the man who wasn't there

the man who wasn't there

A Story by Falk T. Puschmann

A man finds himself in an empty world, which seemed to be somewhere in the twilight zone ...


It just could have been another ordinary morning, when I opened my eyes. With a gigantic yawning, I stretched my arms and legs. Light sank into the room by a window from the left. My Hand submerged beneath the sheets, but Sarah was not there. She must have been long gone, because the place where she should have been sleeping was already plain cold. Oh, no, I must have slept away the day, again! I got to my feet, grabbing the clothes on my way to the bathroom. Some cold water should get me going. Afterwards I brushed my teeth and got dressed. Back in my bedroom I was caught by the view of my alarm clock. The clock reads 7 o’clock in the morning.


That can’t be true! Why would Sarah leave the house at that early time? I ran down the stairs in hope of finding at least a message of some kind. Nothing, neither on the breakfast table, nor on the cupboard! And no sign of her being here this morning at all! Okay, something was terribly wrong. I tried to memorize last evenings events for anything special. But not a glimpse of a clue came to my mind. In a last desperate attempt I grabbed the phone and dialed the number of her mobile. I heard the ringing of her phone coming from upstairs. She must have forgotten it. So I was left with nothing more to do, than to wait.


I sat down at the table fishing the newspaper from yesterday out of a corner. But I couldn’t let go. I still wondered about Sarah and what could have possibly gotten into her. I got up again and walked over to the radio, but only got static. What a hilarious morning this has been. Since it was Monday I decided to get to work. I was already late, besides I couldn’t do anything about Sarah’s disappearing anyway.


I left the house with an empty feeling. Perhaps that was why I didn’t notice the gross silence around me instantly. No Birds, no people, not even a single car on the streets. As I reached my office building and found the front gate still locked, it slowly got to me. It was usually unlocked by the security around 7:30 am. A curse left my lips. So far this day was a fully catastrophe. And then it hits me. No people, anywhere. I was standing right in the middle of one of the main parts of my city and no one in sight. Could this be a bad dream? I pinched myself and shrugged. This was no freaky nightmare! This was the real world! And I’m the only living thing left. Now I panicked!


I ran down empty streets, where usually hundreds of cars were standing in traffic jams. I ran until my burning lungs pulled me down. I found a place to get to myself again and then I thought about my situation and my possibilities. Image, being the only person on the planet. You could go anywhere and do anything, without caring about right or wrong. The next hours I simply enjoyed myself. I walked my favourite shops, got myself a new suit, found myself a Porsche car and cruised the abandoned lanes. I turned noisy music on and screamed out loud.


But suddenly a new idea started to spread through my mind. I thought about movies like 28 days later or The Omega Man, about horrible mutants hiding behind the very next corner, waiting for the darkness to come. I zapped on the breaks and fell silent. A soft wind blow through the houses and carried some old newspapers through the neighbourhood. I waited frightened till the sun was setting. But no zombies or other monsters showed up. Finally I gave up and drove home.


Back in my own four walls nothing had changed. My thoughts circled around Sarah again. How I missed her, the smile of hers, that little twinkle in her grey eyes. Would I never ever see her again? The days came and go and nothing changed. I tried very hard to enjoy myself again, but I always came back to Sarah. So I sank back into my sofa, and suddenly I got the feeling of hearing her voice. But it was far away as if she had been stuck behind the walls, but what did she say, what did she try to tell me? I couldn’t make it out... but somehow I felt relieved. The moment stretched to eternity.


“Doctor, I think I saw his eyebrow move!”, Sarah Connell shouted through the room. Doctor Butterbloom walked by and laid his hand on her shoulder. “Mrs. Connell, I know how this must feel for you. I saw dozens of similar cases. Trust me there is nothing you can do! Besides I doubt he can hear you, anyway. Look, his brain functions are on such a low level, that it only will be a matter of days within they will ceased to be measurable at all. The only thing you can to is finish it. He only survives because of the machines he is plugged into! You should really make...” " “Enough!, she interrupted and in tears she continued, “I love my husband! I can’t abandon him like that! I...” Big tears ran down her face. “Mrs. Connell”, the doctor tried to be caring, “it has been nine month since the stroke. The odds for him to come back to life are one to a million. I’m sorry, but there is nothing we can do!”


Now the pain did burst out of her eyes. She had been with her husband all the time. Every minute she could spare, she had sat beside the bed. Could this be the moment to let go? She hated herself just for the idea of it, but four hours later she gave him a last kiss of good bye, signed the papers and everything was over. She would never find out, what has happened to him, but she would never forget him.


© 2011 Falk T. Puschmann

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Falk T. Puschmann
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Added on May 16, 2011
Last Updated on May 16, 2011
Tags: twilight zone, mystery, empty world, lost love


Falk T. Puschmann
Falk T. Puschmann

Munic, Germany

Well, not much to say. Try to compensate my reallife job with lots of creative stuff. I write, I take pictures, I produce audioplays and such things. Allways on the look for new interesting projects a.. more..