When the World Goes Away

It looked different now.

Carla stared out at the sea, standing on the almost empty beach. Already the scene flickered in and out of focus like a poor TV signal on a stormy night.

A dog barked nearby. She shifted to see the dog, a young Labrador, barking at the waves as they rolled towards it. The dog leapt back and Carla saw a young couple walking towards her. They did not acknowledge her.

Carla stood still, waiting.

The couple did not notice her. The woman was young, mid-twenties or so. She was already losing focus to Clara. The young woman shivered as she walked through Clara standing there on the beach.

The man whispered something into the young woman’s ear, she slapped his chest, laughing.

Clara herself shivered too as she watched the couple walking away. She could still feel the tingle, like static, where the young woman had walked through her. It felt like all the tiny hairs on her body were standing on edge.

The Labrador bounded up to her, wagging its tale. Carla smiled back at it and the dog barked back.

Carla crouched down to fuss the dog. The dog leapt back as Carla touched his back, the fur flickering and undulating under her touch.

The dog stared back at her.

‘Benny, come on!’ The man, half-turned as he called.

The dog gave Carla a long sad stare and then turned back, racing through the shallow water back until it was by the couple.

Carla watched them go, watched them fading slowly as they walked, as though they were disappearing into a mist.

She turned to look back at the horizon, it was moving closer, perceptibly so, now. The world was leaving her, going away.

At least, that was what it felt like. Carla assumed though that it would be her, leaving this world behind. But it didn’t feel like that. It hadn’t felt like that since it began. The world was moving away from her, it was not Carla moving away from the world.

She first noticed the world fading slowly away from her a month or more ago. At first, it faded only a little bit at a time, but then increased slowly.

Carla had been invisible to people for almost a week now.

She’d stood naked for over an hour in the village pub last Friday night, its busiest night of the week. Not even Alan, her recent lover had noticed her, even when she sat on his lap and drank from his beer glass.

Carla looked up and noticed that the world behind the beach was gone. The sea was now only a few dozen yards wide from her feet to the horizon.

She wondered, yet again, what would happen to her when this whole world disappeared.

 

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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