A few months ago, I started writing story as part of The Parking Lot Confessional’s 500 Club. Then NaNoWriMo got in the way and I started my own Drabble Challenges. As I found myself wondering what to post today, I decided to join the challenge again.
The idea is to write a 500-word story based on one of two provided prompts. I chose the following:
“Prompt #1: Write a story set after the apocalypse.”
Here is the resulting story!
For years I wished for silence, a concept I could barely fathom with the constant screeching of mistakes, honking of contrariety and beeping of validation that plagued modern life. Silence was an endangered species one could only find in the forgotten corners of wilderness. Only there lived a silence free of electricity’s hum and filled with chirps and leafy rustlings.
Silence has nature intended it instead of human’s perverted version.
Time and time again, I’ve heard the same sentence but continued to dream of silence, of a pause in the constant hustle. “Careful what you wish for.” I should have heeded their warning.
Maybe this wouldn’t have happened if I had endured the ticking of the clock and the plock of the leaking faucet in the middle of the night. Maybe the bombs wouldn’t have blown. Or at the very least, I wouldn’t have been the apparent sole survivor.
My thoughts sparked a crazy laugh. My twisted sound of happiness traveled over the barren lands, probably covering miles since there were no obstacles on its path. Not that anyone was in hearing distance. My parched throat dissuaded me of attempting another use of my vocal chords.
The worst thing was that this absence of sound still wasn’t silence as nature intended. It was man-made and dead.
I pushed forward even though movement was an aimless waste of energy. I refused to lie down and die like the handful of people like me did; surviving the blast only to wait for a rescue that could never come. I watched them die from the aftermath for two days before I decided to move. No one followed. And by now, I was probably alone in the world.
How long could one survive without food and water? I tried to remember. Too bad Google wasn’t a giant enough to survive the end of the world.
I was pushing on day six after the bang. Shades of dirt and a couple of mirages furnished my horizon. I thought auditory hallucinations joined the party when I heard chirping.
For lack of anything better to do, I angled myself toward that mirage. As I moved closer, it sharpened instead of disappearing. Tears streamed down my cheeks and I dropped to the ground levelling my eyes with the small patch of greenery and the Socorro Mockingbird hopping on it.
“Poor mockingbird,” I murmured, my throat complaining on every word, “you have nothing to mock anymore.”
The bird chirped, angling its head as if it was questioning me. My stomach growled. I could eat the bird to buy myself some time. Time for what exactly?
The mockingbird chirped again. A gush of wind rustled the blades of grass and the leaves of the sprout of a bush growing there. I smiled and my tears dried.
Silence as nature intended it. At last.
I sighed and dirt flew up to the mockingbird, rustling the leave once more. The bird shook the sand off and laughed crazily as my eyes closed.