Friday, January 6, 2012

31 Things for 31 Days Prompt 4: Charlotte Tryst

Courtesy of Eric Albee on Flickr, distributed under an Attributions-only Creative Commons license., via 31 Things for 31 Days

Another short piece set in the future of the Outbreak Universe. Not exactly how I'd imagined writing a glimpse of this character's future but when you have inspiration...

Charlotte Tryst
Rough Draft, 517 words
Allisyn Bridges

Charlotte Tryst looked at the chronometer across the room. The readout was upside down, though she expected that since she was currently laying on her back with her head hanging off the bed. She was equally unsurprised that it was the same day that she had fallen asleep on. In the windowless isolation room, time was mostly unimportant. For Charlotte, time was mostly a theoretical construct imposed by that same chronometer. Most of the time the chronometer was the only thing that made her feel real. Like this was really happening. Sometimes the chronometer got covered by blankets. Sometimes she contemplated breaking it. She never did.

3 years, 45 days, 6 hours, 12 minutes, and 15 seconds since the end of civilization.

Charlotte turned her head to face the other side of the quarantine field. No change there either. Her mother’s reanimated corpse still stood blankly on the other side. Charlotte pushed her self up to a sitting position. The movement drew the attention of the zombie that had been her mother and the zombie started pounding on the forcefield. Like it always did. She couldn’t hear it but the sight was more than enough.

3 years, 45 days, 6 hours, 37 minutes, and 48 seconds with her mother’s rotting corpse.

The woman from the Senate had said that they were doing her a favor when they locked the privacy screen in place and walked away. At the time Charlotte had disagreed and spent weeks hacking to regain control of the field. It was only off for two hours. For the next year and one hundred fifty six days, Charlotte changed her mind thousands of time. And then the emitters had fused with the privacy screen deactivated. Her only company was the reanimated corpse of her mother. Some days that was better than being alone. Some times it just plain sucked. Today, it hurt to look, so she didn’t. Charlotte shut her eyes.

3 years, 45 days, 7 hours, 22 minutes, and 9 seconds since the colony had fallen to the zombies.

At first, Charlotte’s comm unit had worked but now there was only silence. One by one the communication satellites had fallen into disrepair and stopped transmitting. A handful at a time, the voices had fallen silent. The voices of other trapped survivors. The voices keeping her sane. Charlotte blinked. There was something on her face.

3 years, 45 days, 9 hours, 41 minutes, and 27 seconds of being alone.

Charlotte turned away from the other side of the room. Away from her mother’s body. Away from sights she couldn’t bear to see anymore. She got off the bed and stepped toward the mirror. There was red streaked across her eyes.

3 years, 45 days, 11 hours, 2 minutes, and 56 seconds of the same unchanging room.

Charlotte examined her reflection and remembered. Yesterday, she hadn’t wanted to see. Yesterday, she’d started to claw her eyes out. But only started. She’d made a mess but it would heal. It always did.

3 years, 45 days and 12 hours of things she never wanted to see again.

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