Friday, July 4, 2014

Watcher



I’m in a strange city.

It was a perfect copy of the city I live in. But the absence of people made me shudder. The bright morning did nothing to ease my anxiety. I walked through familiar streets as my mind plays the sound of noise I hear every day. It was silent save for the wind that passed by carrying with it a cloud of dust. I shielded my face.

I gathered my memories from last night. I was walking back home taking a shortcut I’ve never tried before.  The city lights gave me a false sense of safety as I tread a strange path through the woods. I’m lost.

Eventually, I found a road with a tunnel close by. I entered the tunnel. The city lights now look distant. The tunnel was dark inside, but a nearby street lamp convinced me to walkthrough. The light slowly faded as I walked further into the darkness. Suddenly, I saw a bright light from the other end that blinded me. In a quick flash, it was gone. I walked on and found myself on the other side.

And that’s how I got myself into this fake city.

While I should be finding a way back, curiosity drove me to explore the place. It’s not every day you get to see the city deserted.

I tried the mall. The interior seems so much bigger now with the lack of crowds in it. As I looked around further, I heard something. I stopped in my place.

There was whispering. A drop of sweat slid down my face. I can hear people talking. But nobody’s here. In panic, I ran back through the entrance with a clear path ahead. Suddenly, a shapeless form appeared before me.  It was a white foggy mist. But as I ran nearer right towards it, it took a more discernible form. It was a man.

At that moment, I ran right through him but not before hearing a loud scream that resonated in the mall. The whispers from earlier turned louder. I got out of the mall.

I panted as I rest from a distance. What just happened? I didn’t feel like exploring the buildings now. Maybe it’s best that I go back to the tunnel. As I was about to leave, I saw a woman staring right at me nearby. I took a few steps backward. She looked at me suspiciously. She made one step towards me but vanished. I fled the scene.

There are ghosts in this city. I randomly see them as I go through the streets. What is going on? Did I find myself in hell? Is this even a replica? Or is it the same city now haunted by dead people? The latter question made me worry. What if I was the only survivor?

I must check home.

I took my usual route this time. My house was intact. The neighbourhood was quiet. I got inside and found nothing out of place. My family, where are they? Their photos including my own decorate the place.

I heard crying.

The sound grew louder as I followed it to the kitchen. My hand reached for the door. Please be alright. Please be alright.

The door squeaked as I opened it. Inside, I find my family sitting on the table with gloomy faces. I opened the door wider. The crying stopped and they stared at where I stood. Something’s wrong.

I tried to speak but when the words left my mouth, they vanished.

No! No! No! This can’t be happening! Everyone is dead including my family! What do I have to live for? What use is being the sole survivor if I’m thrown to a fate worse than death?

Wait, can I reverse this?

That tunnel, it must be a portal somehow. I don’t know. I’m willing to try anything. What do I have to lose?

I retraced my steps and walked through those same woods. The tunnel was in sight. The sun was bright showing more of the tunnel’s interior. I walked through inside.

My steps echoed. I could hear myself breathe.

I found something ahead of me. It looked like a small shrine with fresh flowers on it. There was a framed picture at its center. I looked at it closely.  It was my photo.
 

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