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Seven Minutes of What Could Have Been
Jason ran the palms of both of his hands over his eyes of which were the normal color of the carmine blush of his cheeks, although his cheeks were an unnaturally pale white, at the moment. The skin of his face stretched downward into a deformed figure as he ran his hands down the rest of it- only to then slowly set them down to his sides after they had run off the end. Jason let out a slothful sigh as he reached up and slapped a hand down upon the towering paperwork that had been dumped onto what had been a vacuous black bin on the edge of his desk. It took both hands to pick up the unnecessarily large stack of papers and statistics that he would have to process for countless hours on end. Jason delicately placed the stack upon the center of his desk for his own convenience. Then he popped out of his cubicle like a mole and gave the back of his oppressive Boss the finger, with great pleasure.
A couple of the heads of some other disgruntled workers could not help but turn to look directly in Jason’s direction and see the finger gesture he was making and the rage impassioned grimace he wore. The spectacle in a short while became contagious and no one was immune. Soon, every single one of his coworkers even the receptionist on the far, far side of the room, save his boss, was staring at Jason who had become a statue comprised entirely of anger and hate. Jason intended on holding his figure perfectly still so that when his baneful Boss turned around, he would literally learn firsthand how much Jason loathed him.
The contagion seemed to have made its way into his Boss and the professional profligate gradually turned to face Jason as well. This was it. His Boss’ face was a fourth of the way turned in the direction of Jason. A lot ran through his head such as the implications of what was going to happen when his Boss saw that Jason was jabbing him in the back with silent spite. His boss was half way turned now, and Jason had a profile view of his boss who thankfully had eyes that were sunk in his head deep enough to make it so he could not experience the shock and awe of an employee daring to defy him to his fat trashy face, just yet. Blood and adrenaline was being shot from his heart with every pulse of his strong beating heart to every ligament, finger, arm, toe, and leg in his body- super changed them for what was to come. However, the vigor sent to his head ended up being too much for his timid mind. Just as he came into the narrow view of his boss’ eyes, he promptly put his finger and the hand the digit was attached to down and masked his grimace with a sly smile. “What is wrong with all of you ingrates? Back to work!” demanded the Boss.
Jason could hear every single person in the room’s eyes roll in and out of their heads simultaneously before they all quickly receded back into their cubicles because the spectacle was over and none of them wanted to face strict censure. It was not until everyone had sat down and had returned to their work that Jason himself slouched back into his seat and let out a coward’s sigh of relief. Then he followed in the footsteps of his coworkers as he turned on his computer’s monitor, laid out the first paper that needed to be filled out from the top of the heap out in front of him, and sat up to begin working.
He was just about to return to his work when he received an email, which he knew would give him a motive good enough to shirk off from his work just a little longer. Company business was always the most important, so an email on the internal network to him had to be of the greatest importance. Jason pulled up the email and looked upon its contents of which was merely a single hyperlink to news.com/sun-burned-out/7-minutes-to-live. The sender was anonymous. Intrigued by the enigma presented to him, he clicked the hyperlink and soon his computer led him to the website, which the office web blocker censored for some reason. It was odd because the web blocker only blocks things that had even the slightest hint of fun in them, not boring new sites. Curiosity driving him now, he overrode the censor without hesitation by typing in a secret password. He was at the webpage now and he read the title of the main article, “THE SUN HAS BURNED OUT!!!” and the subtitle, “THE END IS NIGH!” an article by Star Bright. The title of the article shocked Jason’s timid mind and consequently made him jerk one of his hands up and knock the heap of paperwork on his desk all over the place creating chaos. When he had regained control of his nerves, he redirected his attention back to the monitor and then article itself:
The Sun Has Burned Out!!!
--The End is Nigh!
By: Star Bright
It is a great honor to be the journalist presiding over the story of end of the world. It pains astronomers from the National Air and Space Administration to inform us all that their ingenious calculations that our sun had billions of years before it burned out had been incorrect, due to a “SLIGHT” miscalculation. NASA has informed the world that it shall apologize for its error in about seven minutes. NASA has also taken the liberty to “CORRECTLY” calculate the amount of time before the last of the sun’s light reaches the Earth and then dissipates. They came back to us with what they assure is this time absolutely without errors. According to NASA we all have roughly just under seven minutes before we’re all spontaneously congeal. But hey, given NASA’s track record with calculating things, we may have billions more minutes, give or take.
The President of the United States stood before a podium at the WHITE HOUSE and said only a few words to the nation, “THE END IS NIGH,” which stirred a crowd into charging the WHITE HOUSE in an effort to get into the President’s underground bunker, which has been leaked by top secret American intelligence to be so deep underground that it hangs just over the Mantle of the Earth. With the aid of an army of Secret Servicemen, who held the mob back with assault rifles and heavy artillery, the President and the First Lady made it through the bedlam and down to the bunker. The President has tweeted from his underground bunker that he and the First Lady are “SAFE AND SOUND”. To which I’m sure all we can reply is, “THAT’S GREAT MR. PRESIDENT!”
