Eventually, the humans succeeded, they ended up exterminating each other.
The glass scattered in all directions shot at by the impact of the great piece of cement I had thrown against the glass door of the great tower; tiny splinters scratched my flesh.
Tiny crimson drops began to draw the scratches. Normally I would worry about the possible infection they might cause, but nothing mattered anymore; most things had stopped caring at this point.
Finally, I put all my effort together and finished breaking all the glass in the door; I fell to my knees in front of it, sweat was running down my forehead, or was it tears? Did it matter?
I hadn't eaten for days, the effort had worn me out and I still had 60 floors to go. But I wasn't in a hurry. I backed up and looked at my "Nike Dunk SB Low Paris" sneakers again, $20,000.
They didn't look too flashy to be worth that much; it's amazing that a person can spend all that money on a pair of shoes. One thing is for sure buyer friend, none of this accompanied you to where you ended up. One of the few advantages of being the only human being alive on the planet is that I can wear anything I want. I practically owned everything left in the world.
I was definitely the last human on the face of the earth. It had been more than 2 months without seeing any living person, I knew that the pandemic was claiming deaths in large batches, but the second wave was disastrous, ending all too quickly. Rotten bodies filled the streets and homes, flooding everything around them with their pestilence.
The only ones happy about the situation were the vultures, crows, and other scavengers, who knows where they came from; I suppose they claimed the space stolen for years. They were feasting on the bodies of millions of people. Sometimes I would see them walking around, painfully stuffed with food.
I opened my backpack and pulled out a bottle, desperately drank the precious liquid, while my fingers felt the relief on the surface of the bottle that described the letters V, E, E, N. Finnish water over $20 the bottle.
I threw the most expensive bottle of water I had ever known as far as I could and it ended up crashing into a flock of vultures that were dancing on some bones, flapping their wings in terror, raising a cloud of dust.
"I'm not dead yet," I shouted as loud as I could. "Soon," I whispered.
I entered the building and headed for the stairs. It was obvious that the elevators had stopped working, electricity was the only luxury I could not have. Each step was taking forever, but I wasn't in a hurry. The end was waiting patiently.
One thing I was sure of, I would never have to work for exploitative companies or abusive bosses again. No more hypocrites, no more murders, no more murderers, no more pedophiles, no more dictators, no more idiots, no more debts, no more worldly concerns, no more injustices, no more hunger, no more wars, no more slavery, no more trafficking in women, no more child abduction, no more drugs lords, no more harm, no more suffering. Perhaps we did deserve the catastrophic end we had earned.
I should thank all my ancestors for leaving me such a special inheritance, a decadent, poisoned world full of debt, conflict, and corruption. I guess the species that wiped out most of the others eventually became extinct. It really was our turn.
The only one we have to blame for all this is ourselves. Why lie? Why deny it? It's ironic that it didn't take any nuclear bomb or ecological disaster to wipe out humanity, the planet, like any other living thing, was finally rid of the parasites that disturbed it. It is ironic to see that something so tiny and insignificant could destroy the most powerful being on earth, the being that believed itself to be the center of the universe. It really is ironic.
I wonder if it matters at this moment to know who the most famous singers and actors of the time were, was it important to have the latest fashionable smartphone? To have the hottest shoes, the coolest car? Maybe we put off too much of the things that really mattered.
A big 20 appeared in front of me. I had already made it up 20 floors? It was probably more, I had to count the mezzanine and some other floor before the first one. Would it be the hunger that made me delirious?
My legs were shaking, but I had to continue, I had promised a great feast to that flock of vultures.
Why was the most cynical being in the world still alive? I thought the "righteous" would inherit the planet, wasn't that written down somewhere? Where did the religions go? Were prayers not enough? I wonder what Jews, Christians, Muslims, and other cults would feel when they saw their world falling apart. Well, obviously, they would hope that their imaginary friend would save a place for them in "heaven".
They always have an answer for everything, most likely they will say it was written in their most sacred scrolls. The famous end of time. Repent, they cried.
It is ironic if they could see how their bodies are dismembered by the carrion beasts, no matter what creed they profess, for them we are all equal, they do not know racism, nor do they discriminate against sex, nor are they xenophobic, we are all equally rotten meat for them. We are only food for the worms. For something positive, we had to be good.
Maybe our body turned into fertilizer will be useful once and for all.
Number 40 appeared in front of me. I sat down on the steps and uncorked my second VEEN bottle. It's ironic that it only tastes like water, the water in this bottle. I shook the sweat off my forehead. I casually dropped the half-full bottle down the hole that was opening between the stairs in order to hear it crash. I waited and waited for the sound of the bottle breaking into a thousand pieces, but it never sounded. Am I hallucinating? Did hunger make me deaf?
There are only 20 floors left. It would be wise to set out for my destination.
I still remember what happened, we all really thought we could keep working the way we were doing in the past, we thought the pandemic was over. Of course, it was very important for the rulers to force us to work, the important thing was to restore the world economy. Wasn't there enough money in the world to be shared by everyone? Enough food to feed us all?
I'd better shut up, maybe they'll blame me for being a communist.
No one thought that the children would carry the disease home, anyway, it was important that they did not miss school, that they kept their education. If anything is certain now, it's that the vultures are the only ones who are taking advantage of those brains now.
