AntiLite: Chapter 4 | Evening

AntiLite

Kirkland paced back and forth through his luxurious penthouse flat.  He had tried waiting patiently for Allister to show up, but after scarfing down his supper, Kirkland quickly realized that the possibility of patience was not going to occur any time soon.

Suddenly there was a knock at the door.

Kirkland raced toward his entryway.  However, upon opening the door, Kirkland realized immediately that it was not the person he was expecting to see.

“Hey Boss!”   It was Bradley the intern.

“Bradley!  How did you find my place?”  inquired Kirkland, slightly irritated that the most fantastic night of his life, since his high school prom, was to be interrupted by some snotty kid.

“Everyone knows where you live boss!  Don’t you remember the documentary National Geographic did when they sent in a sting to your apartment…”

“That’s why my place was trashed when I got back from vacation last summer?”  Kirkland scowled.

“I heard you have some big plan you’re working on.  Tell me the details!  Tell me! Tell me! Tell me!” pleaded Bradley.

“No, you little puke, it’s top secret.  You’re not allowed eavesdropping through the door when I have private meetings.  Now, scram.” Kirkland screamed.

“As you wish Fuhrer.” said Bradley evenly as he receded into the hallway.

“Don’t use that name with me!  You know how much I hate that!” yelled Kirkland.

Suddenly, from down the hall Kirkland heard that boyish voice that made him shudder.

“Hey Allister!  The boss has a plan, but he won’t tell me anything.”

Allister must have quickly diffused the situation because Kirkland did not hear anything after that.

Moments later Allister appeared at Kirkland’s open front door.

“That Bradley.  He’s a character!” quipped Allister

“We’re firing him tomorrow!”  stated Kirkland

“Done.” remarked Allister.

Kirkland shut the door and immediately showed Allister the sketch of his big plan.

“The sun does not appear to be coming back to us, Allister, so I propose that we build an alternative one.”

“An alternative sun?” breathed Allister.

Kirkland showed him all the research he had put into his idea.  “We can build a small prototype tonight.  You and me, Allister.  Then if it works, and it should, our company can work on a bigger one.  If anyone can do it we can!”

“Let’s give it a try, boss.  I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge!”  declared Allister.

They worked through the night skillfully designing the skeleton and the engine that would power this unbelievable feat of engineering.  Finally Kirkland screwed in the penultimate screw attaching the light source to the frame.  They were done!  Now the only thing that remained was to test out their new creation.

“Allister!  Do the honours!  Plug the bloody thing in!” shrieked Kirkland.  “Wait!  Make sure it is on minimal power load.  We don’t want to kill ourselves!”

Allister plugged the apparatus into the wall.  There was a triumphant glow from the manufactured orb.

“We’ve done it!”  screamed Kirkland in delight.

Suddenly, the two were plunged into a very real and unexplained darkness.

“Must have blown a fuse.” stated Kirkland confidently.  “Go home and be with your family, Allister.”

Allister obliged and carefully removed himself from Kirkland’s home.

***

upon entering the hallway, Allister immediately noticed that there was no emergency lighting.  He thought this was odd for a building that Kirkland would live in.  Noting that the elevator would most likely be in a state of disservice, Allister felt around for the doorway to the stairs.  This was easily distinguishable because of the metal panic bar that accompanied it.  Allister was extremely careful descending the stairs as he did not want to slip and destroy his old and admittedly frail bones.

An hour passed and Allister emerged from the front of the building to a shocking sight, or lack there of.

There was not a light to be seen anywhere of any kind.  Streetlights and those of the night clubs were all blacked out.  Driving home was not an option, so Allister walked along the sidewalk, it would take longer to get home, but at least he would be safe.  As he wandered along he came across confused people of the night.  If this continued for much longer, the difference between night and day would soon matter not.

A desperate woman clung to him suddenly.  Allister embraced her briefly out of compassion before letting her go.  He had to get home to his own wife.  He thought of his grown children, how confused they must feel.  He eventually made it home and got in bed beside his sleeping wife.  Whatever tomorrow might bring at least she would know he was there for her.

***

Kirkland glanced at the vast darkness from his bedroom window.  He suddenly wondered what time it was.  He dug out his old company pocket watch which he had received upon becoming CEO,  since none of his other digital clocks would work.  Kirkland noticed that his watch no longer ticked.      He then became extremely worried.  He had just changed the battery yesterday.  With no way to tell time and no way to communicate with anyone electronically, Kirkland fully realized his state of being alone.

Then he remembered that the phones would still work without electricity.  Kirkland sent out a mass voice message to everyone who worked at BPE, imploring them to return to work tomorrow and act like it was business as usual.  Then he hung up.

Kirkland had a strange feeling that it would not be business as usual tomorrow.  However, he had to maintain strong leadership.  He also had to fire Bradley.  Kirkland slept an uneasy sleep for what little remained of what he thought was night.

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