Author : O. G. Patterson
The dark sky flashes with the colorful bursts and flowing sparkles of a new year. I watch as flickers of light pulse through silhouettes of houses and trees, then scatter across the black lake water. I watch as the heavens light up with the end of a long year and the beginning of a fresh one. They do not know. No one knows. They celebrate while I brood. They drink while I plan. They party, make love, sleep and dream while I plot. They make resolutions. I make mine too. It will be soon.
I go to bed for the last time.
The dawn brings with it the hope promised at midnight. My hope is not the world’s hope, is not the same hope that rushes to brush the past away. My hope is for a truly new beginning. I leave my bed unmade. There is no need, today. I ignore the coffee, do not eat breakfast. Instead, the workshop, the project, the end of the world will be my meal, my sustenance. After I turn on the machine, give life to it, there will be no more need for food.
I gaze at my creation, my aluminum child. My trembling hand quivers scant centimeters from bestowing both life and death. The button flirts and flashes its eager face at me. Just a few seconds more. The timing must be perfect.
I am no god. Of course not. The mere thought trickling through my mind makes me chuckle. No, there is no god. Only science.
Only the ultimate certainty: that of playful atoms, frisky elements, quantum frolicking. Yes, oh yes, physics. I had made love to physics, caressed it, manipulated it, and choked it to submission.
They thought they knew physics, the others, “so-called” scientists. They did not know the truth about energy. I know.
They did not understand that they were wrong, wrong about it all. There are no laws, no precious rules. I will show them.
I press the button.
The first thing to go is the roof. I wave at it as it tumbles upward. The trees, with trembling skeletal fingers like mine, arch upward, straining to escape the constrictive earth. There is a roar, a whoosh. The lake water across the way bursts upward, a cloud of rain that falls on the sky. I rise up, too, flying, soaring, and rushing upward as if I am meant for this. Others, too. Cars. Boats. Walls. Neighbors. I gasp at surreal reverse rainstorms with specks and globs of civilization rising to the heavens. More debris now. Earth and rock, chunks of them, larger and larger sections. Higher and higher I fly. I spread my arms wide, laughing. Too high for details now, yet I see sections, plates, continents separate, orange jagged veins of the earth’s molten heart spreading like shattered glass.
I was right. I proved them wrong.
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows
365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.
The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.
"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."
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Voices of Tomorrow
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