The Time | Chapter 4: The News

Written by: Kevin Gatti

My heart was racing. My eyes swelled up and tears started to pour down my face. As I laid yet again on the same bed, in the same apartment, I wondered what kind of sick reality I was living in. I prayed that it was all dream, but it all seemed too real. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to do anything. I just wanted to lay there and sleep forever and forget the horrible nightmare that was all around me.
 
After a couple hours of lying-in bed, I rolled over and stared at the wall in front of the bed. There was a TV mounted on the wall. I had never noticed this TV before. I pondered for a brief moment as to whether it was there before and I had just missed it. Nonetheless and started to look around for a remote. I checked all the drawers of the nightstand and found no remote. I looked around and under the bed, but still couldn’t find the remote. I got out of the bed and walked over to the TV. I managed to find a power button on the TV and turned it on. I took a step back in amazement. I also scratched my head and asked myself: “How the hell do I even know what a TV is?” My random memory was continuing to bewilder me.
 
Once the TV was on a news like program appeared. A solo female anchor appeared at a news desk. It was strange. It was like the program began as soon as I turned on the TV.
 
The solo female anchor began to speak: “Good morning. This is the news and this the city. Everything is great today. The weather is perfect, and everything is happening as it should. Go out and explore. There are important things that await you. I’m sure you don’t want to miss out. There is no other news. Have a beautiful day. Bye now.”
 
A short news theme then played, and the program ended. A commercial or something like it came on and a man appeared on the screen. He was outside in a park and appeared to be playing catch with someone. He smiled and said to the screen as if he was talking to me: “I almost didn’t go out today, but then I decided that it was best I did. And you know what? I’m glad I did. I’m getting some fresh air and meeting some great people. It’s wonderful. You should do the same. It’ll be fun.” Then someone yelled from off the screen, “Let’s get ice cream!” The man on the screen said back, “That’s sounds amazing. Who would want to miss out on ice cream?” The man walked off screen and a narrator began to speak: “Go outside. You know you want to. It’s a gorgeous day. You don’t want to miss it. Time is precious.”
 
I was becoming startled as I was realizing that the TV was just crazy propaganda to get me to go outside. I knew what would happen if I left the apartment and that terrified me. I turned off the TV and walked out into the living room. I immediately noticed the door to leave and stared at it. A part of me so badly wanted to leave. I wanted to leave all of it and not just the apartment. I didn’t want to be in this city or whatever it was any longer. I wanted to be free of this madness.
 
I laid around and paced the apartment for the rest of the day. When evening came around, I was lying in bed and just stared at the ceiling. I was obviously depressed and didn’t have the slightest clue on how to address it or who to turn to for help. It was scary, but honestly by this point I was living in a constant state of fear and was growing used to it. Not sure if this makes sense, but the feelings of fear were very much present, but were also very much numbing, as if I wasn’t present at all.
 
I decided to turn on the TV again. I was curious and bored. I wanted to know what else it had to show. As soon as the TV came on the same solo female anchor appeared on the screen at the same news desk. The only difference from before was that she was now wearing a different outfit. Again, it was as if the program began as soon as I turned on the TV. The solo female anchor began to speak: “Good evening. This is the news and this the city. Everything is great this evening. The weather is perfect, and everything is happening as it should. Go out and explore. There are important things that await you. I’m sure you don’t want to miss out. There is no other news. Have a beautiful evening. Bye now.”
 
I quickly turned the TV off realizing that it was just more of the same. The news was not actual news. I saw with my own eyes the horrible things that were happening and yet this so-called news program kept saying everything was alright. It was incredibly frustrating to me. The news was intentionally lying. I couldn’t understand how they could not know what was really going on.
 
I got so annoyed by it that I decided that I was going to do exactly what they said. I was going to go out and I was going to keep going out until I was completely out of this whole thing. I became determined to find a way out.
 
I left the apartment and confidently went downstairs and enter the convenience store. Scott who had been previously killed was back again and behind the counter. He yelled: “Hey Aaron. Where are you going?”
 
Without stopping or looking his way, I said back, “Going out and explore.” I walked outside and looked up at the sky. It was clearly dusk. There were crowds of people on the sidewalks and numerous cars on the streets. I could hear chatter from the people and horns honking from the cars. I kept telling myself that I was on a mission though. I had no time for the ambience. I started walking down the sidewalk among all the other people. I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew where I was going. I was headed towards The Nothingness outside of The Loop and was going to go through it until I found something that wasn’t here.
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