At the end of it all–a conversation. It’s called:
“Does the last human want a drink of water?” she says and holds this strange, warped glass toward me.
I can’t grab it of course. My arms and legs pinned to the table. Only a sheet and space separating my heart from her claws.
“I’d like food, actually.”
“Oh, I’m sure you would,” she says. “I’m sure you’d like a lot of things.”
She moves to this machine, this large squatting toad of a machine. It’s boxy, and with several compartments and shelves. She reaches into one and pulls out a needle. A needle with a long tube connecting to it.
“But I have wants as well,” she says and places her claw against my arm.
It’s cold, so cold. But pulsing. A beat inside the long, solid bone.
“I want to kill you,” I say. “I’d love to fuck you over and rip out everything in your fucking head.”
She grins and I can see the lack of teeth in her mouth. The slits that is her nose flares.
“And this is why I love your species.”
She sticks the needle into my arm. It pushes all the way in, and the pipe runs with red. I don’t quite feel the pain. It’s disconnected from me. A drop of gore slips out, and she dumps the glass on my arm. It licks away the blood but leaves a cold spot.
The machine hums and she looks at it. “You’re so violent. So damn violent. And yet so bad at it.”
I feel weak. I feel the draining. My head pumps with the lack of blood in me. She’s pulling me out of myself. Taking me into a machine.
“But you’re worse,” I sputter out, my voice slurring.
She leans toward me, and I can smell the salt. They always smell like salt. Brine. “And yet we won.”
“We could have…you cheated.”
She flicks away my comment. “Wasn’t it your species that came up with the expression: ‘all’s fair in love and war?’ But I suppose you always are hypocrites. Another thing I love about your species.”
“Children,” I mutter, as my eyes go foggy.
“Hmm, what was that?” she says. She takes her points, her so sharp knives, and pushes my mouth open to the air. A line of my drool leaks. “I almost thought you’d choose a better last word. Perhaps you have another?”
My chest is tight. I swivel my gaze to the machine, and it is all red now. At the top of it hovers an image of myself. A spinning hologram of my body. The picture blurs as my head again goes into a fog, but I see the claws grow on my hologram’s hands.
Like a bubble escaping, my word rises. “Humanity.”
She lowers my sheet and taps her nails against my chest. I don’t have enough blood left to care about tiny cuts. I am nothing. It will not bleed soon enough.
My species is done bleeding.
“A better word to end on, husband. I so look forward to our honeymoon.”
She presses harder into my chest; I feel my bones break.
“But I have a… what do you call it? A ‘funeral’…to attend to first?”