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A midnight story at midnight...
A short story, published at midnight.

MIDNIGHT

I knew that it was midnight.

Though I carried no timepiece, I could tell that it was midnight, and I carried on walking.

Past what had once been busy shops, and what were now empty houses I continued my trek, walking.

Sometime before, I’d lost the need for sleep. Or had I? I no longer remembered sleeping, but sometimes, occasionally, I seemed to start suddenly as if waking from a light slumber. But the memory faded soon enough.

It was midnight.

I shifted the small backpack until it was more comfortable, and strode forward, kicking up dust with every step.

I slowed as I approached a large piece of rubble in my path, and then stepped around it. There was a brief moment of surprise at the lightening of the sky as the heavy clouds parted for just a moment and an unaccustomed feeling of warmth struck me before they closed again, and the world darkened once more.

A grunt of acknowledgement from my own mouth mildly surprised me as I rounded the edge of the building and saw the clock tower ahead, its hands permanently moulded to the clock-face.

The nuclear weapons had struck at precisely twelve o’clock, and every clock, watch, and electronic time-keeper had frozen at that moment.

I turned and looked behind me. Another town where no-one had survived.

What was that? A hundred and seven?

I paused at the town boundaries, muttered the usual regrets, and walked on. The next town was ahead, somewhere in the distance.

I knew I’d get there by midnight.


© Lee Barnett, 2011
Comments
snorkel_maiden From: snorkel_maiden Date: August 17th, 2011 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I like!
budgie_uk From: budgie_uk Date: August 17th, 2011 01:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Leo! (I'm presuming you've grabbed mum's LJ...)
juniper_jungle From: juniper_jungle Date: August 17th, 2011 12:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is really very good. I love the way you manage to say so much with a small number of words.
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Lee "Budgie" Barnett
User: budgie_uk
Name: Lee "Budgie" Barnett
Website: hypotheticals
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