What happened to the world was gradual. I've forgotten what it actually was, but I have faint, fetal memories of what it was like. A smoldering dread that never really caught fire till there wasn't much left to burn. Each sequential step surprised us. Then one day we woke up, and everything was gone.
My "heart". Does that pitiful organ still represent anything? It lies motionless in my chest, pumping no blood, serving no purpose, and yet my feelings still seem to originate inside its cold walls. My muted sadness, my vague longing, my rare flickers of joy. They pool in the center of my chest and seep out of there, diluted and faint, but real.
He is spent. His mind is mercury again, its brief surge of humanity melting into an oily residue on its surface, and he no longer understands the feelings he felt in that strange moment on the overpass. But he did feel them. They did happen. They rest on the murky seabed of his mind, buried under sand and silt and miles of grey waves. Patient seeds waiting for light.
It's more eerie to be alone in a city that's lit up and functioning than one that's a tomb. If everything were silent, one could almost pretend to be in nature. A forest. A meadow. Crickets and birdsong. But the corpse of civilization is as restless as the creatures that now roam the graveyards.
Came to . . . see you.” “But I had to go home, remember? You were supposed to say good-bye.” “Don't know why you . . . say good-bye. I say . . . hello.” Her lip quivers between reactions, but she ends up with a reluctant smile. “God you're a cheeseball. But seriously, R—
I think the world has mostly ended because the cities we wander through are as rotten as we are. Buildings have collapsed. Rusted cars clog the streets. Most glass is shattered and the wind drifting through the hollow high-rises moans like an animal left to die. I don't know what happened. Disease? War? Social collapse? Or was it just us? The Dead replacing the Living? I guess it's not so important. Once you're arrived at the end of the world, it hardly matters which road you took.