Clander’s Fifth Dementia
Original Drawing by Writer of Age
Nobody could guess the impact Clander’s Fifth Dementia would have one day on the world.
Tank sat on his couch. It wasn’t his real name, but his friends had started calling him that years ago, he even thought of himself that way. He fucking hated the name. Tank. What a stupid name. All because he had slipped and said that instead of ‘thanks’ one day. That was six years ago, they were men now, and they still called him by that tasteless shit. Tank. Really, it was a stupid name. It felt stupid.
He flipped through his phone, flicking through post after post. Memes that made him laugh, or wonder at the intellectual level of the hosting party. He assumed it was knee high, their intellect, way below the curve. It had to be. Fucking Tank. He was really upset because, when he called out of work, even his boss called him Tank. How in the seven hells that happened, he didn’t know. But there it was.
It didn’t matter, at least not for today, or for tonight. In just a few hours the twelfth episode of Clander’s Fifth Dementia was coming on. Best show in the world! Clander was going to find out what happened with his finger. Yeah, Tank had called out of work for it. Phoned in, said sorry, cough cough, I’m sick. Ba-bam. Day off, sometimes, it was too easy. Besides, most things could be done pretty easily nowadays, fewer and fewer folks were needed to run the shoppe. Most folks didn’t even want to call to order things, a fear of talking over the phone he supposed.
Either way, the phone call was done, he had the night off. ‘Best show in the world’ coming on in just a few short hours. He’d even gotten a joint ready, couple six-packs just in case a friend came by. His door was always open. Half the time it was swinging in a slow creaking noise that constantly twitched through the living room air. It was warm out this time of year so that didn’t matter, couple flies, although those damn things seemed to be everywhere.
The lights flickered in his house, just for a moment. Ah man, he’d be pretty upset if some freak thunderstorm or something knocked out his power. It was bright as shit out, so he doubted that. It flickered again. Quick as a hiccup, it wasn’t quick. It hovered between on and off for a second. A long, excruciating second. Then everything went black, not too black, there was daylight out there.
“You. Have got to be shitting…” They flickered back on. “Thank.” Back off. “Son of a..”
He sat there, the shadowy darkness that comes with an unlit room in the day, really it wasn’t that dark at all. But compared to all the lights on, well, he knew. The lights were off, and the T.V. wasn’t on. He had a whole mess of signs the power was off. He sat there, on the edge of frustration, he teetered on the situational doubt.
Well, luckily he could watch Clander’s Fifth Dementia on his phone.
A few messages popped up asking for his attention, he scrolled through a few more articles ignoring them. Some of those didn’t seem to want to load with others. Which he gave an extra poke on the way through, a smudging of his fingers out of anger, white tipped he’d press on the screen. It was more of a, ‘poked the shit out of it’. He could read the title, but that was it, no pictures, no words, nothin.
Finally he opened a message from Clem. A friend of his.
Tank, (Tank imagined Clem was a ripe ass) my powers out, what bout yers?
That got his attention. Maybe a transformer had exploded, or a car crash had their power lines down. Or…
So is Toms’s (his parents were ripe asses) and Heather’s. Wtf. Clander’s is coming on. This shit better get fixed.
Tank tossed his phone onto the cushion. Even though he was mad, he made sure not to throw it too hard. Phones were more expensive than cars nowadays. He still remembered when phones flipped open. Crazy shit. It buzzed away over there. Vibrating a constant call to attention. He felt sick. Not the fake cough, cough, sick. But the gut-wrenching, sickening, feeling of everything you were waiting for crumbling and dissipating into the vapors of nonexistence.
He needed to see this.
Tank sat there, nearly twitching with frustration. What could he do? The power flickered for a brief moment, as if to punctuate his thoughts, but died out quickly. This time he threw his phone. Which -luckily- did not crack.
“Alright.” He said as he stood, stretching, working the weariness from his bones.
He’d been sitting there for some time. Just him and his quiet phone. It was eerily quiet. Almost as if, he ran and checked his phone. No service. Instead of bars, he had nothing. It blinked steadily, searching, looking for service. Anything, a point to gather data, to send it. Just give an avenue for this phone to access the amalgamated information of the ether. His phone blinked away, completely oblivious to the maddening sensation that ensued within Tank.
It did figure it out rather abruptly, as it careened into the wall, falling destroyed and broken on the floor. For a brief second Tank could see the service search blink again, but then again it could have been a residue of the infuriating thing. No power, no service. What the fuck was going on. Tank, kinda lost it. For a few minutes, it was a good thing he lived alone. Surely the visage of a raging and trampling rhinosaurus could have been attributed to him, the reflection from the shattered phone screen certainly mirrored such a thing.
After having thrown his phone and wits about his apartment, like he didn’t care about them; as though Clander’s was more important(which it was), he calmed down. Enough to look around at his darkened apartment and tattered phone, and realize if he had any hope of watching this show, he needed to find somewhere to watch it. Besides, a phone could be replaced, no way to recover a missed show. By tomorrow, everyone would be talking about it, and he would undoubtedly find out where Clander had stuck his finger, and more importantly why.
