And The World Died | By: Clay Chapman | | Category: Full Story - Science Fiction Bookmark and Share

And The World Died

“Craig, do you have those papers done?” asked Craig’s secretary. Craig was in a daydream, thinking about his family that he had not seen in about a week, his daughter Jennifer and his wife Linda.

“Oh, yes they are on the edge of my desk” Craig said as he got out of his daydream. Craig’s secretary, Samantha, looked at him in concern, “Maybe you shouldn’t work so much, you’ve been here for 6 days,” she said. “I know I know,” said Craig as he held his forehead and sighed, “but I have to get this done before the board meeting tomorrow”. Samantha grabbed the papers and left the room. Craig got back to work.

2 hours later, he had finally finished the papers and was ready for tomorrow’s board meeting. Craig packed up his briefcase and headed for the parking garage. His boss, Shane, came out of his office and caught up with Craig. “Craig, hey, how’s it going?” he asked Craig. “Everything is set for tomorrow” he answered. “No I mean, you, how are things with you,” he asked. “Things are fine,” Craig said tiredly and slightly frustrated, he had no desire talking to his boss about his personal life, after being with him for 6 straight days. Shane stopped as Craig kept walking. “Ok, well, I guess I will see you tomorrow…” Shane said, but Craig was already walking out the door. Craig was a nice person, but after being in the office 6 straight days from 5 in the morning to 9 at night, his nice side was dead.

Craig got into his car and drove out of the building, his house was in another town, so he stayed at a motel until the board meeting was over. Craig drove down the road, his eyes were tired, but the motel wasn’t too far and he was awake enough to make it. Craig turned on his right blinker to make a right turn, he checked his rear view mirror, and then turned into the right lane. But right as he turned, a huge white light flashed into his eyes. Craig lost control of the car, flew off the road and slammed into a tree. The airbag shot out and Craig sat there for a second. Craig opened the door and got out, he looked around and people were looking around with their cars pulled over. Craig leaned against his car and rubbed his eyes. He looked into the sky, trying to figure out what had happened.

* * * * *

Craig opened his eyes. He was lying in his motel bed. He looked around the filthy place with the TV bolted to the wall. He got out of bed, got a shower, then got dressed for the board meeting today, after this he could finally go home. Craig checked out of the motel and started walking down the street since his car was in the repair shop. But it was only 4 blocks and he needed the exercise. He stopped by McDonalds for a bite to eat. He sat outside to eat his happy meal. He was trying to save money, which is why he bought the happy meal. He noticed that the toy was a set of toy binoculars. He finished his meal and put the toy in his coat so he could take it home to his kids. Craig walked down the street and to his office building.

“Sales have more than doubled with this,” Shane said, but Craig was looking at his watch at the time. Shane looked to Craig, “Craig?” Craig jumped up and said, “yes?” “Our stocks are going down a bit, what do you think we should improve on?” Craig looked at Shane with a grin on his face, “Well, I think your not giving our sponsors a fair deal here, when Ross was the boss he made the sponsors just as big as his advertisements. Now I am not saying your wrong, but I think we are loosing customers because we are loosing sponsors,” Craig leaned back in his chair. Shane didn’t have a smile on his face, “So, we should get our sponsors back and our stocks will sky rate? Is that what you are saying?” Craig sat back up, “not entirely, I think one of our… um, popular sponsors should help us in an advertising campaign, like… First Union bank, we set up a campaign with them… like prizes for our customers, free certificates or something.” Shane smiled, “good idea, what made you think of this?” Craig grinned, “well since you hired the worst employees, I think the only way we can bring the customers in would be to bribe them,” Craig raised his eyebrows.

Craig walked down the sidewalk, he was always one to speak his mind but never like this before, but no one was surprised either. He was on his last nerve with Shane, even thought Shane was a nice guy, Craig couldn’t stand him anymore. Craig almost got fired, but because he thought of the campaign, Shane decided to keep him on. Craig walked down the street, he was going to rent a car and go home, then come back and pick up his car. He couldn’t wait until the car was finished to go home. Craig decided to go to the park for a while and think. He lay down on a bench and looked into the sky.

He looked at the clouds, then he noticed something. He couldn’t tell what it was but it was something up in the sky. Craig felt the binoculars he had in his pocket. He took them out and looked at the sky through them. He saw something, only for a split second, then it disappeared. There were little squares in the sky, like the ones on a TV if you look really close to it. It was like these little squares made the sky, like a screen. Craig got up and headed to the GNC store for some aspirin.

