Clark sighed, slumped against the cheap plywood desk he worked at.
'My old and frail body shouldn't still be doing this." He thought resentfully.
Inside a cramped cubicle, he leaned back in his worn-out chair and tried to drown out the low murmur of the people around him.
"I wish I could just make people disappear." He muttered, shaking his head tiredly. "I'd have a life of peace, then."
Just as he had the thought, someone shouted, shocked.
Using it as an excuse to pause his work, he went to investigate.
"What happened?" He asked the shocked employee.
The employee, a new hire that he didn't even know the name of, looked at him with trepidation.
"Are you going to disappear as well?" The employee asked shakenly. "Is everything a figment of my imagination? Was I just someone who fell into their own delusions? Is this anything but a cruel nightmare? Is this real or a fantasy my diseased brain thought up?"
The employee sank to his knees and shouted at the sky.
"What is my purpose?!" He shouted desperately. "Why am I here?!"
At this point Clark was sick of the employee and wished the employee would just go away.
Just as he thought of the employee's disappearance, the man vanished without a trace.
There one moment, gone like an errant line of chalk the next.
"Wha-" Clark saw the man vanish, along with the small crowd the man had drawn. "What the fuck?"
The shocked spectators seemed to mirror the absolute and utter bewilderment he felt.
"Does this confirm that our lives are naught but a simulation?" Another employee asked. "Does this mean that we will be erased like him now that we've figured this out?''
This caused a ripple amongst the small crowd.
"I can't disappear!" A woman exclaimed. "What about my children?"
"They are likely not real." The man's words immediately poured cold water on the lady.
Clark silently agreed with the man.
"It can't be!" The woman entered denial. "I love them so much! It can't be fake! What would I be if this is fake?"
"Isn't it obvious?" Clark said, annoyed by her breakdown. "We can't rule out that they merely teleported."
"Oh, that makes sense." The woman responded sarcastically.
"And that we're living in a simulation does?" Clark rebutted, wishing she'd shut up. "The former option means we have a reason to exist."
"But-" The woman began.
Clark wished she'd shut up and leave and just as he had the passing thought, she vanished like the previous man.
It was so silent one could hear a pin drop.
Clark was shocked. Could his thought have caused her disappearance?
No. Such a thing was impossible. Or was it?
She had just vanished in front of him, after all.
"Maybe I should test this." He muttered softly. "Where's that annoying ass?"
Clark set his sights on the man two paces to his right.
Mark was a man who had dumped as much of his workload onto Clark, treated him poorly, and was directly connected to the boss. His connections to the boss meant he could goof off and had zero consequences.
Clark hated the man's guts and directed his tentative theory at him.
"I wish Mark was gone...I wish Mark was gone..." He closed his eyes and repeated quietly to himself.
He opened his eyes and looked to his right.
Mark no longer stood there.
Clark looked around before asking those around him a question.
"Where did Mark go?" He asked.
Instantly people began murmuring, taking note of the now-vacant space where Mark once stood.
'So I can make people disappear...' Clark felt the corners of his mouth twitch. 'This is awesome.'
Clark, done with his experiment, turned and moved to exit the building.
Security had evidently been called previously, seeing as the door was now blocked by four burly guards.
Clark, drunk on his newfound power, merely wished they would vanish.
And vanish they did.
Clark reveled in his feeling of power. He felt like he could do anything.
Now, as he went down the stairs that were directly connected to the door, he wondered if his power applied to inanimate objects too.
He arrived on the ground floor, exited the building, and wished the building gone.
It vanished, as if it was never there in the first place, leaving the people in it to fall the distance to the hard ground beneath.
They fell with sickening crunches and sudden screams of terror, sobs of fear, and screeches of pain. Some fell and made no sound after the impact.
A few passing pedestrians rushed to provide first aid.
"Oops." Clark cringed, subconsciously wishing they were gone.
As suddenly as cries began, they all faded into an abyss of deafening silence.
Clark stared, openmouthed, at the blank space in a line of buildings where his workplace once stood.
People who heard the screams were just as shocked as Clark was.
All who had gone to help the injured people vanished alongside them.
'I...I killed them.' Clark thought, horrified. 'I killed so many people!'
Clark glanced at the faces of the people around him. Faces that reflected his terror and fed his guilt.
'I've done something horrible.' Clark understood this well. 'I need to disappear. I need to go somewhere safe. I need to get away.'
As soon as he made his mind, he disappeared as suddenly as those who came before him, never to be seen again.