Become Our End
A breaking point had to come. It was a tragic surprise that things lasted as long as they did. A breaking point had to come though,. It was a shame there wouldn’t be more people there to witness it.
“Sir, we really need to go.” Craig pleaded.
His boss had always done strange things that confounded Craig. Like the way he was constantly looking somewhere as if he expected something profound to happen. It was never anything expected either. The horizon, that’s something Craig would expect someone to contemplate on. But he often found his employer transfixed on simple objects like neuroscreens and letter openers.
Craig knew he didn’t have to stay. Anything his boss could offer him was worthless. Money had become obsolete over a decade prior. There wasn’t enough people to run the stores or farm the food or even deposit the money into accounts.
The security that was more valuable than diamonds when the roving gangs of looters took control had become useless as well. All their violence and barbarism didn’t stop the gangs from disappearing like everyone else.
The power plants were the first to go. All the safety switches eventually eroded with no one there to maintain them. Entire continents became nothing more than empty museum exhibits for a fleeting existence. The seismic barriers went next. The world spent nearly five years shaking as if it had pent up every earthquake that didn’t happen. Craig remembered how little he slept during that time.
Yet through every disaster and cataclysm, the old man, at least that’s how Craig referred to him even though he looked younger than Craig, remained steadfast and calm. Everyday he just went on finding some sort of hope in something different from the day before.
Craig figured that with the house falling around them his boss would have shown at least a little urgency. But he stood with his typical nonchalance, staring at a coffee cup.
“The place is going to collapse, we have to go now.”
It wouldn’t have been the first time they were forced to flee a collapsing building. A structurally sound dwelling was a rarity. All that was left was the piles of stone and steel. Sometimes the illusion of the original shape could be seen in those toppled structures, but that only served to mock. Apparently, according to Craig’s boss, a building falling was a freak occurrence at one time. Sometimes it even warranted a party.
Often, Craig would catch him looking at the fallen skyscrapers. Not with the calmness he normally showed, but with what appeared to be guilt. As if he could still imagine what the towers once looked like and was deeply sorry he couldn’t have been there to hold them up.
The conversations the two shared used to be one of the few things keeping Craig sane, when everything began to crumble. Yet, as the end grew nearer he found himself annoyed and jealous. His boss had such a vivid imagination. The way he’d speak about things and times he couldn’t possibly have witnessed was astounding. But when the real world required his attention, Craig often found himself having to physically pull his employer out of some dreamscape.
“Relax Craig, there’s always time for another cup of coffee.”
There was only so much that Craig could handle and he was becoming very intimate with that limit.
He couldn’t remember when it started, but almost every night his boss would rouse himself from sleep with insane ramblings about a lost child and green eyes. Craig didn’t dare question it though. The nonsensical words appeared to be another tool that brought comfort. No matter how annoyed he was, he couldn’t take that away.
“Here, take a sip.”
Craig knew that he would have to humor his boss before he would be able to rip him away to safety. How did he find himself, facing down the end of all things with such a sentimental bastard? Although, the idea that contemplation would be the final noun that humanity would see, wasn’t a bad thought.
Craig gripped the cup and drank deeply.
He hated the new house. It was too remote. It was lavish and beautiful but he missed the crowded streets.
He had only seen one of those new automobiles that everyone believed would change the world. He figured he’d never see another. Not this far out in the woods.
The sound of a determined knock on the front door bounced through the house.
“Craig, would you mind getting that? If I’m correct, our visitor has come very far and has waited longer than anyone ever should.”
Why did he sign on with such a sentimental bastard? The new century would have no place for it.