The End

Shouts and gunshots rang out, but he ignored them. 

The power had been out for days, but cool autumn sunlight filtered in through the closed blinds illuminating the pages of the paperback novel in his hand just enough to keep his eyes from straining  

A Velvet Underground album played on his portable, battery powered record player that sat on the floor next to his bed. He’d bought it years ago along with half a dozen of his favorite albums then left it to gather dust after a few weeks. Like most folks he listened to music on his phone. Of course his phone had been dead for days and he couldn’t help but feel he should have been using the turntable all along.

The book in front of him wasn’t a great work of literature. He’d read many of those and appreciated them, but at the end of the day this simple paperback, never a best seller, or even well reviewed had been his favorite book since high school. He was close to the end, just 20 pages. 

Lou Reed’s voice trailed off as the record came to an end and the sounds of frantic lovemaking pierced his wall. He set the book down, open face on his bed, something that had always earned a glare from his last girlfriend and leaned down flipping the record then dropped the needle on it’s vinyl edge. After a moment Reed’s voice drowned out the sounds of passion and he returned to his book. 

Just a few pages left. A part of him hoped he’d finish, another that he wouldn’t. He didn’t want to have to start something else knowing he’d never get through it. 

The sky darkened outside and the ground began to shake. The record scratched and then stopped completely. He shifted closer to the window and hunched over the book, barely making out the words.

He didn’t look up as his single framed picture, a shot of himself and his mother with their arms around a stranger dressed as a cartoon mouse clattered to the floor. 

The room grew darker, the shaking greater. He gripped the paperback with white knuckles to keep it steady, inches from his face. He was on the last page. 

The room filled suddenly with orange light, nearly blinding him but he’d made it. As the world died in tectonic annihilation and fire he read the words: The End 

Thanks for reading The End! If you enjoyed it, hit that like button and leave a comment. If you’d like to check out more of my weird stories and musings about life, the universe, and the meaning of existence, then subscribe to Mindful of Madness. You can also find me on twitter @drewjokeringram or on Instagram @andrewingram88. My comedy album, “This Was A Bad Idea” is on Spotify, iTunes or pretty much anywhere else you listen to music. Thanks, my self-esteem depends on you.

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