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Monday, March 29, 2021

Microstory 1591: Everybody Knows

Prompt
I walk into the warehouse and discover that everyone I have ever known is here...

Botner
...okay, not everyone. All those children that died are haunting me...some are still alive but more haunting than others. I am screaming again, running around and kicking and screaming like a wild animal. But no matter what I do, I am only making myself even more nervous. Every time I scream, I can feel the sharp pains in my body...my bones...my muscles. Every time I try to touch anyone, I only end up hurting myself. “MOOOOMMM!” I scream, standing in front of an old woman wearing a black shirt with blood stains all over it. I run into the woman and sit down on the ground next to her, too scared to cry. I stare at the woman for a long time. I don’t know what is going on, but it looks like she doesn’t want me to scream anymore. “Mommy!” I scream.

“Listen to me. You will find out what you are. But it won’t be easy...I know this,” the woman said. I look at her as she stands up and starts walking away.

“I don’t want to know what I am, mommy...” I say quietly. The woman stops and looks back.

Conclusion
“I am not your mommy.”

She leaves the warehouse, but there are still plenty of people here with me, and they all frighten me. I never realized how comforting I found it to leave all the people I’ve met behind. My elementary school bully, my middle school girlfriend, and the famous second baseman who once signed my baseball, are all in the middle of what must be an uncomfortable conversation. My high school science teacher, and the doctor who delivered me are talking too. I don’t know that I would say I ever really met my doctor, but who knows what kind of weird robot aliens from the future are in control of this, or what their rules are. I never thought I would have to see these people again, and I never wanted to, even those I liked. It’s just weird, they’re supposed to stay in the past. Everyone is pretty much ignoring me. I’m not invisible, but they don’t seem all that interested in asking questions of the man who ties them all together. They don’t want to know why me, or what they’re supposed to be doing, or what’s going to happen. Finally, a young woman walks up to me. I babysat her once a few years ago because there was an emergency at the hospital where both her parents worked, and it was too short notice to get a real sitter. “So,” she begins, “how do you know Mary?”

“Mary? Mary who?” I don’t know a Mary.

“Mary, silly,” she repeats. “Everybody knows Mary. She’s why we’re all here.”

Mary? I look around again, and realize that that’s not my bully, or my girlfriend, or my science teacher. That could be my doctor, for all I know, but I think I only saw his profile picture once. That’s definitely the second baseman, but he probably wouldn’t remember me. And this girl here? I don’t recognize her at all, I was mistaken. I was mistaken about all of these people. They’re all strangers, and none of them is here for me, I have nothing to do with it. A woman appears up on the balcony, and looks over the crowd. She’s shocked, and as frightened of everyone as I was when I first showed up. Oh, that’s Mary. Yeah, I guess I do know her. We met at a bar once, and had a nice conversation, but she rejected my advances. I guess I never bothered to catch her name.

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