Walking down this deserted street, past the derelict cars and abandoned buildings, carefully stepping over cracks and potholes left unrepaired. Nothing ahead of me but the same, leaving nothing
in my wake.
Trudging, ever onward toward my ultimate destination. Though I do not even know what or where that destination is, but I do know that it lies somewhere, out there, waiting for me.
This ruined city, once beautiful and magnificent, now empty and dead,
Long since deserted. What could have caused this, I used to wonder. What could have driven everybody to leave? How long has it been since everybody left? Where did everybody go? Did they all make
it to where they were going? Did they really find a way out of the city? Did they all make it out alive? These were all questions that I had asked at one point in time, but that seems like ages
ago. Now I simply accept the fact that this city is completely empty of life. Now I wonder, not what it was that drove these people to leave, but rather, why they chose to go so willingly.
Whether they went one by one or all at once I do not know and do not care because all that matters is the fact that they are all gone and there is nothing left.
Frustrated, I kick a small stone and watch as it bounces along the street, just as it did back when the city was alive and vibrant with people bustling along, going to and fro. Oh, how wonderful
it must have been then, to live here in this city. Oh, how magnificent it must have looked, all lit up at night. I can remember only vaguely the faces of my mother and father, and the few people
that remained. I remember how I used to think that people were forced to go while others were forced to stay, but now I realized that those who went chose to go and those who remained chose to
stay. Whether they made wise choices to stay or go I do not know which. Which choice was wisest now does not matter, for I am all that remains of this city.
The city was for the most part empty and deserted when I came into existence and continued to slowly, progressively empty of life throughout my time here. Where it was they went to I do not know,
but I do know that surely it must be better than this godforsaken tomb.
For what seems to have been hundreds of miles I have walked, and yet I am still within the same city, still walking down the same street that I have been for what seems to have been years now.
Perhaps it really has been years, perhaps not. I do not know, but I do know that I will keep walking until I leave this city, so dead and lost, behind me. But yet it seems that this city has no
end, as if it stretches all across this vast world.
But it must have an end! There must be some other place to go! For I can not be trapped within this boundless prison forever! This prison that has no bars or walls, but yet there is still no way
of escaping it. Will I reach the end of the city this day? I think not, but this determination which burns within me to keep going begins to deteriorate after walking endlessly to no avail.
For days and weeks and months I continue to walk down this street, which is sometimes paved with cracked and broken blacktop, sometimes cracked and broken concrete, sometimes dirt, sometimes
sand, and sometimes grass. But now the road has become paved with something entirely new. Something which makes walking newly difficult and sleeping on it nearly impossible. At first I believe
that I am merely walking on large round stones of all about the same size and same color: white. But then I realize what they truly are and as I walk I have to fight hard to keep my eyes up,
averted away from the horror beneath me. It becomes more and more difficult to keep my eyes away from these human skulls upon which I now tread, for looking down is necessary to keeping good
After a while, even the scenery begins to change. Instead of buildings made of bricks and old, rotted wood, I now see buildings made from the bones of those long dead, of those that didn’t make
it out of the city. I can tell that these bones have been here for a long time, as long as the road, perhaps, for they too are bleached white. As I continue on, it seems as if I have come into a
whole new city built entirely from the bones of the dead. See, I know not the size of this new city in comparison with the size of the old, for I was born and raised back in that city, and in
fact have never left that city in my entire life. While I suppose this may be a new part of that old city, I believe myself to be treading through hell, as the bones which make up the buildings
and the skulls which pave the road become less and less aged. Seemingly all too soon the bones are almost fresh looking, allyellow and pallid and I begin to catch a smell of something horrible.
Something which I have never smelled before. And though I cannot place the smell directly, I know, deep in my gut, what it is: death and decay.
And as I continue walking my guess is proved correct as I begin to see chucks of gray, decaying flesh stuck to the bones which make up the buildings. I want to turn and run back, but there is
some sort of dark, alluring, strangely soothing presence which is preventing me from doing so.
So I continue on.
As I continue on, even the skulls upon which I tread have flesh attached to them, and some even have eyes still within their sockets, staring blankly at the back of the other heads. I begin to
realize that all of the others who came this way came just as willingly as I, as easily consumed by the madness as I was. I know they wanted to turn back, knowing they should, but yet completely
unwilling to do so and completely content in knowing that they, too, were going to become part of the scenery. Just as I will. But no, I am stronger than that. I will not become part of this
scenery. I am not that weak and malleable.
Determined to get past all of this death to whatever lay beyond, I continue on, now walking on heads which still have hair, and past the buildings which now consist of bodies piled one on top of
the other, staggered like bricks. There are even bodies lying in the street, bodies which have not yet been stacked onto the buildings. I continue walking, and the horror of what I am seeing is
something that not even words can possibly describe. Dead faces staring blankly up at me with mouths agape, and every so often I will see a cockroach come skittering out of one of those mouths.
If I still had a stomach I would vomit, but I cannot even bring myself to do that, and so I keep walking. A while later I see the end of this city of death, and I impatiently begin hurrying
toward it, but then the heads I am stepping on are still alive and screaming in agony every time I step on them. I try to open my mouth, try to apologize for stepping on them, try to say
something, but my tongue refuses to work as I continue walking toward the edge of the city. The cries become more and more insistent and soon enough even those I have not yet even come
to step on are crying out desperately, pleadingly, begging me to show them mercy and not step on them. And I want to do that! Oh, how I want to do that so badly! But the edge of the city is right
there! Just a little closer and I’m there!!! Hurriedly, I begin running, and as I step on their heads my feet rip their hair out and they begin screaming with such and agony as I have never heard
before in my life!!!!!
Just before I reach the edge of the city, I see that only barren wasteland lies beyond, but I do not care, for I need to be away from the helpless, screaming faces upon which I am walking. Then,
suddenly, a figure materializes at the edge of the city. I cannot make out his features beneath the hood of his black cloak, but the long scythe gripped in his skeletal hand tell me who he is: he
is death. I stop, wondering whether I should continue on and try to make it past him or if I should turn back and brave the screaming faces once more. But no, I cannot go back! I must make it out
of the city! And then his eyes appear, fiery slits under the hood of his cloak, and then he looks at me and nods. All at once I understand:
I have reached my destination…