* * * * *

“Hi, I have reservations for a compact car” Craig said coming up to the clerk at the Rent-a-car building. “Oh, Mr. Moore I’m sorry but we have nothing” the clerk said. Craig raised an eyebrow, “What? But I had reservations.” “I’m sorry but we are out of cars.” “Wait a second, do you understand the concept of reservations? I reserved a car, which means I have a car, you can’t be out because I had one reserved. The only way I don’t have a car is if you are cheating me, is that it?” The clerk looked down to the computer and typed something. Craig leaned against the counter frustrated. “Tomorrow we will have a car,” the clerk said. “You know what? Keep your car, I don’t have to use your company.” Craig stormed out, pushing over a display as he went making flyers fly everywhere.

Craig sat in the park as mad as ever; this whole trip had been nothing but frustration. He took an aspirin and held his head. Craig walked up to a pay phone and called his wife. “Linda?” “Hi honey, are you coming home soon?” Linda said. “Um, I can’t get a ride out, the car company… I’m sorry, I’ll try to get home today on a bus, but if I don’t, I will have to stay here tonight.” “Ok, I understand” Linda said softly. “Bye.” “Bye.” Craig hung up, then leaned on the pay phone.

Craig opened the door to his motel room. This motel was better than the last, there were nicer things, a good view over the city and the TV wasn’t bolted to the wall. Craig fell dropped his suitcase and fell onto the bed. He clapped and the lights went off. He didn’t even change clothes he was so tired. The next day his car would be ready so he would get home tomorrow.

Craig woke up hearing something outside. He opened one eye hearing cars beeping and a crowd outside. He got up tiredly and a little unstable. He walked over to the window and opened the curtains. He looked out and his mouth dropped, his eyes grew wide and he stood stunned. People were looking to the sky, chaos roared with fires, car crashes, and people screaming. The sun was out, at 1:30 A.M. and it wasn’t light outside. The sun moved very fast over the sky. Plus, all the stars were out. Craig couldn’t even talk or move he was so frightened.

Suddenly, he saw a very small red light appear in space. It began to get bigger and bigger taking form of a rectangle. Craig’s only instinction was to jump behind a table and hide. He covered his head and clinched his eyes. All of the sudden, there was a huge explosion behind Craig, right behind him. He didn’t dare open his eyes, suddenly, his ground was blown away. He felt himself flying in an explosion of debris, he didn’t know what had happened but he kept his eyes closed.

He could see a blinding light though his eyelids, but he kept his eyes closed. All he could hear was wind and explosions, not with fire, but things falling and exploding on impact of the wind. Craig stayed in his little ball while flying through the explosion. He let out a yell and suddenly hit a building extremely hard. The impact killed him and totally disembodied his body.

Craig yelled jumping from his bed. He landed on his face on the floor. He opened his eyes. He jumped to his feet and ran to the window. He ripped the shades open and looked outside. There was no sun outside, no chaos, no fires, nothing strange. He looked to the clock; it was 1:00. He moved his eyes back outside. He grabbed the shades and shut them.

* * * * *

Craig drove down the highway. He kept thinking about what happened last night. He turned on the radio and tuned it to the news. “…Up 12 points,” the news lady said, “In other news, The O-Brian Industries…” Craig looked to the radio, O-Brian Industries is the company he works at. “…Building has been destroyed. Police say terrorists set a bomb inside the building, even though there is no evidence and this morning around 1:00 the bomb went off.” Craig’s mouth dropped. “O-Brian Industries is the same company that sponsored a satellite that was to go to Jupiter. Also, around 1:00, NASA has reported that a virus has been encrypted into the satellite computer system. With this happening, the satellite is lost, but no one knows how the virus could have gotten into the computer with their extreme security measures.” Craig thought for a second in amazement. He thought to himself, “1:00?”

* * * * *

Craig opened the door to his house. “Honey?” he yelled. Linda came running in, “Hi, how was your trip?” “One I won’t forget, where is Jennifer?” “At the mall,” Linda said, then she gasped, “Oh my, I forgot, your job, oh dear what happened?” Craig sat down on the couch, “I don’t know, but you know what the strangest thing about it is? I had a dream that all this crazy stuff was happening outside my window at 1:30, then this huge light destroyed everything. But after the dream, it was 1:00.” Linda wasn’t sure what to say, “Um, Craig, didn’t you hear the explosion from your hotel room?” “Nah I was far out I probably couldn’t have heard it clearly from where I was staying.” Craig thought for a second, “Strange thing is, odd things have been happening.” He sighed and looked at Linda with a smile, “What’s for dinner?”

