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“Deadly Blankness”

02/24/2011

Deadly Blankness

(This is my attempt at making a more Poe-like story, as far as plot goes. Not to say I’m trying to copy him it’s just…meh…just read it and decide for yourself)

By V.H. Isaac

To those who have never experienced it, driving behind an indefinite mass of ghostly cars at 70MPH in the intense Washington mist is a dismal experience. The bizarreness of its serenity intensifies according to how deep the clouds, but it became most pronounced when the standing dampness on the roads were blown into an explosion of wet spray. As I drove home from work, it was severe on both counts—the blurry image lights were all I could truly see. All else was engulfed in shattering droplets of liquid crystal.

Work that day had surpassed the realm of boredom. It had entered, as is usual, the kingdom of mind-stall, and with it, the sickening stupidity one feels when not thinking at all. The small cubical left me little to enjoy. I would make a feeble attempt to imagine, to be immediately repressed back into a deathly stupor. My only adventures were limited to the slow plod of travel—driving. Then I saw new things. Then my mind would try to awake from its slumber and excite itself on the many flavors of our world. It usually failed.

When I walked into my home nothing but the silence of a still house greeted me. My tired old Labrador lifted his head for a moment, his once bright brown eyes lazily peering over, and then dropped again into his perpetual napping. The ground beneath me—now hopelessly wet—squelched gently as I put my soaked jacked on its hook. I stood there for a moment, trying to pull the rest of my mind back into a state of awareness, but to no avail. There was nothing to do in my isolated abode. So, I did what I ultimately resigned myself to every day upon coming home from work—I sat on my couch and tried to read. Due to the prosaic nature of my work, I decided, long ago, to devote myself to the study of poetry and beautiful art. This, also long ago, failed. My mind, so used to shutting off, would always lapse into blank despair. From this state I would seldom break from until I went to bed. Today was almost no different. A soft tapping of the door seized my mind from the lingering grasps of emptiness and almost into the real world. I hesitated for a moment, then stood up. Once again the tapping was made. Without so much as a stray thought, I opened the door. In front of me stood a man. He wore a long swaying overcoat of an older design, beneath which there was a black vest on top of a dark blue button up shirt. His hat, a rough leather trilby, was of an odd making, one I had never seen before. Before he spoke, a warm smile spread across his rough face.

“May I come in for a moment?” said the man quietly. My mind churned slowly.

“Of course, of course…step out of the rain there…there you go.” It’s a strange feeling to spit out words with such little thought. I immediately noticed that mental processing was something clearly not lost in him. His eyes, moist yet fiery, slowly scanned my home. Nothing in his face moved except those strange eyes, eyes locked on something beyond what physically stood before them. They were richly deep brown. After a pause, the silence broke as I shut the door behind him.

“I’m not from around here.” He said.

“I know.” I just did.

“You live alone.”

“Yes.” I murmured.

“Do you have a phone?”

“Yes.” I reached over to my jacket, pulled my phone out, and handed it to him. He took it, looked at it for a moment, then smashed it against the ground. I stared blankly at the shattered pieces. No words came out. My muscles remained limp.

“Do you have a dog? He asked slowly, peering around.

“Yes.” I fought desperately to kick my mind into gear. Nothing. Work left me as black as a crisp printer paper. My eyes automatically glanced to my old pup. It was attempting to leave, limping hurriedly to the other room. Soon he was out of sight. The man followed. A wheezy bark sparked out, a soft cry, then silence.

“Work doesn’t expect you until Monday.”

“Yes.”

“That should be enough time.” He appeared from the other room, his hands brushing against his black trousers. My mind began to move finally. I was in danger. I needed to leave. The man saw the change in my eyes.

“You know it’s too late.”

“Yes.”

“Good.” The blinds were already all shut. I never liked the probing eyes of neighbors. The man again glanced around, and pulled out something from his pocket. I stared at it. He stared at it. It was a small pin. It’s all he needed.

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From → Short Stories

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