Fantasy Fiction posted October 8, 2016

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A daily writing prompt.

Lost in a flicker of a vortex

by Rasmine

The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door. He frowned; he hadn't seen anyone in the last month! Perhaps being all alone had finally had its toll on him. He giggled quietly to himself. He was nuts and there was no therapist to help. The giggle became a loud laugh, and he lay on his bed laughing until he started crying.

There was another knock, this time, louder than the last and more urgent. He wiped the tears from his eyes and furrowed his brow feeling splinters of fear crowd his mind. He started to shake with thoughts of dreadful proportion. Maybe it was an alien from another planet? Perhaps it was a traveler from another time? Maybe a being from another dimension stood at his threshold?

No matter what, he had to know. He pushed himself off the bed and slowly walked to the door. He reached for the doorknob and then jumped back. It jiggled on its own. A nervous laugh escaped his lips as another knock thundered in his ears. He ran back to the bed and covered up his head with his arms.

He stayed this way for a few minutes and then slowly sat up on the mattress.

"Let us in. Let us in!"
He stood up and looked around the room. Who were 'we'? He quickly walked over to the door. He shook his head, even if they were dangerous, anything would be better than this solitude. He grabbed the doorknob and yanked it open.
Marvin Richards worked as a lawyer on Main Street in Manhattan. He sat on the bus reading the Enquirer. He never reads this crap! He threw it back on the seat. It had been there when he sat down. He looked around and swallowed hard. That man was on the bus that always stared at him. Who was that? And what was his problem? Good, his stop was next.

Marvin pulled the cord, got up, glanced at the man gawking at him, and then quickly got off the bus. He dared a glance back and noted the same man was staring at him out of the window as the bus rolled off. He shook his head thinking it was time to take another bus, or maybe the subway.

He walked into Richards and Larson Attorney's at Law at nine, after he bought his coffee. He had trial at eleven and still had to prepare some papers.

"Hi, Betty."

Betty was his legal secretary, and the watcher and keeper of the office. If she wasn't here to take care of all his paperwork, he didn't think he would be able to work.

"Marvin, your deposition questions are on the table--the witness will be here by nine-thirty, then I'll type it up by the time you leave for trial."

He looked at his secretary. She was an attractive older woman with auburn hair and green eyes. The green eyes were emphasized when she wore the same color. Today she had on an emerald silk shirt and a black linen skirt. At that moment, he counted himself very lucky to have her on his staff.

"Thank you, Betty."

He entered his office and commenced making a copy of the questions so that he and the witness would have one. He could have asked Betty, but he wanted to do something before Mrs. Parks got there. He wondered why his copies didn't come out and opened the front of the copier. It was out of paper!

He would run downstairs and get some. He could use this for some exercise. He was supposed to start exercising but he hadn't yet. There was always some excuse--usually that he was too busy.

He walked by Betty, giving her a smile, and lithely ran down the stairs. He was still in good shape, but needed to lose this developing pudge around his middle.

He pulled the storage room open and started looking for the paper. He was looking when the light went out. They had just had all the bulbs changed a couple weeks to the new energy saver bulbs, maybe it was a wiring problem?

Just then he heard a loud bang, and he crouched down hugging his legs to him. What was that? After about an hour, when no one came to look for him, he ventured out carefully. He carefully climbed the stairs. It looked ominously light--brighter than it was with the lights. But he was comparing this to that one time he went downstairs; it was probably nothing.

He walked through the door into a world that was a total different. It was no longer his law office. It looked like it but there was something different, like...he couldn't put his finger on it--but it was like a different place. Betty's desk was there with no Betty; where did she go? Maybe that is what was different--she was always here. When she worked, she never left her desk. She even brought her lunch and snacks from home. And when she did take a break to go to the restroom it was extremely quick.