“Find anything in the classifieds?” Linda said while scrubbing a dish clean. “Nothing, maybe I should go back to the building, maybe someone will help me find a job.” Craig folded up the paper and kissed Linda goodbye. He headed out the door and into his car.

Craig drove up to the rubble that use to be his building. He saw one a few of his co-workers on the other side of the rubble. He drove to the other side and parked. He got out of the car and walked over to his friend Matt. “Hey Matt,” Craig said walking over to him. Matt looked to Craig. “Was anyone hurt,” Craig asked. Matt looked down a bit, “Um, Shane was in the building. He must have been after some paperwork when it happened. The terrorists must have something against the satellite, like a colt that thinks this project might expose something they don’t want exposed.” “I see a movie in the future. But wouldn’t that mean that the terrorists would go after the satellite’s main computer source.” “Yes.” “Hmm, well, I hope NASA knows what they are doing or more problems will occur.”

Craig walked down the park he walked down while he was there that week. He was alone in the park, but he didn’t mind. He looked around when something caught his eye. It looked like a tree was flashing. He walked over to the tree. He looked up and down the tree, then he touched the tree. The tree rippled like water, then flashed like an out of signal television. Then it disappeared and reappeared. Craig turned around to see if anyone saw what he saw. He moved his eyes to the sky, then down the ground, and then narrowed his eyes looking straight.

“Linda!” Craig came running in the house. Jennifer ran in from the back, “Dad, what’s going on?” “Jennifer, you won’t believe what happened. I saw a tree.” Jennifer gave him a strange look, then a smile, “good for you dad,” she began to walk away. “No wait, you didn’t let me finish. I saw a tree and this tree flashed, then it like started to static up and disappear and reappear. And when I touched it rippled like water, you gotta believe me.” “Um,” Jennifer said, “Dad, have you been drinking?” “No no no, it really happened, I can’t prove it but it did, things like this have been happening all week.” “Um Dad, I may have a suggestion…”

“So you have never visited a psychiatrist Mr. Moore?” Craig was lying on a couch in Dr. Lycrane’s office. “No,” Craig answered. “So lets see here” the doctor looked at some notes, “Oh my, um, well lets see, you believe you have seen a disappearing tree, a sun at 1:30 in the morning and lines in the sky.” “That would be correct” Craig answered. “Ok, lets start with the tree, tell me about this,” the doctor said. “Well, it flashed, then I touched it and it rippled like water, then it began staticing up like a TV, then it disappeared and reappeared.” “Have you been taking any kind of medication or drug?” “Um, I took some aspirin, do you think that had some kind of strange side effects?” “Yes”

“And your dream about the sun at night and the explosion from the red light was a fictional dream.” Craig closed his eyes, “I guess your right.” Craig’s eyes shot open, “Wait a second, I didn’t have the aspirin when I saw the lines in the sky.” “Well, since you only saw it for a split second, it is known for eyes to play tricks on people and in a split second, it doubles the chance of a trick played by your mind.” Craig looked at him, “I beg to differ.”

* * * * *

“Craig, what are you doing?” Linda was walking after Craig. Craig was walking towards his car with luggage in his arms. “I’m going to get proof that something strange is going on around here.” He threw the luggage into the trunk, then headed to the garage, “Don’t worry, I’m taking my truck so you can keep your car here.” “Craig, this has gone far enough, you didn’t see anything.” Craig grabbed a telescope, a first aid kit and a tent, “I know what I saw, I wasn’t dreaming or hallucinating.” He threw the stuff into the truck. “Craig! I won’t let you go.” Craig looked back to her, “this is more important than anything I have ever came across, this could change mankind forever, I have to go.” Linda narrowed her eyes, “how important could it possibly be?” Craig looked to her, “I’ll answer that when I figure out what the answer is.”

* * * * *

Craig drove down the country road; he planned to stay on his property for about 2 days observing the skies. He didn’t know what was happening, but he knew it was real. He had a slim idea in his mind that I could possibly be aliens, but he doubts it, but what else could it be? Things were going through his mind, he was trying to figure this out, how could he explain everything that is happening? He couldn’t.

Craig sat outside by his tent. It had been 2 days so far, he hadn’t seen anything, if he saw nothing tonight, he would go home empty-handed. “Well, I guess nothing is gonna happen tonight.” He got up and headed for his tent, but right as he took his first step, he stepped on something sharp, it went right through his shoe. Craig yelled out in tremendous pain. He raised his foot and untied his shoe. He looked down at what he stepped on. He slowly put his foot down with his shoelaces untied. His mouth hanged open as he bent down. He got right down to what he stepped on, a blade of grass.

