How much time passes at the bottom of a lunch box? Minutes? Hours? None at all?
I’m falling backward, chasing my tuna salad into oblivion. The hole at the top of the box shrinks to a yawning speck, and the office fluorescents spiral and putter out above me. I try to reach up, but my arm doesn’t move. The transmission from my brain deteriorates as it travels down my neck and shoulder; it stagnates somewhere near my forearm.
I will never touch bottom, I think. The further I sink into the box, the further the box sinks before me. Five minutes ago lies somewhere just beneath my toes; if I could kick, I could maybe touch it. Just beyond that lies everything else: my morning commute, my first day at work, my 16th birthday, my parents’ first date, my great grandparents’ customs check, my ancestors’ first bonfire, my planet terraforming, the birth of the universe–everything within a stone’s throw, if only I could throw stones.
A neuron in my arm relays the ‘move’ message to its neighbor. Too late. I no longer wish to reach up. At this point, I don’t see the point. I don’t see the point in anything anymore. I’ll have to send a ‘cancel’ message whenever I get a chance. No rush, though. I have all day.
Is this what immortality feels like? To simply exist–thoughtless, breathless, motionless–at the bottom of a deep black hole?
I need to get out of here.
And I need to find my lunch. I’m hungry.
Like what you read? There’s more.
“Morning coffee” is a serial fiction series, served fresh daily. So far, we’ve covered rubberneckers, co-workers, cubicle stains, office plants, desk trophies, conspiracies, secret organizations, pocket dimensions, black holes, and impending, inevitable doom. And that’s just the beginning.
Where should we go next? Let me know in the comment section below.