Personal Narrative: A Short Story

Words: 1880
Pages: 8

I can’t remember the last time I listened to music. It feels like a lifetime ago. I’m alive, yet I can’t recall how it feels to live. To live is to experience. To appreciate the little things. Like the touch of another human being. An honest glance or expression. An inclination of interest. Instead I survive in a country where people no longer communicate. We don’t feel anything. Nor are we allowed to.
This is my reality. The world I “live” in. A muted blur of infinite, empty repetition: Wake up, die a little, sleep and repeat. A process that numbs me; willing to do away with the very essence of who I am. Today, however, could be the day it all comes to an end.
As I walk beneath a relentless stifling sun, I approach an isolated patch of grass,
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“Maybe that’s the problem. No time, no questions.”
“Sir, I’m not going to tell you again. Step away from The Wall before I’m forced to shoot you.”
“Well, that would liven things up a bit now wouldn’t it?”
He cocks the rifle.
“Okay. Fair enough.” I pull my body away from the wall and take a couple steps forward, leaving my shadow behind to fend for itself. I turn and face him again, hoping to continue our stimulating conversation. I gesture toward The Wall. “What’s this thing made of, anyway?”
He lowers the rifle. “It’s classified.”
“Ah. That clears it up, thanks.”
He makes a loud snorting noise with his throat.
“By the way, did they catch the guy yet?” I ask.
He stares at me.
“You know, the chemical terrorist? Or whatever they’re calling him these days.”
The guard stays silent.
“The electromagnetic pulse terrorist, perhaps?”
He spits a ball of clear, gooey mucus on the ground next to my foot. So much for small talk.
“Guess not. Do you think they ever will?”
He exhales dramatically. “I have no opinion on such matters. I’m just here to do my job. Now move along.”
“Fascinating. May I ask one more question?”
“Can you remember being a child? What it feels like?”
His eyebrows arch. He shifts his
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I did, over there,” I say, pointing. I came up short, unfortunately.” I step toward him. “I owed it to myself to try, though. I want to remember what life was like in those days. When there was still joy in the world. When I still had a sense of guaranteed safety surrounding me. We need guarantees in life. It gives us hope. Something to look forward to.”
“Touching story. Now get out of here so I can do my job.” He glares at me.
I glare back.
“Have a nice day,” he says.
“So, is that a no? You can’t remember that far back?”
He squares his shoulders.
“I figured as much. Sucks, doesn’t it?” I shove a sweaty hand into my pocket and take another step toward him. “How long, do you think, before we all forget everything?”
He levels his gun at my face. “Sir, I’m not going to say it again. This is your last warning, now move!”
I clench my right hand inside my pocket, draining the blood from my knuckles as I pinch the card between my thumb and forefinger. If I move fast enough, the others won’t have time to reach me before I make it through.
His lip twitches.
I release my grip and raise my hands above my head. “Alright, I get it. I’m going. But you have to make a deal with me first. Take your glasses off for, say, fifteen seconds, and let me see your eyes. Then I promise I’ll leave.”
The gun wavers, the slightest