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Break On Through


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"You know the day destroys the night
Night divides the day
Tried to run
Tried to hide
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side..."


Jeremy twitched in surprise. He leaned forward slightly and turned off his stereo, then he took off his headphones, wrapped them up and placed them onto the table. He took off his hat and ran a hand through his dampening brown hair. Usually, the basement was nice and cool, but Jeremy didn't really mind the warmth that much, either. Jeremy was about to go upstairs, when he realized that he had left his Doors CD in his stereo. He walked up to the stereo, took the CD out and put it back into its case. Jeremy was a messy person most of the time, but he cared for his CDs as if they were newborn children and always made sure that they were safe when he was not using them.

Jeremy walked slowly up the stairs and opened the door. A fresh blast of cool air refreshed him from the stifling, stuffy warmth of the basement. Jeremy searched around the house for whomever had called him; his mother, he presumed. He walked into the kitchen and his eyes swept the room...nobody there. He checked the living room but there was nobody there, either.

"Mom?" Jeremy yelled. "Where are you?" Jeremy continued his search of the house, but there was nobody there that he could see. The bedrooms, the bathrooms, the guest rooms...not a person within sight or sound. "Where is everyone?" Jeremy asked himself. "I could have sworn that I heard somebody calling my name." Jeremy walked slowly back downstairs and decided to take a walk outside. He approached the door, opened it, stepped outside, then closed the door and made sure that it was locked. Jeremy began to stroll down the sidewalk. He gazed from house to house, street to street; there was not a person in sight.

"That's real strange," Jeremy muttered to himself. "There's nobody here at all." He looked up into the sky, which blazed with the dark orange light of a perpetual sunset. The dark, sunny glow struck Jeremy in the face and blinded him momentarily. He raised a pale hand in front of his face to shield his brown eyes from the dazzling glow of the sun. "Damn sun," Jeremy spat. "It's not even late enough for sunset! What the hell is going on here?"

Jeremy continued to walk down the sidewalk. There was nobody walking along the streets or in any of the stores. The lack of people unnerved Jeremy more and more with each passing second. He was starting to approach the commercial area of his neighborhood and, still, he had not seen one hint of activity either outside or in one of of the houses. It was as if everyone had simply disappeared off the face of the planet. Jeremy peered down the road...he thought he spotted a shadow moving in the distance.

"Hey!" Jeremy shouted. "Hold on!" The shadow turned its head, spotted Jeremy, and bolted off. After a moment's hesitation, Jeremy made haste after the shadow. His arms flailed and his legs felt like they would give any second, mostly because Jeremy wasn't much of an athlete, but he somehow managed to keep it together long enough to see the shadow run into the local pet store.

Jeremy walked inside and looked around; even the pets in the pet store had gone missing. All, that is, except for one. In a cage located by the front cash register, there was a green parrot. Jeremy walked up to what was seemingly the only form of life left in the neighborhood.

"So, how did you get here?" Jeremy asked. The parrot did not answer. "Heh, going to be quiet, eh? That's cool, I suppose. At least I know that there is at least [i]something[/i] still alive here besides me and that I'm not going ******* [i]crazy[/i]!" Jeremy slammed his fist down onto the cash register in frustration.

"******* crazy!" the parrot squawked. "******* crazy!" Jeremy peered at the parrot with a slightly deranged look in his eye.

"So, you think so, too, huh?" Jeremy asked quietly. "I don't think I'm crazy yet, but I wouldn't say I'm totally sane right now, either." He paced back and forth in front of the parrot, pausing occasionally to look the bird in the eye. "I woke up this morning and thought I'd just listen to some music...next thing I know, I'm the ******* Omega Man! Ain't that a trip, Squawks?" The parrot simply stared at Jeremy in response. Jeremy shook the parrot's cage violently and the parrot squawked and cried in terror, green feathers flying asunder.

"God damn you!" Jeremy yelled. "I want some [i]people[/i] here! Where are all the damned [i]people[/i]?!" He stopped shaking the parrot's cage and bowed his head in frustration. All this was getting to be too much for Jeremy...only a few minutes of total and complete solitude and he was already walking down the long road to madness. He exaled slowly and tried to calm down his nerves and rationalize the situation as much as he could.

"Okay...I know that just about everyone is gone," Jeremy said to himself, collecting his thoughts. "For whatever reason, everyone seems to be gone, except for the shadow and this parrot. Something tells me that the shadow knows exactly what the hell is going on here...so, if I catch up to the shadow, then I can figure out what's happening! Sounds like a fair plan, right?" The parrot nodded.

