Harry’s shaggy hair was whipping in the luxurious breeze blowing in from the sea. The water glistened; the temperature was perfect. Harry felt his life was about to get much better. See, Harry has had a rough streak of luck. To be exact he has never had much luck at all. His streak of bad luck had actually been an ongoing affair for the last thirty-four years, which coincidentally, was how old he had just turned. To put it plainly Harry’s life had sucked with a capital S. His parents had decided to name him Harry after his father’s grandfather but his mother wanted her grandfather’s name in there too, so, he ended up with the unfortunate name of Harry Dick Peters. As you would imagine his name had caused him a lifetime of jokes.
Nevertheless, today, today was going to change it he just knew it. Why, you might ask. His friends brother’s cousin invited him to a sort of conference. This was no regular conference though. This conference was going to change his life they told him. He could not help but be enthused by this gorgeous weather, the flashy appeal of the signs outside of the meeting hall, and the overall sense of positivity coming from those also attending this massive get together. There had to be at least a thousand people cramming into this place. His friends brothers cousins name was Geoff. Geoff was an okay guy and he seemed to have it all. Even though he had occasionally cracked a Harry Dick joke Harry thought if he could figure out his secret maybe things would change for him too. Which is how he wound up here.
Geoff and Harry had gotten amazing seats right in the front row. Seats lined the room from wall to wall; front to back and side to side. The seats were filling up quick; the conference hall was going to be packed.
Once the seats filled, the lights began to dim. It had gotten dark but with a low glow emanating from the middle of the stage. Then an explosion shook Harry’s eardrums; he was shocked the building did not come crashing down around and on top of them. A bright flash from the stage nearly blinded everyone there. Great, he was thinking, not only would he not be able to hear the conference he also would not be able to see it. So much for the turn-around event he had hoped for.
Slowly he was able to hear again. The gray that had dimmed his vision after the flash had mostly disappeared. The thing was he could hear but all he could hear was silence, almost as if he was the only one left in the building. Not only was it silent but the low glow on the stage had disappeared and it had become pitch black. In fact, it had become so dark he could not see his hands an inch from his face. He started to go into a mild panic. Just as his heart started pounding hard in his chest, a low blue light slowly lit the room. He was able to, albeit vaguely, see the other people but at least they were there. It was still deathly silent but he was not alone.
Moments later a low humming interrupted the eerie silence. The hum vibrated in the depths of his body but it was also a sound. It paralyzed him. He could not move. He tried to look at Geoff but he could not move his head. Panic tried to rush in but calm washed over him. Visions started to play out in front of him. Strange visions. They almost seemed futuristic. He seen himself walking in front of an all glass office building; it seemed important. As he watched himself walk into the building, Harry noticed the elevators. The elevators went way, way up.
As he continued to watch himself he noticed that there were no other people in this building. It was huge but it seemed to be empty. He watched himself get onto the elevator. The buttons didn’t have numbers on them but there had to be at least a few hundred floors. The button for the highest floor had been pushed and the elevator launched upwards fast enough that his vision self couldn’t move; gravity was forcing him to stick to the floor.
As he watched himself finally get near the top of this building the elevator slowed in a way that he was able to maintain his balance rather than crash to the ground from a sudden stop. The elevator door opened to a room that seemed to be engulfed in the night sky. It appeared to be above the earth. He stepped out of the elevator onto a dull gray metal floor. The room was not as big as he imagined and it was surrounded by one large window that went from the floor to the ceiling in a dome shape. He was literally on top of the world. It was an amazing scene but also frightening.
While he was standing there in awe, the realization hit him that he was no longer watching himself; he was actually there. As soon as the realization struck him a voice boomed out “YOUR WISH IS GRANTED!” He was confused because he didn’t remember wishing for anything except a better life. Sometimes he wished to be alone, away from all the snickering and vulgar jokes made at the expense of his name.
The voice only spoke that one time. For some reason he knew he needed to get back on the elevator. He pushed the button for the bottom floor as he braced himself for the jolt. The jolt was intense, as expected, but as he flew towards the bottom of the building a loud clap of thunder and bright flash of light caught him off-guard. He had no idea what it was. The elevator came to a slow stop. While the elevator stopped he realized he was watching himself again. He wondered if the whole time he was watching himself and was just so immersed in what was happening he thought he was there.
After a few minutes the vision was over, the blue light was gone, and he no longer heard the hum or felt paralyzed by it. It actually appeared to be sunny but there were no windows in the conference hall. As he gained his senses back it occurred to him he was in his bedroom. Had he just had the most intense dream ever? It just didn’t seem possible. It seemed too real.
He stumbled out of his bed on watery legs. Once he felt his legs strengthen he made his way towards the bedroom door. He opened it and walked towards his balcony. He stopped in mid-stride as he took notice that his TV wasn’t there nor was his phone, laptop, or tablet. He thought maybe he had been robbed while he was gone, if he was really gone. He finished making his way to the balcony door. Looking out of the balcony door a strange scene appeared in front of him. In the middle of the city there was nothing but forest and his building. There were no streets, no buildings, no people. Now he thought he must be dreaming. He slapped his face a few times then ran to the sink to splash cold water on his face but there was no sink or refrigerator or anything electronic for that matter. In a full panic Harry ran out of his apartment into the hallway to another strange scene; there were no other apartment doors just walls lining the hallway. Running to the door leading outside he tripped just before he reached it. From the floor he looked out the door to see just a forest floor and trees towering over him and his building.
Harry was back in his apartment feeling more scared than he’s ever been in his life. He had no clue what was happening. What happened to Geoff and the thousand other people at the conference? What happened to the rest of the city? Then it occurred to him. His wish had come true. He was all alone.