A SHORT STORY
Copyright © 2014 RIC SANTOS
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The sound of rain drops slapping against the broken city was reminiscent of a jackhammer making its way through his brain. Baring it as best as he could, Bishop stood over the corpse of Nicholas Schneider. He didn’t want to end the man’s suffering; he deserved all of the suffering in the world. Simply put, the urge to put an end to his life was too strong. It was quite annoying too, pumping six rounds square into his chest and not even having a quick death at that. He could have put a seventh in his head, but breaking his neck was too tempting.
Bishop lifted his gaze skyward and let the rain hit his tired face. The gray above was a fitting mural in honor of the decay and hopelessness in this world. He took a moment to think to himself: how long has it been since the day the world changed?
The few surviving religious fanatics dubbed it “The Calling”. As they claim, God called his children to Heaven by allowing a series of bombs the likes of which no one has ever seen to drop over North America and kill the majority of the population. The reason? It was the only way to get through to the people in this day and age. Bishop would have laughed every time he returned to the topic, but would be too consumed with sadness at the insanity of it. Suddenly, the vision of Moira and Kristen appeared. He quickly returned to reality and returned his gaze to the dead body before him. He had to stay sharp and not become emotional. At this point, there was nothing he could do and accepted the fact that this was not only the coming end of his enemies, but the coming end of himself.
Drenched, Bishop finally turned after a farewell spit onto the face of the deceased and began his walk along what used to be Eighth Avenue. He could have picked any of the cars or bicycles strewn about as a means of transportation, but a good walk is what he needed. Walking along the decimated streets and buildings, he couldn’t help but reminisce of the days where a good breakfast sandwich could be made at the deli across the street. Further on Seventeenth Street, there was a hole in the wall sushi place where the workers were always cheerful and appreciative. The udon was his favorite and he missed it very much. He didn’t bother to look at the building coming up. He didn’t miss the place at all, just the camaraderie shared amongst his former co-workers. A silent apology while keeping his sights forward was all he could offer.
The rubble all around, to his dismay, reminded him of the war. His service to this country felt so long ago. This was especially true since he and Moira first met. With her, there was never a war to remember. And when Kristen came into their lives, what else could he have asked for? He had been in such deep thought while making his way that he hadn’t realized he’d already made it “home”.
At the gym, where he would be resting for the night, Bishop sat in the nude with no artificial lights at what was the front desk. What power source would there be anyway? The only light came from an antique lantern resting next to him. He sat with pen and paper in hand, looking out of the small window to his right. He lost his train of thought gazing into the darkness and realized he looked out aimlessly for several hours. That’s actually a good place to start, he thought. The first sentence would be enough to ensure the remaining words and were read by someone, somewhere.
My name is Joseph Bishop. Very soon, I will no longer exist.
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Please visit http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/ric-santos.html for your copy of this and a downloadable version of the free flash fiction short Tranzport.