing was ever
too difficult, nothing ever too hard.
It was a
Tuesday and I decided to go into town, without a job there was
little to do. I lazily put on some clothes, drifting in and out of
the tedium of putting together an ensemble. I moved with sluggish
motion to find my keys. The room was dark, but lights were
expensive, so I fumbled around until I found them.
I opened the
door to my car. The flat card shape slid effortlessly into the
ignition. A dinging sound let me know that the engine was on. I
pushed the button required to attach my retention belt to me.
Looking at the screen on the wheel I pushed the voice button and
stated clumsily, ‘Downtown, Chana car park.’ The machine got the
message anyway and began navigating. Pressing the
button I laid back and let the car do all the work.
I was rapidly
passing the central boulevard where row after row of gravity
defying buildings brushed past. They were barely there long enough
for a look, before they shot away. The world was a blur, a dull
hazy blur. Bored with the glass and concrete scenery I fumbled with
the touchpad on the dash till I found the radio. A news report
warbled in from the car’s speakers.
‘Thanks to the
impressive efforts of our emergency services the fire was put out
before there were any casualties.
news,’ the narrator continued, ‘there is a demonstration taking
place outside the Global Governmental Offices. This demonstration
is in response to an increase in fuel duty due to come in later
this year. Eyewitnesses have stated that the crowd remains calm. So
far there are no reports of violence.
‘Moving to the
Waste Zones now for a breaking headline. Latest figures from the
Presidium Party state that there has been a forty percent increase
in resistance to Western control. In other news the Machali tribe
appears to be gaining momentum in its attempt to take over the
region. Leader of the political movement, Walter Halerm, stated
that the tribe would soon be in control of sixteen thousand square
miles of territory.
all the headlines for now, so it’s back to Atifa with all the
latest music and celebrity news.’
finally cut out, but I was already too bored to listen. Politics
and war and strife had never been of much interest to me. I
considered myself more of a social animal. Let the world do what it
will. It didn’t bother me so long as I wasn’t gonna get hurt by
The car had
finally made it to the vehicle storage facility. The distorted
female brain of my car began bleating repetitively, ‘Disembark,
Disembark, Disembark.’ In an effort to shut her up I pulled my legs
from the car and breathed in the hazy air of Bataga. I stepped away
from the car and it was rolled away on an automated running track
and into the darkness of the building. I took my reference ticket
and made my way out.
The sun was
baking down upon me. It was so hot. I wished I had just stayed at
home. It was far too hot for walking. Around me downtown was flung
about in its huge, sprawling and poorly planned composition. A
mixture of washed out colours blinded my vision. Some buildings
were so high it hurt your neck to even try and look at them. I
started coughing, the air was nauseating. It had smelt like
chemicals ever since the war, or so I was told. ‘Clean up’ they
called it. Seemed more like systematic poisoning to me.
After a short
walk I came across the emporium I was looking for. The sign above
the huge curved glass entrance said
was the latest vogue to name your buildings after dead cities. I
was quite amazed that I had managed to get the reference at all.
History had been such a drag. Back then I couldn’t wait for it to
In the act of
walking inside I was greeted by the refreshing cool and clean air
provided by the buildings environmental systems. Too much outdoor
air was bad for you. At least that was what the health
correspondents on the news said.
I began my
ascent in one of the glass encased lifts, rising like a bird until
I was so high the people on the ground floor looked like bacteria.
I emerged from the lift and into a large open planned, marble space
where the store of my dreams resided. It was a tech shop, like the
kind you see everywhere, only this was the Eternis Systems flagship
store. It was intense. The promotions claimed that it provided the
best tech in the biggest store of its kind. It took up thirteen
floors of the emporium and every inch of space was put up to a
aisles of the store I finally found the stand I was looking for. It
was the new Compass(R) handhelds, the most advanced handheld in the
world. I picked it up and marvelled at its flatness, its shimmer,
its elegance. It was like something from an art exhibition. It
enthralled me and seemed to fill all the other customers, who were
admiring it, with excitement. It was of course way too much for me.
