- Word count: 600
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Character: A hermit
- Material: A remote control
- Sentence: “Don’t trust everything you see.”
- Bonus: The Sun is failing.
“Don’t trust everything you see.”
The man that stood in front of her was disheveled even beyond what she thought possible. His eyes spoke of experience, and paranoia. She wasn’t entirely sure this hermit could be trusted. Since their society had pushed passed what they thought possible, everyone seemed busy living a life of ease as the robots did their jobs and everyone could pursue what they wanted. Discontent was at an all time low. A few were rejected. The usual like this hermit. They chose to live outside of society doing who knew what. Once in a while, they would be on the street shouting the ‘end is near’ but that had always been so, hadn’t it?
How this man found her was concerning. She had just been walking from work when she felt like she was cornered.
“There is corruption even beyond what you know.”
She gave him a smile, nodding but not believing what he was saying. “Riiiiight.” She drew out the vowel. This seemed to make the man mad.
“I’m not crazy. I know that’s what society makes me seem like so you don’t believe me. But you have to!” He looked so desperate for someone to believe him. Shaking her head, she held her hands up as a barrier between him and herself. There was something in his eyes. Something that disappeared when she rejected him as well. Like she had been his last hope. The last hope against…What? He reached out shoving a remote control device into her hand. Accepting it just so he would leave her alone, she took a step back. She had no idea what he wanted, so she ducked away hurrying off, somewhat surprised when he just stood there watching as if salvation had deserted him.
The look in his eye haunted her through out her walk home and the entire evening. When she turned on the tv to see what was new in the world, or what new invention had been made, she was shocked to see the picture of the man from earlier.
“In a sad turn of events, a man who chose to live on the streets has committed suicide.”
She stood staring unable to believe it. Had he been reaching out to her for help and when she walked away he… Sitting on her bed, she felt something in her pocket jab her leg. She leaned back pulling out the remote the man had given her. Her eyes flicked to the tv then back.
Turning the remote over in her hand, she turned her head trying to read the pencil on the back of it. ‘Point at the sky’ It said. She felt terrible about having abandoning the man in his time of need. Enough, she walked to her window staring at the sun descending the sky. She searched the remote of any sign of what button she should push, but there was no further instruction. The remote appeared to be an ordinary device. Old, but she knew what it was from her textbooks. With nothing else to be done, she figured she’d just push the power button. She pointed the remote at the sky and pushed the button.
To her horror, the sky fell into blazing red. The blue melted away across the sky passed the horizon. She stared at the collapsing star. This was what the hermit had been trying to tell her. Warn her about. Suddenly the past events made sense. The rockets of people ‘Scientists’ going out to explore space. Leaving the dying world. The domes. They hadn’t been luxury living. Had they put up this disguise for everyone that wasn’t worth something or important?
“In this, the world of tomorrow, it seems like there is less and less to fear.” The newswoman went on to speak. “Science is bringing us so much now that we are able to focus on progression rather than survival. I don’t know about you, Jeff, but I feel like our future is bright.”