I wrote this prompt a while back. I don’t quite remember the context I wrote it in but it’s an interesting story regardless.
I wake to the sound of an alarm sounding in the distance. Groaning and confused, I get up from my bed and do a great big yawn, stretching my arms the tiredness that clouds my mind starts subsiding. About to take my first step, a prick of realization dawns on me, an alarm? I don’t remember ever remembering an alarm waking me up in the morning. The last time I heard an alarm was……..When I lived in my rundown apartment. Yes, I remember now, it used to wake me up in the morning so that I’m not late for work.
Work, something that I’ve been lacking for a few months now, stuck in this metal box underground, there really isn’t much to do but sleep and eat. Still standing beside my bed I realize that I haven’t moved. The alarm still sounding in the background, an old feeling returns to me. Curiosity, and fear. What could have triggered the alarm? With a new sense of purpose, I get dressed and stride out of my room and in to the hallway. Heading to the control room, I think of the possible events that could’ve triggered the alarm. I try to recount the reason why this particular alarm sounded, but the reason eludes me.
Entering the control room, I sit down on my white plastic chair and open up my monitor, my old Toshiba laptop. Several flashing numbers greet me and it takes me a few moments of me staring at the screen dumbfounded to realize what this means. I’m free, the radiation is gone. The outside is now habitable again. Shock and worry mask my face. How changed will the world be? What is left? Just to make sure, I double check the radiation levels and come up with the same results the monitor got. Shakily, I get up from my chair and slowly make my way to the steel steps that lead upwards.
My hand grasping the railing, I begin to climb, one step at a time. After several minutes of climbing stairs, I come face to face with a rusted steel door. Reaching out, I take hold of the handle. Minute fly by, then hours, I sit, I lean, I gnaw. My mind at a crossroads. Eventually I slip back in to the control room and seat myself down on my familiar plastic chair. Tapping a few keys, I hit enter and go back to bed. Maybe next year.