*Wordcount: 1171 words.
Kevin never should have gotten out of bed. A feeling we can all relate to, I’m sure, but this was particularly true for Kevin. Things had even been on the up-and-up for him lately, what with his new girlfriend (they were planning on moving in together) and the raise he recently got at work (not an insignificant one, mind you), not to mention the spiffy new haircut he got just a few days before!
He had been on cloud nine (not literally of course, the credentials you need to get there are insane!), and felt that nothing could bring him down.
It all started when he woke up. Not the waking up itself (as unpleasant as that experience usually is), but rather the nightmare that chilled him to his core and drenched him in sweat. He jumped awake and looked around for a moment, dazed.
Kevin tried to recall the details, and found them slipping from his mind; all he could recall was a shadow… Consuming him…
Well, no matter. In ten minutes the memory had faded completely, even though he was still a bit shaken.
He went about his morning routine without much more fuss. That is, until he slipped in the shower. Slippery, but unhurt, he crawled out (still soapy) and dried himself off.
The good mood that had hung over him started showing its first real cracks at this moment, and would be dust in no time.
The next hiccup was breakfast. The kitchen was a right mess, and missing many of the things one might expect to find in a kitchen – such as food. When Kevin found his roommate passed out on their shared couch, with a few of his (the roommate’s, certainly not Kevin’s) friends similarly passed out on the floor.
He must have had some friends over once Kevin was asleep (which was not uncommon, but Kevin had been enjoying a welcome respite for the past few weeks) and together they had raided the kitchen, in true Viking style it would seem.
Kevin sighed, finished getting ready, and left early to grab something to eat on his way to work.
While walking down the road, Kevin took a moment to admire his shoes. They were new (a gift from his girlfriend) and polished to a mirror shine. They matched his business attire perfectly, and (despite the shower incident) he had a professional look to him. His short-cropped black hair and his pale blue eyes helped, in a stereotypical sort of way.
Also the thin-framed glasses.
The same thin-framed glasses that were knocked from his face as someone bumped into him, perhaps a little harder than necessary, while he was staring at his shoes (a rookie mistake, really).
They were then promptly trodden on by an ignorant pedestrian.
He put the cracked, shambled remains of his glasses in his coat pocket and carried on. He had a backup pair at work (the life of the glasses-wearer is a precarious one at best) and just had to stumble his way there.
Of course, first, food.
A (large) muffin would do him fine, and honestly he had lost some of his appetite as his grumpiness grew. The good mood he’d been floating on for so long was forgotten at this point.
He also grabbed a coffee, and stifled a yawn. Between his roommate and the nightmare he felt weary to the bones.
He checked his watch, saw he was more ahead of schedule than he realised, and decided to take a brief detour to a favoured spot of his.
The sun speckled the ground around the bench and the wind rustled the shadow of the tree above him. He loved this little bench in this little park, and it was not far from his apartment. It always lifted his spirits… Almost always, it could now be said.
He sat there, munching on his muffin, his mood sour and dour. His thoughts drifted to his apartment and (with an internal grumble) his roommate.
His girlfriend had told him that they were so different that it seemed like a sitcom. Personally, Kevin didn’t find it very funny, but the rent was cheap and the location was pretty central to his work and this park and his girlfriend, so he had settled on bearing with it. At least until he and his girlfriend could find something, and probably something a bit nicer with their joint incomes.
Even that thought didn’t elate him like it normally did.
Kevin put the muffin wrapper aside, and sipped his coffee.
On this bench, in the warming morning air, Kevin felt his weariness pull at him. He sighed and put the coffee down, still almost full, and put his head back.
Looking up at the leaves, with the sound of kids playing in the park (shouldn’t they be at school, his mind grumped), he felt himself slip into the vortex of The Doze.
He started, and looked around wildly. Children arrayed around him burst into laughter and scattered, and Kevin almost caught himself shaking his fist at them (a suitable gesture, if you ask me).
As soon as they were gone, panic gripped him. He looked furiously at his watch, and immediately he relaxed. Thank god he hadn’t been asleep that long.
It took a moment, but his brain did eventually catch up. He looked at his watch again.
The time hadn’t changed since the last time he had checked.
He had meant to get a new battery yesterday, but he and his girlfriend had gone on a date and… Well, bugger.
He jumped to his feet (leaving his litter behind, a most inappropriate act) and started forward, when the whole world started turning (it’s always turning, I know, but not quite like this).
He landed flat on his face. His feet refused to separate, and he rolled over to inspect them.
Damn kids. Damn kids had tied his shoelaces together! That hadn’t happened since he was in primary school!
He lay on his back and stared at the sky. The day had beaten him, he may as well go home and crawl into bed.
Then he noticed the growing speck in the sky.
He squinted against the sunlight to see it, which was a largely unnecessary gesture seeing as it was growing. Fast.
He scrambled to get up (which obviously didn’t work) and then to crawl away (again, not very successful), while the shadow of the thing grew larger and larger.
Whatever it was, it seemed to be aimed straight at him.
The nuclear explosion rocked the world (not literally), and accusations started flying. The problem was, no country had detected anything on any radars, and no country claimed to have launched a nuclear missile.
It was almost as if it formed out of thin air, which was obviously impossible!
This would go on to tear the world apart, and signalled the start of the first ever nuclear war. None of this matters to Kevin, but really, he should have just stayed in bed.