This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 50; the fiftieth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. In association with Soulmates: Love without ownership by Vinit K Bansal. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
He gasped for breath as he reached the summit. It was painful climb. He was exhausted and sticky with sweat despite the cold wind blowing. He sat at the end of cliff and watched the clouds floating down the mountain. They were brown, grey and black and hideous. The ground, miles below, was flat without a fraction of cultivation. From the height, the destruction looked a lot less repellent. He scanned through the debris spread before him and thought if there would be another survivor like him. But all he could see was destruction and smoke.
Months had passed but the smoke had refused to dissipate. It occurred to him that it might never and he shivered at the thought. It was the new world, grey and ugly. He winced at the thought. He hated it. His eyes went to the only patch of green in the vicinity. It was a wonder how the acre of woods had survived, maybe it’s a gift to me, he thought. All the lives inside the woods had vanished but it still held it's variety of trees. These woods were the reason he was till alive. However he was afraid it wouldn't last forever, they too need to survive. They needed rain.
It had rained five times since the carnage five months back. But he had watched the black rain come down in horror. The woods would soon end and with it, him too. For his own survival, he need to keep the trees alive. Water was scarce, even if he water them, how much can he really do? There was a lake but it was equally poisoned with death. There was enough dried wood, from trees and houses. He had practiced for days and had finally learned the trick to spark fire. When he first boiled the lake water he had jumped in horror to find a crushed bones at the bottom of the vessel. But with death dancing all around him, soon his heart had tempered and he melted in the ghastly ecology just like being at home.
Through all this, one thing that hadn't changed and that was the sun and the moon. They had been witnessed the destruction of earth and now they watched him closing to death, slowly. He felt a pang of anger towards the setting sun. But he sighed helplessly and turned to climb down. The poodle at his foot reflected his skinny torso. He felt pity for himself. He was just about twenty seven but looked like an old ragged man. He stooped further low and started walking but stopped at the beep. It was a remote, a red light was blinking at the top right corner. He must have switched it on when he stepped on it.
He inspected it but it could have been of any device, from television to a robot. He was a science student himself, working under a scientist and a bright one at that but as he looked at it, he realized how much he has grown to resent anything man-made. We drew our own death. His fingers went to the off button but stopped himself. What can it be? Curiosity killed the cat, he reminded himself. Yet he couldn't switched it off. He looked around if anything had been turned on but witnessed only stillness except for the smoke flakes that flew with the wind. He continued to walk down, the remote still in his hand.
...Continue to Part 2
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P:S:. When I had the story in mind, I meant it to be a short story of a single post. However when I started writing, it stretched and stretched, and I said to myself, lets see where it goes...