Story a day: 1.30.16

Prompt: “Border”

Used to be a very different job, sitting at the border. Used to be a thing only rednecks and xenophobes really cared much about.

Gray sipped bitter coffee and wondered what it was like to have the luxury of hating other humans. He rocked rhythmically in his chair on the border of insanity, staring into the red abyss beyond. His boots, pockmarked with holes, rested on the last few inches of dirt that remained to men. Beyond Gray’s toes, that familiar, normal, barren dirt dropped off, replaced by an oozing darkness cut through with swirls of red.

Gray didn’t know what any of it was. Some said a portal. Some said space and time had just torn apart like a piece of paper and left this gaping, evil wound. Others said it was a god’s judgment. Still others blamed it on aliens.

Gray set down his coffee and picked up his rifle. Whatever it was, it wasn’t immune to bullets. As long as Gray sat at the border, nothing from the chasm beyond it would feed on another human.

He looked down at the bucket of bullets by his ankle. How much longer until he ran out? The day would soon come when he fought the abyss with fists and teeth and got swallowed whole.

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