A surreal short story

The Diary of a Lost Boy

It’s been two days since the world ended and I have yet to pluck up the courage to go outside. I grabbed another can of baked beans from the stack and started to twirl the can opener around the edges. I grabbed two slices of bread from the mountain of bread that I had stashed in the corner of the room and proceeded to butter the slices. I must admit, it wasn’t the best survival plan I had in mind but then again I didn’t have much time. As soon as the second sun appeared I knew we were fucked and while the rest of the media mocked the lunatics for preparing for doomsday I knew the shit really was about to hit the fan, so I just dashed to the shops and grabbed what I could.

Baked beans, white bread, butter and about twenty bananas. It would hardly keep me alive for two weeks let alone the rest of my life but I suppose I could always hunt for rabbits. If there were any rabbits or wildlife; or even nature. It had been a pretty humongous crash when the end did come. The entire foundations of the house shook until I thought it would all come crumbling down on me but I just kneeled and prayed and for some miraculous reason, the house stayed up. I checked my mobile phone but there was no signal, tried to turn the television on, but nothing. I knew I had to go outside and see if anyone else was out there but I was too afraid.

I sat there in my bedroom eating my baked beans and counting the cans I had left. Fourteen. Fuck this, I thought, I need to check. I hadn’t even bothered opening the curtains because I didn’t want to see the bodies outside. I mean I heard their screams. Too many screams, like birds burning in a cage. Their screams pierced my eardrums, that, and the sound of the world ending; the crashing of mountains, and the crunching of metal and brick, watching the street lamps behind the curtains all falling over, and going out, one by one.

I got up and walked towards the curtain. Slowly I pulled the curtains back to allow the immensely burning sun to swathe my body in bright yellow light. I held my hand up to my eyes. It was not possible to be shocked by what I saw because the mind had no way of comprehending what on earth it was looking at. It looked like I was staring at some surreal painting or had awoken in the midst of a spectacular sci-fi dream. The road outside my house looked as if it had been sawn off, and over the edge was just blue space as if staring at the sky. It looked like half the world had just dropped off.  There was my road. Then more blue sky and then nothing but empty space.  Europe had gone. Maybe half of Australia too.

I rushed to the door and opened it slowly. I walked outside and breathed in the fresh cool air. I stayed close to the door to stop me from falling over the edge. I looked further down the road but that had been sawn off too. It seemed so far that all that was left of the world was my house and say one or two metres of the earth in front of it. I stayed close to the door and needlessly tiptoed to the end of the house. Again all I could see was the sea blue sky and nothing else. I peeked round the corner and yet again I was confronted by the same thing and now the terror was beginning to settle down. All that was left of the whole planet was my house and the small piece of earth that it seemed to be sitting on top of. I went round back where the ground was a little looser and sure enough. No lawn to mow, but masses of blue sky, and fuck all else. Getting down on my hands and knees I crawled towards the edges of the earth and peaked over. It looked like I was sitting on top of some kind of turnip and all I could see was the V shaped earth mound tipping downwards. I headed back into the house to try and calm myself down. No people left. No food. No earth. What the fuck was I to do? I thought I would wait till night fall to see how I felt. Not that there was a night fall because there was no longer an earth mass to block out the sun as it moved away from me. I just saw the sun sitting there all night long. I went to sleep that night dreaming of all my relatives and loved ones, wondering where they were.

The next day I got up and packed my rucksack. I took four cans of baked beans with me a loaf of bread, two bananas and a selection of chocolates. I left the toffee one, I never did like toffee ones, and opened my front door. It was a good day as it would always be. I zipped up my jacket to the neck and put my gloves on. I walked towards the edge of the earth and just jumped off.

At first it was terrifying but then became exhilarating as my body acclimatised to the pressure and air battering my body. The sound of air passing by my ears was like being close to a jet engine. After accepting my descent into emptiness I fell into a peaceful slumber, outstretching my arms like a bird. I found if I tipped my hips I could change direction, and did so. Whoosh! Then the other way. Whoosh! I did three flips round and round upside down screaming with joy. This was the most elated I had ever felt since the world had ended.

I noticed the sky becoming darker and screwed my eyes into the distance to look harder. It looked as if I was approaching outer space so I decided to pull out an extra jumper I had brought with me to keep me warm. The cans of baked beans fell out of my bag and whizzed back home towards my house. The sky around me became even darker as I stared ahead into space. My descent moved from a hurtle, into a lighter free fall, as all around me became darkness. I flipped round to see the blueness disappear along with my home and the sun which became just another star.

In space I felt quite alone, even contemplative, as I floated in the nothingness. I wasn’t too sure of my direction, and had nothing to check my bearings with. It was more difficult to flip and twist like I could when hurtling through the atmosphere, so I imagined myself walking  to nowhere, as if on a Sunday stroll, out for a casual walk, in deep space. Soon I noticed a silver fiery edge appearing in the distance as if it the universe had been cut in half, and then I noticed what appeared to be the bodies of other human beings. Were they dead or alive?

I changed my direction and floated towards some of the bodies. As I approached them I was shocked to see their faces smiling at me. I reached forward to grab their hands and we joined together like the space shuttle docking in outer space.

‘What the hell is happening?’ I asked.

‘We don’t know. We have all been falling since the earth ended but we are not sure where we are heading?’ They said.

I was aware of a multitude of other people all free-floating around me. It wasn’t just one or two people but a thousand, hell, maybe a million or more. I dipped down into the masses of people that only continued to grow and grow. It seemed like the whole planet was here in outer space. All six billion of us were heading towards the edges of the universe. The silver thin line that looked like the end of the universe was turning into a dazzling silver flame, an insane streak of creativity that blazed a trail across our eyes. We all moved our hands and legs in unison. Our direction and intentions synchronized. All of humanity was on the move. Towards a new dawn.

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