There once was a man. This man was completely normal by most standards. He had an office job, he was moderately fit, and had an average face to go along with his frame. He wasn’t overly social, but he still had a few friends to go to the pub with. He had a wife, but no children. Now, when I say he was normal by most standards, I mean that there was one major abnormality about this man. He was immortal, but he didn’t know it. Not that there was any way he could have known it; he had had no near-death-experiences, nor any experiences that should have left him face-down in a pool of blood.
To be fair, he had only stopped aging in appearance a few years back – at the prime age of twenty-one. Another funny thing about his immortality was that it had a mind of its own – it was kind of like a very intelligent parasite that had infected him – just a few years ago. Through these years, his parasite had learned his language. This is unfortunate, because, at this point you know that I, the narrator, speak English. This man was German, and therefore, so was his immortality. Now, this could very well pose as a problem for you, the reader, as you likely do not speak German. I, however, the third-person omniscient narrator, so I’m going to leave it up to you to decide for yourself what it is that is being said.
This man had another abnormality that was more apparent to the general public, and that was that he had no name. There was a blank space on his birth certificate. He went by whatever people called him, and whenever a name was said, he’d turn his head politely to be certain someone wasn’t speaking to him. His wife’s last name was Meyer, so that was often what he went by around the office.
Perfect, now that the exposition is out of the way, let’s begin with the plot. It all begins on an average day in this man’s hometown in Germany. Average being that the wind was blowing and the sky was gray and there was a light drizzle on the heads of the various people lazily and busily and seemingly randomly wandering the streets, and darting in and out of different, gloomy looking buildings. That’s how it would look from any normal person’s perspective, anyways. Each of these individuals had a story – sure, some were more interesting than others, and some were more sorrowing, but each person was as self-centered as the last, only thinking about what was happening in their lives, and not about the other, less fortunate people in the world. That is why they deserved what is soon to happen.
Speaking of people, one of these seemingly dreary, droopy souls was our protagonist. He really wasn’t dreary, though. He had had a productive day, and got a lot done. He was feeling optimistic. He was just finished his day at the office. It was a Friday, so he was in his casual wear – a gray jacket with a dark blue undershirt and dark, well-fitting jeans. You may think this is an unimportant detail, and, well, to say the least, it is. But it’s the little things that give a story its length, no? Anyways, back to the story. He let out a German-flavored sigh as he left his building. He was hoping it would at least stop raining today – he was wearing his favorite jacket, and they had said it had only been a twenty percent chance of rain today. He muttered something German as he set off on his way home. He considered taking a taxi, but soon remembered his wife’s aunt had been staying at their house for while… and she didn’t seem to be leaving. She had promised a four-day stay, but had been there for eight, so far. He let out another sigh, and wondered how long this would go on for, and maybe that it wasn’t so good to be optimistic about things – it only ends up crushing you when things don’t work out.
Just then, our protagonist passed a young couple who were holding hands. He scoffed at them, obviously jealous that his relationship had passed the “cute” stage where he could do that kind of stuff. He was married with his wife at 18, so their relationship had become a real marriage, and not so much a romance anymore. As he was passing them, he watched their feet step in sync (it was envy, obviously that made him do this) – left, right, left, right – it was entrancing. And then, just as he had to force himself to turn around in order to continue watching their feet, they laughed together, and he watched them not only step in sync, but suddenly, they stopped in sync. They didn’t just stop walking and stood there, but it was as if they had both just… stopped, mid-step.
He stood and stared for a moment, not quite sure what had happened. Then, out of nowhere, the girl’s tender-looking knees crumpled. Her torso and neck followed in a similar fashion. Then, her partner collapsed as well, directly on top of her. Our protagonist (let’s call him Meyer from now on) darted towards the crumpled heap of people, ignoring the new crashing sounds around him. Both partners were face down, so he first pulled the man and his newly bloody head off the woman. He turned her over delicately, not wanting to harm her even more. Her face had a few rogue streams of blood trickling slowly down from her forehead, but when Meyer saw her face, he gasped. No, he wasn’t skittish or afraid of blood, but it was the expression on her face. It wasn’t of pain, fear, anger, or even peace. She had a dumb expression plastered on her face – her mouth open, teeth showing, and her eyes were half-shut, as if she had been laughing. Which she was, just before this incident. He looked for a pulse, but none was found. He glanced at her boyfriend. His face was clean, and he also had the “laughing” expression on his face.
Shocked, Meyer dropped him, and stood to face the world around him. Every vehicle currently on the street had run into another, or into a building. There were no screams or shouting to be heard. Not even the patter of footsteps of other people. Everyone in eyesight had just stopped working. They were all… dead. Everyone. Meyer looked at the dented bumpers of the vehicles, and at a lonely cyclist who had somehow managed to get his head crammed in the spokes of his bicycle.
Meyer had a certain feeling about him, crawling around in every fiber of his being. He wasn’t sure what it was exactly. It wasn’t loneliness, no… nor was it fear. He didn’t really feel uncomfortable, either. He wasn’t sad, or angry. The only way to describe it was that it was nearly the same as the feeling of guilt – you know how it is, that feeling that bores itself into the pit of your stomach. Then, the feeling moved itself upwards. To the top of his chest, his throat, until finally, he lurched, and ultimately vomited. “Again, again, again!” His body shrieked at him. And he did, until there was nothing left in him. He kneeled on the sidewalk, his head reeling, and feeling worse than he had for years.
Suddenly, a thought popped itself into his head. He needed to go home, and see his wife one last time. Maybe, if he was lucky, he thought, she might still be alive. And if not, he would say a proper goodbye, and lay down some flowers. He walked solemnly, alone. He passed countless numbers of people who were laying there in all different arrays of positions. Nearing the end, he casually ignored them, not wanting to upset the gods. He had always lived by the principle “respect for the dead” and didn’t intend to dismiss his beliefs now.
As he began to approach his home, a sinking feeling erupted itself in his stomach. I’m sure we can all relate to this feeling, and I’m sure that we also all know what the cause of this feeling was. He saw something on the fence that surrounded his yard, and instinctively tilted his head to the side to better observe this “thing”. As he kept moving forward, the thing on the fence slowly revealed itself to him. It was his wife’s aunt, hunched over the fence, making her seem even more lethargic and pathetic than she already was. Meyer smiled at the thought of her finally being out of his life and being eternally out of his home, but the smile was quickly torn away from his face when he realized how taboo it was to be happy because of someone’s eternal demise.
So Meyer shuffled around the carcass of the woman he probably hated the most in the world, and found his way inside his house. Though he knew she would be dead, he really didn’t want to believe it. He had convinced himself on the way that everything would be okay, that it was probably just another realistic dream. He checked the living room; the TV was left on, and he got a little upset at the fact that it was wasting electricity, but the thought soon was overridden as he remembered his original objective. He checked the kitchen; nothing out of the ordinary. This brought him to the bedroom. He found his wife lying on the floor next to the bed, her head propped up against the dresser.