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"Room" (2022)


Heather hadn't left her room in 6 days.

Ensconced in a tenacious bout of depression, the 19-year-old had resigned herself to a miserable heap of haphazard blankets. She lay curled beneath them, black hair scraped into a loose bun atop her head. A shadow of eyeliner smudged down her cheeks, she'd long lost the ability to simply 'cry it out.' All dried up, save for the pyramid of Monster cans accruing beside her bed.

Whilst the first few days had consisted of mindless scrolling through TikTok, Heather's phone had long since died. Lacking the motivation to even find the necessary charger, she'd instead turned her dwindling attention to the blinking alarm clock on her bedside table. In the absence of trending audio and high stakes e-drama, she instead watched each red number blink, flash, blink into the next. Between that, and sleeping, Heather's paltry existence persisted exclusively in the murky confines of her bedroom.

By the fourth day, her parents had stopped knocking on her door.

By the fifth, she'd learned to tune out the outside traffic into a blissful silence.

And by the sixth, Heather found herself shuffling towards her bedroom window.

She couldn't hack it anymore. The flashing alarm clock had driven her to madness, the Monster can pyramid had tumbled into disarray and, perhaps most importantly of all, she was ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜›๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜›๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ข.

Her charger, she thought, might be hiding in the small, round trinket box on her windowsill.

Throwing back her curtains, Heather winced as sunlight assaulted her senses. Grumbling, and lifting a hand to shade her sensitive gaze, Heather glanced out at the elusive world beyond.

Sun-bleached pavement glared back, almighty broken slabs of concrete blanched beneath a nuclear sun. Scorched corpses lay contorted in pretzel knot shapes, desiccated lips receding to reveal uncanny rictus grins and, other than a distant, echoing air raid siren, the streets lay silent and motionless. The world had ended ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ.


Originally written and shared as part of Verbuary 2022:

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