Monday, 14 November 2011 18:22

Imperial Odyssey - Repeat

Written by  Christina Longman
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Planet: Unknown

Time: Unknown, Post War


Every morning the girl awoke, packed her bag, kissed her mother, father and young sister good bye and walked to school. Every day she went to the same classes, talked to the same people and ate lunch under precisely the same tree. Every afternoon she walked home, had an unremarkable dinner identical to the night before, did her homework and teased her sister. Every evening she brushed her teeth, made up with her sibling and read the same pages of the same book before falling asleep. Every night she had a terrible nightmare, all of which was forgotten by morning. Repeat.


Loose clothing flapped madly, unwilling to follow the skeletal frame of the old man as he jerked down the hill.

“Please, oh please let this one be real,” Still running, he gasped like a fish, though it must be said that no fish had ever been observed to be as wrinkled, withered and wretched as he.

The object of his attentions remained oblivious.

An unwelcome thought trickled into his half mad mind and he tripped and skidded to a stop far short of his quarry. He tentatively took a step closer and then another. Ruble shifted under bare bleeding feet. His expression was that of a man crazed and tormented by hope. He licked his gray lips.

“Hello?” He whispered, cleared his throat then took another step and repeated his greeting. “Hello? …Are you real?”

He inched closer and his inquiries became more desperate. Yet there was no response. He was in tears when he reached her. Even when he shook her and blocked her path she paid no notice. Eventually his fervor faded, and as she walked the old man walked with her.

He shadowed her for three days before he understood, five before he could accept it and eight hundred and sixteen before he died. She never even realized he was there.


Every morning the decrepit old woman awoke, packed her bag, kissed the air three times and walked to a derelict structure that might once have been a school. Every day she sat in the same places in the same tumbledown rooms littered with bones, talked to the same spots of thin air and ate lunch precisely where long ago a tree had cast shade. Every afternoon she walked home, had dinner from a rusted can, scratched the same words out on the same pieces of yellow rotten paper and taunted empty space. Every evening she brushed her filthy teeth, said a few kind words to the vacant hallway and read the same pages of the same book before falling asleep. Every night she had a terrible nightmare, all of which was forgotten by morning. Repeat.

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