There’s something slightly weird with a school in the late afternoon, everything’s very isolated and desolate, and way too clean and tidy for tables with are normally laden with pieces of paper and books about biology. There’s also only the minimalist level of chatter, with maybe only a few discussions going on between the people around you.
Also, you’re bored. You’re really bloody bored, all your homework’s almost done and your friends aren’t messaging you back.
Then the ideas happen. You just think.
What would happen if the world ended today?
Which is a stupid thing, but suddenly it’s so incredibly plausible. Just… yes. Because all of the conspiracy theories and scare sites you read add up to this, you know that they do. Because North Korea is going to bomb the US, and then the US will bomb them back, and then they’ll all bomb the UK, which is where you are, isn’t it?
Everyone you know, everything you know, dead. Unless life’s like the video games you play and the novels that you read, where people survive and go and be amazing and badass in nuclear wastelands. Although would you want to do that? You don’t know. Yes, okay, yes you’d like to go kill some mutated squid-pigs. Hell yes.
And that’s when you realise that you kind of want the world to end now, so you can come into your own as a badass warrior, which is just a bit messed up. But that’s you. That’s your mind. Going a million miles a minute – nothing else you possess can catch up. It makes you trip up on your words as you frantically try to slow your brain down, flipping to each shitty conclusion that it can.
Oh god, what were you thinking? You don’t want anyone to die, what does that make you, wanting the world to go up in flames? You don’t want that. You want to live – but then again, can you deal with real life? Can you actually deal with it? You’re going in circles, over and over and over and over and over again and again and again.
You’re not mad. You’re not. Nothing’s wrong with you. They can’t make you do anything, say anything, no one’s watching you. You get everything wrong, nothing’s wrong with you, you’re fine. You know people who aren’t – you aren’t them. You’re not ill. In any way. Even if you can’t walk through crowds, or if you have to check and recheck and recheck the times for your train that evening, just in case you got it wrong. No, check it again. Again. Are you sure it’s then? Check again, just make sure.
Check it NOW.
You gasp, and finally snap out of it. The Crusades, yes, that was it. The Crusades. Bohemond of Taranto and the siege of Antioch. You glance down at the clock on your phone.
And you just go back to your history homework.