[Explicit language and other things warning]
by C. N. Nevets, (c) 2009
Each tick of the clock was another rumble in the belly of my nauseous mind. The thing I had once called a soul. That coincidence of electrical impulses I had once called spirit. The sick, twisted joke I played on myself.
I could not begin to tell how long I'd been staring at my tormentor. At each tick, the second hand twitched, but it never progressed. It was running in place, just like everything else in this man-forsaken universe.
I hadn't had a beard when I started staring. I did now. My hair was longer. My eyes bleary. My stomach hungry. But I had lacked vision all my life, and I did not think I could ever be without need, so even these signs were poor indicators of the passing of time.
Around me, people went about their activities. Sometimes they stopped to talk to me. I rarely answered them, for when I did they did not understand.
“Honey, how much longer are you going to sit there?”
“I haven't even been here a full second.”
“Daddy, can you take me to school this morning?”
“It's still yesterday morning, and tomorrow morning has already come.”
“Jones, there's no two ways about it. You've gotta come into work to keep your job. You haven't so you won't. You're fired.”
“I would worry about that tomorrow, if there were such a thing.”
Sometimes I tried to explain. Tried to get them to understand. To realize that their eyes were bleary and that they were hungry – and that they always had been – and that they always would be.
“Sweetie, why don't you want to go to work anymore?”
“Because I'm just going to die.”
“Does it matter?”
“What's different about one time from the next?”
“Daddy, why don't you eat?”
“Because even if I eat, I will die.”
“So I don't need to eat?”
“Of course not.”
“What about taking baths?”
“You will get dirty again.”
“Do I still have to go to school?”
“It is too late to learn, the moment you are born, and it is too early to learn until the moment you have died.”
The ticking of the clock only served to sicken me further at the futility of clutching at existence. The uselessness of grasping at moments. The fruitlessness of striving to achieve within the no-win situation that mankind has given the grandiose title of LIFE.
It is too late to learn, the moment you are born, but you never chose to be born. Your parents did that to. Your parents decided to fuck you over and stick you in a seventy-two year prison term. They wrapped it up with an umbilical cord and gave you presents every year to apologize for what they had done.
It is too early to learn, until the moment you have died, and that – that you have control over. That you can choose. You're not stuck with someone else's time table. That's all yours.
Outside, I heard the roaring of a car around the corner. I knew it would be possible to hurl myself in front of it without it having a chance to stop. I moved.
School was in.
It's self-consciously derivative (and explicative) of existentialist philosophy, but it was from a flash prompt that quoted Jean-Paul Sartre, so what's a nerd like me supposed to do? Not the best I've done with that philosophy, but I like it anyway.
Also, in case you missed it there was a more light-hearted flash story posted just prior to this update. And on top of that, if you haven't caught on, there's a contest in which you have a chance to have a moment of your life Nevetsized. See the link in the sidebar for more!