The End of the World is off to a rollicking start! I’m seeing some awesome entries round these parts, and I want to keep sharing them with you. Keep in mind whose words make your socks want to jump off your feet — they’ll need your votes in the Reader’s Choice competition after the contest closes!
I’ve got two to share with you today. Get pumped.
I can see my wine glass on the nightstand. Pink lipstick marks circle the rim, the sunlight cutting through the glass making the white sheets look pink. My head is pounding from the combination of wine and the searing white light that pours around the window blinds day and night. I lie here and try not to think about it. Hearing a snore I reach my hand back and run into another person. Frowning, I kick my leg back and hit him in the back of his thigh.
“Get out already”, I say swinging my feet over the side of the bed.
The clock on the nightstand informs me that it’s 10:32 pm. I need to get moving or I am going to miss last call.
“Last call,” I mutter. “That’s an understatement.”
I pluck a cigarette out of the pack on the nightstand and look around for a light. The lighter is on the floor next to the bed and I lean over and fish for it while trying to keep the sheet around my waist.
“What time is it”, asks the lump in the sheets next to me?
“Time to go home,” I say thinking it doesn’t matter if he stays or goes.
“What’s the rush? Is it the end of the world and no one told me.”
I don’t answer him, but the irony isn’t lost on me. I light up and toss the lighter back on the floor. It takes some pulling, but I get the sheet out from under the lump and wrap it around myself one handed. My cell phone rings on the nightstand and I have to choose my cigarette or my sheet and the sheet loses. I pick up the phone and exhale smoke.
“I am already up,” I mumble watching the lump roll over in my bed.
“Headed out the door I hope,” the female voice replies.
“Quick shower,” I say glancing down at my naked body. “I will catch a cab.”
“You have some random guy over there don’t you?”
“Not some random guy, the last random guy,” I say snarky like heading for the bathroom. “What did you do last night?”
“Same thing,” she answers giggling. “Just get over here. I don’t want to be here alone when it happens.”
“Are there a lot of people there already?”
“Too many if you ask me. Daddy told at least a dozen people.”
“He is under a lot of pressure.”
“He’s into his second bottle already,” she says in a monotone.
“Try to keep him upright until I get there and order me a drink,” I say ending the call and heading into the bathroom.
I flick an ash in the shower as I turn it on. Catching my reflection in the mirror I wince. My make up is either rubbed off or cracked. The lipstick is smeared on one side making my mouth look like a grumpy circus clown.
“I hate clowns,” I mutter, flicking my butt on the floor.
It wasn’t that it was actually difficult. It just took time. So much time. One foot in front of the other. The trail went on forever, a steady, winding incline bordered by jagged rocks and sparse alpine flora.
Their breath was ragged, not due to effort, but because the air was so thin this high in elevation. Kal stopped to breathe. “You know, they say we’re going to die soonest because of the elevation. We get more radiation than people at sea level.”
“But we have so many other good things going for us. This is the healthiest state.” Dani replied, taking a sip of water from her CamelBak. “No earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes or tornadoes either.”
“Yeah, only flash floods and wildfires.” Kal agreed, and started forward again.
Their pace was slow but steady. Behind them, the grays and browns of the trail and rocks gave way to dark evergreens interspersed with lighter aspen stands; ahead, only stunning blue sky above the never-ending trail.
They had begun at sunrise, watching the new day touch the peak in golden alpenglow. Down below timber line the hike was actually easy and they had made good time. It wasn’t until they left the relative protection of 12,00 feet that the thin air slowed them down. But they were used to this; they’d been hiking peaks all over the state.
Kal glanced at his watched as he trudged. “We’ll summit by noon for sure. Not a cloud in the sky.”
Dani only nodded, saving her breath for the climb.
The view didn’t change much above 12,000 ft., just more rocks and small tundra flowers. Some pikas yelled at them as they passed through a field of strewn rocks.
“Looks like a bomb went off.” Kal chuckled.
They summited just before noon as Kal predicted. As they topped the last rise, the world opened up around them. Dani sat and ate a sandwich while admiring the views. Below them on every side were the broken rocks of the peak. Further out, other mountains rose above tree line, vying for the highest point. They could see the tallest to the west. It was roiling with dark clouds.
“Looks like Elbert is making some weather.”
“It looks really dark, will it come this way? Should we head down now?”
“It’s not the end of the world. Just a little storm.” But as he said it, Elbert grumbled and woke from its dormant state.
This is Emmie again. Wowzers! Make sure you stop by the comments to congratulate today’s writers on their awesome entries.
Haven’t heard the sitch yet? Click the image above for more information. Contest runs through midnight EDT on 30 July — you still have plenty of time to join in on the apocalyptic fun!
Note to entrants: Please ensure you are including your NAME, your TWITTER HANDLE/EMAIL, and the WORD COUNT. If these three things are not present when I go to judge the entries, your story will be disqualified.
Which would be, like, the end of the world. Follow the directions. Avert the apocalypse.
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