The Window

Well, I wrote this short story several weeks ago. It started as an entry for a contest, but I didn't meet the deadline, so I ended up finishing it a few weeks late. Don't really have much to say about it other than that; I find it quite hard to describe this particular piece of writing and I had a bit of trouble trying to fit it into a category.
The only other thing I'll say is that I don't really like the ending.

 

I stared out of the window, my breath clouding the glass and blurring my vision. Outside, rain pattered gently against the cold pane of glass. It had been less than half an hour since the last run, but already we were being sent back to our homes . . . if they were still there.

Since then, Mother had moved about the house agitatedly, as if she expected another strike in seconds and her old bones would leave her trapped in whatever faithless chair she was sat in. Lauren had almost immediately strode to the kitchen, muttering something about ‘some nice food to take our minds off it’, though all the food we had was far from nice; the half eaten sandwiches left on the table had proved that.

But I, I had simply sat here, staring out at our ruined street.

Across the road, firemen were dousing the last of the flames still clinging to the rubble of what was once a rather nice house. I had already watched them pull a body from the ruins, but they had been quick to cover it up. Further up the street, policemen were searching the rubble of another ruined home. Four of the houses in our street alone had been razed by those damned things, and I couldn’t stop thinking . . . why not us? What force had decided we should keep our lives and our homes, while others lost everything?

It was sad, in a way, that that was the one coherent thought my mind could offer. But I couldn’t get those thoughts out of my head. Was it that we had done something particularly good with our lives? Was God aiding us? Or was He simply punishing the others.

There was a shout outside, but nothing save the vague hint of triumph registered through my suffocating thoughts. Who would feel triumph now? Triumph is an emotion far too close to joy. And there was no place for joy in this life.

As if in agreement, that blasted sound cut through the air once more; that damn wailing and screeching. Adrenaline flooded my veins, but I felt none of the fear that seemed to be infused within everyone else. Just annoyance. Annoyance that our lives had been so cruelly interrupted by paranoia and fear for the last three years.

We were burdened with ridiculous masks that would somehow protect us. With fear that we might return from our jobs to find no one to welcome us home. Or that we’d be dragged from our homes by over-zealous words and forced into a new job by nothing more than paper. If God had a hand in this, then His only thought was of punishment.

Fire erupted outside the window, crowding the streets and blurring my vision.

The End

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