The End, a short story by nfonteix. Date added: 2012-03-31. Times viewed: 680.
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- Intro: What happens to the characters that we create when their stories end? This very short story tackles the concept of 'Happily Ever After' with unflinching sympathy for men and women we populate our fictionalized worlds with.
by Nicholas Fonteix
Carl saw the end before it happened.
He couldn't have missed it.
It was huge, bigger than anything that had come before it. Carl watched it descend soundlessly towards him, marveling at its enormity.
“I never would have guessed.” he mused.
Carl knew it was the end because before it there was everything and after it there was nothing.
“What is it, daddy?” Charline asked, tugging Carl's sleeve.
“I think it's the end, honey.”
Carl and Charline stood on the front porch, staring at the gaping hole in the air above them. It spread slowly across the morning sky, sucking clouds and high flying birds into its yawning abyss. Even sunlight seemed to fall into the swelling vacuum of finality, leaving the world below bathed in dimming twilight.
“What is it doing up there?” Charline asked, moving closer to her father.
“It's putting an end to things.” Carl replied.
Charline looked at Carl quizzically.
“What does that mean?”
“Well, honey,” Carl explained, still staring at the velvety nothing that inched across the heavens, ”Nothing can go on forever. Everything has an end. This seems to be ours.”
As Carl spoke, the hole swelled to the limits of the sky. Touching the horizon, it began to sweep across the land. Charline watched as it enveloped a water tower in the distance, drawing the massive structure into its unfathomable depths.
“Is it going to hurt?” Charline asked.
“I don't think so,” Carl said, stroking his daughter's hair, “Pain is a thing. After the end, there won't be anything. Not even pain.”
Charline stared up at her father, his jaw set and his eyes fixed unwaveringly on the encroaching darkness.
“Maybe mommy will be there.” Charline said hopefully.
Carl looked down at his daughter and smiled. He hadn't allowed himself to think much about Janet since she passed away.
“Maybe, honey,” he said, fighting to keep his voice even, “Maybe.”
The end was close now. Carl could feel it.
Nearly all the world was gone, lost to the creeping void. The quiet town that Carl and Janet had chosen to start their family nearly a decade ago had been entirely consumed by it. Only Carl's house remained.
“What's going to happen to us?” Charline asked, pressing herself into her father's leg.
“I don't know,” Carl said as the inky blackness crept up the porch steps, devouring them as it came.
“But we're about to find out...”
Copyright 2012 Nicholas Fonteix
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