Nigh Midnight

December 31st, 1999, 11:59:59 PM. It's been nigh midnight for 50 years. The ball never dropped. All clocks just stopped. The whole world is trapped in endless night.

The perma-darkness spawned first in the proverbial East, Asiatic nations awaiting a New Year that never came. As each time zone approached midnight, its time too froze. The whole world shuffled toward the precipice of a new millennium, never quite succumbing to the future.

How was this possible? Science struggled to explain. The Earth still rotated, still revolved around the sun. And yet here we were, frozen. Here was our world, plunged into dusk. The sun's rays unable to penetrate whatever spell held us thus.

We sat before our televisions, waiting, never aging. Champagne in our glasses, never gone flat. Tender hearts untouched, soft lips un-kissed. We gazed at each other with longing, hoping at first that the next second would finally come and we could embrace, then at the last hoping merely for a reprieve, for any end to this suffering. We stared at our watches, waiting for the next second to pass, forever and an instant becoming one. And in this moment, we were immortal.

So here we sit. December 31st, 1999, at the eve of midnight. The New Year nigh, but never approaching. The whole world and all its creatures frozen in the act of birth, of living, of death, trapped on the edge of becoming. The ball never drops. All clocks remain stopped. The whole world trapped in endless night.