I wrote this three page microfiction story for my Creative Writing class in about 45 minutes which I think may be a record for me. It's supposed to be in "wacky mode," meaning something surreal is happening but presented as plausible. I read it back to myself and I can see obvious signs for improvement, but since it's not being graded or workshopped and I have a shit load of other stuff to get done on my plate, revising isn't on my radar. However, this class is forcing me to write small pieces of fiction at the drop of a hat, something of which I particularly struggle. Being a perfectionist has it's downfalls. Anywho enough sidetracking, here it is:
She sat in her dreary apartment, waiting for him to text back. He'd been out for hours now searching the town for the last loaf of bread, most of which was deserted by that time. As she started to nod off, her phone buzzed: Success! I'm about to take one last quick shower...care to join me? She smiled, closed her journal, and headed out the door. Momentarily she considered grabbing her purse but then remembered there was no use; her phone was in her pocket and people didn't use money anymore. No one was around to make or spend any kind of income.
When she reached his apartment she burst through the door, kissing him before he had a chance to breathe. Previously, this type of behavior would have electrified him, but he was worried that she was thinking again about tomorrow morning. He gave his usual you-sure-you-are-alright look and she ran her fingertips slowly down his shoulder blades.
"Seriously, forget about a shower right now," she whispered into his ear, "All I want to do is fuck you, right here right now. We don't have time to waste."
He wanted to protest, talk to her about her language that he had forbade her from using a month after the Rapture Day. Ever since more than half of the population disappeared without a trace, people understood what would happen in the coming months. Most were dead from famine and disease by now and they promised each other--he made her promise him the day he told her he was in love, five month ago--not to think of this as the end.
They had to act as if each day wasn't to be their last. But that bleak late afternoon was, all the signs were there, and she knew this was one of the last times their lips would touch. He wanted her to forget her troubles, even if only for a short while. Picking her up and wrapping her legs around his waist, he pushed her roughly up against the wall as he ripped open her blouse. Her mind wanted to stop worrying about the next twelve hours, to stop wishing for time to slow down, to enjoy this moment.
As soon as she was on his bed and his hands ventured teasingly lower and lower, she knew why she kept coming back to him. Often she wondered if they had clung onto each other out of desperation, for fear of being alone at the end of days. Sex during these times was an escape--one she knew he didn't mind--but to her it had become more than feeling his hot breath on her neck; he cared and wanted her to be happy. It's hard enough to find an unselfish lover in everyday life but in a time like this? Finding a warm body not infected with one of the many plagues was difficult.
She awoke early around 4am when his body twitched violently next to her; she feared he had fallen ill while out in search for food. He tossed from side to side, a thin beat of sweat developing on his forehead.
"Let her live. Please, take me instead. Just let her live."
As much as she wanted to remind him that she was fairly certain that was not how this whole "end of days" thing worked and that pleading would get him nowhere, she opted instead to stroke his back reassuringly. He shot up and almost hit her out of surprise. He was mad at himself; he must have been having another nightmare and she had seen him in distress. Resting his hands on his face with a long, strained sigh, he felt her arms snake around his neck as she peppered his upper back with light kisses.
When they had sex that early morning there was something different. Frustration, desperation, sadness, and confusion all wrapped into one. He kissed every inch of her shoulders, chest, and face, pausing every so often so they could pant softly into each others ears. Her fingers clawed at his back in vain, trying to draw him as close as humanly possible.
They kissed more that time than ever before and they weren't only the passionate ones out of the heat of the moment; they were tender, pleading almost. When they came together they cried out, their voices filling his bedroom. There was more than a literal release when their bodies shook and fell together. There was a goodbye in every kiss, every sigh, every thrust. Dripping from each touch was the growing realization of what was going to happen next.
As she lay on his chest with him stroking her hair, she stared out into the glowing red skies. According to most predictions, they had less than an hour to live. Part of her wanted to run away from him, from what this meant to her, spend her last moments on earth by herself, and pretend that she only used him for the distraction and food in her time of desperation. Was she afraid though of admitting she loved him? She'd never said it back those months ago and she knew deep down that it hurt him. She didn't know how to love him the way he loved her.
Was this love though? They made each other happy, laughed and cried together, told secrets in the dark of the night, opened up more than to anyone else before. He looked at her and he knew, he always knew, what she was thinking. The words didn't need to come out of her mouth for him to know that she loved him back; that look of contemplation was enough. He held her close and breathed in the scent of her fading perfume.
"Do you remember the first time I met you?" he said into her shoulder. "We were running from the explosion and you fell into my arms. I thought I was in heaven. You gave me a look of disgust though and continued to run screaming. I found you passed out a few blocks away minutes later."
Laughing genuinely the first time in a long while, she nestled closer to his chest. The sky was growing redder by the second; she placed her lips to his forearm and kissed him gently.
She was glad she had found him, even if only for a short while.