Terminal Boredom #shortstory #amwriting #writingcommunity

I was very scared when I died, because I’d done terrible things in my life. I always thought I’d have time to make up for them, but in the end it wasn’t to be. I kept putting off atonement until it was too late.

The accident was fatal for all concerned; I’d been driving drunk and hit a vehicle containing a family with small children. I knew I was going to Hell, and I wondered what it would be like. I’d heard the stories about fiery flames and demons with pitchforks, but I had a feeling it would be worse than anything I could imagine. The fear was intense.

When the confusion cleared, I found myself sitting in a small room. The walls were stark white brick and the floor was covered with brown lino tiles. The only furniture was the plastic chair I was sitting in, and a small table.

There were no fiery flames or imps with pitchforks. The scariest thing about the room was the total absence of a way out. No windows, no door. Just four walls and a ceiling with a single naked light bulb. The silence was absolute.

I immediately understood the nature of the punishment. I was to sit in this depressing little room for eternity, with no company except my own disordered psyche and no entertainment except the memories of my recent sociopathic existence.

Then I spotted something I hadn’t noticed at first. A phone, lying on the table.

I picked it up, not expecting it to work, but it lit up as soon as I touched it. The screen displayed a message:

‘If you wish to leave this room, we must be satisfied you are willing to atone for your sins. You will need to answer a series of questions so we can assess whether your case is genuine. Swipe right to be connected to an operator, or left to disconnect the call. If you choose to disconnect, you will not have another chance for your case to be reviewed.’

Obviously, I swiped right. A recorded message said, ‘We are sorry, but all our lines are busy. Your call will be answered when an operator becomes available.’

This was followed by a repetitive jangling tune.

Then the recorded message again.

Then the music again.

Then the message.

Then the music.

And on… and on… and on.

It’s still going on now. I suspect it will go on forever. But I can’t bring myself to disconnect the call. If I’m still connected, there’s a sliver of hope that I might get to speak to another human being. If I cut off the call, there’s no hope at all.

That fatal sliver of hope.

I wonder how long before it drives me insane?

©2021 Annabelle Franklin

Image by Darkmoon_Art on Pixabay

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3 Responses to Terminal Boredom #shortstory #amwriting #writingcommunity

  1. Yikes! What a story.

    Liked by 1 person

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