He felt like he had crossed over to another world. He sounded hollow.
That had been a month ago. Since then, he had walked all over New York and Connecticut. There was no life at all--no humans, no animals, no insects. He had broken into a couple of sound studios in Connecticut and broadcasted messages with the phone number of the studio. He broke into a television station and tried to figure out how to make a broadcast. He finally did and left the phone number of the studio with his personal cell phone. Funny that the phones still worked.

"Hello, is anyone alive out there--please call." He never got an answer. He finally made up his mind he was the last man alive on planet Earth.
He had opened the door and stared into an open abyss. It was dark and looked like the inside of a tornado. Marvin swallowed. Who said 'let us in?'


"Let us in, or you jump in and we shall be together."

"Who are you?"

"We are they who found you."

"Who found who?"

Marvin closed the door. Who found who? And who was who? Depression covered his mind with a black fog. He walked back to the bed and lay back down. He covered his head with the covers and tried to go to sleep. Maybe forever sleep would be a relief.

He lay there, but sleep would not come. He wondered who the people, or aliens, or whatever were in that makeshift tornade, were? He thought how unreal his life had become after trying to get paper for the copier! Where was everyone? Maybe they all went into the tornado vortex. Maybe he should too. He lay there heavy in thought and deep in sadness. He decided that it really wouldn't matter anymore. Anything was better than this torture of aloneness.

He threw off the covers and stood with determination. If this would be a kind of suicide, so be it! He walked over to the door and opened it slowly. He stood bravely looking into the vortex, if he looked--no that couldn't be--there were light and dark flecks and he thought he saw his office with Betty in it but this was only a flickering moment.

He suddenly had a moment of clarity. He was in another dimension--not his own! The flicker he saw with Betty sitting at her desk, was his dimension! He had to aim for that. The beings or whoever was knocking maybe they think that this is their place. He laughed and then put his hand on his heart and let himself fall into the empty chasm filled with a tornado like vortex.
As he fell, he thought of what this reminded him of--The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy saw the wicked woman who wanted to destroy her dog, twirling in the wind.

He fell straight, not blown around in a circle, so it wasn't like a cyclone at all, but rather like a twirling tube. He looked around for his world--where he saw Betty--instead he saw many flickers, and some were dark.

One of them had a field with a few cows in it; another had a sea with men in a small sailboat; another was of a lovely park with a gazebo. The dark flickers were of nighttime scenes. There was one with the nighttime sky with a ship in it that didn't look like it was from Earth; another had what looked to be three moons; another was a house in the country and a little girl walking around and crying. He realized that some of these were from other worlds. The thought didn't scare him, but had him curious. He was tempted to reach out to the night flicker with three moons, but he realized that he may not get home. There were still many flickers in the vortex. He was moving very slowly so he could see all of them--good, he wouldn't miss his.

Then he saw his! Betty was sitting at her desk, and she had been crying. She was wiping her nose on a tissue and then dabbed her eyes with another. His partner was sitting in a chair next to her desk. He looked down trodden too.

Marvin grabbed the flicker and it flipped through his fingers. 'Shit!' Then he grasped something and held on so he didn't pass it by. He then realized it was Betty's desk leg. If he wasn't careful, the desk and Betty may come out with him. He pulled and he flew through the flickering hole to land at Betty's feet.

Both Matthew Lawrence and Betty Meadows jumped back about five feet. They just witnessed the missing partner Marvin Richards, who had been missing for a month, show up out of nowhere. He didn't appear to be hurt or scarred.

All three of them, Matthew, Betty and Marvin group hugged and then all sat down to hear Marvin's tale.


The case that Marvin had been working on when he disappeared, was over. The prize witness came through for them, and a sly slum lord was finally convicted. Marvin had written the deposition questions, and they had been found after he disappeared.

The other beings who wanted to be let in to where Marvin had been, got home safely.

Marvin decided to quit the law firm and left it all to his partner and Betty. He became a Unitarian minister, and denotes time to hospice helping to make people's final days on this planet more comfortable.

Last Man On Earth writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a story that starts like this: The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door.

TY Helvi :) Perfect picture!
Write a story that starts like this: 'The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock at the door.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by helvi2 at

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