Sunday, December 16, 2012

The End of the World



It's time for the December blog prompt at Absolute Write
 
This month's prompt:
The End (of the World)
Yes, since the predicted Mayapocalypse only fails to materialize once every 500 years or so we are piggybacking on it. Write what you will about the end of the world (those disinclined to eschatology can write about "the end" in a broader sense). Hopefully, after these ends of the world as we know it, we'll all feel fine.

Below my story there are more. Check out the links of my fellow blogging buddies from Absolute Write.

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“Do you still hear that hummin’ in your head Dave?”
Dave nodded yes and the two men continued their morning chores in the barn. Dave and Jimmy were brothers and had taken over their daddy’s farm after he passed five years ago. They were hard working men struggling to keep the farm going to support their wives and children along with Maw and Old Uncle Ned. Jimmy spoke to his older brother again,
“You know Uncle Ned’s in the kitchen talkin’ about Nam. I think the metal plate in his head come loose again.”
Uncle Ned didn’t have a metal plate in his head, it was just the family’s way of noting Uncle Ned might be in one of his ‘spells’.
“So I locked up his shotgun just in case he decides to go chasin’ Charlie.”
Jimmy heard nothing from Dave which disappointed him. He would rather chatter through the day than listen to the mysterious droning hum they all started to hear a couple days ago, giving them all a headache. Today especially, it seemed to be louder and now followed by a rotten egg odor. But Dave appeared to be in one of his quiet moods. Jimmy looked up towards his brother. He wasn’t there. Jimmy turned around to look for him. Dave was standing in the barn doorway with his hands on his hips.
“Dave what ……..”
Dave held up his right arm and motioned with his hand for Jimmy to come to the barn door. He put his shovel down and walked over. Standing next to Dave, he followed his eyes towards the pasture that was filled with their dairy cows. It was December and the cows were out grazing because they hadn’t seen any snow, the temperature had been hovering in the high 50’s all month long. It was almost Christmas but it felt like Spring. Anything was possible with Northeast Ohio weather.
Both men stood watching the cows in the pasture. Every one of them slowly walked in their own little circle, they’d wobble a little bit and then fall over. Once on the ground they’d shake their heads, get back up and start all over again.
“They look like they’ve been on an all night drunk. Some day we might laugh at this but right now I’m scared enough to piss my pants.”
Before Dave could respond Jimmy’s two little girls ran towards him from out of the chicken coop. Their faces were streaked with tears and they were visibly shaking. He told them to go to the main house,
“Your momma’s in there with Grama.”
He turned to Dave, he wasn’t by the barn door. Jimmy had to search for him. He found that he had moved closer to the pasture watching the cows. Dave turned around and looked towards Jimmy, not at him but he seemed to be looking through him. Jimmy turned to see three boys running out of the woods, two of them were Dave’s boys and one his own son. The boys were wide eyed with fear. Before they could speak Jimmy sent them to the house.
The family was all together today decorating the Christmas tree, the women were baking in the kitchen and Uncle Ned was sitting in his favorite chair talking to no one in particular.
“Dave, I’m going to go tie up the dogs. There’s something strange going on with the animals and I don’t want them runnin’ loose.”
Again Dave was not where Jimmy last saw him. He spun around again looking for his brother. He spotted him at the front door of the house. They each stood still for a moment and then Dave faded into the front door.

“Doctor we have a situation in Mr. Douglas’s room.”
Dr. Howard Penner was making his rounds with a group of fresh interns. He asked the nurse that called out to him,
“Did you have to restrain him?”
“Sorry doctor we had to, this is a bad one today.”
“Okay, hold off on his medication until I have the chance to talk to him.”
Then he addressed his interns,
“You won’t be going in to see this patient but here is his file. Study it and watch from the observation room.”
Dr. Penner gave his students a chance to get to the observation room then walked into James Douglas’s room. James was restrained on his bed with his familiar wild disheveled look of confusion. This patient was a challenge for the doctor but he would persist, he never gave up on a patient and wasn’t about to start now,
“James can we talk?”
“My name is Jimmy.”
“Sorry Jimmy, did you have your dream again?”
“It’s not a dream. Just let me go back to the farm. Please my family needs me.”
Dr. Penner proceeded to walk Jimmy through the events that happened on December 21, 2012. He painstakingly went over that day with him almost once a week because one day he knew he would reach Jimmy and then hopefully they could move forward.

The interns watched intently as they read the file of James Douglas. A pocket of methane gas had been building up for days seeping into the air and exploded under the main farm house with his entire family inside. There were no survivors except Jimmy who had run to the barn to tie up their dogs.

Dr. Penner stopped for a moment and asked Jimmy,
“Do you understand what I just told you about December 21, 2012 Jimmy?”
The room was silent for about five minutes. Dr. Penner waited quietly for Jimmy to respond. He watched as his patients eyes darted around the hospital room. The wild confusion, the product of one of his vivid dreams, seemed to quell. No longer was he straining to free himself from the padded restraints attached to his bed. He took a deep breath, tears welled up in his eyes and he finally spoke,
“December 21, 2012, that’s the day my world ended.”

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11 comments:

AFord said...

An engaging read, Suzanne. If this ever hit the big screen I'd like to see Tommy Lee Jones play Jimmy. Well-written-cheers!

~Charity~ said...

How terrible for Jimmy. That'd be a hard thing to get past. He sent the kids to the house and then they died with the rest of his family. :(

Very sad. Good job on tugging my emotions.

randi lee said...

Oh, Sue--how tragic. For one person's world to end like that...I couldn't imagine! Very well written. I like the spin you put on the "End of the World."

Diane Carlisle said...

Great post Sue! Though, I think I would prefer Ed Harris as Jimmy! :)

Diane Dooley said...

The first part was really creepy and the second part was really sad. Poor Jimmy!

Gell said...

But... But... Poor Jimmy :(.

luciesmoker said...

Great story but poor Jimmy. Happy Christmas!

nonexistentbooks.com said...

Aw. It reminds me of the heartbreaking twist from "Shutter Island," so I picture Leo DiCaprio in the role :)

Sue said...

Thank you all for your kind comments and your concern for poor Jimmy.

Christina Jean Michaels said...

Wow, what a heartbreaking piece. Very emotionally wrenching.

Sue said...

Thank you Christina!