Unfortunately, the world was not in the hands of the wisest, the world was that of the greedy, the corrupt, the powerful, the profiteers, the power-hungry.
It was very easy to look away, the best invention in the world was made for that, the internet. It supplanted television and did more damage. Supposedly its main function was to instruct us, they said, to have knowledge at your fingertips, in reality, it created a lazy society, an idiotic society, hungry for meaningless shows. The best place for pedophiles, psychopaths, cult initiators and all kinds of monsters to find their victims.
And the best excuse of all, the Internet would bring us all together and could make us communicate from anywhere in the world. Was it hard to talk to anyone in your neighborhood? But the result was completely different, it made us more isolated, more distracted, we lived in an imaginary world, stuck to a smartphone (smarter than us), reading and believing all kinds of news regardless of its veracity.
60th floor. Finally. I took my wrench and smashed the lock on the roof of the building with the little strength I had left.
A burst of cold air crashed into my chest, the nesting birds fluttered about in fear. I was not going to waste any more time. I ran to the ledge and climbed up. Everything was extremely calm, I could see the whole city from where I was. There was no noise, no more frantic crowds, no more drivers protesting about the traffic with their demon horns, no more ambulance sirens, no more patrols, no more people shouting or guns blazing. Another civilization that was fading into oblivion. Does our life have any importance?
I could see my nikes peeking over the ledge. Maybe I had underestimated them, with the clarity of the day they didn't look so ordinary.
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes to let myself fall.
"Damn it!" I knew I should have learned to ride a bike when I was little, apparently, it wasn't as simple as I thought, people made it look so simple, even kids could do it, but that wouldn't stop me. Unfortunately, I had used up all the fuel in my vehicle and I couldn't find anymore in any of the tanks of the hundreds of cars in my town.
But maybe in this town, I would find enough to get my beloved jeep running again. It was a wreck, I knew it, but I was fond of the old Mike. I loved to give a name and a voice to the things I cherished the most, maybe that's why I didn't end up crazy in the face of the immense loneliness when I woke up one day and realized that I was the only survivor on this planet. Or so I thought at the time.
I won't lie, I was very miserable, disconsolate, depressed. But I found that there were many other things I could still do, we always need a reason or motive to keep going. Believing in God was one of them. One thing I was sure of, if we don't stand for something, we'll fall for anything.
However, I was able to get completely out of my depression, for the first time, when I saw a small bird chirping loudly because it had fallen from its nest; I very carefully picked it up and carried it up to its nest. Fortunately, it had not been harmed by falling and had not been the victim of any predator; luckily, the mother continued to feed it on her return.
When her mother was not around or if she did not return for a long time, I approached her cautiously and brought her worms and small flattened worms, which she ate with pleasure; I decided to call her Charisma (although I did not really know if it was a female or a male). Finally, time passed, the bird grew up and left the nest, and if that little bird could continue with its life, so could I. I thanked God for that lesson.
In the animals I found a reason to continue, to keep myself busy and alive; and as long as there is life, there is hope.
I had already freed hundreds of animals left to their fate in the zoos I found on my way. I even managed to free a large white tiger, it was a bit skinny but grateful, it didn't eat me. I wouldn't blame him either, it was its animal instinct. Sadly, accustomed to its sedentary life, it did not survive. That made me very sad.
But I didn't give up, there were many other animals that had to be released. And thanks to them I found the most cynical being I've ever met, Kevin.
I was pedaling around in search of fuel, or at least trying to when suddenly I saw a bunch of vultures fluttering around in fear above the buildings near where I was. I approached the scene and found a bottle in pieces near some dead bodies. From where the remains were I assumed that it had not fallen from above, but had been thrown. Soon I found the broken doors of the tallest building in the city and the reason for all the commotion.
Why did it have to be the tallest building of all? I have always been afraid of heights.
I couldn't believe he could get rid of a bottle of water in times of crisis. Was he an idiot? Luckily I managed to reach it before it fell apart. Well, actually, I was a few floors below him. I was looking for the best way to introduce myself and I also wanted to know what kind of person he was.
"VEEN?" Surely, he was some millionaire pandemic survivor, living in denial and angry at the world for not being able to indulge his whims.
That's when I understood what he really wanted to do.
I thought it was too late but...
The words came immediately at the top of my lungs
Although I did not take into account the problem that my scream would cause; the man, surprised by the existence of another human being, lost his balance and was on the verge of falling into the void. Apparently, he was not ready to take the great leap, for he clung tightly to the ledge, like an old woman on a motorcycle. Luckily I was able to catch up with him and get him to safety.
We said no word, he hugged me and cried for a long time on my shoulder. My tears were not long in coming either.
I must confess that I missed human contact, even if it was from the most brazen atheist I have ever met.
We learned to tolerate each other, what else could we do? He learned to respect my beliefs and I learned to respect his decision not to believe in anything.
Best of all, I finally found someone who could really teach me how to ride a bike.
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Great story! I liked the contrast between the two individuals. Painted a good mental image of the scene. I would have liked to hear more about the two of them interacting, or even a little more of Nancy's side of the story. I guess that leaves a cliffhanger and room for another story maybe! The ending comment about learning to ride the bike made me smile though haha. I really liked it!
I very appreciated your comments and kind words. Thank you ^_^