Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Untitled Apocalypse --Part 3.

The last man on earth died in a way that he imagined was unique—and being that he was the last man on earth it would be hard to argue with him.

He died like this: bit by bit; all of his automatic functions ceasing to function automatically. Falling away—those little miracles of physicality; his body’s repertoire of old standards—falling away like the walls of an ancient fortress. To blink, he had to remember to blink. To breathe he had to remember to breathe. Both in and out. Even his heart could no longer be relied upon and he had to consciously clench and unclench it at regular intervals. It was like opening and closing a hand in his chest. It was lucky for him that he figured this out.

The disadvantage to all this was obvious. Sleep or distraction would kill him. His mind could not wander from the task at hand: to go on living. He knew this, (it had occurred to him between beats and blinks and breaths,) and he could not last long, but he would go on for as long as he could. He was like a man hanging from a rope above the abyss. His grip on the rope was slipping. The rope was fraying. The knot that tied the rope to the railing of a bridge was coming undone. The rusted bolts of the railing were crumbling. The bridge was about to collapse. The abyss waited, like abysses always do.

In the end it was a fly that killed him. It entered the room and flew past his ear. When was the last time I’ve seen a fly, he thought. When was the first time? And then the world faded completely away.


Blogger Paul said...

Not with a bang, but a whimper.

6:20 PM  

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