I wasn’t sure why I still insisted on lighting the lamp and allowing it to shine into the night. If anybody was still around to see it, they would have found me by now. Not for the first time over the past ten days I questioned the wisdom of my decision.
I’d fled the city as soon as the thread of impending doom had been made public. I’d had no intention of sitting around and waiting to see if we would indeed be annihilated by the forces approaching Earth through space. I still couldn’t believe my friends had refused to come with me. Their remarks had made no sense to me.
“Don’t be a coward. Stay and face it with the rest of us.” Not surprisingly that had been Oliver’s reaction. His military background meant he was always ready to face anything but I’d no intention of facing a threat I couldn’t name or imagine.
Paul had been more practical in his objections. “I can’t imagine a species travelling halfway across the universe only to destroy the planet they find.” While I agreed it would be a stupid thing to do, I hadn’t been willing to take the risk.
“If we’re all going to be killed I want us to be together when we die.”Connor had been last to open his mouth and as always his opinion was the one to make me stop and think. But, after twenty-four hours of mulling it over I’d decided I didn’t want to die, alone or together with the best friends I’d ever had.
I’d sent them an email outlining my plans. Then I drove my car into the desert until it ran out of petrol and hitched my tent here. Two days later I saw the bright flashes of light on the horizon. Whatever had caused the eruptions hadn’t been powerful enough to reach me here. I’d feverishly checked myself for any signs of illness since, but as far as I could tell, I was as healthy as I’d ever been.
Healthy and miserable. I stared at the vast expanse of sand surrounding me and wondered, not for the first time, why I hadn’t listened to Connor. Because he’d been right; I saw that now. Being alive lost its charm if you had to do it on your own. Dying a slow - and more than likely painful - death wouldn’t be any easier. But if Paul, Martin and Connor were still alive they would have come for me by now, wouldn’t they?
I turned to my tent and dismantled it. I couldn’t stay here. I had water and food for another week or so and no idea if I’d be able to walk back to where I’d come from in only seven days.
I saw the bright lights coming in my direction when I glanced over my shoulder. I’d no idea whether they’d bring friend or foe and I no longer cared – either way my isolation would end tonight.
As always more stories based on the same picture can be found on Facebook in the Monday Flash Fic Group. Don’t forget to check them out; there are some beauties there waiting for you.