Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Automatic Fiction #2

He just sat there at the kitchen table, smoking cigarettes and sipping bourbon as he looked out at the empty streets. Strange how the streets always seemed to be empty these days. There never seemed to be a kid wandering by on his way home from school or a neighbor working in his yard. Hell, there was never even a stray dog cruising the neighborhood for food.

It wasn't as if everything had shut down. The grass seemed to get cut somehow but he never saw anyone cutting it. In the fall the leaves were raked and in winter the snow was plowed but he never once saw these things happen, and not for lack of trying. Jerry sat by the window most of everyday for the better part of two years and never saw any sign of life outside the glass.

Every Wednesday, he ventured out into the empty world and made the short walk to the corner store. Sometimes, he thought it was odd that he always went on the same day, like he had somewhere else to be the other six days. There was, of course, never anyone in the store and no employees in sight and yet, somehow the shelves were always stocked. There were always three cartons of Camel smokes and five bottles of Crown Royal. Jerry would grab his tobacco and liquor rations for the week along with whatever food caught his eye, usually just a box or two of saltines, he really didn't eat much these days, and then simply stroll out the door. When he came back the next week, the Camels and the Crown Royal and the saltines would all be waiting for him.

As time passed, Jerry became a bit unnerved at the quiet of the world. One day, with much trepidation, he turned on the small black and white television that sat on the kitchen table and switched to a random channel. A rerun of an old Monty Python's Flying Circus episode was just beginning. Without batting an eye, Jerry settled into the chair with his cigarettes and his whiskey and lost himself in the surreal British humor of an earlier life.

Now for something completely different.


For an explanation of the concept behind Automatic Fiction, check out Automatic Fiction #1.

1 comment:

Indeterminacy said...

That created an eerie, Twilight Zonish mood for me. I almost expected Rod Serling to pop up on the TV, but I never expected the way it ended. Great story!