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The end of the year approaches, and a new one begins.
But what if, instead, it just ended?
Let’s explore a possible way we could all die, with a flash fiction called:
When the world ended, no one had stopped to ask how. This was mainly because of two reasons: the first being that no one was, during those final moments, introspective enough to give it any thought; the second was simply a lack of living people left to ask. In a matter of only a few hours more than two-thirds the population of planet earth had been incinerated. The only comforting thing about it was the lack of pain they experienced. All of that pity should, instead, be going to the people still alive, for they were the ones who were in hell.
No, it was not the Rapture, nor was it some act of terrorism. It was simply a wavelength, a stretch of arcing pulse, exploring down every inch of the universe. Soundless, invisible, but oddly enough, not tasteless. In one moment every person on earth tasted copper and rot, and a thousand fragile objects dropped when their carriers lurched forward in disgust. Woman suffering from morning sickness were by far the worst effected, giving their already stressed out husbands just another thing to worry about.
You could almost imagine the wave as being malevolent: it was incredibly effective and hit its targets hard. It started outside of the atmosphere, slamming into every satellite above the western hemisphere; from there it rode the signals being beamed down. The richest class became the first target as the collective smart-phones of the world became beacons. Broadcasting it into the infrastructure of the world: security cameras, the internet, radio towers and the electronic stock market; everything held the signal.
This was only the prelude to the madness, as it just sat there, festering inside every piece of technology; everything that had the audacity to hold an electrical spark.
At the beginning of the century, people had feared an event where all major technology would fail. It seemed that they were not entirely wrong, it was going to happen, and the only inaccuracy was simply the date.
Once everything had been effected, it readied itself for its ultimate plan. In the last moment of beauty that any human would ever experience, every piece of technology glowed bright. They all turned on without a single provocation, and feverously did their assigned tasks. Anything close to the earth would have seen it, and marveled at the glow of Terra Firma. The ground was awash with lights, and the sounds of a hundred songs playing; every person on a morphine drip getting the high of their lives.
Then, it all went dark. In a collective sigh the world turned silent. But it was more than a global black-out, it was an utter failure of every battery, every engine, and every computer.
Simultaneously, the entire world fell to shit.
“Dad?” asked a woman, as the hand she had been holding went limp. Around here a few others had fallen. The light of the sun through the windows were the only thing illuminating the room, and she just stared at the ragdoll that had once been her father. She placed her hands over his chest and felt nothing; the pace-maker had failed.
The state of the art bank had become a state of the art prison, and soon a morgue, as every electronically sealed door became an impassable barrier.
A man rubbed the back of his head as the blood dripped over his eyes. He ran his hands along the crack in his skull, still somehow numb. The door behind his barricaded by the broken bodies that had been flung forward during the impact. As he stood up he noticed the vehicle had managed to land on its side, and his head wasn’t the only thing dripping innards.
The ground was coming fast. What had seemed like a grid pattern of brown and green was swiftly becoming a subdivision. He wrestled with the controls, but they were in free fall. His co-pilot was next to him screaming into the intercom: it did not even have static. The dials were going mad, and the passengers in the back were following suit: howling, crying, and in the one case, chanting a prayer. The handle still refused to move, not even budging from his full weight in pressure. As his breath started to come in stilted gulps he heard the door behind him open. His head spun to view a woman holding a crying baby, her free hand still grasping a milk bottle. She looked at him for a moment, then looked above him. She grabbed her baby tight, clutching it over her heart; she closed her eyes. Despite knowing exactly what he was going to see, he turned to watch a pile of four hundred pounds of airplane smash into a suburban neighborhood.
Death row opened up, and the prisoners scaled the gates. The sounds of gunfire and screaming were the only things that were audible, easily masking the sound of a shiv going into a chest, and a head getting caved in with a porcelain toilet seat.
Makeshift torches, and cigarette lighters were the only thing giving any light in the hospital. The nurses and doctor scrambled to save every life they could, but so many were already beyond help. The surgery patients were waking up, and they still had holes in them. The ones on drugs were now screaming. In fact there were only a seldom few in the entire building that were not being incredibly vocal. One such person was a recent escapee of the psychiatric division, who through a combination of drug withdrawal and over-stimulation had come to the conclusion that he was in the dark, and no one would see what he did.
This was just the beginning; the opening act, the appetizer to the madness. The main show was building to a slow boil as the wave destroyed every part of a particular device’s inhibitors. It came to light in that moment that weapons are still weapons, even without a human to pull the trigger.
It was not a war that started the nuclear destruction. No one was really at fault for it, but all the same, every nuclear device exploded in sequence. A fireball to end all fireballs ran along the crust of the earth, and shook it, then cracked it like an egg. The lucky ones were reduced to a permanent shadow on the charred earth. The unlucky were hit with radiation that would kill them over the next year and a half.
The pulse of the explosion formed like a ring around the earth and emitted outwards; invisible to both the ears and the eyes.
You could almost call it a wave.
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