A Slip In Time

It was now 9.15am. Inside Simon's flat the alarm clock made a strange sound.

He awoke once again 7.59am.

One minute before his alarm clock sounded. His own body clock woke him up once more. Switching the alarm before it sounded, he stretched yawned and threw back the covers from his bed and made his way to the kitchen. He flicked on the kettle, rubbed his eyes and pulled a mug from the cupboard. Picking up the remote control to his t.v., he pressed the pad, for his daily fix of morning news. He threw down the remote and carried on with his coffee, adding a little cream. Noticing that no sound was coming from the t.v. he picked up the remote once more, shook it and pressed the standby button, which in turn switched it off. The first time he switched it, he did in fact switch it on, there was no problem with the t.v., the problem was with the t.v. broadcast, there was NONE.

Simon, 42, had lived and worked in Timeside for the past 30 years, starting each day with military precision, he kept his apartment in ship shape fashion. He was a lonely man who never fitted in with the locals, keeping a quiet and solitary life. He walked from the kitchen and stared over the balcony. Expecting to see the usual daily passers by, instead he was met with an empty town centre. Taking a sip from his coffee and looking quite bemused, he carried on with his daily dressing rehearsal. 8.15am, adjusting his tie and slipping on his shoes Simon headed for his front door. Closing it behind him, heading down Stamford street to his managerial position. There was total silence, empty streets, not a person to be seen. Simon, pre occupied to notice fumbled with his briefcase dropping it to the floor, spilling the documents that were inside. Wind blew the papers along the street, Simon gave chase after them, with no success, the paperwork blew far down the street. It was only then that Simon looked around him to see not a single person or vehicle in sight. He turned around looking in the opposite direction, desolation was all he could see.

Walking quickly towards his office in a panic, he arrived to the same sight. Emptiness and silence. His staff had opened up, but no one was inside. He began to become a little breathless and reached into his pocket for his asthma inhaler, his heavy weight and asthma issues made it difficult for him to exercise.

'This is crazy, there's must be someone in the supermarket.' Thought Simon to himself.

Leaving his office he headed down the street to the subway, passing the empty roundabout down and through onto the supermarket car park. He stopped suddenly to see the fear he had been dreading on the way, COMPLETE EMPTINESS. The car park and the inside were the same. Simon pulled off his tie, took a handkerchief and wiped the sweat from his forehead. He was breathing hard, feeling completely numb. He turned and walked at a quickish pace to the town centre in the hope to find someone else.

'How could this be, where is everybody.' Simon questioned himself.

Making his way past the old offices of the newspaper company and up to the market, the scene was the same.

"HELLO!" shouted Simon at the top of his voice. His voice echoed back. Walking through to the arcades, music played from the record store but nobody was in sight, each and every shop was deserted. He walked on towards BIG BURGER.

Looking towards the clock above the new market place he noticed that the time was still the same as when he had left his apartment. This now frightened Simon very much, time had stopped, he had somehow woken up in a different time zone, only this time zone was one where Simon was living all to himself. Automatic doors opened to the entrance of BIG BURGER. Simon walked to the counter shouting for attention. There was no reply, only the recorded music that spilled from the speaker system inside the restaurant.

He made his way round to the serving area, helping himself to a breakfast bun and a coffee. It reminded him of the story of 'MARY CELESTE' only in a restaurant setting. The food was as if it had just been cooked, but no one around to cook it. Putting the exact change onto the counter, Simon sat and began to eat the food, contemplating what to do next.

He wiped his mouth with a napkin and made his way through the market, back to his flat, he felt alone now, more alone than when things were normal, at least if Simon wanted to interact with people he could do, when the time was stable, but now there was no one, no one but himself in this miserable existence. Returning to his flat, he checked the t.v. still the same, empty broadcast, there was no signal for his mobile, his landline number was dead. Simon slumped onto his sofa, rubbed his hand over his forehead with frustration, this experience was overwhelming. He kicked off his shoes, threw up his legs on the sofa and fell asleep.

"Beep beep" the alarm clock had hit 8.00am, the only time in 30 years the clock had woken him.

Simon's pillows were drenched with perspiration. He reached over to the alarm clock and switched it off quickly and jumped out of bed. Heading to the balcony, he looked out and saw that everything was normal, bustling with people, he let out a sigh of relief, it had all been a dream.He smiled got dressed and made the same daily routine journey to his place of work. He arrived at lot chirpier than previous days, his fellow colleagues were surprised to see Simon so interactive. He felt today was the day to interact with people, maybe he had been given a sign, of what it was like to live in total solitude.

It was now 9.15am. Inside Simon's flat the alarm clock made a strange sound. The time read 8.15am and had read 8.15am for the last hour.