Apparently I’m the last man on earth.
It would appear that some kind of virus has wiped out mankind – well mankind minus me, that is. There’d been dire warnings about it but nobody had taken a lot of notice, we’d heard it all before. Turns out this one was for real. It was frightening how quickly it happened. You could be walking down the street and literally watch people drop down dead in front of you.
That was two months ago. Since then I’ve travelled around much of Europe. The same scene wherever I go, lots of dead bodies and an eerie silence.
I’ve no idea why the virus left me alone, lucky I suppose, or unlucky, depends how you look at it. I used to believe in God but now, I’m not sure. I’ve got so many unanswered questions. I mean if there is a God then why this? Why has he spared me? What am I supposed to do? Even Adam had Eve, I’ve got nobody.
Keeping myself alive is easy, there’s no shortage of food and drink and I can live wherever I like. The problem is the loneliness. There are only so many conversations you can have with yourself. Every now and again I think I catch a glimpse of someone in the shadows but there’s never anyone there, just my imagination yearning for the impossible.
I’ve started popping into any churches I come across. I’m working on the theory that I should find God in one of them, surely. In desperation I’ve even started talking to him again. In the old days it was something I did privately. Now I do it out loud. Once I used to be reverential now I tell him what I really think and I don’t hold back on the bad language. I just wish he would talk back, get angry even.
Once or twice, when the isolation really gets to me, I’ve been tempted to end it all. At those darkest times I feel as if I’m losing my mind completely. Then I stop and realize that if I go, if I give up, then that’s it, the end of the human race. I can’t let that happen.
So I’ve got no choice really. I’ve started leaving notes in each of the churches that I visit just in case God drops by when I’m not there. I’m hoping that he’s going to give me a sign soon, let me in on his grand plan. There has to be a plan – doesn’t there? I can’t just be the last man on earth. Can I?
It all started with words.
We spent endless hours chatting about anything and everything. Our deepest thoughts, dreams, desires – everything. The love that developed was forged from those late night conversation, by that sharing of words – they were the core of our togetherness.
We’ve been a couple now for 30 years but somewhere along that journey, I don’t know when, the words dried up. I began to find his anecdotes tedious, his funny little stories no longer funny. So, slowly but surely, I stopped listening.
Now we spend endless hours simply glaring at one another. The air full of unspoken thoughts. I think about how much I hate him, how every minute in his presence is a nightmare.
If only I could find the words to tell him.
“What have you got for me Jenkins?”
“A body sir. Splattered all over the courtyard. A right mess. Appears he fell from that wall over there.”
“Body got a name?”
“Dumpty, sir. A Mr Humpty Dumpty. Seems he often sat up there. Liked watching the soldiers.”
“First indications are it wasn’t an accident, sir. Doc says he’s been shot. We’ll know more when the autopsy report comes through. There’s also a witness who says he saw a young girl walking away from the scene.”
“He couldn’t see her face, sir but says she was wearing a long red cloak with a hood.”
Red sat at the bar in the hotel lounge sipping a gin and tonic. She smiled as she thought about the day’s events. As planned, it had taken just the single shot. Mr Humpty Dumpty was dead long before his fragile body hit the ground.
“Mum says people who don’t chew their food properly come out in blotchy green spots, then their tummy explodes and they die!”
“Your mum’s daft, everybody knows that. Anyway, I’m hungry, I’ve not got time to waste chewing my dinner.”
“Well Jagar, don’t blame me when you get covered in spots.”
“Stop going on Leyla. Do you want some of this meat or not?”
Leyla felt like saying no, but she was hungry. They’d spent all morning tracking down this young human. She snatched the leg from Jagar and walked off to eat alone. Despite her hunger she remembered her mother’s warnings and chewed the meat slowly. As the blood dribbled down her chin she heard a noise behind her. Turning slowly she saw Jagar on the ground, covered in green spots with a large hole in his stomach. She returned to her meal and chewed even more vigorously.