The grass blade was sticking straight up; it was as sharp as a razor. Suddenly, another shot up right at Craig’s face, slicing his chin. Craig jumped to his feet as 2 more blades of grass shot up. Craig took a step back, all the blades of grass were shooting up around that one blade of grass. Craig turned and ran as the grass shot up and grew faster. It moved in a circle, growing bigger and bigger. As he ran, new circles emerged and grew. Craig had no idea what was going on, he looked up. He could barely see it, but it looked like a blue star blinking rapidly. He wasn’t concentrating, so he thought it must have been a spaceship making the grass shoot up.

A circle began right in front of Craig; Craig jumped the razor sharp grass blades and landed on his feet. Craig kept running, he didn’t look back, his mind was going in circles. Finally, Craig decided to look behind him. He turned his head and looked behind him, but before he could get a good view, he tripped over a root. He fell like a rock right on his face. He laid there for a second then tried to get up. His first attempt to get to his feet failed as he fell when he got to a knee. He couldn’t see straight, the impact made everything seem blurry.

Finally, he could see right. He stood up and held his cheek that had been busted open from the fall. He looked back behind him. All the grass was as soft as cotton. Craig touched his chin, it was still cut. He looked up; the blue blinking star was gone. He looked up at the stars, he knew something was happening, and that all these strange occurrences connected somehow, and one piece of the puzzle was missing.

* * * * *

Craig didn’t go home the next day; instead he stopped off at city hall to look at some record books. There was something going on, and maybe the answer lied here. He flipped through the books when he came to his friend’s Grandfather. The one thing he always remembered about his friend’s grandfather was that he had the same middle name of his daughter’s husband’s last name. Craig flipped the page looking to another person. Then he noticed something. He flipped back to the last person. He looked very closely to the information. Then raised his head up.

Craig sat in city hall for hours, he searched through the record books until he came to Shane O-Brian. He looked down the record books, his eyes widened. He ran over to the newspaper archives. He searched through the papers for about 10 minutes until he came to what he was looking for, the day after the O-Brian Industries building was bombed. He looked at the headline, then down at the articles. He grabbed his mouth almost choking. He looked up with his mouth wide open, “That’s it.”

* * * * *

Craig drove up the lawn of his house. He jumped out of the car and ran inside. “Linda! Linda,” he yelled. Linda came running from the living room. “What is it? What’s happened,” Linda said with a concerned voice. “I need a spot on the announcements list at the next town council meeting,” Craig said, “it is very important.” Linda had a confused look on her face, “what is it?” “Remember when you said how important could it possibly be, and I said I will answer that when I figure out what the answer is?” “Yeah,” Linda said. “I think I figured it out.”

* * * * *

Craig sat in his chair at the town council meeting. He hadn’t told anyone what he knew. He looked around waited for the person in front of him to finish talking about pollution in the Trenson River. Craig sat impatiently waiting for the trash discussion to stop. Finally, the man stepped down and Craig’s name was called. Craig stood up and walked on to the podium in front of the crowd of people.

Craig looked left to right. He pulled some notes from his pocket and opened his briefcase. He smiled and looked out to everyone, he took a deep breath and began. “Hello, most of you are wondering what I have to say. Well, you are about to find out. As a small number of you know, some strange things have been happening to me.”

“Well, here it goes. O-Brian Industries was bombed a few weeks ago, now, people believe it was a terrorist bombing. Now, there was no evidence, no one knows the real reason why it blew up, I do. The satellite O-Brian Industries adopted was sent to do observations on Jupiter. Now, O-Brian Industries was bombed and on the same night, NASA’s satellite computer network was encrypted with a virus.” People looked to each other not knowing this. “Ok, my next point, 12 years ago, a satellite was sent to Jupiter, it never made it because of technical problems. 2 years ago, the same thing, only there was a measurement disorder and it was lost. Now, how could all these satellites be lost, they were to explore the same part of Jupiter, but never made it. My next point, a few weeks ago a blinding light hit Interstate 32 making several car crashes. Police and high officials say it was a satellite that hit the sun the wrong way. Now, how could that be possible when the sun was on the other side of the earth at the time? That light also was directed, not completely, but close to Jupiter. And finally, the night of the O-Brian bombing, I had a dream that the sun was out at 1:30 at night giving off no sunlight, then a light shot from the sky destroying everything, and I wake up at 1:00.”

