If Google Earth were to update right now, take a snapshot of the world and allow it for everyone to see, you wouldn't see much. You'd notice bright flares, cities burning ferociously, towers of black smoke rising into the atmosphere, staining the planet. If you were to zoom in, somehow getting through all the smoke and smog, you'd see bodies. Streets filled with blood, vomit, and strewn corpses from sidewalk to sidewalk. The population of over 7 Billion was now cut down, maybe a few million left in total.
Those few million were stranded. Probably burning alive in a building, or backpacking their way across their country to wherever they hope to find someone else. There's no shortage of radios. In the last few days no one really cared about the news or where to gather, it was just a smorgasbord of sex, drugs and partying, all of us waiting for the Earth to crack and finally swallow us up. We were given a month before our pale blue dot was nothing more. We didn't last 2 weeks.
I wish I could tell you what the cause was, but I can't remember. No one can remember. The few stragglers I've come across in my wanders, those who haven't caved and killed themselves or gone crazy, couldn't tell me what any of the scientists said a mere 8 weeks before. All we knew is that as the people got less and less skeptical, as the evidence was insurmountable, people devolved into little more than beasts. At first people stopped going to work, then they started drinking.
It wasn't long before people were beating each other to death over whatever mind altering substance they could get their hands on. Dealers were murdered not by their rivals, and not by the police, but by crazed addicts and desperate people looking to get distracted from our imminent death. Liquor stores were pillaged, trucks that were hauling alcohol had been nearly drank dry by the drivers who were pulling them. No one could cope, and no one would blame them.
News fell apart with no broadcasters to announce it. You had people who tried to commander the place, someone at a CNN News Studio trying to replace Anderson Cooper. Meanwhile on Fox you had another crazed religious lunatic spewing hate speech, saying that the 'fags getting married are responsible for our destruction'. Not that many people saw it. Electricity was failing, televisions destroyed. Our cell phones couldn't get past much more than that, constantly being taxed by people weeping on the phone with their loved ones.
And here I was, walking amongst it all. Surveying all this carnage after the days had gone past, seeing the ghosts of those beating each other to death with wine bottles, bricks, or bike chains. Teeth were crunching under my boots, blood causing the soles to become tacky and sticking to the asphault. In all those apocalypse movies you always saw cars piled up along the highway but I assumed that it was people dying as they were going to their family. No. These people died long before 'the end' arrived, just no ambulances or tow trucks to take them away.
In the crazed panic of the world ending, no one thought to think about what if it didn't. Everyone shrieked and screamed, getting some satisfaction deep down about knowing when they were going to die. I mean, look at 2012. You had people yelling at the top of their voices for years about how the Mayans predicted our death and as the clock ticked on into 2013, it all faded away. Same for Y2K and every other world ending scenario that had been dreamed up by batshit people with too much time on their hands.
But this time, with even the scientists agreeing, everyone let loose. They allowed themselves to believe in their end. They fully accepted it into their minds, souls and hearts and promptly lost their marbles. No one was around to tell us that we were going to pull through, no one was around to announce that the world was NOT ending. They had all either died in car accidents on their way home, plummeted into the ground when their flight crashed, or blown their brains all over the painted walls of their offices. The world ended, correct, but only because we allowed it to.
Sure there are people left, but how many? How are we going to get infrastructure back and start over? Where do we gather? Who will lead us? It's funny really. This time last year I wanted to take a 9mm aspirin but today I'm actually enjoying myself. I don't know if that's still the shock or if some part of me is seeing the brighter side to all of this. The only thing I know is this, at least the lines at Disney Land won't be such a pain in the ass anymore.
The sidewalk glowed in the rain, reflecting the light back from the buildings above it. Streetlights were dim, in a more run down part of the city, and the air smelt of ash and stale urine. I could feel my feet slowly crunching against the concrete beneath me, hear the sighs as people exhaled, no longer needing to keep their chest puffed up as they passed a stranger on the street. I had been walking since the sun started setting, wound up. Been having a hard time lately, and I needed to go out again. “It'll only be one more time” I promise myself, knowing that it'd be broken in a couple of weeks anyway.
The air started to become more still, the city slowing its pulse as it fell into a slumber. The sun had long since fell away, and now the lights above me were clicking off one by one. The rain was still falling, each drop falling with a soft pat on my shoulder, like the world was urging me on. As I took a deep breath in, I caught the scent. Drifting towards me from behind, a deep and heavy cologne, followed with slow steps that clacked onto the sidewalk.
I slowed down, moving off to the side and allowing him to pass me. He didn't just walk, but sauntered past. His hair was short, brown, and stuck purposefully into place. The earbuds in his ears shouted his music, and his bag bounced off his back with each step. The hoodie he was wearing was carefully chosen, accentuating his back and arms, hugging tightly to expose the definition. I only briefly glimpsed his face, but it was a confident and cocky smirk. Perfect for me in every way.
The music he was blasting helped cover my footsteps perfectly, as I ran up behind him. We were closing in on an alley way, and as we reached the edge I grabbed the handle on his backpack. He skidded in place, and I swung him into a trashbin. He crashed against it, and yelled at me, swearing. One of his earbuds had fallen out, the music even louder, but all it did was show how silent it was when he saw my knife. The second he saw my knife, he knew who I was, and what was coming.
I swung down with my fist, keeping the blade away from him but driving my knuckles into his jaw. He collapsed against the dumpster again, his head making an audible crack. Even with the tiny bit of light that managed to shine into the alley, I could see the blood on his forehead. A smile was erupting across my face as I bought up my fist again, breaking into a grin as I swung down, and a bellyful of laughter as I hit him again. His head bounced off of the trashbin again, making another hollow thud.
Genre: science fiction
My name is Shaun McDaniels. I used to be a proud lieutenant in the US military, back when we had one. Now I am just one more prisoner in a concentration camp looking into the night, waiting for my last sunrise.
I am about to be executed for my participation in the greatest social crime ever committed in the US. Greater than slavery, greater than the mostly accidental genocide of the Native Americans, an atrocity perpetrated with malice and considerable forethought.
Sitting in my cell for the past year, I might even consider the entire event to have been psychologically created with this as the end result. As a prisoner I have a lot of time on my hands, conspiracy theories abound.