The city below shines with vibrant colours of flashing billboards, shining car lights and the sight of bustling people rushing about. However, the world is ghost-quiet, without the melodies and laughter of children.
Up here, I see that the homeless litter the streets, cold, lonely and suffering. Humanity is sick and dying, where they once radiated with strength and vitality, a sight rare to my eyes.
"Jack, don't do this!"
My body feels stiff, as I turn to face her. "Shasta." I scoff. "You came."
"Of course I bloody came." Shasta huffs, her brown face rose tinged, as she leans forward to gasp for breath. "Jack, you have to listen to me, there is not much time-“
She pauses from shock and stifles a cry, covering her mouth. “Jack, what have they done you?”
I look down and find myself just as shocked. My favoured jacket is tattered, black liquid splattered all over and my hands stained just a bad. My jeans just as bad, only with talon marks scraped across my legs, decorated with scars. My skin is a different story as it glows an unearthly green, that stands out more now in the moonlight.
“Now you care, after all this. “ I spit out, thrusting an accusing finger at her. “Look at me. You did this. All of this. Now I can’t even control myself.”
"Jack, listen to me. I can help you, I know how. We live! The future shows us, alive, powerful and united-"
Her comment angers me immensely, causing me to slap her across the face. This sends Shasta flying backwards with such force; she crashes into a nearby dumpster. “Don’t tell me that bullshit and don’t you dare lecture me. You’re a hypocrite if you think you have the right to talk about unity. It’s your fault we’re in this mess.”
“I don’t want this anymore than you do, Jack.” Shasta groans from the impact.
I turn back around to face the city below me, only to hear a clicking noise from behind me. Red shimmering bubble-like spheres start to envelope me, enormous in size and colouring everything in its crimson rays. Shocked, I quickly turn behind me to see Shasta clutching tight to the pocket watch device, the devil’s clock. Time feels distorted, an effect of the devil’s clock, slowing everything down until the last second. Apart of me is hurt that she would use such a weapon against m that hoped Shasta was genuine in her help.
No, I realise, she is trying to reverse it. Reverse it so you would make it out alive.
“I know you don’t Shasta.” I answer, finding myself in tears. “But it’s not a matter that I want to, that makes it sad.”
The last of the bubble-like spheres start to close, lessening my chance of escape. With the last of my strength and power, I force myself to push against the crimson barriers, breaking through to jump off the building into the abyss.
Falling is a new sensation to me. The cold wind rushes in my ears and Shasta’s muffled cries of my name wrench my heart. Soon, it will end. The constant pain and suffering for my greed of power will end. I will be free of this guilt and loss, no longer chained to it’s painful memories.
That is the last feeling I feel. It’s not happiness, nor triumph. It’s not relief or freedom. As my face is wet with tears, what I feel most of all is the saddening of all.
“-time for you to get back to work!”
I jolt up, hitting my head on the shelf above and feeling the pain afterwards. Rubbing my eyes, my sleep is broken by an angry voice and the smell of burning toast.
“Jaqueline Evans, wake your lazy arse up and get back to work! We have customers waiting!”
Helga Joe, an overweight, lazy, narcissistic cow stands over me like the tyrant she is. As she waves her arms in her fury, the amount of fat she has at the bottom her arms could fill the Pacific Ocean. “You good for nothing, wretched waste of space! I give you the most miniscule of tasks and you cannot toast a burger bun”
I retract that statement. Turns out, it wasn’t toast. It was burger buns. All six buns were turned to clumps of charcoal, and were darker than my future. Not that I had one since the mother of all shoutings was coming.
“Do you have anything to say for yourself?”
Saliva covered my face from Helga’s ‘passionate’ talk, enough for a baptism to take place. I had two choices in this moment. One, answer to the Hitler of all McDonald managers and risk a chance of tasting Helga’s ‘holy water’. Or two, play it safe and but have the likely hood of having my ears chewed off.
As I contemplated this vital life choice, a proverb came to mind; “some have been thought brave because they didn’t have the courage to run away”.
“Yes I do, Mrs Joe.” I coughed, clearing my throat, my spirit inspired. “Something important too.”
Helga’s grotesque and wretched face drew inches closer to mine, the stench of crushed human souls in every word. “What would that be little Jack?”
Saying a silent prayer, I confess in a hushed voice. “I think you should put the world out of its misery and jump of a cliff”.
Without another word, I bolted out the kitchen door, shoving past-confused waiters and bratty children, before bursting out the restaurant doors, running like an idiot for my life.