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  • Writer's picturebucky

"Top" (2021)



The top of the hill provided the perfect vantage point.

Global warming, nuclear warfare and dwindling resources had spelled the end for civilised humanity. As the rich tightened their fist, the poorer fell to disease and famine, leaving broken families and scorned survivors in their wake. With anger rising exponentially across the globe, it had only been a matter of time before things escalated beyond repair, and by 2022, planet earth was inevitably ravaged.

Scant, small groups remained. Survivors lucky and unlucky, forced together by circumstance, formed tight-knit collectives. Isaac had fallen in with a fairly resourceful crowd who'd made an abandoned corner shop their home.

Isaac spent most mornings atop the nearby hill. Sat, shrouded in a threadbare coat, with a makeshift telescope (the head of a magnifying glass crudely taped to a Pringles can,) the dark-haired boy watched and waited. Every day, coal-black eyes scanning the barren land, Isaac observed as the orange, sunlight glow seemed to drip like honey onto the earth. It had been slow at first, like a candle melting, a gradual, glacial change, characterised only by amber pools settling into the earth's jagged scars, but as days passed, the voracity of the spill amplified.

Watching liquid amber inhabit cracks and creeks, Isaac saw it devouring decay and ruin. Each metre of dilapidated nature disappeared beneath it's jewelly surface, instantaneous annihilation dissolving everything that had been or would be. As the fallen sunlight rolled closer, faster, towards the hill and their improvised home, Isaac didn't consider alerting the others. Instead, he simply watched. He watched, and he understood.

Crawling ever closer, it silently submerged the corner shop sanctuary behind him. The unified screams of Isaac's friends sounded for a single, fleeting moment before they too were rendered undone. The distant echo of humanity's final, feeble wail made the black-eyed boy smile.

As the liquid sun finally rose around the top of the hill, Isaac's smile grew wide. Eyes glassy and serene, the final corporeal boy outstretched his arms and walked calmly into the infinite, aureate abyss. ☀️

Originally written and shared as part of Verbuary 2021:

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