The End by Kevin E Smith

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

The sole survivor of an unknown event that wiped out humanity searches for other survivors.

The End

Adam looked at the helicopter doubtfully, then at the two corpses on the ground next to him.  “I know this is really stupid, but I don’t have any better ideas.”  When the rest of the world is dead, you tend to get desperate.

He looked around again for signs of campfires and listened hopefully for human noises, but there was nothing.  He hadn’t seen another living soul since it happened.

It had been just over a month since everyone else just died.  It happened quickly, in just under two days.  Adam had been glued to his TV, just like everyone else.  The news had called it “The Wave” or “The Flood”, since it just seemed to wash over the Earth, killing everyone but leaving everything else intact.  No one knew who caused it or who did it, and it had happened so quickly that all the talking heads on TV hadn’t even had time to come up with any good theories.  Everyone had just died.

Except him.

The Wave seemed to have started in Africa, or maybe the Mediterranean, they had said.  It swept across Europe in less than a day, then the only news from there was from the still-active news cameras and TV stations, showing all the dead people who had just dropped where they stood.  Adam had watched on TV, shocked and terrified.  No one had known what to do.  As ships in the Atlantic had gone silent along with Russia and India in an obvious growing circle, everyone had known it was headed for the US next. 

Some fled west ahead of the wave, driving or flying as fast as they could.  Others, like Adam, just sat and watched.  The Wave had seemed inescapable- it was obviously circling the globe.  There was no point in running, he had nowhere to go.  He had no family, and if Death was coming, he figured he might as well die in his own apartment, in comfort.

He was on his couch when it happened.  He felt a quick burst of energy sweep through him, like stepping into bright sunlight.  Then it was gone.  He had looked around, dazed, then doubtfully touched his own face.  Still there.  He was still breathing.  He had looked out and seen a few corpses in the street, so the Wave had obviously done its work.  Everyone was dead.  Except him.

Which is why he needed the helicopter.

He had to know if anyone else was alive.  He had walked around for the last month, keeping his cell phone charged using wall outlets when he could, then using a solar backpack he had taken from a camping store.  “It’s not looting when you’re the only one alive,” he had said at the time.  The store had been empty and closed- no one had gone to work when Death was coming.  He regretted breaking the window, but he had needed supplies.  He took the charger and a CB radio, but no one else was on the radio, and his cell had finally lost all signal over a week ago.  Without people to tend them, the electronic world was slowly shutting down.

If he could fly around, he could look for others.  Cover more ground, see everything from above.  The problem was, he had no idea how to fly a helicopter.  He had seen this one from the highway, at the small airport.  He had given up on cars almost immediately- the roads were clogged with crashed cars, foolish people fleeing in random directions before the Wave had reached them.  All they had done was make the roads useless to him. 

But if he could fly, maybe he could find someone else.  He couldn’t be the only one.  There had to be some reason why he had lived while everyone else had died, but he needed a way to find the other survivors.

He sighed and said “Okay, let’s do this.”  He put his pack on the ground and walked to the helicopter.  It was fueled and ready to go, but luckily the Wave had hit before the two pilots could take off.  He sat in the seat, fastened the harness with some difficulty, and then started looking over the control panel.

After a few minutes, he had figured out how to turn on the battery and the ignition, then managed to start it.  The noise from the helicopter grew until it was a loud roar, and was deafening until he put on the headset.  He looked at the controls doubtfully.  “I’ve played enough video games to get this.  This one is the control stick for forward and back,” he touched the stick just in front of him “and this is the collective to go up and down,” and touched the stick below him to his left.  “No problem.”

He twisted the throttle a little, and the engine responded.  He then gently pulled up on the collective, and rose into the air.  He smiled a little- he was flying!  He opened the throttle a little more, then pulled up on the collective and climbed into the sky.  His muscles were tense, and he held the control sticks in a death grip, but everything was working great.  When he was at a few hundred feet, he started to look around for signs of people.  Nothing.  He pushed the right pedal in front of him, and slowly rotated to his right.  He looked for moving cars, or camp fires, or any signs of people.  Nothing.  He sighed, then tried to decide which direction to search.

It’s amazing how fast things can go to hell.

A wind gust pushed the helicopter to the side, tipping it a little.  Adam, still tense, jerked the control stick to the right to compensate, but moved too much.  He swung rapidly to his right, and the nose dipped a little.  A quick jerk to the left and back, and the helicopter righted itself, then overcorrected and swung up and around, out of control.  Adam was fighting, trying to regain control, but the helicopter was swinging back and forth like a top, and fighting all his efforts.  The engine howled in protest against all the quick motions.  The world was spinning, and the ground was getting closer at an alarming rate.

