Margins: Eric

Eric is dissatisfied. 

He watches the shadow swing back and forth over the nothing spread out before him, and he would much rather be doing anything else. 

He flips over onto his back, darkening the tint of his solar visors. He imagines that this must be a lot like night was like. To be able to go outside after dark. 

There is no after dark anymore. Only the ever present, pressing, hot light.

In the distance, metal creaks as it warps. Eric sighs, another thing he’ll have to repair soon. 

“Kinnamen, get down here!”

Eric scrambles up, his footsteps landing heavily on the metal. His boss, Joel Trellis, glares up at him from the ground.

“Today, not tomorrow, Kinnamen. You need to ring the bells.”

Crap. Had it been that long? “Yes, sir!” Eric breathes out as he slides down the ladder. Even through his gloves, he can feel the heat. 

Ever since fire reclaimed the Earth, the sun refused to set. Day was everlasting. People like Eric and Joel were constructors. It was their duty to create the semblance of day and night, to keep the metal structures from bending in on themselves, to give weather alerts and keep civilization alive.

Eric runs to the tower. He arrives just after the noon ring and presses the P.A. button. There are three rings of the announcement bell, then his crackly, pre-recorded voice flows out of the tower’s speaker. 

He leans against the structure, catching his breath, as his past self informs the city of the upcoming weather, events, and services. It is not a bad job — in fact, Eric is very glad for the stability it provides. But it is relentless, there is always something to fix, somewhere to be, and he was beginning to forget what life was like without his visor on. He barely spent any time at the lovely apartment the job provided, barely slept in his own bed. 

He looks out over the bustling city. At the people who continued to survive even when the world tried to wipe them out. Eric was not satisfied, but maybe his job was not so bad.