What are Ozlandish Writings?

From July 2010 to December 2014 we ran OZLAND PICTURE STORIES as described below. Sadly though the number of writers reduced over the years and we decided to call it a day. We leave these as a record of the good times we had.

Are "You" ready to challenge your writing skills? Then participate in our OZLAND Picture Stories writing series at The Ozland Art Gallery.

Each month a new picture will be picked, from our OZLAND Artist of the Month collection, with different themes. Your goal is to write a 500-1000 word... poem... essay... or story about the picture picked. This is a chance for you to challenge your writing skills each month. Story can be written in ANY genre... sci fi... romance... ghost... fantasy... fiction... non-fiction... biography... mystery... historical... whatever your writing genre... feel free to experiment. Send your writing inworld to Sven Pertelson as a notecard to have it included on the web site. We meet at the The Ozland Art Gallery each Wednesday at Noon and 6pm SLT to read the latest submissions on voice. More Information

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Time Enough at Last" PART 3 by Llola Lane

"Time Enough at Last" PART 3 by Llola Lane

Suddenly... the vault shakes... I hear a loud noise and things are falling off the shelves. Something hits me on the head and the room goes black.

I'm not sure how long I was out. Something is on my legs. I can't move. The room has a faint flashing glow to it. I realize my reader is still glowing. I can see it is flashing "low battery" as I pick it up off the floor, through dusty glasses. My legs break free from their hold and I pick myself up to stand. I'm a little dizzy so I catch my balance and clean my glasses.

"What has happened?" I ask myself.

I turn off my reader and stuff in my pocket. I will have to remember to charge it later. I make my way to the vault door. I can feel something against the door as I push it open. It takes all my strength. Finally it pushes free and opens. A dark smoke fills my lungs. I can't see.

As my sight clears I see a faint gray light across the room and I realize it must be the front door. As I make my way to the light I trip on something on the floor and fall flat on my face and loose my glasses. I grab for them and my hand touches the face of someone. It is my boss!

Oh good I'm not alone. I feel for a pulse. Nothing... he is dead! I am alone. Is anyone alive?

I continue my way to the door, tripping over more coworkers... all dead. A sinking feeling grows in the pit of my stomach. Black dust and debris is all over the place. I clear a small circle of film off the door and peer outside. I'm not ready for what I see. Bodies everywhere! Cautiously I open the door and make my way outside.

Sounds of explosions greet my ears and fires fill my eyes. "The bomb," I quickly realize. And I am the only one left alive! Running from building to building I look for survivors. Lots of bodies, no survivors. I think of my wife. Is she alive? I MUST get home!

On way home I see the bus I normally take to work overturned on the road. Hopeful to see someone alive, I am quickly disappointed when I see the bus driver from this morning lying on the floor of the bus. Blood is all over his face. He must have hit the windshield when the bomb exploded. I turn away, forcing myself NOT to throw up. I must find my wife. I continue towards home.

A grocery store door is open, so I make my way inside to grab some food. I must have been out longer than I thought, my stomach is growling. My hand makes its way to my pocket to grab my wallet when I realize there is no one left to pay! The store is dark. There is no electricity. I fumble in the darkness and grab what I hope is a sandwich. It will have to do for now. I think about my flashing reader. How will I charge it without electricity? There is no time to think about that now. I need to get to my wife.

My stomach full, I continue home. It is silent except for my footsteps and the crackling of the fires. Not even a bird is singing. It is quite disturbing. Most of the buildings have no windows in them. Blown out from the explosion. Every now and then I see another body lying on the ground. "Oh... HOW much farther til I get home," I ask myself?

Finally I reach the familiar steps to my apartment building. It's taken me over an hour to get here and my feet are tired. I am not used to so much walking. The building windows are all broken. A faint breeze blows the curtains through the window panes. My heart is racing as I make my way up the stairs. I don't know what I will find. I still have not seen anyone alive. Not even a faint cry. The door of the building creeks open and I make my way to my apartment. I can barely see up the stairs. I fumble for my keys and unlock the door.

"Dear??? Are you here??? I'm home," I cry. But not a sound answers me. I find her in the kitchen lying on the floor. DEAD! Like the others. All dead. Is ANYONE alive? I carefully lift her to our bed. She is at peace. I lay the covers over her face. Tears fill my eyes. IS ANYONE ALIVE???????????????

"IS ANYONE ALIVE?????????" I yell at the top of my lungs. My voice echoes in the building. It is starting to get dark and I am tired. I will sleep and in the morning I will look for any survivors. I pull the reader from my pocket and connect it to the my charger filled with batteries. I can finish reading my David Copperfield tomorrow. I don't feel like reading tonight.

The sun greets me and I open my eyes. Oh... it wasn't a dream and I AM still alone. There is a beeping sound that lets me know my reader is fully charged. I am happy I can read. David Copperfield takes me away to another place and time. Before I know it I am immersed in his story. I read for hours before my stomach starts growling. There is plenty of food in the house. And I have the grocery store if I run out. I eat a filling meal and decide to look for survivors. I put the reader in my pocket. I will finish my story later.

Up and down the streets I walk, but I don't find anyone alive. The fires have almost all burned out. I barely hear any crackling around me. I start to panic. This is not what I wanted. To be alone. That is NOT what I meant when I thought "I wish they would all just leave me alone to read in silence!" I don't want to be alone forever. I start running down the street yelling...

"Can anybody hear me??? Is anyone alive??? Helloooooooooooooooooooooo???"

I trip and fall to the ground. I land on my reader. I pull it from my pocket. The screen is shattered into a million pieces.

"Noooooooooooooooooooooo,” I cry. "Now I can't even finish my David Copperfield. I can't read ANYTHING. It is broken. I can't be alone forever. Not without my reader. There is no reason to live."

I look around and see a police car up the road. With luck there will be a gun in the car and then I can end this agony. No Reader... No People... No Nothing... I can't live forever like this. The car does have a gun. I pick it up and sit on the ground crying. I put the gun to my head, my hand on the trigger...

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