"I want to stay in bed all day; I want the world to go away."
Lawrence hadn't intended to sleep through Armageddon; it was just a thing that happened. Much like waking up five minutes before an alarm, or leaving the stove on before going on vacation. Nobody plans for these things, they just occur. And mostly without warning. Though, all in all it probably wasn't such a bad thing for Lawrence. He got to skip all the plague and pestilence and all the other nasty surprises that were supposed to come with the end of the world.
The only down side--as far as he could see--was the fact that a huge chunk of his house was missing. Lawrence wasn't sure if a meteor had crashed into it or it had been stolen--a very likely possibility in his part of town. The thieves there could steal anything. They'd probably steal the stars if they could get up that high. Or maybe they did get that high. he thought. It was night, judging by the absence of the sun, but there were no stars out. Lawrence had been living in the southern end of town for almost ten years, and he'd never once seen a night sky without stars.
It was eerily quiet. With all the miles of total devastation unfolding before him, Lawrence assumed there'd be at least one screaming person, or some car alarms. Anything, really. It was way too quiet. The silence boosted his hearing, and the sound of his clothes grating against his skin as he breathed was rather unsettling. He could even hear the blood rushing through his veins. It was like the whole world had become an anechoic chamber.
Lawrence thought of calling for help, but he wasn't sure he'd be able to handle the echo. He'd never experienced such deafening silence. It made his heart beat faster, and with his boosted hearing that only added to his already rising anxiety. He hopped out of bed and changed into some street clothes. No sense wandering the world in pyjamas. Come to think of it, he wasn't even sure what time it was. There didn't seem to be any power in his house, but all the street lights still worked. "The top half of my house must have gotten the circuit breaker in the divorce." he chuckled to himself. Then he remembered his new flat screen was up there too.
No matter, it was the end of the world. He could always just get a new one from a random store. Stepping out onto the road, he felt like he could hear everything within a five block radius, which--apart from his own heartbeat--was nothing. Not a damn thing. It was starting to get a little scary. Surely he couldn't have been the only one that survived. There weren't even any corpses in the street. Most of the buildings were still somewhat intact, and totally abandoned. The stench of sulphur suddenly cut through the air, followed by the sound of rapidly falling footsteps.
At first Lawrence thought they were his footsteps, but these were lighter...and a lot faster than he normally ran. Whoever those footsteps belonged to was really moving. He broke off into a sprint in the direction of the footsteps. He ran for what felt like hours, but when he looked around he was only a few blocks away from his house. The footsteps had slowed considerably, and he could just vaguely make out the shape of the runner a few feet away. It looked to be a little girl when he got closer. She couldn't have been any older than seven. She swept her blond pigtails aside as she considered him.
His first thought was to ask if she was okay, but the cold glare on her face told him she was probably just fine and then some. "Who are you?" Lawrence asked. "Where is everybody?"
The girl considered him again and shook her head slightly, as if trying to dispel an unpleasant thought. "I'm Bonadel," she sounded disconcerted. "Everyone is...how are you still alive?" she tried to sound casual, but Lawrence could see she was seriously puzzled. Sadly, he was just as puzzled. He looked around again. The night didn't show any signs of going away. He noticed a clock through a window and wandered over to it. Bonadel followed after him. "Yeah, don't bother with that." she said as soon as she noticed the clock. "Time doesn't flow anymore." she scratched her head. "I suppose that's wrong, since time never really existed to begin with."
"What are you talking about?" Lawrence asked.
"It was humans who came up with the concept of time." she shrugged, very matter-of-factly. "It wasn't a pre-existing concept like gravity or darkness."
Lawrence ran his hand through his hair. She was a seriously weird little girl. "Where are your parents?" he asked her. She looked at him like he was crazy. "They're dead." she said simply. "The world's over. Everything is dead."
"Except for the two of us." Lawrence commented.
"Well I know why I'm still here, but you..." Bonadel trailed off, waiting for an explanation. But Lawrence didn't know what to say. He went to sleep and when he woke up the world had already ended. It didn't make any sense. Oh well. "I...overslept."
Bonadel took a step back. "You...overslept? How do you sleep through the end of the world? How is that even possible?"
"Well what's your excuse?" Lawrence scoffed. Bonadel made a random gesture. "I was in another dimension. I warped in there to wait out the chaos." Another dimension. Right. The girl didn't seem like she was joking, and Lawrence was too tired to press it. The less he knew, the lower his chances of getting a migraine from the sheer weirdness of it all. "So what happens now?" he asked. Bonadel shrugged again.
