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Portrait of the Eternal Future

Short story By: samadhi
Other



The end of humanity.


Submitted:Jan 31, 2010    Reads: 67    Comments: 1    Likes: 1   


The cities lie in ruins, rubble cluttering these barren streets. Machines are dropping bombs cowardly from our skies killing any new life born into this place. The kids are in the back streets getting high trying to forget all they learned of this world. Elders sit upon their deteriorating thrones ignoring the cries of the common man, tapping at their computer screens no longer connected while keeping an eye on the money by their sides.

Artists clutch their canvases turned to black, weeping of beauty lost. The musicians sing songs of silence, the most wretched melody ever to befall our ears. All the writers lay dead in the streets with pencils protruding from the back of their minds. Down the alley, books are being burned, leaving the philosophers to walk the streets with nothing left to ponder and nothing more to share.

The beggars are gathering those left ready to fight, gathering crowds come to them to hear their enlightening words hoping to even catch a glance at a glimmer of truth. I penetrated the consciousness of god and found nothing but fog, mirrors, and smoke. There is nothing left to believe in, only this world in which we have destroyed. Waiting for something of luminescent power, we gathered around the blind man hoping he might be able to send the clouds away. He just sat there, so the crowd dispersed back into their individual concerns of survival.

We hear hissing sounds from the sky. The machines are expanding their destruction, so we move further away from the cities towards the edges of all existence. We are one- the concept so destroyed now- but whenever pondered, we hear screams from within the darkness above us. Fear driving us from any productive use of these thoughts, which resonate in our minds, haunting every single human being as we watch the blood of the dead sink into the Earth almost as quickly as it flows from the bodies. Beneath the streets we hear rivers but we know they are red.

Eternal midnight is all that can be seen, so we pray for the end of the world even though the cycle proves to us time and time again that nothing in this universe can truly be destroyed. If we believed we could rise above this, maybe… it doesn't matter because no one believes. Childhood can never be restored because it will never again begin. There is no innocence to guide us, no light along the path to spark the imagination or fuel our energies to break this vicious cycle.

One night a fire broke out in the center of where our city stood. I could see it from atop a hill not too far away. I saw the people run in delight towards the inferno, only to have their bodies burned as they danced in the flames. They danced until they could no longer stand with screams of enchantment and suffering flowing form their lips. The smell of death consumed the air and those who held onto the last pieces of our sanity vomited as our sickness grew. The stench lingered for days, our appetites growing smaller with each breath, wondering if we should have joined them in their fiery release.

In these moments, hope could not be found, and yet we pressed on as the turtles do against the tide, just trying to find their homes. We could not remember the happier times although we knew we would never forget the horrors of this world should it never cease to exist. I asked myself what kind of sick sense of humor the universe had to leave us in our era of need, but the only answer that came to me was that there were no laws left to guide us in these horrid conditions. In the days of old, we prayed for the boundaries to break and the platform to be shattered so that we may build a new and strong world that any sort of omnipotent being would look down upon and smile with great pride. Now, it seems as if our prayers were answered; only the annihilation never ceased and we are left to witness this eternal plague.

Humans live and humans die, but is humanity already dead when not given the opportunity to flourish? The machines have already won when our collective spirit is crushed and no spark can be seen from the tormented eyes that seem to scream in their look of compassion, wonder, and hopelessness. Inject another shot of drugs into our bodies, in any manner we can manage. At least it somewhat numbs the pain; it will never numb the memories, but this temporary fix is all we can muster up for the time being. If time even exists on our world anymore, we seemed to have lost track of it long ago. Things seem so unimportant when all you have left is your life and… well, at least we have each other? Are you there, brothers and sisters? Or are you lost somewhere in your mind trying to forget? It will never go away unless we can break the limitations our minds create for us.

We approach the mountain painted in blood ever so cautiously. This is where the beggars told us it began and where it would end, and so we sat and waited to accept what would ultimately become of us. The grey skies opened and we could see the machines more clearly than ever before. A drab gray was the color we first saw, and then our eyes expanded to see the defined, sharp edges of the square design. The bottoms had a rotating circular plate that was a foggy white color, making it impossible to see anything but the hypnotic revolving swirl that seemed to entrance the crowd.

For many days we waited. Some died of hunger, their bodies left bloated and rotting on the mountain side for the remaining rodents to feast upon. One by one, the elders fell from their pedestals, the sickening thud of their bones crushing on impact heard by those sitting within view of their descent. Sometimes the children would even position the bodies they found in an upright position and talk to them, in hopes they would tell stories of what death was like and asking if they had found happiness in their release.

More people came and more people died, the stench growing heavier as the moments passed. We began to think that the beggars were wrong and their enlightenment was a myth found in stories in the world that came before ours. Just when we decided to pack up and leave the mountain, a bright light shined from above and sounds of loud, harsh machinery surrounded our ears. Some cowered in fear, while others walked further into the light, getting lost in the blinding radiance. We knew it was time for everything to shatter, for our worlds to collide, and for our liberation to take place.

And all at once the machines who destroyed our spirits had become our liberators.





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