As the city bustled, the flyovers unleashed a delicate vapor, barely detectable to the unaided eye. While I sat on the restaurant’s open-air patio, sipping wine and reading, I felt it touch my defenseless skin, seep into my exposed pores and drift into my nostrils. It burned, ever so slightly, as it infiltrated my lungs, surged into my bloodstream and signaled my brain that something wicked was unleashed.
Shrieks pierced through the commotion of daily life on the street. They grew in intensity and frequency until all other sounds were drowned in their deluge. People crumpled to the sidewalks like discarded rag dolls.
I stood, knocking the wine glass and book to ground, as I tried to grasp the horror of the situation. My body began to shut down, the poison taking me into its dark oblivion.
Falling to my knees, the shattered glass stabbed and sliced my already wounded skin. I scarcely felt the violation.
Weariness beyond comprehension clouded my mind. I rested my head on the warm concrete and my eyes found those of a stranger. We exchanged a meaningful last look as the light burned out in his eyes.
The pages of my book fluttered in the breeze. And my final thought was that it’s true; we have all died, “not with a bang but a whimper.”
Based on the Week 90 word prompt from Trifecta, I wrote this melancholy tale using:
T. S. Eliot provided the end of the lovely last line of my story, from “The Hollow Men.”