I was walking along one day after work to get to the train station and suddenly a man whom I suspect was creeping just behind me pushed me hard to the side of the road. I was stunned and fell hard to the ground. I retaliated towards gravity but I couldn’t see the man rush away fleeing the scene.
My attention towards the man was not held for long, after my head cleared, a sedan packed with people in front where I was suppose to be walking entered my eyesight and left. I figured it was less than a second. i was gasping, people in every direction looked on. I felt uneasy.
“Did you see the man who pushed me just now?” I asked an old lady who was walking unusually alone.
“Son, I can’t even see myself properly in the mirrors nowadays..” I felt sorry for her, but I was too focused on the man to show it.
I just wanted to thank the man. maybe he tried to mug me but changed his mind as he saw the car so he just pushed me instead. I know it’s a bit farfetched theory but that’s the best I’ve got for now. Just when I was about to thank the old lady, i noticed something glowing above her head. I tilted my head and I was taken aback. it was numbers! five digits of numbers, continuing to count down and keeps on counting down.
The old lady walked away, I was stunned so not even a wave good bye came from me. Then the busy street got more and more infested by people. I was in the middle of a sea of humans, disoriented as everyone had countdowns above their heads. Some counted down faster than others, some even have different coulours, a range from a soothing glowing white to an eyesore burning red.
What do these countdowns mean? I think insanity was creeping around near me, waiting to get in. Maybe this is a bad dream, but it couldn’t be. I felt pain when the guy pushed me earlier. I tried not to think about all of this and held my head down and keep on walking towards the train station.
I was a long journey, but only I cared. When I was paying for my train ticket, I was the numbers on the tellers. It was a hectic day at the train station, as always. but she was always smiling, I couldn’t tell if it’s just customer policy or she’s just plain happy all the time. She had this calming presence and her countdown was this silvery glow and it was going slow.
Strangely, I felt calmer after buying the ticket. I saw more and more countdowns above the heads of everyone. I know I can’t keep my head down forever so I just took deep breaths and tried to calm down.
I boarded the train and just my luck, there were no seats left, as always. Taking the train at the station at the place where it intersects between three other train routes and right in the middle of the end and the beginning has it’s downsides. Actually, the only thing it has is downsides. Congestion of people, the crowd, the delays, the stench, practically everything bad about a train station bundled into a neat little crammed package.
It was a long day. A failed presentation, a low sales, a crowded train and being pushed to the side of the road. Curses. At least I’m going home to my Playstation 3 and my newly bought 40-inch LCD television. The anticipation is absolutely murder. I bit my lips and thought of happier things.
I couldn’t keep my thought for long as the countdowns were an utter distraction. Then I saw this man with a plaid shirt and skinny jeans. He was as pale as ever. thin as a stick, eyes red as blood. He looks a bit distressed. Staring out the window, just hoping that the next stop is his stop. He was shaking all over and hugging his body, caressing himself on the shoulders, only he did not enjoy doing it.
I admit, it is cold. But he was the only one doing that gesture. Maybe he has taken drugs, I’m not sure. I noticed the countdown on his head was fast, fast as in filling up gas kind of fast. It just kept going and going. A sound from on top of the train ringed, the doors pushed against each other and opened themselves. He pushed through everyone, even those who need not pushing. He ran out those exits carrying a small black plastic bag.
My thoughts drifted away in bashing zombies on my television. What a wonderful thought. I closed my eyes and the next thing I know I was at the train station a few blocks away from my home sweet home. As I left the train, I noticed there were several empty seats and there only a few people standing, how long did I drift away? All of a sudden I was alone.
People still had countdowns on their heads. The security ouside my apartment is quite old, yet his countdown was slow. The receptionist too. I climbed the stairs to my apartment as the elevator was not appearing as soon as I would like it to be.
I sighed. The day was not magnificent. I sat on my beanie in front of the telly and quickly turned it on. The news was on. I can’t quite remember tuning to it as my last station, I hate watching the news. Maybe this channel was playing The Simpsons when I turned it off.
“Earlier tonight, a drug addict was shot dead by police officers minutes after he attempted to rob convenience store at a train station” The anchorwoman said.
The screen on the television flashes the images of the crime scene. I know that place! It was the train station the shivering man got off! My God, does news travel too fast these days. I closed my eyes to try to make sense of all this. I took short breaths and gripped the remote.
I panicked. I didn’t know what to think. That guy’s countdown was really near to zero when I last saw him. Could it be? Is this death’s clock I’m seeing? I quickly rushed to the huge mirror I installed in the bedroom. I couldn’t see my own death clock.
What am I supposed to do with this deathly vision? I can’t exactly go around and save everyone who’s gonna die. Impractical. Furthermore, it’s stupid. I looked outside my window and saw some people who just wouldn’t sleep. Some of them are going to live a long life, one girl’s going to die about tomorrow. It seems like nobody cares. But then again, not everyone get to see everyone else’s death clock.
I’m lucky I’m living alone. I’ll go nuts trying to explain seeing death clocks when I see anyone I’m living with has it. It’s better for me to just get some sleep. I skipped mutilating zombies tonight. I have too many zombies walking around in real life as it seems.
The alarm went off, I can’t remember dreaming anything. That’s odd. Is it as though I slept a few minutes ago and just woke up. I feel reenergised for another day.
With the routines out of the way, I walked to the train station. Today, the sun was shining, everyone I see is smiling at me. They still had death clocks on their heads. I wanted to tell them that they’re going to live longer or that they’re dying soon. then I thought, what’s the point?
I bought tickets and waited for the train. Something feels funny. I feel tingly inside. Maybe it’s just jitters, I have a big presentation today. It’s definitely the moment of make-or-break of my young career.The train came surprisingly early, earlier than the estimated arrival date. What a good day this is going to be.
I was in front of the line when the train arrived. The doors opened and I entered swiftly carrying my backpack. There’s a seat for me, right in the corner where I like it. I just sat there and I felt the train going oddly faster than usual. An upgrade? Can this day get any better?
I smiled. I looked ahead and what I saw saw spooked me out. The death clock of this one teenage girl was going faster and faster, non-stop. from 8 digits I saw it decline to 7, 6, 5… I looked at another young girl holding her mommy’s hand. Full of life. I could see it from her smile. Her death clock was behaving the same way.
Then I realised, everyone’s death clock is insanely ticking away. The young, the the old, the rich, the poor. All of them. I dropped my backpack and frantically looking for a way out. I ran from end to end, everyone was just staring weirdly at me. Their clocks kept on rushing to zero. There was nothing I could do, it was a speeding train. I’m better off dying fast than scraping my way out of ruins. I stopped right in the middle and screamed…
“We’re all gonna die!”
The last noise I heard was just a loud screeching metal sound. I almost went deaf, not that it mattered anyway.