He was heading out the town. The streets were already full of people who had had the same problem and the same solution. They were running. Walking. Crawling. Driving. Yes, even driving. When he saw the masses moving slower than molasses on a cold winter day, he decided otherwise. He stepped into the side street and walked along the rotten fruits and meats laying around like they were no one else’s business anymore. He entered a 24/7. He was alone there. Not right. The owner of the store was still there, staring at him with tiny pupils and red irises. His mouth moved if he was in prayer, a dead evangelical smile on his lips.
„Do you believe in the end-times?“, the owner asked.
„Only when you close your shop, Jim.“
The owner smiled again, prayed silently. „Staying here?“
„Death is around like a dance of insects, there is no escape.“
The owner nodded and didn’t move, when his visitor went to the booze.
He picked two bottles of Bourbon and one bottle of scotch, but it was a blend, a basic J&B, because it was the time to drink it. He had always been a fan of trashy 80s movies and the yellow color of the brand had been burned in his head since he had been a child, full of dreams and nightmares. And now he still had those nightmares, but now, those nightmares were real.
He left the store, having tried to pay the shop-owner, but the man hadn’t react, had just been praying to some forgotten god, who wasn’t there to save humanity from himself.
Earth was doomed. Again. But this time, earth was full of people, more than 8 billion of it. And most of them were not able anymore to survive the following months or decades, depending on what the scientists had calculated. Life itself would survive, but humanity was fucked beyond belief.
He left the side street for a smaller one and went south. It were only a few miles to walk to arrive at the beach. He didn’t want to die in his tiny apartment with the bad A/C, not during the last few dozen hours of reality.
Gravity was already a little stronger – or he was just tired from the constant stream of bad news. They had found the reason for some phenomena only last week. The birds and the dolphin had gone first, had killed themselves in the thousands. Wales had been stranded, were looking at the violet sky with blind white eyes, their last breaths reasonable prayers to their non-existing gods. Humanity was always worse in accepting bad news. Politicians and scientists were planning and calculating constantly, but in the end, they lived from promise to promise to possibilities and now they were just repeating the same patterns of words, as if they were already dead. Maybe they lived below the surface of the earth, behind walls of steel and titanium and rocks, but this was not a usual attack on earth, there was nothing to fight. Death was there. And he wasn’t going away.
The first miles were almost too easy to go. People usually tended to go north in the hope to survive an impact near the equator, hoping, that fires would stop in the cold. But there would not be a cold place exist anymore. The fire would run around this planet and burn it to a crisp in mere hours. The oceans would become steam and leaving the then ripped open hole what had been called an atmosphere. The oxygen would help the hellfire, until it was gone. Until every living thing was gone. Maybe a few bacteria would survive in the puddles of molten rock a few hundred miles below the former inhabitable zone. In the end, the planet would become just a dead rock again.
But he wasn’t willing to live as long. The trees were beautiful this time of the year. Their green leaves were looking brilliant in front of the violet sky, which hid the stars, which would exist indefinitely longer than this race. He had opened the first bottle of bourbon and was drinking, not sipping. He felt the oaken burn on his tongue and in his throat. It shook his muscles, the intoxication was already moving through his cells into his brain. He almost felt good, content, a man who was able to accept his own mortality.
The next miles were more difficult. Gravity was even stronger now and he had problems to breath. He also had opened the 2nd Bourbon and was drinking from it like a drowning man drinking the few gasps of air he was able to get. He now became truly drunk, was getting the feeling he disconnected from his body, as if he and his flesh were two separate entities now. He knew the feeling, hadn’t felt it for a long time.
The mountains were shaking now. He checked his watch, but the monitor was empty now. Obviously he was alone and power had been sucked from every electrical device. He got rid of his watch and the 2nd empty bottle. He felt the need to turn around. The violet sky was moving, was showing gaps and mountains, valleys and woods and streams, which were burning. They had always believed, that the newcomer to the planetary system was empty, but they had been wrong. For a few days they had tried to get in contact with the others, who lived on this planet, but the answers were never given to the public. Maybe it was suicide, maybe it was an experiment gone wrong. No one would ever know. Two worlds clashing into each other would destroy both and all inhabitants.
He was opening the bottle J&B, turned around, took a sip and closed the bottle again. Then he closed his eyes, moving towards the one point in his mind, where he had always found peace. There was a button, a button of an unknown color. He had pressed it 3 weeks ago, for reasons.
When he opened his eyes again, he didn’t need eyes anymore.