Going Home

Darkness descends as I trudge towards the vast, open plain. I place one bare foot in front of the other, not caring if I cut myself on a jagged piece of flint. I look down, not because I need to watch where I’m stepping, but simply because I cannot lift my head.

The sun is shining in the clear, blue sky, so I could see quite clearly should I look up. But I know the plain is devoid of any vegetation. No animals scurry over the rocks, nor swoop through the still air. Nobody will be blocking my path, trying to talk me out of this course of action.

Despite the light of the sun, the darkness of the plain calls me. It knows. It summons people such as myself… the chronically sad and depressed, the heartbroken, the betrayed, the displaced and the broken. This area reaches out to the event horizon in the middle of my chest, the black hole where my heart should be. Suicide City promises oblivion.

I’ve tried many times throughout my short, volatile life to end it, but I just don’t have the strength. I can’t make the deep cut, nor step off the ledge. I can swallow the pills, but the carers always find me just in time. I’d make air quotes if I had the energy. Just in time. I’m sure they have a sign in their office – number of days since last suicide – which they just don’t want to reset to zero. Then the city started calling.

Security was minimal, escaping was easy. I stumbled away from the complex like one of the walking dead in that relentless show, always airing on the common room TV. I was never truly certain if the TV was showing a television show, or just an internal CCTV feed. But I left, staring at my feet as I stumbled through several days and nights until I arrived here.

People had noticed my death march. Some stopped and stared, others pretended they hadn’t seen me. But they all saw the haunted look in my eyes and realised I’d been summoned. Some smiled, happy for me. Others wept. They all knew where I was going.

The siren song of the city welled into a final crescendo, then swept away. I’m here. I look up, just as the sun touches the horizon. The sky darkens, matching the darkness of my soul. Lights and sounds bounce around the plain as the city feeds on my darkness, slowly coalescing, becoming more opaque as the sun sinks. I’m home.

Author: Brett Holzhauser

Speculative fiction to die for

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