My Editor wanted me to give out a special callout to Nostradamus. So here goes, “THANK YOU NOSTRADAMUS FOR PREDICTING THE END OF THE WORLD CORRECTLY THIS TIME! WE HERE AT NEWS.COM ARE SO PROUD THAT WE’RE RUNNING AND SCREAMING IN TERROR IN RESPONSE TO YOUR PREDICTION COMING TRUE. AS A RESULT OF YOUR GREAT FUTURESIGHT, WE HERE AT NEWS.COM HAVE DECIDED TO GIVE YOU ALL A FREE INTERVIEW IN JUST A LITTLE LONGER THAN SEVEN MINUTES FROM NOW. WE’D ALL NOW LIKE TO SEE YOU PREDICT FOR US WHEN THE INTERVIEW WILL HAPPEN BEYOND SEVEN MINUTES FROM NOW.” My Editor also urges all our loyal readers of news.com to stay frosty while they wait for the interview as it is projected to be our MOST anticipated interview to date and we would not want anyone to lose their cool.
So this is the end and the climax of my career as a journalist. I’d like to thank the apocalypse for giving me this once in a world’s lifetime opportunity to preside over the story of end of the world. Be cool everybody, it’ll all be over before you know it.
The article ended there, although it was followed by another article on the new nude fashion style of the apocalypse, which Jason frankly had no clue as to how to respond to. To the side of the articles was a digital clock that was ticking down like a time bomb. The display read 5:38 when he looked at it and before he had finished a thought about it, ten more seconds of his time had withered away into nothing. He knew how to respond to this however because he knew what it meant- absolutely nothing he did mattered anymore. The timidity of his mind became irrelevant.
Jason sprung to action as he slouched over once again and kicked his cubicle down to the ground with the flats of his feet. This time, everybody in the room sprung to attention immediately. All except the receptionist at the far, far side of the room who was probably pretending to be on the phone in order to satiate the Boss. Jason stormed across the room and to the back where the Boss’ desk encased in a great big sound proof glass box overlooked the whole office and barged into it. “Jason? What is it?” the Boss said in a surprised and startled tone. Jason did not respond to him as he continued at an indefinite pace towards him.
Jason’s knuckles had been ready for this moment since he came to work for the Boss some six months ago. They in fact had stiffened and sharpened themselves just for the occasion. Once he was within range, Jason said nothing to the Boss through the mouth. But what he conveyed physically, the Boss would never forget. He threw the meanest, toughest, fiercest punch which power shocked everyone, even himself, across what the Boss had considered to be the good side of his face. Upon impact, a loud snap sounded from within his hand and a nerve wracking pain surged through up through his arm, spine, and to the nerve centers of his brain which registered the pain. The Boss had in the meanwhile been flung backwards out of his chair by the immense force of the hit and onto the floor which he collided head first with, and from then on was out like a rock.
Jason now grasping his broken hand walked over to the Boss and loomed over his unconscious body. Then he muttered two words, “I quit,” with all the assurance in the world and then casually walked out of the unconscious Boss’ office. On the outside Jason was met with cries of cheer and a thunderous applause. Jason stopped in place in order to accept their praise and to look at his watch which showed that everyone had about two minutes of live, then he said, “I would like to say something to all of you about this,” he began. Everyone in the room became, in an instant, dead silent. At this moment, the receptionist from the far, far side of the room rushed importantly towards Jason through all of the awed office workers as fast as her two pretty high heels would allow her. “You all need to be told of some-“
“Jason!” she interjected across the room from some moderate distance away. Jason stopped warning everyone, figuring that if any of these people were to interrupt him after what he had just done, what they had to say was of dire importance. He let her trot her way all the way to him. However, at the same time he nervously kept an eye on his watch. Jason observed as she was nearly at him that the clock was at one minute, “Jason I need to talk to you-“ so since the clock was only at one minute and seeing no consequence for such an action, Jason boldly kissed her before she could say anything else and much to his surprise she kissed back. Jason’s fellow coworkers who observed the scene enveloped the two kissers in a lovely corona of “oohs” and “awes”.
Jason stopped kissing the receptionist after some time, feeling that he had left just enough time to tell everyone about what was to happen to them. “So about what just ha-“
“Yeah about that… Jason might I have a word with you about that, in private?” she implored. Jason could only imagine what that meant, but he consented to do as she said because he could feel the sense of great importance in her voice. Jason nodded at the receptionist and she walked him into the Boss’ office.
“So what is this about? I really need to tell them all something before it’s too late.”
“What? Something like the ‘end is nigh’?” she asked. Jason found himself unable to come up with an audible response to this. He stuttered quite a bit but never came up with an answer. “That’s right Jason, I’m Star Bright.”
“You’re… it wasn’t… real??? “
Star Bright nodded in response.
“… But why?” he asked her, still confused.
“Because your life before the seven minutes was a pitiful and miserable existence, so I gave you a sampling of the life that could have been if you were willing to stand up for yourself. I’ve seen over and over again how you were thinking very much about beating the cr*p out of that b****rd,” the receptionist gestured with a hand toward the unconscious Boss, “but you were always too afraid to bear the consequence of such an action. On hundreds of occasions, this happened and you froze up. So with no change in you it was clear that I had to facilitate it myself Jason. You see I really like you, but I could never be with you if you were always afraid of every single little consequence for every single thing. We would never last together like that. But the way you are now, we have a chance. That’s why I did it. That’s why I gave you seven minutes of all that your life could have been and what your life may be, should you choose.”
“Allow me to correct you- you gave me all that my life could have been and what it now has become. “