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#142: Gone

#142: Gone
Odd Spot - The Age - 28/06/2022

Peter felt the threads of his life un-stitch. The email response from his boss was terse. The message was obvious. His report was full of factual errors and misquotes.

He reread the email on the train home, trying to find something to latch onto, something to give him hope.

He desperately wanted to tell Grace all about it, but he knew that she’d be busy with the kids, with her new fitness regime and watching tonight’s instalment of whatever reality show was all the rage.

Peter felt unanchored and was about to lose his job.

From the corner of his eye, he glimpsed something he recognised. The man seated diagonally across from him had also been scrolling on his phone. For that split second, Peter saw what the end of the world actually looked like. The twinge of pain swept across the man’s face like the invisible explosion of a nuclear bomb. His lower lip twisted and Peter could follow the pain up to the eye. His blue eyes flickered momentarily until the head slumped forward.

Peter remained seated as those closer to the man call triple zero and hit the emergency button.

He felt a sense of calm wash over him. He’d witness another man’s life seep out of him. It had happened so quickly, so effortlessly, that every worry that had been troubling him was now gone.