If you listen to the most recent Pops Podcast you will hear Mike h give an excellent idea for a book. I told him i’m not good enough of a writer to do that book, but maybe I can do a short story based on his idea. The first part/chapter of that short story is below.
Standing on the rooftop of his penthouse apartment, Alex gazed at the auburn colored haze that engulfed most of the northern skyline and wondered if it had all been worth it. Alex knew that he himself had only played a minor role in the development of the world around him, but he couldn’t shake the small tinge of regret and guilt over the way things had turned out. As he breathed in the cool rush of August air that circled the skyscrapers surrounding his building, Alex thought back to and exchange between himself and his mentor Dr. Jacobs less than 24 hours ago. The conversation had centered around the role science plays in the development of society and the necessary costs that invariably arise from each act of progress and enlightenment that men like Alex and Dr. Jacobs are able to present to humankind.
There was one particular phrase that his mentor had said in that empty hospital room that made Alex wince. At the time he hadn’t given much thought to the real meaning of the words when Jacobs said “We are but two in a long line of those who helped move mankind out of the ever changing darkness of it’s past and into the promising light of the infinite horizon.” Over the past hour and a half the complicit nature of his friend’s statement followed Alex like a ghostly specter as he walked along the roof top’s stone ledges.
The faint melodic sounds whispering in Alex’s ear let him know that his sojourn needed to come to an unwanted conclusion. The unique series of tones continued until Alex finally started to move to the ancient steel door that provided access to the gravel covered perch he had spent most of his free time over the last several years. The feel of the cold rough metal of the door’s handle as Alex pulled the door open, helped to ground him back into reality for a brief moment of clarity. The simple act of opening the door reminded Alex that not everything in life needs to be theoretical conjecture and that there is room for the concrete somewhere in this universe.
The clarity of that moment was shattered by the door’s hinges as they made an alarming loud metallic squeal that, after all these years, still managed to awaken a primal fear deep inside him. He knew it wasn’t the suddenness or volume or pitch of the noise that caused him distress. Instead it was the echo the sound made as it bounced around the soulless night air.
As Alex stood in the door way listening to the last dying echoes in the distant darkness, he realized that the primal fear had been replaced by something else. The fear hadn’t been replaced by a feeling, but instead had been sanitized by a harsh realization. In a sprawling metropolis that was once the residence of nearly 3 million people, tonight it was the home of just one man.
I have an idea of how I want the structure of the story to go, but I think it works better if you don’t know the ultimate ending as suggested by Mike H. Soooooo blame Mike H for giving away the plot twist but don’t forget to thank him for the awesome idea.