Adam was starting to get sick.  He tried to just relax and stop moving the control stick, but the helicopter was still spinning a little, and that just seemed to make it tilt to the side and drop even faster.  He gently pushed against the tilt, and managed to get it back upright again.  The engine howl got a little quieter.  He started to relax a little, then looked out and screamed.

The helicopter slammed into the ground with more force than Adam thought possible, then tipped to the side, where the rotor blades beat at the ground like an angry giant.  Dirt and grass and bits of metal flew everywhere, and the noise made the world shake in terror.  After an eternity, or maybe just a few seconds, the noise and beating stopped, and the helicopter lay on its side.  It was over.

Adam stared straight out of the tilted helicopter.  A car sat a short distance in front of the helicopter with a corpse at the wheel, staring with a dead grin, mocking him.  “Even when everyone is dead” Adam thought “there’s always a critic.”

His whole body hurt, but he couldn’t believe he was still alive.  He looked down, realized he was still holding the control sticks in a death grip, and unclenched his hands to let go.  He used both hands to release the harness, and fell over onto the door.  The windshield had popped out at some point, so he climbed out through the hole.  He stood up and looked around.  He was only a hundred feet or so from where he started, and the rest of the airport all seemed fine.  He rubbed his face, and found a small bleeding cut on his forehead.  He was filthy and bloody from the crash, and parts of him hurt that he didn’t even know he had.  Then his vision blurred, the world swayed a little, and he plopped down on the ground, needing to sit.

He sat there for a minute, then started to hallucinate.  He saw an image of someone running toward him, a long braid flying behind.  She knelt in front of him and tried to speak, but he heard only a faint ringing.  He shook his head, blinked his eyes, and said “What?”

“Are you okay?”  She looked at him, face creased with worry, and held his shoulders.  She looked at the cut on his head with concern. 

“That was a stupid idea.” he replied, then looked back at the wreckage of the helicopter.  She laughed, and he turned back to her.  His vision was clearing now, and when he saw her laugh, she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.  Still dazed, he said “Are you okay?”

She sat back and looked at him doubtfully.  “Of course, I’m not the one who crashed.  Just relax for a minute.”  She pulled a towel out of her pack and cleaned up his face, then bandaged the cut with a small first aid kit.  “Much better,” she said “What in the world were you thinking?” 

“I was trying to find other people.” He said, and shrugged.

She sighed.  “Well, it did accomplish one thing.  I was on the highway, walking south before the winter came and things got cold.  I could hear that thing from miles away.  I came running when I heard the crash.  It was a good thing you made so much noise, I might have gone right past you.  You’re the first person I’ve seen, I thought I was the only one left!” She spoke quickly, eager to finally have someone to talk to.  “And now I’m babbling, I’m sorry.  I’m just happy to find someone!  What’s your name?”

He blinked again, and simply said “I’m Adam.”

She blinked a few times herself, then laughed.  She laughed louder, and shook her head.  “Of course you are.”  She put out her hand.  “I’m Eve.”

 


Submitted: March 23, 2014

© Copyright 2022 kevsmithbu. All rights reserved.

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Comments

MadameRapisu

Ah, wow, that was really good, and an interesting take on the apocalypse genre since these days it's just zambies, zambies, zambies. However, Adam seems a little desensitized to all this stuff that's happened and Eve a bit, too, although she had just appeared. And I'd like to see a lot character development on both their parts, since that can be a great- and at times, necessary, if you plan to do something to the characters (Wink wink)- part of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic stories.
And one more thing, I took Writeshop and am now hypersensitive to this, you use he,she, his,and her so many times, which isn't a problem at first, but it got a really noticeable at the end there. Feel free to try some other weird words and phrases.
But otherwise, really good! I can't wait to read more. *Claps*

Sun, March 23rd, 2014 6:13pm

Jonah Ryan

I really liked your story. I got the feeling right at the beginning that he was going to end up meeting someone named Eve by the end of the story. I mean, that usually is what happens to Adams when they are living in the wake of the apocalypse. But I like how you were able to take a completely over used sci-fi cliche and turn it into a joke. I actually laughed out loud a little at the end when they introduce themselves and even Eve finds their names so funny she can't stop laughing. Nice job. Keep up the good work.

Wed, March 26th, 2014 1:10pm

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