This week's prompt was to find a picture and create something around it. I went apocalyptic this week. Here's the picture followed by the story.
I stood on the craggy peaks looking out over the city. I was exhausted, and breath came in long gulps. I had walked, jogged at times, all day to make it in time.
The sun had already dipped below the horizon, and the stars appeared one-by-one overhead. The city looked like a sea of light shimmering in the valley beneath. I took a seat and propped up against my pack waiting for it all to begin.
I had dreamed about it only weeks ago. I tried to tell anyone who would listen, but nobody would believe me. But who would? Thousands of people had claimed over the centuries to have seen visions of the apocalypse, and none of them came true. Why should I be any different?
I had even started to doubt myself. It was just a dream. Sure, I had had dreams before that came true, but nothing like this. This was just my imagination running wild. I had gone too long with little sleep. I had even halfway forgotten about it weeks later.
Forgotten about it until I started noticing it happening. It was little things at first. Something someone said to me. An interaction at the coffee shop. Things that were more like deja vu that a fulfillment of a dream.
Then it got more specific. Somebody tripped and fell on the sidewalk right in front of me. A friend stopped by for a surprise visit that I knew was going to happen. I could have even played the lottery and won, but I knew it would all be useless soon anyway.
So I started telling everyone I could, and you could imagine the response I got. So I packed up and I left town. I wasn’t alone, though. My buddy, Phil, came along. He’s the only one I could convince I wasn’t crazy.
“I’ve heard of that kind of stuff happening, man,” he told me. “Folks dream crazy stuff and it happens. That ain’t no coincidence, man. It’s real stuff.”
He tagged along and stopped for a rest just before we reached the peak. He’s not exactly of the mountain climbing build, if you know what I mean.
I heard him huffing up behind me as I settled in.
“Did it start yet?” he asked.
“Nope. Lights are still on.”
“Great. I was hoping I wouldn’t miss it,” he said, situating himself beside. He rubbed his hands together. “Man, this is going to be so cool.”
The big grin on his face went away when I cut my eyes at him.
“Oh. Right,” he said, eyes downcast.
We sat for several minutes in silence, staring at the city, waiting for the inevitable. The sky darkened to a deep indigo with just hint of orange on the horizon. Phil grew restless.
“Hey, you think this part may not happen? Or maybe we got the wrong day?”
That’s when I noticed a small spark in the sky.
“There it goes,” I said.
We watched as the city lights blinked out. Chunk by chunk, like puzzle pieces being taken away, city blocks went dark as the power grids failed. After only half a minute, the entire valley lay in darkness. The only lights now came from the stars above.
We sat in complete darkness for long minutes. Dread fell upon me. This was where my dream had ended, so I no idea what would happen next. I didn’t know what caused the power to go out, or if it would ever be fixed. All I know was I was safer here than I would have been down there.
“Hey, Josh,” Phil said.
“It’s kind of freaky, isn’t it? Us being out here all alone.”
“Yeah, it is.”
“You think we’ll end up being the only ones left?”
“I don’t know about the only ones.”
We sat in silence and darkness a few more moments before Phil spoke up again.
“It’s a little more than freaky. I think I need some new pants.”