But if the interview went well, then I could afford it. So I
figured I could put it on credit and have it paid by the end of the
, I thought,
I’m gonna get it
. And that was
that. Shopping trip over, time to go home and try this puppy out. I
descended the elevator and walked out onto the deserted
through the doors now, philosophising. The receptionist asks ‘So
you’re the new candidate?’ and states, ‘this way Sir,’ and with
that I’m in
. It’s actually happening,
I thought, sitting
down in front of my interviewer.
application process is really very simple Mr Engeltine. All that
you need to do is sit comfortably and not worry.’ So I sat
comfortably, reclining backwards, preparing for the blitz.
‘My name is
Charles Sephra. Welcome to the Eternis Systems’ human resources
section.’ The cool suit wearing man leaned back into his chair and
lit a cigarette. ‘Are you comfortable? Good, shall we begin?’
I nodded and
he reached his hand below him. Something clicked and the sound of
whirring was audible. I felt a stabbing sensation in the side of my
leg. I would have wondered what it was but it disappeared
another drag of his cigarette. ‘Something will happen that will
make no sense. I do not expect you to understand but please be
assured that it will be brief. In the interlude between conception
and cognition you should remain still. And, Mr Engeltine, you will
see with new eyes.’
what the hell, this is a joke right? These thoughts ran through my
head with frightening speed. I had been so excited about getting a
new job. It was my chance to turn it all around.
began to fade. I felt my eyelids drooping with a heavy weight, they
would soon be closed. I tried to strike out against Sephra but I
didn’t even manage to raise an arm. The clouds began to roll their
way in front of my vision. Then there was blackness. Then there was
Then there was
light. Light, a beautiful aura falling so smoothly above my head it
was as if it was made from water. Focusing my eyes I looked forward
and I wished I hadn’t. The man opposite me, so unremarkable before,
was out of focus. Perforated by halos of light the man was nothing
more than an image, a faded recollection of an abandoned memory.
His distorted self, in one moment, threatened to snap back into
reality. Yet in the next seemed only to shimmer, brighten and form
images of impossibility. To me it was beyond comprehension, beyond
understanding. Rising with a speed I did not know was possible I
opened the door and flung myself from the room.
and rooms of white shot past in an ember of half forgotten images.
The street, filled with the damp of rain, rushed past,
unintelligible. The day faded and merged with the night. Amidst
this semi lucid fantasy I woke up in my bed.
managed the movements required to silence my alarm. It obeyed
obediently. Where had I been? Had I dreamt the interview?
Everything seemed different. Everything was the same. Only it
couldn’t have been because everything had changed.
My room had
remained the same but seemed different. Words fluttered to my mind
‘new eyes’ and ‘cognition.’ I must have changed, but how? Then it
hit me. The very narrative of my mind had changed. It did not speak
as it once did; fragmented and disjointed, instead it spoke with
clarity. It was the kind of clarity that separates crystal from
glass. A difference that was at once imperceptible and at the same
time of critical importance.
toward my blue dresser I saw the world shift. Spears of light
punctuated my room from no apparent source. But unlike the light in
the interview room my understanding of it had changed. This time it
held a meaning, but its meaning was lost on me. I could only
recognise its presence. The light seemed to flicker and began to
fade. The world gradually darkened. All the colour that was, seemed
to be no more. Then it was gone, I was gone.
some imperceptible notion I rose from the floor, brow bloodied from
the fall. Yet I did not feel hurt. I felt rejuvenated. Where once I
had noticed nothing, my world had become descriptive, detailed
beyond any possibility. The flakes of dust, human skin, captured by
the light were thrown to the floor. This ordinary image translated
itself into something beyond description. I noticed every motion
and every movement that those flakes made as they tumbled on a
current of air.
The small ink
stains on my curtain, a teardrop burned into the soft velvet fabric
beneath, stirred me to my innermost core. These things were the
same as before and yet had become raised in value. They were
apparent, whereas before it occupied the fringes of the
unconscious. It had been as if my apathy had disappeared and my
mind cleared. In the same instant I saw something else. Something
beyond the imagination. Its very darkness screamed, calling me, for
me, forever. It was an image in which the desperate man who screams
for death, was calling for an absolute salvation. The two spheres,
a present wonder and a future damnation brought me to my knees. I
might have lost all of the capacity to move from that spot had my
phone not dragged me away with an incessant calling.