The Bridge // Flash Fiction

Below, at a thousand miles an hour, or so it seems at least, they soar past. Black, silver, blue, red, another silver, another red.

One, two, three, a million more, smaller than your hand from where you stand. Like the moon compared to a thumbnail, you are a giant up here.

Cold, white railings that ominously rattle in the wind. The same wind that whispers through the rusted bars, whistling fear of heights and paranoia as you cling to the metal that shrinks your hands to frozen, immobile props. The same metal that could deceive you at any point. Age is never but a number. You decide not to trust the aged, creaking bridge.

Fear of heights is not what stops, but fear that the height will fall away. Exhilarated, a rush of adrenaline and fear comes over you as you realise how easy – so easy – it could be.

You cling to the bars as a lifeline as you force your resisting feet, step by step, moment by moment, to the other side.

And finally, thankfully, your feet touch solid ground.

. . .

That was then.

This time, the rattling of the bars and the clanging noise of two feet shaking the foundations of the so-called sound structure is louder; so loud.

It’s unnerving. It’s wrong.

For the first time you have seen, there are no cars, no lights, nothing in the distance.

Below your feet, the terrifying yet comforting buzz of automobiles rushing, rushing, rushing, is no more.

There is not a sign of life for miles in diameter, even from your vantage point. Down to the coast or up to the hills on the left, there is nothing.

There is nothing human anymore.

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