Oct 05, 2021
2 mins read
After the end of the world she wakes in a strange place . . .
I was so sure I died.
But I wake, my body curled into itself, strands of hair falling over my face. My cheek’s resting on my arm and my arm has an ache in it from lying on a hard surface. These are the things I notice before remembering I’d died.
Then the rest of my consciousness barrels into me, and I come fully awake with a jerk.
Blinking. My breath making my hair move. I’m lying on a floor, which isn’t right. The floor is a light grey. I must be in a hospital.
Of course. There had been fire, burning embers. A wind that blasted my skin as I searched for my family . . .
But if I’m in a hospital, that means I’ve been saved. Relief and confusion are trying to work in tandem as I lift my head. The walls around me are the same grey as the floor. The corners are rounded and there are recesses along one wall. It doesn’t look like a hospital. It doesn’t look like any room I’ve seen before.
The only sound I can hear is a white-noise hum in the background.
I sit up, slowly and carefully, expecting to feel pain. To smell my own burning skin.
I’m aware I’m trying very hard not to look at my body.
But it glides upright, my muscles so smooth it’s like they’ve been rubbed in olive oil. Then my hair falls over my shoulder in a long veil and for a moment I stop breathing.
Okay, don’t think about that right now.
I stand on shaking legs, and everything begins to spin. I shut my eyes, sweat beading my forehead. I breathe, in and out. Press my hand to my breastbone.
Maybe I should be overcome with gratitude for my not-dead status, but I’m still playing catch-up, and when I open my eyes again I’m looking for a door, a sign, a person. I need to know what’s happening. I need someone to tell me what to do.
I can’t see any doors. There are no doors. I turn, fear already rising in me when I see it.
I won’t talk about that right now. I can’t. I’ll tell you about the end of the world instead.
Cube is a novelette of approx. 14k words. You can read the rest here!