(Happy weekend!) Short story continues

OLD PART

Prologue
We can send men to Mars. We can pay with just the chip in our arm. We even have flying cars. We can do so much. Why is it that we can’t cure diseases, can’t find a solution for poverty or even saving our planet? It’s complicated, that’s what they say. We don’t have the money, the resources, the what-have-I-not-heard in this endless fight. However, there was no way of knowing that our planet would be hit by this asteroid… read more


NEW PART


The car abruptly hit the ground. Tess’ head hit the steering wheel and blood started to drip everywhere. 

“Auch!” There was no other way to describe this pain.

Did the asteroid hit her car? Stop acting insane! Of course, there wasn’t an asteroid. But what was it? She had so many questions but her thoughts were blurry. She just knew her car got hit and had to get out of it. 

Finally, her belt worked and she could try to open the door. Why didn’t the bloody door move? She touched her head covered in blood. This had to be the worst birthday ever. 

She sighed. It wouldn’t be easy to open her once so beautiful car. There used to be a safety procedure, however, with this fall it might be broken. What would be the easiest way? She didn’t have to come up with an answer. In front of her, a man with an ax appeared. Like a giant madman, he ran toward her car. Tess covered her face and screamed. He hit the glass at the bystander side. Tiny pieces of glass spread around like a heavy snowstorm in December. He swung the ax again, ready to hit whatever was in front of him.

“Stop!” How on earth could she convince him to listen to her? 

“I need to find my friends.” 

For a short moment it looked like he hesitated. Carefully weighing the words. He shook his head. “No friends.”

“Wait! You mean there’s no one here?” She knew it the minute she flew over the country. There was nothing and no one left anymore. 

He shook his head again, this time slowly. “World is a mess. People are a mess. They’re gone. World better.”

Tess had no idea what the man meant but as long as he was talking, he wasn’t hitting her car or worse… her. 

“Could you please help me, kind sir?” It was a risk but she held out her hand. She closed her eyes. Maybe it would be alright. Or maybe her life was over before the asteroid hit the earth.

Chapter 4
He ignored her hand. Maybe he didn’t understand what she meant. Instead, he took his ax again and walked slowly to the driver’s side. The man started to hit the door and Tess screamed. She closed her eyes and said a little prayer. To whom she didn’t know. She just hoped that someone – or something – would listen to her. The sound of hitting metal faded away and Tess dared to peek. Her once working door had now become an open spot. She saw the man waiting for her. He took a few steps back so she knew he wouldn’t attack her.

“Blood!” He pointed at her head.

Clearly, this man is Captain Obvious Tess thought.

“Yes, blood.” She sighed. It was the first time she could look around and orient. Unfortunately, she couldn’t be sure if this was supposed to be the entrance to her old town or the town next door. They used to make jokes about the other town. They had, what her friends would call, the is-it-or-is-it-not-happening habitants. People who came up with stories about how the world would end. Now it doesn’t feel funny anymore. Perhaps they were right all along and they were the stupid ones. Did they mention the asteroid? Tess couldn’t remember.

“Is this Beauville?”

The man raised his eyebrow and frantically nodded his head. “Yes! Beauville. Like French.”

“What do you mean? Who is French?”

“Language?”

Tess wasn’t sure if it was a question or a statement. She decided to ignore it, her time was running out.

“I’m looking for my friends. Do you know Jamie? And Mike?” It was a long shot, she knew.

Then taken by surprise, he gestured her to follow him. Could it be that easy? Whenever something looks easy, there’s always a catch. She learned it the hard way. Following her parents was easy. Until she realized they had a different agenda. Her brother knew and tried to warn her. And look what happened to him! She brushed away a tear running down her cheek. No, easy is the equivalent of a complicated matter.

Deep down inside she knew it was a bad idea yet she continued following him. Her curiosity always won the fight against her reasoning. She tried to ignore her curiosity but it also brought her to her new job. There was no way of knowing what would happen unless it was too late. Let’s just hope it would be alright.

Tess recognized what used to be her school. The entrance sign, broken in half, lay on the ground. It was the last remaining sign of her once favorite place on earth. 

“What happened?” She didn’t realize she asked the question out loud. 

“Asteroid.” The man pointed to the sky to explain himself. 

She wanted to ask if he always used short sentences but instead told him that it wasn’t possible. The asteroid news came in today. She still had nineteen hours and fifteen minutes to find her friends. The man repeated himself once more. 

“Yes, yes. Asteroid.” She didn’t have more patience. 

The man stood, if Tess remembered correctly, ‘in the old canteen’. Oh, that old canteen with that cheesy smell. She loved cheese but that smell couldn’t be healthy. Especially since there was never cheese. The robots made sure they ate only ate fruits and vegetables. They tried to sneak in some chocolate but it seemed like the robots had strong smelling senses. They were never able to eat their chocolate. 

Slowly the man bent down and put his hand on the ground. If her village didn’t look that abandoned, she would have laughed at the man high fiving the ground. Why did she follow him again? She had many questions yet no time to ask them. While the ground started to shake, the sand below her feet slowly disappeared.

Tess no longer stood on the reminiscence of her old canteen but on a colossal metal platform. Her eyes grew bigger when another part exposed itself in front of her. The door looked like a tub Tess once saw in a vintage hospital advertisement. It was back in those days they still needed tubs. Nowadays they had robots taking care of everything.

She followed the man but he told her to wait; he was going first. Within a millisecond the tub disappeared and reappeared. Her legs trembled, her hands were covered in sweat, her headache was unbearable yet she managed to get inside the tub. There were no buttons, no indication where she was headed. She held her breath and closed her eyes. Her stomach couldn’t handle the velocity and she threw up, on the glass in front of her.

The doors opened and when Tess looked up, she couldn’t believe her eyes. 

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