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  • Writer's pictureCasey Truly

I'll Have a Coke

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

They say God created man in His own image. Then we-er, Man created machine in the image of Man. Well, the machines didn’t necessarily have an uprising, but they definitely brought about the end of the world. The Machines created something in the image of God. And now, we’re all screwed.


And at this point, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do, just short of killing God Himself, for a coke.


“One.”


I take a step forward. Then turn left.


“One, two, three…”


Have to stay focused. Slow, short, steady breaths.


“Sixteen.”


I turn right.


“One, two…”


A bright light flickers. It illuminates the whole building. Shit. Everything was pitch black till the light came on and now I’ve lost count. The afterimage lingers in my eyesight for a moment.


“Ten?”


My bpm rises. Don’t sweat, don’t panic. Almost there. I hear the sound of mechanical whirring as I find my way through the darkness again.


“H-he… BRZZZT… Hello! Hello!” the drone’s speakers play loudly.


Damn! It’s still alive?! I didn't remove its WiFi card. That little bot has probably already called for "help" anyway. Letting out a laugh I remove my mask breathe in the air. I forgot what the air smelled like, it’s not as bad as they said it would be. The burning wouldn’t start for another hour or so but I have enough time to get this done before that.


“Thirteen.” I say to myself.


I reach out with my hands to feel what’s in front of me. Solid wall.


“No.” I frantically move left and right, hands still on the wall trying to search the surface.


“Come on damn it! I’m tired and I just want peace!” I bang on the wall in frustration.


The tears in my eyes would’ve made it hard to see if the darkness wasn’t already doing that. Where’s that stupid drone’s light now? I’m tired of running, hiding, feeding off of scraps, and fighting for my life every hour on the hour. Maybe I subconsciously wanted that drone to survive so I could finally get some rest.


“HELLO!... BRZZZT… Citizen! You are in danger! Would you like me to call for assistance?” The drone’s loudspeakers blare out. There it is! Blasted little things used to send out messages to authorities to help us, now they're just giant signal flares for the things that hunt us. There's a lot of irony in there.


“Sure thing asshole! Tell’em I’m here and I want a coke! And not that new shit, the 2025 cokes or before!” I chuckled to myself on that one.


I know the drone couldn’t hear me, even if it did it's too late now, so I decided to have a little fun with my situation. I think about the joke again and burst into hysterical laughter. I think I’ve actually cracked, but I haven’t laughed in so long I decided to enjoy it.


I start to cough from the laughter, or maybe the toxic air, either way it shakes me back to the moment. I take my time feeling the small crevices of the cement wall till I feel a small latch.


“Gotcha!” I say with a hint of joy.


Wow. First I’m making jokes, then I’m laughing, now I’m actually feeling some semblance of happiness? What is the world coming to? I laugh out loud again to myself. I still hear the drone buzzing and whirling around. That is until I hear a loud crunching sound and an ominous shift in the air. Not much time now.


I open the latch and pull the small cord it had locked in place. The cord is a bit rusty so I have to use extra force to get it open. A little too much force and I end up smacking myself in the face, the taste of blood in my mouth. I don’t think I hit myself that hard, the toxic air must be stronger in this area than I thought. Then the realization of what’s not too far behind me gives me some slight comfort that I’m not going completely insane.


The cord zips and snaps back towards the wall, making a small noise. They definitely heard that. To the left of the cord and the latch, a small square opening reveals itself in the wall which is made obvious by the small LEDs lit from the inside. I look inside to make sure everything is still there. A small hunting knife from 2012. Dad. One Hydroflask from 2020. Mom. A 2023 hairdryer turned nail gun. Sister. A few other knickknacks from those I lost along the way.


They’re all organized around a photo of me and my family. It started as a small project to honor the fallen. Then it became a means to focus on something other than this broken world we live… used to live in. I honestly hope no one makes it out onto the other side of this. No one deserves a future like that. Not trying to rebuild after this much pain and loss. But on the off chance, someone does I guess this is a way for me to say “Hey, you unlucky SOBs we were here and we had names. We had families. We had lives.” Maybe it’ll scare people away from trying to start over, maybe it’ll give them a glimmer of hope. Maybe it’ll all be blown up in the next 60 seconds. Either way, I can have peace now.


I pull off my gloves hastily, removing my ring and placing it amongst the other items. Me. I then pull a small heart-shaped locket out of my back pocket and place it next to the ring, both of them in the middle right in front of the photo. My fiancé.


I hear the humming of silence. I press a small button just outside of the box and it closes again, closing the light inside… leaving me in darkness again. I turn around to meet the motherfucker who finally got lucky enough to find me.


I see nothing. I hear nothing but the looming hum of the blood rushing through my ears. The thing is, these things make a soft humming sound too, so it's hard to tell the difference. A bright purple light illuminates me and half the room. Usually, something like this would make someone flinch or close their eyes, but I had to… I just had to.


“I’m guessing I’m not getting that coke?...”


I give out one last hearty chuckle...

***

Subject eliminated. Species: Human. Planet: Earth. Purification: 89.7% complete.






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