From high above the world through my hazy hotel window, I watch the city streets bubble. Abandoned cars, melted and stuck to the asphalt, litter the roads. Traffic signs have warped and bent in the unrelenting heat. All is quiet.
Is this how it ends? Were we always destined to burn up? Icarus, flying still higher until our wings melt and we crash to our bitter deaths?
My glass of Jack is warm. I wish I had ice. I wish the TV worked. I wish I could leave this fucking room! It’s been months—years—since I woke up here. I’m always hungry, always thirsty, but my body doesn’t change.
I don’t lose weight, at least not anymore. And I don’t sleep. There is no door. The windows won’t break. All I can do is sit in this hideous yellow chair, drink warm whiskey from this dirty glass that never goes empty, and watch the end of the world through this window. Or, at least watch the end of my world.
Have I gone crazy? Why am I here?
I don’t know my name. I don’t know anything. Except that I don’t like whiskey. The burn, the fire on my dry tongue, I hate it. But I can’t stop drinking. I can’t stop staring out of this hazy window at a world long dead.
The room is covered with a sickening orange floral wallpaper. Makes me think of vomit. I can practically taste the acidic bile jumping up at the back of my throat.
Why is there no door? Why can’t I leave this place?
It’s surprisingly cool in here though. How can that be? With the world burning right outside my window? Outside… It’s getting hard to see through the haze. It must be scorching out there.
My skin is old leather. The backs of my palms are too dark and it makes an awful scrunching when I squeeze my fists. It’s as if I had been out there baking in that unforgiving sun before waking up in this room.
I lied about the TV. It does work. But only sometimes. When I drift off—when my mind wanders from this place—the TV turns on by itself and snatches me back to this reality. It’s always the same thing, too. An old black-and-white cowboy show. Lots of loud shooting. But as soon as I try watching it the TV shuts off again. Then I’m left here alone. All I can do is sit in this hideous yellow chair, drink warm whiskey from this dirty glass that never goes empty, and watch the end of the world through this window. Or, at least watch the end of my world.
While you’re here, check out some of these other strange flash fiction pieces!
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