Kevin had been in a coma for almost 20 years. The doctors told his family that he probably wouldn’t ever recover, but they decided to keep him on life support, just in case. After about 13 years, Kevin had started showing signs of waking up, but he was never fully there.
Today, however, he finally woke up. Gasping for air and sitting straight up in his bed, Kevin opened his eyes. He didn’t remember much about why he was there, but for the last few years he had been aware that he was in a hospital. Despite this, his current location looked nothing like one.
None of the machines were on. Everything was broken and dusty. Kevin started hyperventilating and ripped the mask off of his face; not that it was actually doing anything anymore. He tried to move and get off of the bed, but there was still an old needle in his arm. After carefully removing it and making sure there was nothing else attached to him, he attempted to stand.
What he hadn’t realized was that he had been lying in a bed for the past 20 years and had almost no muscle. While searching the room, Kevin spotted a wheelchair. It was kind of broken, but he figured it was better than nothing.
After crawling to the chair and acquainting himself with how to use it, Kevin rolled out of the room. This was more difficult than he thought, for there was debris littered all throughout the halls of the hospital. In some areas, there were even small plumes of smoke rising.
“What happened to this place?” Kevin asked himself.
He jumped a little, surprised at how rough his voice sounded.
He had to move multiple objects out of his way, but he eventually made his way out. Rolling onto the street, Kevin turned around to observe the ruins of the hospital. The sign was broken in half, and most of the windows were busted in. Even the area outside the hospital gave off the hint that something felt wrong.
Rolling through the streets, he noticed that there were cars stopped in the middle of the road with no one in them. Most of their windows had been bashed out as well.
I need to find a TV, thought Kevin.
He heard someone yelling in the distance.
And probably something to protect myself with.
Kevin cautiously rolled himself next to a car that was missing part of the window and picked up a big piece of glass.
This will have to do for now.
He remembered that the hospital wasn’t too far from town and decided he would go check out what was happening there. Maybe he could find someone who could tell him what was going on…and some fresh clothes. Kevin was still in his hospital gown.
As he tried to navigate his way to town, he noticed a large hole in the earth. Inside the hole was a giant rock.
And that’s where the Walmart used to be.
His pace was slow and, again, he had to figure out his way around numerous objects in his path, along with the occasional body, but he made it into town just before nightfall. Traveling through the streets, Kevin felt like something was off. He wasn’t sure how long he had been in the hospital, but he could tell that something big had happened. There were a few lights on, but other than that it seemed mostly unpopulated.
Kevin happened to roll by a radio store and decided to try his luck there. The store was empty, except for a few old TVs. Luckily for him, one of them was on. He turned the channel to a news station. The sound wasn’t working, but he could generally figure out what was going on without it.
The news anchors looked exhausted, and they all had huge dark circles under their eyes. Next to the video of the news anchor reporting, there were a bunch of videos flashing by. They showed giant rocks falling to earth, causing fires and devastation. Kevin could only look on in horror. The headline on the bottom of the screen read, “Giant Asteroids Continue to Strike Earth.”
As he continued watching, Kevin noticed that outside it was getting brighter. While he was in the shop it had fallen dark, but he didn’t think it was anywhere close to dawn yet. He rolled outside to see what was happening and could hear people screaming.
Following the light source, he could see an asteroid coming right for the town. Kevin wouldn’t be able to roll away fast enough and sat still, accepting his fate. Right before the asteroid struck, Kevin closed his eyes and yelled.
Back in the hospital, Kevin sat up in bed, screaming. A nurse checking one some of his machines nearly dropped her clipboard in surprise.
Kevin’s heart was beating impossibly fast and was breathing heavily as he realized he was still in the hospital and that what he had just seen was only a dream. The nurse fled to get a doctor, and Kevin caught the TV screen the nurse was watching in the background.
The headline read, “Giant Asteroid Strikes Earth.”
more by CASSIE GAMMIE
photograph by Fré Sonneveld