Ted Campbell vs. Oblivion

Ted Campbell steps out into a night of unprecedented cold. With shivering hands, he pulls a single Marlboro Red from a battered pack, drowsily slides it into his mouth, and lights it. There’s an understated breeze, which nevertheless makes it difficult for Ted to get a proper flame from his Zippo lighter. Without fully understanding why, Ted is seized by the feeling that this will be his final cigarette. He sighs. He wasn’t expecting such cold, so he’s without a coat, and he regrets his complete lack of foresight. The night is dark – darker than anything he’s ever seen or experienced. It’s as if some massive cosmic hand had wrapped around the world and was squeezing and squeezing and squeezing. Ted isn’t exactly sure why he left the warmth and light of his home for this, this ego rending darkness, and yet here he is, compelled by instinct or duty or some other vague idea he no longer fully comprehends. These things are just words after all, and what is a word divorced from its meaning? Ted Campbell takes one more drag of his cigarette, his last cigarette, and flicks it into the void. He glimpses the red glow of the ember swirl round for but a second before it’s dissolved in the immeasurable, unfathomable black. Taking a deep, meaningful breath, Ted steps forward –

-r. miller

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