The instant I opened my door, I knew I’d grown tired of the world. Despite the half-foot of snow that had fallen overnight, the view from my hall was the same dull sight which greeted me every day. That damned Alsatian from across the street was squatting in the rose bushes. Its owner, the lamentable Mr Davis, staggered about his lawn, using the handlebar of his push-pull mower to support his substantial frame. He was doing an admirable job ignoring the mutt befouling my garden.
Davis wore only a tartan dressing gown despite the freezing wind, the belt loosely tied around his waist. It flapped open as he walked and I was treated to the sight of him in his entirety. If anyone was to ask, that was the exact moment I decided to end it all.
I checked my purse for my keys, couldn’t find them but that wouldn’t matter – I wouldn’t be coming back. The porch was slick with ice and I clung tightly to the handrail as I descended the few steps. Behind me, the door closed with a click.
Davis’s head flicked up at the sound. He saw me through glazed eyes and gave his beer can a wiggle in my direction; a gesture I took to be a wave. I pressed my lips together into something resembling a smile, muttered a curse under my breath, and waved back. The second his fat, bald head turned back to his lawn, my hand twisted, extended its middle finger. If I could’ve gotten close enough, I would’ve kicked the dog too.
The commute into town was arduous, painful. The snow caused havoc with the public transport system and, as always, the train was late. It left the station overcrowded, overheated and reeking of body odour. They should ban people who refuse to acquaint themselves with soap from the trains as a kindness to the rest of us. Not that it’ll matter much longer.
I accomplished my last good deed when I gave up my seat to an older lady with an obvious bad hip and a severe limp. We watched incredulously as it was stolen by some Chav in a hoodie and earphones before the old dear had even twitched. The fucking nerve… But that wasn’t the worst of it. Further down the coach, an argument erupted between a thug and his trophy wife which resulted in her receiving a cuff across the jaw and a split lip. Forty people watched it and not one intervened.
Go humanity! Go common decency!
I’d planned to do it at work, from the roof of the building where my office was, but I couldn’t wait any longer. When the train belched me and the rest of the maggots onto the platform, I headed straight for the multi-storey. The wind was bitter up on the roof, pulling me this way and that. Between it and the ice, I have no idea how I made it to the edge without breaking my neck. It was all there before me, a rotten mass chewed up and tossed aside by its inhabitants. A failed experiment waiting for its turn in the incinerator.
I climbed over the railings, ignored the wind whipping around me, through my skirt and hair. I stretched out my arms, fingers curling around air, and I folded.
And I folded.
And I folded.
In the end, the whole thing was small enough to fit in my purse. I pushed it deep down to the bottom, far away from the other failed worlds, still to be processed, to avoid cross contamination; it was rare but it had happened. Further analysis would be needed before I tried again and…
…would you know it, I found my damn keys.