Jeremy walked out of the pet store and looked across the street. The shadow stood there, staring at him. They looked into each other's eyes, sizing each other up. Jeremy had the distinct feeling that he recognized this shadow, but it was impossible to tell from where, as he could not get a clear look at its face from this distance. Without warning, the shadow ran off again.

"Bastard!" Jeremy ran across the street after the shadow. After a few minutes of running at full speed, Jeremy's lungs began to burn harshly. He needed oxygen very badly but he did not stop running after the shadow. Eventually, the shadow slowed down to a stop, its back still turned to Jeremy. Jeremy slowed down, as well, and stooped with his hands on his knees, trying to catch his breath. As soon as he had collected enough precious oxygen to sustain his lungs, Jeremy placed a hand on the shadow's shoulder.

"Just who the hell are you, buddy?" Jeremy asked. The shadow turned around slowly and looked up at Jeremy solemnly. Jeremy looked at the familiar face of the shadow for a few seconds, then stepped back suddenly in shock. "You...you're me! A younger me, but me nonetheless..." The shadow nodded in response. "What the hell is going on?!" Jeremy screamed into the sky. "There's nobody left on the planet except a wise-*** parrot and some damn shadow...thing that somehow looks like me when I was a kid!" Jeremy kicked a garbage can in frustration, scattering several pieces of garbage on the sidewalk.

"And now..." Jeremy whispered. "Now I really think I'm off the deep-end. I've really ******* lost my mind. Are you happy now?! I'm all alone in the world and I've gone insane! What else do you want?!" The shadow looked up at him understandingly.

"Come, and you shall find out," the shadow said smoothly. The shadow trotted off slowly, while Jeremy stared in amazement. The shadow may have [i]looked[/i] like him, but it definitely didn't sound like him. The shadow had the sort of smooth voice that could convince anyone to do anything...you didn't stop to think about it; you just went along with whatever they said. Jeremy followed along slowly, not knowing where the shadow would take him.

Soon, the shadow led Jeremy to the outskirts of his neighborhood. There was a small cliff that overlooked the part of the ocean that was near Jeremy's house. The shadow led Jeremy up the cliff until they got up to the peak, which overlooked the ocean. There was a door on the very edge of the peak, which the shadow was standing in front of. The shadow gestured to the door with an outstretched arm. Jeremy nodded in understanding. The shadow opened the door and took one last look at Jeremy before stepping inside.

"Go then," the shadow said. "There are other worlds than these." The shadow closed the door and left Jeremy alone.

"Well," Jeremy said. "I guess this is it. Should've figured that, with all this, that it would come down to a simple choice. Either I do...or I don't." Jeremy figured that his was an easy decision. There was nothing left for him here; he might as well take his chances with the mysterious door. Jeremy took a step closer...the door seemed to go a step farther away.

Jeremy walked forward a few steps more and the door began to get farther away. Jeremy spat to the ground in frustration and broke into a frantic run to the door. Farther and farther away the door went, as if it were teasing Jeremy...as if he wasn't meant to go through the door after all. And, just when Jeremy was about to give up, the door inched closer. After a few minutes of strenuous running, Jeremy finally reached the door. The door, it seemed, that he was destined to go through.

Jeremy grasped the doorknob and opened the door slowly. Jeremy was awed at the sight he saw...nothing but pure, white light as far as the eye could see. Jeremy stepped through and the door slammed shut on him. Immediately, the white light turned black and he fell down into darkness. Jeremy fell, and would continue to fall, forever.


"...he's not going to make it," the doctor said solemnly. "We could keep him on life support, but I'm afraid the expenses would be too much for you to bear." Jeremy's mother nodded in understanding, tears pouring down her cheeks. She looked down at the maimed body of her son. He was covered with scars and was barely clinging to life with the help of the life support machinery that the hospital had hooked him up to. The car accident had not taken Jeremy's life but the fact that he needed life support to stay alive was not exactly reassuring.

"Yes," Jeremy's mother said. "As much as I hate to do it, it's for the best...I do not want my son to suffer. I would rather that he die peacefully."

