Swan Song

Last night, I dreamt about how the clouds would part the moment the end of times would arrive. In my dream, the heavens were black and lined with streaks reminiscent of a broken glass mirror. There were no stars, just specks of silver dots that gave off an eerie yellow glow, like the eyes of an unknown creature hiding under your bed. One that you hastily made up as a child in order to have an excuse to not sleep alone.
That was my dream. When I woke up, it was as bright as can be. Outside my window, the sounds of cars and people talking was loud enough to wash the sleep away. I sat up, already wide awake. An ice cold bath was unnecessary. Checking my watch, I realized I was ten minutes behind my daily schedule. This wasn’t really a bad thing, but it meant that I have to move faster.
An hour went by in a flash. By the time the noises down the street had dwindled to dog barks and bird chippers, I was ready.
Nothing seemed unusual when I headed down the stairs and out of the apartment. The custodian mopping the hallway gave me his customary salute, which I returned with a small smile. Outside, there were no cars. Although the street was littered with used cans and crumpled papers. A man dressed in a long coat was lying on the sidewalk, his face was painted black and he looked like he was in a deep sleep. There were no dogs, although the air was filled with their barks. Loud and sonorous, as though one was barking directly into my ear. After looking back, I admit that that situation alone was enough to cause me suspicion. But maybe I was too busy thinking of other things. Other less important things.
“Tickets for two.” I found myself telling the man behind the counter. The man looked surprised. I’ve been buying tickets from him ever since, and though we never said a word about anything else other than the tickets I needed, in a way, he was my friend.
“Tickets for two,” he repeated. It was more of a statement than a question. But I knew through his careful actions that he wanted to ask me why I needed two.
“Times change,” I said without prompt. “Suddenly, you find yourself needing two tickets instead of one.”
“Times change, just like how ticket prices change without our knowing,” he answered. It was the first real conversation we had had in over five years. “Here you go.” He handed me my tickets and gave a curt smile, which I returned. Again, looking back, that situation alone was enough to cause me suspicion, but again, I dismissed the thought.
The train arrived ten minutes earlier than usual. I was lucky enough to sit on an empty space near the glass doors. The trip would take me at least fifteen minutes, which was fine with me. Those fifteen minutes were enough for me to catch up on precious sleep.
I woke up when an unexpected cloud of darkness loomed. Around me, people started whispering. My brain was only half-awake when I turned to look out the window.
The train has stopped in the middle of the tracks. This wasn’t due to a power outage because I could still feel the hum of the engines beneath my feet. Outside, the sky was as dark as a black hole. Streaks of lightning made the heavenly vault appear like the surface of a broken glass mirror. Besides that, there wasn’t any other light, save for the specks of silver giving off an eerie yellow glow…

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About misspee

Sometimes I'm wrong. Sometimes, I write. View all posts by misspee

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