Sunday, September 1, 2013

The End of Time

"What time is it, mommy?” The words rang out from the ether.

"It's the end of time, David dear," came the reply.

David sat in the corner of the room playing with a hammer, hammering shapes through holes. The hammer, the room, and David seemed to be see-through, like clouds or fog, a fog that seemed to permeate everything, and the colors all looked faint, faint within the fog. David looked up from his hammering and checked around for his mum. She stood a meter from the only door in the room. She too was enveloped in the fog.

As David watched, someone opened the door and walked into the room. It was a small African man, wearing glasses and thinning short hair. He too was within the fog but his colors were more defined than David or his mum. The man slowly walked over to David’s mum. As he did, he seemed to slowly begin to fade away. He faded more the nearer he came to her, until he stood within David’s mum, where he faded completely until there was only David’s mum left.

"Who was that, mommy?" asked David, wide eyed from fear.

"Don’t be afraid dear, nothing to be frightened of." She replied, calmly.

David, reassured, turned back to his hammering, hammering a star shaped block into its relative hole. As David was hammering all sorts of different shaped objects through different shaped holes, more people began coming through the door. Some walked in and went straight into David’s mum, fading away similar to the first man that had entered. Others stood around for a while, chatting or waiting for someone, before walking into David’s mum. Some in twos, some in threes, some were couples, some were families, others were friends.

David stopped hammering for a moment, stood up, and looked out through a small window just above where he sat. Outside there seemed to be a storm circling around the room, but not a normal storm, this was a storm of swirling colors, set against a backdrop of darkness that seemed to stretch outwards into infinity. All the people in the room stopped moving and looked directly at David, some almost faded away, others looked more solid and defined. David turned away from the window and looked at the people staring at him, he then sat back down on the floor.

Puzzled he looked over towards his mum and asked her, "Why are all these people here? Why are they staring at me?"

His mother smiled and replied, "Don’t worry dear it will all become clear soon. You just keep playing with your hammer and these people will stop staring at you."

David listened to his mum, nodded at her and turned his attention back to his hammering. Time went by, more and more people entered and faded into David’s mum. David himself kept busy with his hammering, so many shapes, so many holes to fill. How many people came and went was hard to say, too many to count. Only David’s mum remained, watching David play, always watching. More and more time went by, but it was a time that felt different from ordinary time, a time that went by swiftly but smoothly, a time that seemed impossibly short, but also impossible to measure.

Eventually the people stopped arriving. David’s mum walked over to the door and closed it. She then went over to the window and pulled down the blind. Outside the storm of colors seemed to be slowly ceasing. She then returned to where she had been standing previously. She stood and looked towards David with loving eyes and said softly with a smile, "Its almost time David, come to me." David looked up and saw his mum with her arms open, inviting him to her. He stood up and began to walk to her.

"Don’t forget your hammer and your holes," she reminded him.

It was then that David noticed that there where no shapes left but still one empty hole.
"What about this hole mommy? It’s still empty," he enquired.

"That’s ok I have the last piece here," she said while patting her pocket.

"I’m scared, will I disappear like everyone else?" asked David worryingly.

"Yes and no David. But there’s no need to be afraid, you will understand soon and all will be well," reassured David’s mum.

David slowly and nervously walked into his mother’s arms, clutching his hammer and the last hole. As he went into his mother she handed him a small dark sphere, saying, "You’re always the last to come David. Here, this is your shape." As David took the sphere and started to hammer it into the last hole, both he and his mother began to fade into each other.

It was then that he realized what everything was about. Realized that for a moment, just a moment, everything was clear to him. Understood what the purpose of all this was. How long that moment lasted is uncertain, it seemed to stretch out endlessly, but at the same time was over instantly. As David hit the shape one last time to make sure the hole was filled, that was when it all began, with one big colorful explosion.

©12/05/2008 Andrew Deakin 

Click on Andrew Deakin  for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

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