For hours, everyone in the train car had to deal with this presumably crazy man that was sitting in the corner seat near the front. He sat hunched over and shivered so violently you could feel him from three rows back. Every now and then he cried out in what we think was pain. I would have asked him if he was alright—obviously he wasn’t—but I, like everyone else, was afraid of what he might do.
All of the sudden, this man got up from his seat and walked into the center aisle looking back at everyone in the car. After several moments like this, he then shouted as loud as he could the two words “GET. OUT.” Everyone was puzzled thinking he was talking to them, but before anyone could pipe up, this man began ripping off his clothes and plunged his hands into his chest, ripping apart skin and breaking ribs. All of us just watched in horror as he turned his body inside out. He tore away at himself until finally he collapsed, bearing a smile on his face. Never before have I seen such determination in a man’s eyes.
We all sat in silence for a while afterward trying to comprehend the events that just unfolded. The shock was too overwhelming to do anything, plus there was nothing we could do at this point anyways. Thoughts were racing through my mind as I came back to reality. Who was he? Why did he do that? What was it? … Where did it go? And in that very instant I asked myself this question, I felt a shudder.
I angrily clench my teeth as I watch the world from above, the cold wind blowing through my hair, thinking about my decision. It’s going to be quick and painless, just the way it should be. I won’t even try to explain mysellf. No one would understand. They don’t know what despair and sorrow feel like. They don’t know how much this awful disease, without a chance of having a normal life, can mess you up. How many nights I’ve spent not being able to sleep and just staring at the ceiling, looking for an answer. But I’ve never found one.
I’ve thought about it for so long, and I’ve made up my mind. I can’t take this anymore. Now I’m ready, and I am finally doing it. There’s no way back.
“You’ll fly to the angels now, honey. You’ll be finally free”, I weep as I let go of my daughter from the hospital roof.
There once was a man. A happy man who lived a happy life in the happiest world. But he felt something was missing. A hole in his heart that couldn’t be filled. One day, on his way to a happy day at work, he saw a homeless beggar, waggling a finger at him. He approached the beggar, and the beggar handed him a key.
"This key is a very special key. Once you find the door it unlocks, you will have everything you will ever need. A perfect woman, perfect household, perfect family. I have been there many, MANY times and have been satisfied with what I have found. They gave me food, shelter and happiness. Pleasure. All when the man of the house was away. You look like you need a get away, so take it."
The beggar walked away without another word, leaving the man to his own. He held the key, and with his greed he walked away. Away from work, away from family, all to find what door it unlocked. In a month, he lost his job. Within five, he had lost his family. Within a year, he had lost everything. But still he looked, hoping to find the door it unlocked. But never did he find it.
He went back to his old household one day, tired and sad, and he looked on to the dilapidated house in the corner of the street. His house. He saw the door. And got curious. He walked up to the door, hand shaking, and put in the key. To his dismay, it clicked.
You lie on your side facing away from the door. You hear it open ever so slightly.
“Good night sweetie.”
“Good night” You instinctively reply.
Then, you remember. You live alone.
June 20th, 2013 the world ended. You have not heard yet because it only ended in a few places.
It does not matter where I am, you have heard of it, maybe visited one summer to spend time with that aunt you lost touch with but are still friends with on some internet site. She posts every now and then but it is not her.
When the world ended in these cities, the governments of the world concluded that life must go on for everyone else. You would be surprised how easy it is to fake the lives of several million people when the primary way they communicate is through non-verbal means. Call your aunt. You will get a voicemail then a text message telling you she’s at work but how are you these days?
Your aunt is gone or she is living like I am which is not much better. Worst of all is the way this is hidden from everyone so easily. Try to visit my city and you will never leave. Your job will suddenly have you working from home or let go or promoted. Your neighbors will see a moving van one night and then nothing. People will ask after you and someone will reply, but not you.
It will happen to your city eventually too. All that will be left one day is a billion algorithms and programs texting and posting and emailing back and forth to one another saying “everything is fine” until the last drop of energy is used and our world is silent, several years after the last human has already died.