ERROR: Field Cannot Be Lloyd
rating: +49+x

You're roused from dreamless sleep. Transient wisps of candy apples, pumpkin spice, candyfloss and other sugar-sweet scents waft their way into your padded cell. The muffled echoes of distant music carried on vodka-infused air seep through the thin cracks in the bunker's concrete, staining the air.

Your joints throb and ache from being motionless for so long. Your mind feels as atrophied as your muscles, wasted away from being tied to the concrete-set chair. The restraints aren't tight, but the scars still itch from where you desperately struggled against the leather, burning it into your skin. It's a reminder that you're a different person now.

"Man, Samuel really knows how to throw a party"

Despite the cruel headgear designed to bind your ears closed and blind your eyes, some noise worms its way through. Voices.

"Hell yeah Lloyd! Did you see Sammy chug down like, seven pints? Ah, hold on, I'll get the door."

So long without sound has left your ears trained to hear a pin fall, so the scraping sound of rusted metal on metal is torture. You feel a warm light fall on the cloth before your eyes and instinctively begin to pull against your restraints like a dog seeing his master.

"Is someone there?" you speak with trepidation, knowing that hearing voices isn't a good sign. Nobody has spoken to you in months, why would they be starting now?

"Oh, damn, look at him. Must be a pretty nasty Foundation to keep him in this state."

"Yeah man. I know one of us that got concrete'd up to the waist just to stop him from running."

"You made that up. Come on, let's get him outta that chair."

With the clicks of locks and the loosening of his restraints, you feel a weight from your shoulders removed. Your eyes are overwhelmed by the sudden plunge from pleasant and familiar darkness and into the light. Sound meets your ears in its full cacophonous beauty for the first time. The blurriness of unused eyes takes a second to focus on the two silhouettes.

You rub your eyes in disbelief, but no matter how hard you try reality doesn't change. Two identical versions of yourself stand before you. One dons an astronaut costume, holding the helmet under his arm, while the other wears cardboard sheets wrapped in tin foil in vague resemblance of a robot.

"Hey, you look somewhat familiar and good" said the robot version of yourself before being cut off by a quick strike to the head by the Astronaut.

"Cut it out. You do that bit every time. It was funny exactly once." Astro Lloyd turns to you: "We brought something more comfortable for you to slip into".

Robo Lloyd presents a few costume sets; there're crumpled, slightly torn and dusty, yet somehow they make you feel nostalgic. In a time not so long ago, you'd be outside in the cold October air knocking on doors, begging for candy.

"Dude you need to think about what you're gonna say before you say it."

You stare at the two ridiculous versions of yourself. So many competing questions race to your lips, but you stamp them down and ask the most pressing one: "Why are you here?"

"We're here to get you out of this crummy cell. Man, put up a poster or something. This place is the most miserable one yet." said Robo Lloyd.

"You've done this before?" you ask.

"If you mean breaking a Lloyd outta prison, sure. We haven't done exactly this before, so you can count yourself special."

"We're like wanderers", said Astro Lloyd.

"Yeah," confirmed Robo Lloyd, "and now it's your turn to join the club."

"No, I'm not leaving." You assert. "You know what happens when we die, right? It's best for everyone if I just stay here."

"Right, so we've got Mike Myers, IT, or a skeleton for you."

"Are you guys, are you even listening to me? I'm not leaving."

"Ah, I remember when I was your age." began Astro Lloyd with a condescending tone, placing a hand on your shoulder. "You're gonna die sometime, Lloyd, but you should have some good times before you go. C'mon, pop on a costume. You never know, you might have fun."

You look at the costumes presented. Maybe it was the smell of dusty fabric or the faint smell of candy from the nearby party, but a melancholy tugs at your heart. They remind you of a simpler time full of high spirits and juvenile happiness. You push down that feeling and glide your fingers over your scars. It's for the best you stay here, for everyone's sake.

"Lloyd, you only live once. You should live every day like it's your last, right?" said Robo Lloyd.

Your copies are risking everyone on the planet just by being here. But the way they carry themselves, the energy behind their eyes, their slight smiles; you thought it wasn't possible to see yourself smiling with the burden you bear. Yet the man you want to be stands before you, offering his hand.

Maybe they know something you don't.

"Fine. I'll leave here just for tonight, but then you take me back here. And I want the Mike Myers costume."

As you and your companions make your way through the belly of the beast, you notice small token decorations littering the walls: bats, ghosts, cobwebs. The distant melodies grow louder with each passing step. Outside of the noises of distant partying, your footsteps echo out through dead hallways. Documents litter the floor, computers remain mid-session.


Urgent News (Just Now)
Dangerous solar event occurring. Origin unknown. Countries exposed to sunlight offline. Seek shelter.


Global News (Yesterday)
Researchers report extreme floral growth.
> Read More


"Where's everyone gone to?" you ask.

"They're outside," replied Astro Lloyd bluntly.

"Why?"

Astro Lloyd looked to Robo Lloyd with a concerned expression. Robo Lloyd shook his head, "He'll see for himself later."

You change the topic, "So why are you here again?"

"You used to work at the Foundation Lloyd. You know how sometimes the world just… ends? Well, we got a message that we should all come here."

"So you can stop the end-of-the-world scenario, right?"

"Something like that."

The Robot and the Astronaut escort you the rest of the way in silence. The music grows louder and louder before you're met with loud cheering. You see multiple figures, all exceptionally similar to yourself, celebrating your arrival. They push alcohol into your hands and chant slurred words that you barely understand. You receive pats on the back, people laugh at you. You find yourself laughing back.

The next few hours were a blur. You're sat, back against the wall, fueled with cheap vodka and rambling to another version of yourself.

"I just feel that, like, I just wanna disappear? I don't wanna hurt anyone by dying, but I don't wanna suffer anymore. Does that makes sense?"

"We feel you, dude. We all do. C'mon, I think it's time you went outside with us. Everyone hear that? It's time to head out, guys!"

You walk alongside dozens of iterations of yourself. They push you to the forefront of your group like a sacrificial lamb to the slaughter. They lead you out of the home you've known for many years now, moved past grayscale landscapes bespeckled with flowers. You pass people sleeping outdoors; children in costumes and adults in suits alike. It's like all the people on Earth had decided to camp outdoors in the strangely warm and electrified air. Those awake talk with a blissful and ethereal tone. They speak of rapture, contentedness, and the beauty of the world.

One of the denizens shouts, almost screams at you "It's all going to be over soon!"

You're guided to a football stadium blindingly illuminated by intense floodlights. The grounds are littered, no, infested with versions of yourself. Some lie on the grass, staring at the black void above the stadium, some huddle fetally and cry, some commit acts of violence on each other. You wade through the empty bottles, cigarettes and needles that are strewn throughout the grounds.

You're overwhelmed by the sheer panic and anarchy. You know that this is not normal behaviour for yourself, in fact, you'd never begin to imagine yourself anywhere near this state. "What's going on?" you ask the nearest Lloyd.

"You said it yourself. We want to disappear without dying. We want to be happy. The Foundation told us this is our chance— We're going to do it. Look," responds Lloyd, pointing to the skies shimmering with regal red and golden rays, "it's about to happen."

You push past your clones, running from the crazed versions of yourself and back to what is familiar. You sprint away from the stadium, the gray landscapes and the rapturous freaks. You take shelter in your cell and comfort in the darkness. With the sound of rusted metal-on-metal, the door locks behind you, shielding your unwilling self from discovering the horrors that your clones and the denizens of the world knew would come.


On Hallow's Eve the Moon did set
Returned back to the void


sun.jpg




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