He got excited just thinking about it. Then, even more quickly, and far more fervently he recalled he still had to find somewhere to watch it and grew quite upset.
“Okay, okay, okay.” He paced the room, quick steps, short, furious.
Tank ran his hands through his short crop of hair. Well, he’d go to Toms’s, it was as good a place as any, and he had a car. There they could go to Heather’s or Clem’s or…it didn’t matter, he had somewhere to go and got himself moving in that direction. It’s odd how sometimes that’s all it takes, deciding to do something.
Well, he decided to walk the fuck outside. His apartment was only rubbing his irritation, in an irritating way.
What happened next really pushed his thoughts beyond his annoyance. It had been awhile since he could rightly say that happened. Besides Clander’s Fifth Dementia, of course.
He walked through the front door, the one that creaked, he only had to push it, a slight nudge that gave off that slow creak. There was a brief moment where he nearly ripped the thing clean off the hinges. Right off, through it on the ground, but he realized it was just his annoyance at not being able to see his show. Thank goodness he let that go, just as he did, a great rushing noise crowded in through the clouds. They hung low, threatening rain.
Instead of rain, a plane came hurtling through it, smoke trailing from a engine that billowed the black stuff. It wasn’t that -mostly- harmless greyish smoke that came with something a little more manageable, nah. This smoke screamed, ‘falling plane, massive failure, watch out below, grab your ankles and…’ he got what it meant. The plane plummeted, and crashed through tree and dirt and grass, it narrowly missed a nearby house, before losing a wing in a shattering second. More dirt and terror flung itself into the air, it hurled confusion, and exclamations to more deities than he had fingers.
From there, things got more…interesting. Cars careened out of the way- even though the plane had already crashed, coming to a halt beside the road. One lost control, and decided to flip over a few times and offer its support to a nearby telephone pole. Why they were still called that, when nearly everyone had abandoned the archaic way of communication, people had smart phones now. He instinctively reached for his. Which of course was NOT there, it was smashed and unworking, back in his house. That -for now- was one of the few things not destroying itself, his house that is.
“What the…” He couldn’t form a full thought. “What…”
He ‘guppied’ it for a moment, letting his mouth open and close a few times, nothing worthwhile came out. Across the street, Ferand was standing out in front of his house. Same look, similar movement of fish-like influence. He had an unbroken phone.
Tank walked over, he had to climb over a flung tree. It had trembled to a halt just a moment ago, tossed about by a highly upset plane, and missing his neighbor’s beat-up car by inches.
He called out to Ferand. “Ferand!! You okay!?”
His thoughts still worked about as well as his phone. Why in three dialects of fuck did a plane just fall from the sky. Why hadn’t his phone worked, what was going on with the power, most importantly, well, actually it was probably the least important bit, but most prominent on Tank’s thoughts, why was Ferand not working? He had actually meant to say that, but asked about his well-being instead. He decided that was the better greeting and didn’t add on.
“Oh yeah! I’m fine.” Ferand answered, calling over the rumbling that resonated in the wake of the plane, he too stepped over some rubble. “Phone’s not working though…”
Tank slowed. Damn. He had hoped Ferand’s phone was working. Damn, he kicked a rock, it was a pebble and didn’t go far, he kicked it again for good measure. They both stood there, silent for a moment. Seeming to soak in what was going on. It was chaos. The city was not far off. He could make out the buildings well enough on a clear day, it was cloudy so not easy today, but it was close enough to make out the smoke that plumed off a few buildings. There were brief flashes that could have been confused for lightning, a thunderclap implied a few could be.
“Do you know what is going on?” He didn’t have to yell now, Tank hoped Ferand knew something more than he did.
“Just that Clander’s is on in three hours and twenty-three minutes. And that a plane just landed over there.” A great screeching and cracking and crunching permeated over their standing spot. The plane shifted for a teetering moment, settled and finished its selfish descent.
They watched in awe, in horror, in a dread that comes with destruction of home and heart. They stood and watched, talking of Clander and his next adventure. While they discussed the lore of a world-renowned show, the pilot, a solitary inhabitant of the plane, emerged. He was fine, but they did glean a bit of information out of him that seemed important. For what reason they couldn’t figure it out. Mainly because, when the heroic pilot arrived(his rich and engrossing story will never be told) they just didn’t listen.
You see, Clander’s Fifth Dementia was coming on in three hours and twenty-one minutes(the pilot walked really quick), nearly the whole world had called out of work, quit, didn’t show up, just plain went renegade to watch it. It was the end. The world revolted after, not having seen where Clander had his finger, they couldn’t handle it. In hours, though no one’s phone could rightly tell an agreed-upon time, every establishment crumbled. Madness ensued. Only three towns in the world escaped the terrible fate. There were two Amish townships that were hard at work, unknowing of the Clander pandemic, as it would later be known, and Sydney, Australia. They had built a series of super-powered bubble makers for an upcoming Clander’s Fourth Dementia remembrance party, and trapped itself within one, in a moment of glorious accident.
It should be noted, that out of the two-hundred American’s that went to work(It was the fourth lowest in work attendance that day) Clander was there early.
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