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Consistency: 08/30/2022
In Discord Challenges
Mads
Aug 30, 2022
The strange looking bald man looks me over thoroughly. Tugging on the straps holding my suit together, poking at the water and air tight seams. This day has been a long time coming-now that it’s here I’m feeling anxious. Doubtful. The Program guarantees that all entrants will survive. Assured us that several human studies were successful. I suddenly wish I had pressed on what “several” meant. The ground rumbles and the building shakes around me, reminding me why this is necessary. My family is one of the few who can afford their survival into the next era. Ironic that our money can buy us survival into a time where that same money is inconsequential. This suit is stifling, I’m already sweating. The bald man assures me it’s frigid where I’ll be held, so the insulation is by design. Gesturing for me to follow him, he begins down the dim hallway-there’s some sort of pod at the end. He steps into it, and makes room for me next to him. Following suit I ask “Where are we going?” “To the Room” Great, really clears that up for me. Luckily, he continues. “It has the enclosures where you and your family will be held. Actually, everyone from your state who entered the program will be held in the room with you. But you all have separate appointment times, so you’ll only see your family before you begin the Rest.” “Everyone from my state, you said?” “Yes, there are several Rooms, and it was determined that breaking up populations by geographical location would be most efficient.” I want to ask if he will participate in the program… in the Rest. But I don’t. Mostly because I won’t know what to say if he says “no”. The air is already getting colder as we take the-shockingly long-ride down to the Room. Finally, the doors to the elevator pod open and we step out-I’m grateful for this suit already, my breath visible in the air before me. The Room is vast, spanning hundreds of feet from every angle. The walls and floor appear to be cement. It’s damp, suffocatingly so, and the dampness just makes the cold more harsh against the exposed skin of my face.. The most troubling thing about the Room are the metal, oval enclosures. There are hundreds-no, it must be thousands. Spaced evenly apart in a grid, with enough space to walk between and around them. The bald man walks with confidence toward the left side of the room, navigating through the human-sized oval containers. He’s already quite far from me as I gape at the spectacle. Hurrying to catch up, I see people have already arrived. There are 2 people in a white suit that matches mine, and another in a dark blue suit to match the man. As we near, I consider the white suits. They must be my aunt and uncle-I haven’t seen them in 15 years, easily. I don’t really recognize them, but I see the resemblance between the woman and my own mother. I’m shocked, really, that our money was shared with them. That they’re here. They certainly couldn’t afford this on their own. There’s so much bad blood, I would have thought mom and dad would have gladly left them in this time to suffer through what is to come… “We’ll wait until your mother and father arrive before we begin the Enclosure,” the bald man pulls me from my thoughts. “No need, we can go ahead,” I reply. He looks a bit surprised, but nods after a brief pause to consider my response. I give a wave to the people I’ve decided are my aunt and uncle and turn to follow the man. “Please step in, do you see the indicators for where to step?” “I do,” I cover the stickers of a right and left shoe with my own feet, respectively. “Please sit down on the ‘x’.” I obey. “I am going to hook up the machinery that will provide your life-support during the Rest. There will be an IV for fluids and nutrition, along with a device that will cover most of your head and face. It will be uncomfortable, but you won’t be awake much longer.” I nod as he begins the process, explaining each step as he completes it. My thoughts are gone, my brain an empty cavity-I’m listening, but not really. It doesn’t matter. “You are ready for the Rest, please lie back to rest your head on the cushion.” “Thank you for your assistance, sir.” He nods. “I am initiating now.” Before I can begin to reconcile what is about to happen to me, it becomes irrelevant-the world is black. WC: 782
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Consistency: 08/29/2022
In Discord Challenges
Mads
Aug 30, 2022
The sun streams in through the sheer curtains into my eyes, waking me from a fantastic night of sleep. Slowly blinking my tired lids open, I see my bedroom, and my wife laying beside me. The sheets smell like lavender and of her. Quietly, I move out from under the covers and tip-toe to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I’m so happy to be in this house again. `I was away for a long, long time. My wife and I had the chance to talk several times a week, which made it easier, but I’m so relieved to be back. They say that home is where the heart is, and damn does that feel true. There’s a weight lifted off of me that I didn’t know was there. Back in my house, my hometown, near my favorite bars and restaurants again. I wonder what we’ll get up to today - she most definitely has projects stacked up for me that were neglected while I was gone. She didn’t say anything about having plans when we caught up yesterday, but we were both so emotional and overwhelmed, it could have just been an oversight. I hope we both get to stay home for the day. I don’t want to miss her anymore. Walking back into the bedroom, I see she’s awake and scrolling through her phone. That ritual hasn’t changed. “Morning!” she chirps. “Morning,” I smile. “What do you want to do today?” “Well… I do have a long list of little things that need to be do–” “Didn’t see that coming,” I chuckle. “I was going to say… you don’t need to worry about that today since you just got home yesterday. I thought maybe I could just send you the list so you can prepare yourself… emotionally, physically, spiritually…” “Ah, probably wise. Well what do you want to do after the list?” “Oh… I was hoping we could just… hang out?” I give her a massive grin. “I would love that. Scary movies and pizza for lunch?” “Yes!” She jumps out of bed to go feed the cats and I throw some comfy clothes on. We’ve been through so many yesterdays apart, I’m happy for some tomorrows together. WC: 369
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Consistency: 08/28/2022
In Discord Challenges
Mads
Aug 28, 2022
“The Event is anticipated to occur at 5:32pm, EST today. This is our final broadcast…” The news channel plays in the background while I make my coffee. Apparently, my last cup of coffee. 2 sugars, a generous pour of half and half that I put back in the fridge, despite that being pointless at the end of the day. The Event has been approaching for months now. Scientists alerted the local government back in January that it was imminent and fast-approaching. It was announced to the public in early March that the world was ending, and since then everything has gone to shit. If there’s other life out there looking down on our planet, I’m sure they wouldn’t judge our reactions. What else are you supposed to do when you’re told when your last day will be, and that it’s only 127 days away? I imagine knowing that your life is going to end radically shifts the way you look at the meaning of life; but knowing that the rest of the world is going to end with you? There were the conspiracy theorists that argued the government was just trying to scare us for their own ends. Religious zealots proclaimed the Event was the coming of their god, urging anyone who might be in earshot to repent, turn toward truth. It was chaos, still is. There were massive spending sprees, and replacing family members with a variety of vices. Some people hid away, choosing to live their lives in solitude, where they alone determined how their final days played out; perhaps a reclaiming of an autonomy they didn’t possess in life. Others chose to band together in groups to spend these last months with loved ones, taking care of each other. A lot of people killed themselves, whether on purpose or by accidentally overdosing on their drug of choice. My husband decided he’d live out the rest of his life in a heroine-induced stupor. I’m not sure where he is now. In the end, I don’t know where I fit in. My days go on like normal, except my career of 15 years has ended. That certainly didn’t matter anymore. I didn’t turn to drugs or pleasure houses. I make my coffee every morning, read a few chapters of my book every night. The cat is fed at 9am and 7pm, just like normal. I wonder if there are others like me out there, quietly awaiting the end. We’re all born to die, the Event just takes away the unknown. WC: 422
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