The end of the world

December 11, 2009
He opened his eyes and saw water dripping from the ceiling, onto his muddied jacket. A warm wind blew dirt into his tired eyes. The boy jumped up from the floor and looked around at the remnants of what used to be a high school gym. Beams from the ceiling, and wall panels were scattered across the wooden floors. There didn't look to be any survivors, mostly the child saw blood. It was everywhere, pooling all over the splintery floor. He saw the bodies of others trapped underneath debris from the earth quake and other many disasters.

The boy waded through the blood and water and debris trying to find another survivor. But he saw no one else.

***

The boy's face now looked ten years older then it had a year ago when he changed from a child with brothers and sisters and parents and a nice house and friends, to a boy with no one in the world, nothing to his name except his smelly, dirty disgusting dog. That's it. It was just his dog and himself. What was his name anyway? How could he have forgotten? The end of the world. What had it turned him into? This child had stopped being a child the moment he left his families' corpses in that death trap of a gym. They'd said it would be safe, but they were wrong. Everything they'd told him was wrong. Nothing that anybody had ever taught him could have come close to preparing him for what he had been forced to do after those numerous disasters. And that wasn't even the worst part by far. People, survivors began raiding towns, murdering those who would not give them what they wanted.
 
Now the boy stood in his makeshift shelter praying for winter to be over. If only he could make it down to Florida or California. But he was just a child after all. He didn't know which direction would lead him to salvation or which direction would lead to his destruction. He was scared. His lips quivered as settled down next to his dying dog by the warm fire. After all he had been through the past year, he had never cried, even when he had been forced to kill living creatures so he could eat, even when  he had to hide beneath the rotting corpses of people he'd known, his friends so that those men would not find him and kill him as they did other survivors. He had never cried, but now as he thought about the slowing of his sick dog's heart, and once again being left to fend for himself , he couldn't help the muddy tears that streaked his dirt-stained face. He'd known his dog would die, but he didn't want him to. 
 
That night, despite the cold, the boy spent hours chipping away at the frozen dirt, digging a grave for his best friend. He was going to at least give him the proper burial that he'd never been able to give to his family. The boy coughed harshly into his hand, spitting blood into the hole where he planned on burying his friend. Finally, after digging a shallow grave and placing his dog's body into it, he looked around, with eyes unclouded by the need to survive. Without the help of his dog he wouldn't survive much longer either. He saw that everything was dead and had been for years, even before everything had happened. Plants stopped growing, birds stopped singing. Spring and summer brought nothing but heat, everyone and everything was dead. All of it! 
 
The boy laid on top of the grave thinking about all the things he had missed. All the things that he wished he could have done with his life. He had never really let himself think about his family, about his past at all, and now as he thought of it, shivering in the cold and coughing blood into his hands, his heart began to break. First it was ice, shielding itself from pain, and now it had shattered. The boy's eyes closed slowly as he fell into a deep peaceful sleep. And even today he is sleeping still. 
 
When spring finally came around that year, grass began to grow around his bones. It was the first sign of a new world. A world without humans.  





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