Thursday, October 7, 2010

Viral n

Three hundred and forty-eight stories up, he was looking out as the sun was setting on the gleaming city. From this perspective it looked as though nothing had ever happened. Clenching the railing, he closed his eyes tightly until he felt the slight burning and let that single thought explode through his mind “WAKE THE FUCK UP!” Never sure if he was actually screaming it or just lets it rattle his brain, the faint echo of it is still in his ears when he backs away from the railing.

The cool breeze washes over him as he feels assimilated with the wall. A flock of birds off in the distance carry on with their lives not caring. “Yeah? FUCK you too! Think you can do better. YOU NEED US!” Ah, how alcohol can make the brain incoherent at times. He leaned for a moment trying to figure out why the birds needed humans. Finally giving up, he stumbled, kicking the lawn chair in his way. “Damn stupid machines!” His cigarette darted through the air hitting the chair right where his ass would be. Before the molten ash could singe it the seat flushed the tiny cherry with foam.

The door, still propped open to the balcony, only had a little damage from the large metal bar that kept it from ending this horrible nightmare for Reavyn. He thought about building a fire for a meal, but he knew he had too much to drink. Fire and drunkenness does not mix. The old flashlight he found in someones antique collection came in quite handy. Grabbing the axe, the flashlight led him to the kitchen. He almost split his skull with the axe trying to pry open the cabinet, sputtering letters just strewn together to almost sound like a curse. He picked the closest glass and grabbed the axe again, heading for the bathroom this time. Gently setting the flashlight on the counter, he wavered for a bit deciding that wasn’t a good place. Wobbling for a bit trying to place it on top of the toilet, he didn’t like it there either. Finally tired of trying to think with everything blurring, he put the flashlight between his legs pointing at the sink. Not hesitating, he picked the axe up and swung it down at the faucet, water spewing everywhere. Seeing an intoxicated man trying to catch water in a glass that is showering a whole bathroom is probably the most amusing thing this apartment complex will ever see. He finally gave up after a few minutes, shattering the glass against the shower door.

The sharpness of the loud siren startled him awake. Feeling for the flashlight in the completely darkened room, he started coughing. He couldn’t breathe. The smell of smoke was everywhere. He grabbed the axe and his shirt, stumbling to his feet and covering his mouth at the same time. Feeling against the wall for the door to the balcony, he scrambled while running out of air. Finally finding the small crease that gave away the position of the door, he back up a step and swung the axe. He felt it stick in the door for a second. The door hissed upwards and he flung
himself out onto the balcony’s daylight.

The seconds flew by. He couldn’t stay more than a single minute. He watched as the smoke rolled out of the apartment as he caught as much of his breath as he could. He grabbed the axe from the doorway and wacked both of the shutters over the windows, sending them to be repaired with the door. He caught a glimpse of rags smoldering on the stove. Running as quickly as he could, he grabbed his pack, flashlight, and poll holding his breath as long as he could. He made it to the front door with fifteen seconds to go. “SHIT!” He’d forgotten to grab the smoke alarm. It was too late to go back. Swinging the axe with all his weight, it slammed against the hard steel door barely denting it. It opened with a lazy whisper. He jumped out of the portal
as far away as he could manage, the white foam encasing the whole of the apartment behind him. “That’s it…no more drinking, fucking machines.”

Dumping out his pack, the bruised and hungover man felt around until he found the small lantern. Shuffling through all the antiquities he had come across in this apartment building alone, he fished for the odd writing utensil. He remembered most of this stuff from his history lessons. The strange long yellow hexagonal object was called a pencil. It was used for making marks on paper. It was odd getting use to writing without the aid of computers. He found he could barely understand his own writing. He fiddled around a bit for one of the large calenders that use to be made of paper. He found the one he started using just days before. A big X mark through
the year 2099. The last year that everyone agreed to stop production of paper calendars. This one had holographic horses that you could pet. Flipping the pages he came to March. Making a big X through the eighteenth and let out a sigh “Happy Birthday to me….”

Shoving everything but the lantern in his pack, he fastens the axe to it and helped himself up with the large metal pole. He glanced back at the doorway he jump out of how ever long ago and noticed the elevator wasn’t there. He looked down the service hallway, but the light didn’t shine very far. “Where the hell are all the Sers?” He realized there wasn’t anything in the hall. There should be ServPeds all over.

ServPeds were basic automated service machines used for many things back when they weren’t hostile. One use was repairing elevators in the service hallways. Reavyn wandered down the huge corridor only meant for humans in an emergency. The elevators brought each resident to their own front door. One hundred elevators used to constantly move up, down, and sideways throughout the five hundred story building. The service-ways were large enough for two humans to walk side by side, just in case a fire broke out.

About fifty yards down, almost halfway to the next suite, he came across two severely
dismantled Sers. Stepping exactly one foot in front of the other, he counted the paces. “Twenty-one feet, huh?” Whoever did this knew how far apart to spread the torso from the magnoboard. The machine couldn’t rebuild itself. This was definitely someone to watch out for. The machines kept changing this number. Soon we’d be spreading them miles apart.

The next door came about three minutes later. Unstrapping the axe from the hard polymer pack he held the metal bar and backpack in one arm standing with his back against the wall and swung his other with all his weight. His faithful door knocker almost flew out of his hand. The door opened lazily. About halfway up Reavyn jumped through. That’s when the door had a change of heart, it bolted upwards. His arm contorted as the metal poll slammed to the ceiling, getting caught on the elevator behind him. The pain was unbearable. Turning to his side he retched, passing out before he knew if anything came up.


  1. I want to read more. What are you doing reading this comment? Go write more, now.

  2. I still like this one. I like the glimpse into this other world which is so much like our own but at the same time so different. It's a little creepy that he appears to be there all alone. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.