"Nothing. That's it. This world isn't going to last much longer, so...just run around and try to have fun, I guess?"
"Wait what do you mean?" Lawrence asked nervously. "Hasn't the world already been destroyed?"
"Well...yeah," she shrugged again. "But see, according to the bible, after the end of the world, God creates a new heaven and a new earth. And the old ones get 'cast away'. Meaning they cease to exist. That's what's happening right now. After a while, this world simply won't be around anymore. And you and I get to go with it."
"You mean...we'll just...stop existing? Just like that?"
"Just like that." Bonadel nodded her head slowly. "So, what would you like to do...uh..." she trailed off again. She still didn't know his name.
"Lawrence." he supplied. "Lawrence Webber. I'm not exactly sure. What are you gonna do?"
"Hmm." Bonadel folded her arms. "I dunno. Probably go back in time or something."
"You can do that?" Lawrence asked incredulously.
"I'm a half demon sorceress." she flipped one of her pigtails confidently. "I can do whatever I want." she considered him again. "You uh, you wanna come with?"
Lawrence considered the barren soundless world around him that was supposedly scheduled for removal. He shrugged at Bonadel. "Not like I got anything better to do."
Bonadel flashed an impish smile. "Wanna check out the dark ages?"
"Lead the way, Bonadel." Lawrence smiled back. She held out her hand and he took it. "Hang on," she said. There was a brief flash of light and they were suddenly in front of a cottage. Lawrence looked around slowly. There was a severe lack of buildings...and cars...pretty much everything in general. Other than the weird cottage there was nothing else there. It was just a black starry void. "What is this place?" Lawrence asked. Bonadel spread her arms in a grand gesture. "This is my dimension." she announced. "I call it the Twilight realm...or the citadel...it doesn't have an official name..."
Bonadel continued to prattle on about the dimension as she walked towards the cottage. Lawrence followed close behind her. He didn't even want to think about what would happen if he were still outside when she closed the door. The cottage seemed only slightly bigger on the inside. There was a light brown rocking chair off in a corner to his left, a fully stacked bookshelf on the wall opposite the door, and not much else. The room was tied together by a huge circular rug that lay in the center of the room. On top of the rug was a pile of recently blown out candles.
"Was there some kind of party here or something?" Lawrence gestured at the candles. Bonadel looked at them and shook her head sadly. "They were lost souls that I was just kinda keeping around for fun, but I had to let them go when the world ended so they could face judgment." she said. Now, lost souls trapped in candles should have raised some kind of flag, but seeing as the world had ended and he'd just crossed into another dimension, Lawrence didn't see much of a point in asking questions he really didn't want answers to.
"What about the bookshelf?" Lawrence asked. "Any lost souls in there?"
"I don't really know." Bonadel tilted her head to the side. "For the past three hundred years that bookshelf just randomly appears in whatever house I walk into. I never understood why."
"Hold up. Three hundred years?" Lawrence blurted. That was a whole new level of weird. "How old are you?" he asked. Bonadel looked down at her feet, almost like she was calculating, then she looked back up at him. "Seven?" she offered innocently. Lawrence wasn't too inclined to take that at face value. "How old are you really?" he asked again.
"Three hundred and thirty," she said cautiously, almost like she was afraid she'd scare him off. And he'd be right to be scared. Smart even. But being smart wasn't his forte, and besides, it didn't change much. The world was still over. Might as well just roll with it. "Three hundred and thirty." he nodded. "Have you always looked like this, or...?"
"Actually," Bonadel's voice suddenly sounded older. Lawrence did a double take. She looked like a teenager now, at least seventeen years old. Her pigtails were gone and her hair fell behind her back in a mess of curls. "This is what I look like, the little kid thing is just an involuntary hypnosis trick I do." she said. Lawrence nodded again. He briefly wondered what would happen if he tried to leave the cottage. Probably best not to think about it. "So," he started. "What time period do you wanna check out first?"
An impish grin slowly spread across Bonadel's face. "Well, there’s this big fancy necklace with a talisman I've been meaning to get from ancient Egypt." she said. "There is the small matter of sneaking it out of Cleopatra's secret vault though. You up for it, Larry?”
"Let's do it, Bonadel." Lawrence grinned back, his hand outstretched. Bonadel stepped forward and took it.
"You can call me Bonnie." She said. Another flash of light and they were gone.