Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Entry #32

Skeleton Life
by SF Johnston

You know those movies where you survive the big disaster and you’re the last person on earth except for the cute girl you meet six days later?

Well, it’s not like that.

Everything falls apart really fast, and yellow bones scatter across a fell-down world covered by rust and dust and silence. You forage for food. You search for people. Skeletons scramble through your dreams.

You never know what’s going to set you off. Last week it was those little plates in the sink, still covered in birthday cake crumbs. Yesterday it was those yellow curtains broken by the end of everything.

Today, a mother and her boy have me wailing into the emptiness, just the yellow bones of them sitting around a kitchen table, all alone.

The TV’s there – I bet they were watching it when that God-awful stuff came down from the sky. I bet they saw it on the news and then there it was in their own backyard.

Sarah blew me kisses with that hand. Cody threw me baseballs with that arm. I was hardly ever there to catch any of them.

I look over at those damn birthday plates again and my knees give out because I should have been here, at the table, but when Cody turned seven I was down at The Double Shot “needing to be alone” and hitting on Darlene.

I want to play catch, Cody. I do.

And there is no cute girl, Sarah.

Just a skeleton life.

Just bones.


briliantdonkey said...

Great example of past regrets and reaching that gut wrenching point in life where putting off till tomorrow finally ends in ooooops it's too late.


Jaye Wells said...

I really like this! Great take on the theme.

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully tight writing, SF. Wasn't sure where the line "And there is no cute girl, Sarah." came from, though, and I think you could safely ditch the last line.

Scott said...

I swore I wasn't gonna cry, but dammit man! Great job.

Pallav said...

End of the world scenario can always inspire great stories:)

Good job!


Beth said...

Everything falls apart really fast, and yellow bones scatter across a fell-down world covered by rust and dust and silence.

Really, really loved this line!

Great job.

The Wandering Author said...

Wow, you really managed to give that an apocalyptic feeling. I felt his regrets down in my own bones. And I understood the line "There is no cute girl, Sara" - you were referring to your comment about the movies in the beginning.

It did leave me with two questions, though. What was the "stuff" that came out of the sky, and why did this one man, of everyone in the area at least, survive it?

Fran Piper said...

This is a very shapely story - it starts off in a very general way, becomes more and more personal as it progresses, and circles back at the end to the "cute girl" reference and the title. Very skillful, but you nailed the emotions too. Great job.

Anonymous said...

Sitting down with the bones...I thought the "with that hand" and "with that arm" lines were perfect. The memory and reality smash up against each other. Very well written and clever.

High marks overall!