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The Paradox of Hope and Tragedy

A sky; as I woke up all I could see was a rust colored sky. I had no idea what had happened to the beauty that once existed in the open sky but the lacking of it was horrifying. I was in the middle of an urban street, covered in ashes, and I was surrounded by buildings, that blotted out the Sun. I had no idea where I was, or why I was there. I tried to stand but my legs gave out as soon as I had attempted it, as my legs were naturally weak, and I fell right to my knees. It seemed to me strange how easily all life had come to cease; life that all animals once had, a life that was shaped and molded by time and struggles only for it to be ended in the most horrible of ways. I could have never imagined as a youth that I would die only after every other person had died and that I would’ve died covered in ashes left of my species ignorance.


Though my odds of survival seemed to be almost nonexistent at the moment I knew I had to at least attempt to stand. I thought this would also be a good moment to mention that the air was filled with the smell of burning flesh. As if on natural instinct, to wanting to avoid unpleasant smells, I immediately got to my knees and then my feet in an attempt to escape the horrifying smell; that I can only now begin to describe as death. As I got to my feet before I came upon the first of that night’s horrible scenes. It was a scene that you, if you were of the right state of mind, could never begin to imagine. I came upon the origin of the smell and to my horror it was the burning corpse of what appeared to be an infant, no older then 1 years of age, being preyed upon by a pack of wolves. I figured the beasts had not noticed my presence, as they had not looked my way and had not growled at my treading upon their meal. I had not notice it but the fire had gone out and at once the wolves had jumped upon the corpse. I instantly had the sudden urge to vomit as I had witnessed the rawest of nature’s tragedies. I had watched the flesh tore from a body that just had received it's first mask, the remnants of innocences ripped apart by the fangs of monsters in wolves clothing. A man could convince themselves that this was an act of nature with no bearing on the human soul; though as they feasted on the carcass their shapes slowly turned from wild beast to man. Perhaps in the beginning I saw the inner of their souls and now was, in tragedy, seeing their whitewashed worldly shape.


I had no further inclination to watch the crime that I was now an accessory to; so I quickly ran, before I could be noticed by the shape-shifters. Had I just witnessed a part of humanity long dormant? Or had I just discovered something in my heart, I knew to be true, about the beast that thinks with logic? As I continued down the barren road of ashes I continued to hope that I would soon come upon a sign of humanity but I assume it was all pipe dreams as I had known that everyone I had loved was dead. With so much tragedy how could hope still have room to grow? Though only a few blocks further from wolves I came upon a sight that still gave my heart hope through the ash covered streets and corpse covered sidewalks. It was a bench with a pair of corpses that could be described, if even possible, as hopeful. It was, as far as I could concern, a couple in their early 80’s. They had probably been with each others for their entire lives and even when the end was clear in sight they still clung to the hope that their love would transcend past the hate that filled the world. Their hopes could not be in vain, for although their bodies would never be seen by mortal eyes; you would have to remember that love is not concrete; it is a feeling and that feeling could never disappear after it was felt by two hearts in the springs of youth. I had lived a life surrounded by processions only to be reminded, after everything was gone, that what was inside meant far more than anything that could be bought.


I couldn’t understand how so much tragedy and so much hope could exist in the same universe without a paradox, to which the world couldn’t survive against, forming.


Now before I continue to tell you about my path that night I will tell you that I was born and raised a follower in God. Although in recent years I had lost my faith; I had always continued to believe in the moral, and ethical, standards written in the Bible. What I saw next would challenge every belief that I have had, have, or will ever form. I came upon the shape of a cathedral- I say “shape” because it was so bombed out that any presence of God would have long ago been blown away- in the state of crumbling. I knew it had not long before it would fall and in my head I heard praying. I don’t know if this praying was the memory of church with my mother or the prayers of those who put faith in their God during the last seconds of humanity while the bombs dropped. I don’t think it really mattered because faith is faith and it is all that can be asked of a human. The fall of this church was not only the fall of a church but the fall of everything that has shaped humanity for it's entire history. It was from the time when the dust hit my face to the time that I hit the ground that I realized I had woke up! I had woke up to a world that was becoming more and more like a nightmare day by day.





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