Inspired by James Mascia’s Other Worlds:Writing Prompts for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer, kindle edition.
The man opened the door, slowly sliding in and taking a seat seeing the line in front of him. The phones were ringing and could not be answered fast enough. Policemen hurried about and left leaving staff frantically answering phones and taking messages on those little post it notes and stationary, whatever happened to be close to their hand at that moment.
The man knew why this was happening. And he knew it was time to tell his story. There is no point in telling a story without an audience to react to it, so time would be limited. He needed an audience. This was his masterpiece and he wanted to be recognized for it before it was too late. His worn shoes and tattered coat misled people into thinking he was powerless. They were all wrong, so very wrong.
He watched the people edge closer to the counter one at a time, being told to take a seat and as soon as someone was available they would be seen to. He waited. People continued to stream in, in a worried frantic way, only to wait. Hurry up and wait folks. Time’s almost up.
The man looked at his cracked beaten watch and smiled. So close now. He took a deep breath in through his nose, almost tasting the fear, the sense of impending doom in the air. He could almost feel the vibration like a massive bomb going off, of all the anxious energy of all the people around him. To be in a police station when the end was nigh. That was how to be in the center of the storm. To feel the nuclear blast at its core. Would he survive this? Did it matter?
He started tapping his foot. He almost jumped out of his chair. He had been carrying a sign for so long warning people of the end times. People laughed at him, spit in his face, shoved him, but it was the laughing that hurt most. Now who is laughing, he thought.
He was a part of this chaos. He knew he started this cyclone spiraling down with his powerful mind. He would watch the world burn and it go down the toilet bowl. Would he get sucked in with it? Maybe? But it was so worth it. Just to hear all those jeers and taunts, the pity change thrown at his feet like he was a common beggar.
How dare they! He meant it as a serious warning but no one took heed. He smiled smugly to himself. His ex wife and estranged kids cut him out of their life long ago. He lost his house and property to the evil empire. He all ready lost everything that mattered including his pride and dignity.
This was his calling, his duty to warn mankind of the angels of destruction and the end of the world. But it was a onerous task, one which cost him everything. A man with nothing to lose is the most dangerous. He believed this. He knew this. He was that man.
Finally the lobby was filled with people muttering and sitting and some still standing defiantly, all demanding answers. He stood up and walked up to the counter pushing some people aside, others looked at him perplexed but still moved aside. His purpose was now. This would be his audience, his big moment.
“All these storms, these disasters. All this natural destruction that y’all are experiencing right now. It is the will of God. But it is also my vengeance. I was tasked by the angels to warn you all of this time that was a coming. But you all laughed at me, pitied me, shook your head and kept on a walking. Well, now is the time to pay the piper. Now it is the end times.
“And, I hope you all suffer as I have suffered. I hope everyone you loved leaves you high and dry. I hope government types come and take your house, and your car, and tell you what to do. I hope when you get so down and you can’t buy yourself food and clothes that when people laugh and chuckle and throw a penny or a nickel at your face that you think it is actually funny. I hope that you get dirty looks when you scrape enough change together to buy a pack of cigs or a single beer.
“I hope people judge you by how you smell, and what you look like. I hope you fall apart and when the voices do come, cause they will, I hope you listen real hard. I hope you all go in one big group and throw yourselves off the cliff like lemmings. I won’t do it. But I will be watching. And, maybe I will have a beer while I do.” And he spat on the ground, people looking at him like he was crazy. Nothing new there. They will see. They would all see. No one made a move to grab him, or hurt him.
They just all stared at him blankly like they didn’t understand English. Maybe he was still a big joke to them. He breathed in deeply one more time, focusing his mind on the final destruction, seeing it, believing it. Making it happen, now. He spread his arms out, people backed away still muttering. But he could no longer hear them.
” Please God, make me an instrument of your will. Please, end my suffering, and all the suffering of those around me. I cannot stand this evil world anymore. I tried to do your bidding, but it was hard. People are cruel. I do not know if they are ready for your love, yet. They are still full of arrogance, pride, jealousy, envy. Revenge. Yes, I am also full of revenge. I am also not worthy. But let me be the undoing. My fate is sealed, I know that now. I made my choices, I am ready to pay. Let it be now.”
A large rumble shook the room. People gripped the counter, and ducked down. Windows shattered, the personnel behind the counter took cover, trying to call out to no avail. Lines went down lights flickered and went out. People started to panic running in all kinds of directions. He simply watched, un-moving, a slight smile on his dirty face. It was just like he pictured it. Exactly. His mind was ridiculously powerful. The fear, the fear, it was intoxicating. They were scared, and he was not.
And then suddenly his eyes opened, and he was in a hospital bed, surrounded by faces he didn’t know. “What happened? Is this heaven?”
“No, this isn’t heaven. You were in an accident. A hit and run driver. These people found you and called 911. Do you remember what happened at all?” The doctor had a notepad and a pencil and wore a concerned expression on his face like a costume. A pretend to care face, he knew that look too well.
“Do you want the truth? Or what you want to hear? I was living my dream. And what a beautiful dream it was. I wish I had not woken up. I hate this world.”
“When was the last time you saw a doctor? Who is your next of kin?”
“Does it matter? I am like an egg carton, like one of those oily burger wrapper things that doesn’t make it into the trash. No one takes care of me, yet I stick around. No one wants me, but I’m still here.”
He saw the doctor scribble something down. He would guess Depression with a capital D. No one knew the truth, no one wanted to know. He closed his eyes again. Still not worthy to fulfill his destiny. He had to go back to warning people again. Someday he would be worthy to fulfill his purpose. Then they would all see. They would all tremble before him. The laughing would finally stop.