Fiction Challenge: The Last Man Standing

The Pine Needle is following two students, Brennan Brink and Jacob Knutson, as they engaged in a Write Off. One issues a challenge to the other in the form of a prompt and that person responds by writing it and issuing his own prompt. Brennan’s prompt for Jacob began the series, and today continues with Jacob’s challenge for Brennan.

Jacob’s prompt: Everyone suddenly disappeared, only one man remains, what does he do?

Brennan’s story:

The piercing sound of my alarm rang me awake. Something discrete seemed off. The scruff growing on my face whispered its need to be shaven, but that wasn’t the only reason I felt uncomfortable. My bed was cold, which meant my spouse must already be awake. I peered across our small bed room, only to fail at reading the chicken scratch on my calendar.

“Honey!?” I yelled, to which I received no reply.

I abruptly stretched my long legs out of bed. In our quaint apartment there is no way my wife didn’t hear me; something was definitely wrong. Frantically I searched and searched, but she was no where to be found. Then no one on my floor responded to my loud panicked banging on their doors. The security guard, gone. Tourists were no where to be seen, the small family run bakery next door was bare,and not a single car was on the road. Everyone was gone.

I had no clue what to do, so I sat and cleared my head. After a few minutes of debate, I deduced that I must go to work. My old junkie car started like a charm and I made great time to work. The day went well; with no one there I merely had left over assignments and for once zero interruptions came from annoying co workers. I left a little early from work, hoping no repercussions would ensue.

After a relaxing day of work I sat down and prepared to enjoy my night. I turned on the television and began channel surfing. When I got to channel four something caught my eye: a barren FOX news set, the most candid episode ever. After a while I got tired and went to bed, wondering what tomorrow would bring.

The next morning when I woke up, my wife lay next to me. The sound of cars making their way throughout the town warmed my ears. I checked my calendar and it was the first of March; when I had looked at yesterday it had showed it to be the 29th of February. Slowly it dawned on me that yesterday must have been a leap year.

“Honey, what was yesterday’s date?” I questioned my half awake wife.

“The 28th” she said with certainty before climbing up for the day.

I realized my calendar was flawed. I had inadvertently lived an extra day. I had unintentionally mastered immortality, and done so without committing wrong. I shall never share the key to immortality, but, as many others will soon find out, it is as simple as buying imperfect calendars.