He paused for a second; “It came from the direction of Jupiter. What can I say for all this?” He paused again; “Our world is fake.” People began talking, arguing the point among themselves. “Ok, Ok, I understand that you can’t believe me, but listen. I would like to call a friend to help me testify this, Mr. Mitch Swine.” Mitch stood up. “Mitch, your Grandfather had the same middle name of your sister’s husband’s last name, correct?” Mitch nodded. “Mitch, your sister’s husband’s last name is Jackson. You grandfather’s middle name is Rystine.” Everyone began whispering. “Wait Craig, my Grandfather’s middle name is Jackson though,” Mitch announced. Craig grinned, that is what I thought too, but these records show differently. Don’t think it is a misprint because it is on every document of his existence.”

Mitch looked at the records, he was speechless. “Next is the order of Jeremy Alfond.” Everyone questioned on who that was. Craig grinned, “He use to be the technical supervisor of the space program 12 years ago, the satellite with mechanical failure. But he was replaced with Greg Roxben. The only strange thing is that, none of you know Jeremy Alfond, which is because he never existed in this era. People listen, Jeremy Alfond never existed and there is nothing to prove that he ever did. Except this very little paper which shows some little statistics about the satellite, and Jeremy Alfond’s name is on it, with his job’s name on it.”

“Ladies and Gentlemen, our world was created, like a project. Our world is a creation by other life forms. They control what we see, none of this is real, it’s a game, a virtual universe if you will. And the center of this universe… is on Jupiter. That is why none of our satellites made it, because they stopped it some how, that is why Mitch Swine’s Granddad has the wrong middle name, that is why the blinding light came from there and that is why Jeremy Alfond never existed.”

Everyone argued to the highest extent. “People! People! They are having technical problems, that is why I saw those lines in the sky, the sun in the night, the tree that is like water and the blades of grass that are really sharp.” People laughed at the fact that he thought of this. “Wait, let me finish, I think they use some kind of memory freezer, that is what that red light was that night of the bombing, only I didn’t look at it, that is why I remember it. Now, when the light hit your eyes, they could change anything in your mind and on earth, better yet, anything in the universe. So, they implanted the fact that the O-Brian Industry building was destroyed when they made a pile of rubble on the site where it was. They didn’t want you to remember that night with the sun, so they erased that from your memory, but since the light never hit my eyes, I remember it. Jeremy Alfond got hit with the light, so they took him out of the picture and erased everything about him, including people’s memory, but they forgot that one piece of paper. Next, for some reason, they didn’t want Mitch’s Grandpa to have that middle name, so they changed it, but they didn’t change the records of him.”

Suddenly, there was an earthquake that lasted a minute or two. “Everyone listen, these lifeforms don’t want us to know that they exist, that is why they do this, that is why they tried to kill me with the grass blades… although that wasn’t a good try, anyway, they control us, but now we know.” No one knew what to say. Suddenly there was another earthquake, a longer one. Someone in the back yelled out, “Look at the sky!” Craig and everyone ran outside. The sky was brown, the sun was out but it was flickering, like a candle. Suddenly, the sun shot into static, like the static on a television, and the sound was loud, the sound of static. Craig covered his ears, he finally proved it, it was real, it was really happening.

Craig heard a cracking sound, louder than the static, he looked up, the sky was cracking, like glass. Suddenly, it burst out in sharp pieces. The pieces came crashing down like huge pieces of glass, shattering on impact. Everyone covered his or her heads. Craig looked around for his family, but they were no where in site. Craig looked up, the sky was completely white. The noise was tremendous, Craig couldn’t hear a thing, but to make matters worse, a loud buzzing sound started. Craig’s ears went shell-shocked. Craig began to yell out, “This is what happened! Jeremy must have discovered the truth, once the truth is out, the world begins to be destroyed. Jeremy did the same thing, he spread the word, and then the world began being destroyed, it was rebuilt with him left out. Its happening, we hav…” Someone ran into Craig making Craig fall backwards and landing on his back. People ran all over him. Craig kept saying over and over, “Stop this! Its madness, the world can’t take this, ”

Craig got to his feet, his ears came back to normal, chaos still raided, but there were no strange noises anymore. Craig noticed everyone was looking up. “What?” he said. Craig turned around; the red light was there. It was huge, bigger than anything he had ever seen before. Right as Craig saw it, it shot out, right in Craig’s eyes. Craig fell back, but before he hit everything stopped. Time stopped. Darkness fell upon all.

And the world died.

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