It was the talk of the town.
Overnight, a gate had appeared that blocked access to the end of the road. We all know that that house finally got sold, but there was nothing unusual about the building sitting there. Why did the new owners feel the need to build a gate on that street and add a sign saying no trespassing? Were they even allowed to do that? Undoubtedly the road was public property and not part of any personal boundaries?
Not that it mattered as it was the end of a cul-de-sac, but it just seemed a lot of trouble for anybody.
Everybody was waiting to see these new owners, but we never saw anybody coming in or out of that gate. There did not seem to be any security cameras or guards wandering around the place so, naturally, curiosity got the better of us. There had to be some reason it denied anybody access; something those people wanted to hide.
So, dressed in black a couple of us scaled the fence to investigate everything for ourselves. What we found just beyond left us scratching our heads even more.
The house was gone; demolished. What was going on?
Written for Sunday photo fiction
This is something I have wanted to try for a very long time. Please let me know whether it is any good or not.
The piercing alarm jolted me awake, and I groaned to myself as I rolled out of bed. “Good morning house, what time is it?”
“Good morning, Ava. It is currently 5:30 AM and you are due to start work in one hour. Should I put the daylight lights on?”
“Level IV sunlight, please.” As the room was flooded with false daylight, I groaned again and rubbed my eyes. “Level I sunlight, please.” In the dim light, it was much easier to gather my bearings. I padded towards the small bathroom and set about preparing myself for the day.
Being able to change the brightness of the sun was probably the only convenient thing about living underground. We had all been forced underground during the great war that had occurred during the 2020’s. Well, we had in England anyway, there was no telling what the rest of the world was doing. The year now was 2080, and we had and a great job of adapting to life underground. We had sorted out artificial sunlight at the same time we managed to bring ourselves electricity. Artificial intelligence was something that already existed when we moved under the earth, and we discovered this was easy to replicate as soon as we figured out the electricity. Unfortunately, we had never managed to reconnect to the Internet as a worldwide phenomenon, and so we have lost touch with the rest of the world. Scientists promised that the day would come when this happened, but nobody cared about that anymore. It was like we had we evolved again as a species able to manage human connections and conversations.
I was part of the London group, and we had managed to rebuild the city below the earth. There was no longer a government as simple things such as televisions no longer existed. Each town in England (and we knew there were many) policed themselves. We all communicated through various means, but there was no longer anyway central government to work. Life seems so much better than everything we had learnt in history books.
Finally, I was prepared to put the level back up in lighting due to being fully awake. As the house complied, I was putting on my work outfit. Similarly dressed in a casual dark suit I was ready to go into the office for the day. It was quite funny. The world may well have ended, but we still found we had to work to pay bills.
“Ava, my signal is being tampered with and…” The female voice (that all artificial intelligence devices seem to have) died away and left me in total silence. At least the lights stayed on was my only thought before I started to look around to see what was wrong.
Then I realised that I was not alone in the room. Not exactly, anyway. I turned round to look at a light blue hologram of somebody that I had not thought about know very long time. Somebody who had hurt me to the very core. I folded my arms in a defensive posture; “Matthew.”
He looked up at me and blinked in shock. “Ava? There must be something wrong with this projection device because I do not want to disturb you with this. Unfortunately, I am only going to get one try and making this plea, so I am going to have to do it to you. I have very sorry.” There was a long pause as if he was contemplating what he was going to say. “I was working above the ground when we were ambushed by one of the overhead tribes. We desperately need somebody’s help. Please, can you make the military aware of our situation about Westminster grid two.”
Like everybody, I knew that the overhead tribes were incredibly dangerous. They tended to be the ones who would kill first and ask questions later. To be fair, who could blame them? They had no food, and the living conditions in that radiation must be terrible. The information he gave me was something that I could not ignore despite my personal feelings about the man.
“I will do that now.”
“Thank you, Ava. We are patrol 61925, and our last known position was Westminster grid two, zone A12. Tell them to hurry up because I’m not sure how much time we will have left.”
“How many of you are there?”
“Just one last thing, why did you call me?”
“I didn’t mean to. I guess I just thought of you at the wrong moment in time. Words can’t express how sorry I am to drag you into this situation. And, well, about everything. I never meant for you to get hurt but my training in magic just seems to get in the way of having a normal relationship.”
“You didn’t have to probe my mind!” I hurled back at him as all of the anger I felt at the time returned to the surface. “It seems you are doing just that even today.”
Matthew shook his head. “There is nothing I can say except sorry.” He started to disintegrate before my eyes as his connection with me faltered. This was going to be the second time I let him go, and it was still incredibly painful to do so.
“The interference has finished. Everything is back to full working order.”
My hands released themselves from the fists that they had instinctively curled into when he had first appeared. “House, is there any way you can locate the signal that breached the system?”
There was a pause. “It came from the camp Luage above ground.”
The colour drained from my face as I realised that if I went to get help, they rule going to be dead by the time the support arrived. I was going to have to go above ground myself and try to get them out before they were executed. I looked at the sword that rested above my mantelpiece. It had been a long time since I had left the military and I had no idea if my fighting skills would be good enough to survive camp Luage.
“House, let the military know that urgent help is required at camp Luage. Oh, and my work know that I won’t be in today.” I quickly changed into my old uniform and grabbed the sword. I sprinted towards the nearest ladder that would take me above ground.
It seemed like the door had remained closed for as long as memories existed. This wasn’t the case that nobody was allowed entry apart from one small person encased within the room. The door was only opened to allow food and drinks to be taken inside.
Funnily enough, the person within the room was not a prisoner. They were not forced to stay in the place but it was their choice. It seemed surprising anybody would choose such an existence but, it turns out, there are many people in the world similar to that person inside the room.
The morning the door cracked open was something that people would never forget. The person staggered outside revealing space covered in sticky notes, crumpled paper, and long forgotten cups of beverage. They ran a hand through the tangled mass of hair and blinked in the morning sunlight. “It is over; really over.” The voice was full of what sounded like disbelief.
They disappeared down that hallway and, out of curiosity, the children put their heads inside of the room to find out what the commotion was about. On the computer the words ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – final draft’ shone prominently.
Written for Sunday photo fiction
I would love it if you read my story that I just published on @inkitt https://www.inkitt.com/stories/199891?utm_source=share_author_reminder #amwriting #inkitt
I have put 11 chapters up to see how they do. Please have a read, give me a review and, of course, share it around!
I would love it if you read my story that I just published on @inkitt http://inkitt.com/stories/fantasy/199891?utm_source=share_author #amwriting #inkitt