"I understand," the doctor said. He nodded to the nurse. She walked over slowly to the life support machines and kept her hand over button for a few seconds. She looked over at the doctor and Jeremy's mother for reassurance and, when they both nodded, she pushed the button and shut down Jeremy's life support. The machine pumping oxygen into Jeremy's ruined lungs slowed to a stop; the other machine monitoring Jeremy's pulse continued to monitor Jeremy. The lines and beeps stretched out continually for a few seconds, until Jeremy flatlined. Jeremy's mother sobbed loudly. Though she had not wanted her son to continue to suffer, it did not make her loss any easier.

"We'll leave you alone to grieve," the doctor said. He motioned over to the nurse and they both left the room, closing the door behind them.


As always, comments and critique are appreciated.
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[size=1][color=#800000][quote][color=black][font=Verdana]He approached the door, opened it, then closed it and made sure that it was locked.[/quote][color=#800000] I'm being petty, but at first it looks like he's only opening and closing the door. Not actually [i]stepping outside[/i] (this could of course be me not being American/British and be fully in tune with how you write things *grins*).[/color][/font][/color][/color][/size]

[color=black][font=Verdana][size=1][color=#800000][quote][color=black][font=Verdana]"There's nobody here at all." [/quote][size=1] [color=#800000]Ehe, overkill ? Sorry, but it felt corny to read >_>;
Try to avoid stating the obvious, unless you're after the comedical reaction ?[/color][/size][/font][/color][/color][/size][/font][/color]

[color=black][font=Verdana][color=black][font=Verdana][size=1][color=#800000]I loved how you took Jeremy from just being confused and slightly annoyed to distressed and desperate state of mind. The entire parrot scene is priceless ![/color][/size][/font][/color][/font][/color]

[color=black][font=Verdana][color=black][font=Verdana][size=1][color=#800000][quote][color=black][font=Verdana]He died almost instantly and Jeremy's mother broke down into a fit of uncontrollable sobbing.[/quote] [color=#800000]It feels too abrupt to say "He died almost instantly". And I know my suggestion is very cliché, but maybe you could describe the monitor's sound or how the thing that was pumping oxygen into Jeremy stopped going up and down.... something relating to the enviroment they're in ? [/color][/font][/color][/color][/size][/font][/color][/font][/color]

[color=black][font=Verdana][color=black][font=Verdana][size=1][color=#800000][color=black][font=Verdana][color=#800000]But apart from my silly comments, I was absolutely [b]glued[/b] to this story. And my eyes watered at the end, as Jeremy was shown the door and it was apparent that it wasn't a dream *sniffle* [/color][/font][/color][/color][/size][/font][/color][/font][/color]

[color=black][font=Verdana][color=black][font=Verdana][size=1][color=#800000][color=black][font=Verdana][color=#800000]Great story, magnificant story [i]telling[/i] ~_^ [/color][/font][/color][/color][/size][/font][/color][/font][/color]
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Good critique, as always, Mimmi ^_^ I shall definitely take your suggestions to mind, heh. I never notice this stuff unless other people point it out for me lol. The hospital scene, in particular, seemed a bit iffy to me when I was writing it; I'll have to add a bit more to it right now.

Again, thank you for the critique ^_^
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[size=1][color=#800000]It's a pleasure to read your work, Shin *nods*[/color][/size]

[size=1][color=#800000]I see now, upon a further read, that my comment on "There's nobody here at all" was wrong. It fits just fine. So I'm glad you didn't take it out. ^_^;;[/color][/size]

[size=1][color=#800000].... I really wish you hadn't changed the hospital scene.... because now it [i]really[/i] makes me cry ;_;[/color][/size]

[size=1][color=#800000]Beautiful. ^_^[/color][/size]
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[color=firebrick] Nice story...very cool depiction of a person's death.

[i]"You...you're me! A younger me, but me nonetheless..." [/i]

[i]Yes," Jeremy's mother said. "As much as I hate to do it, it's for the best...I do not want my son to suffer. I would rather that he die peacefully."[/i]

Your dialogue seems unnatural, if you get what I'm saying. It's only my personal opinion, but I don't think many people say 'nonetheless' in dialogue when they're surprised/excited/etc, and the mother's dialogue seems a bit wierd considering her son's about to die. Ya know...for another example:

[i]Jeremy began to stroll down the sidewalk.[/i]

I mean, I wouldn't really be strolling down the sidewalk after noticing my entire family dissappeared. *shrugs* If I have anything else to complain about, they're pretty much tiny things. The story is really good, and like I said, nice depiction. A nice piece to read. ^_^[/color]
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