"This is it, then, ay?" A rhetorical question to a person long gone lingers in the air.
*Sigh.* "The big day..." Muttering to myself was quite a weakness of mine. So was not checking my surroundings before rolling about in bed.
Smashing upon the floor wasn't the most pleasant thing, less so physically (it is but a 'bout a foot, after all).
"Don't keep rollin'..." My banterous murmur and temporary grin trailed off into the void that filled my heart.
More so mentally, as that reminded me of my wife's recent passing, as normally she was the one who slept at this side of the bed. So no, the mutter was not to myself, it was to my late wife. She's still here, y'know, talking to her doesn't make me crazy. Well okay, maybe a little; or, given other more-less related effects, quite a lot.
Grasping at semi-literal straws (seeing as my mattress substitute was a lot lower-tech than a modern-day mattress),
some degree of verticalism was achieved without much more damage to my bottom.
Then came the time for acquisition of carbon-based polymers, which today would be cereal.
Or, rather, would have been cereal, had it not been for the fact that the milk, which is essential for assembly of my dish of choice for the morning,
had "gone bad", as the youngsters call it, and was now emitting a stench so horrid the only place it deserved to visit was the facilities,
wherein it was promptly baptised in roughly 1.32 gallons of wаtеr along with what was left of the contents of my stomach and intestines.
Upon returning to the kitchen, feelling surprisingly tranquil after being purged of all that was impure, my breakfast was now cancelled.
That decision wasn't uninfluenced by the hallucination of my wife remarking "You always did say you think better on an empty stomach."
"S'pose yer righ'" My response was mangled by a yawn, which caused my imminent fall backwards to be noticed much too late.
The parquet never did hit my back, as the world around me vanished when my fall still had around 20° to go. Okay, maybe "vanished" wasn't quite the right word for it, a better phrase would be "replaced by various images of nation-affecting catastrophes": the 9/11 attack, Чернобыль, Black Death, Canterbury TV, et caetera. Soon enough, patterns started to appear, seemingly out of nowhere (probably another hallucination, oh well), connecting the seemingly unrelated and subtracting the images themselves, until... The image was deeply unsettling, as if something that existed in more than the cosy three dimensions was sliding through the perception, but the conclusion could only be one: there was not a strand of hope, and boy would it be painful. Seeing the choice between a death slow and painful and death swift and borderline painless, there really was no contest. One last text, to a contact named "Denise 💕": "Love you.", and another one: "Evacuate.". Then, it was a simple matter of puncturing the veins around my wrists. The world faded away in darkness.
"What happened to my wife?" Denise Abernathy yelled into the phone in panic. "Just received a text from her phone!"
"But madam, you know as well as we do that is impossible. Your wife's phone hasn't been touched in three months and, lemme check, yep, it's still here. The battery is dead, there is no way it's been used." A very agitated hospital man puffed back into his phone.
"Going there to investigate myself." Denise snarled back.
"As is within your rights, you can visit your coma-affected relatives at any time."
"As shall be done." Denise put away her phone and rushed past hospital man to the room her wife has been occupying for the past three months.
She was stopped at the door by doctor man that was assigned to the case.
"How'd you know to get here?" He asked, pretty startled. "Was just going to the nearest phone to notify you..."
"Got these." Denise stuck her phone with opened text view into doctor man's hand and squeezed past him in the tight doorframe. "But she's..."
"Yes, dead. We assessed her as such barely twenty minutes ago." He looked at Denise's phone. "Which coincides with the time of..." *Gasp.* "Mrs. Abernathy, you don't think..."
"You know what she was, what she was capable of." She snapped. "But if this is right, boy are we in trouble."
"Like this?" Doctor man pointed at the window with a sad grin, where the sky was being covered with hunks of steel. "Ten more minutes, give-take?"
Denise collapsed at the side of her wife's bed, grasping her hand and brought it to her face, tears wetting their pale skin. She cried and whispered more to herself than her late wife's body. "Why, Ciri? it wasn't supposed to go like this... The old blood, the sight... They were supposed to save us... Save you!"
She felt a rush of blood through her temples. Ten seconds before doctor man and hospital man would, she vanished.