Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The last man on earth

For audio click here 
Nothing moved. No cars, no people, no rats, no foxes. The little patch of wasteland that doubled as the overflow carpark was so still it could have been a picture postcard. There were no lights on in any of the windows, and not a soul stirred behind any pane of glass. Fresh snow glistened in the orangey light, but there were no flakes in the air now. Conrad strained his ears for signs of life; a creaking floorboard, a snoring guest, a running shower but there was nothing. He stared into the night, his eyes looking for any trace of movement to prove the world still turned, but everything was still. 
What if, he tried to stop thinking the thought but it was too late, what if the world had stopped turning? What if they’d been some Day of the Triffid type incident and everyone had died in their sleep or on their night shift. Everyone dead. Katy dead; Stevo dead, his mum dead, Gareth Bale dead, Beyonce, dead. Sweat oozed on to Conrad’s forehead, he took a deep breath to try to calm himself.  The only man on earth. The only man on earth! It was a big responsibility. Was he up to the task? He’d been left in charge of the office on one or two occasions and had just about managed, but the keys to the earth? He shivered at the thought of it and strained his eyes desperate to prove his theory wrong.  Maybe it wasn’t that big a responsibility. If he was the only one left, there’d be no one to judge him and no one to survive him, so he could do what he damned well pleased. He could handle the solitude; people generally did his fucking head in anyway, a bit of peace and quiet wouldn’t go amiss. But could he survive? His basic survival training had been to memorise the phone number of the Chinese restaurant just in case, and how to devour a litre tub of Hagan Daas ice cream in one sitting. He wasn’t sure he could cope with hunting and gathering and starting fires to keep himself warm. Then again maybe all he’d have to do was break into the local Tesco and he’d be fine, how difficult could that be? How long could he live on one Tesco’s worth of food? Weeks, maybe months maybe even a year before he’d have to move on to the next one; there was a lot of food in there. But without people to man the power stations, the fresh food would soon become inedible, the stench would be awful and the flies would be all over the meats and fish and cheese. It would be a health hazard. He’d have to start with the fresh stuff and go on to the canned goods. At least Tesco stocked lighters so he could start a fire and duvets so her could stay warm. He may as well start smoking again too, it was free. Who would care if he had bad breath or was trying to kill himself? What if others were alive though? Being one of a few was worse than being the only one. He knew how it would go. People would get territorial, guarding their food and water. Conrad was a better lover than a fighter and judging by Katy’s looks of disappointment he wasn’t much of a lover. How would he survive in an 'every person for themselves world', when he could barely survive a crowded Primark store on a Saturday afternoon? This was not good, not good at all. He couldn’t breathe. No, he’d forgotten to breathe. he gulped in the stale air of the hotel room, reoxygising himself. Oh god, the dogs. If the dogs had survived, then they would be hungry and come looking for him. Conrad hated dogs at the best of times. Would they hunt him down like a dog? But what if they’d died too? There’d be dead dogs everywhere. Why was he thinking about dead dogs? He should be wondering what to do with all the dead bodies that would be starting to stiffen already. Soon they would be rotting. The stench worse than the supermarket. He looked up at the sky. Why me? He asked a god he had no faith in. Why didn’t you kill me along with the rest of them? Why am I the chosen one? Chosen? He was always the last to be chosen' Now he was the last to die.
A light came on in the house opposite, a dog ran across the wasteland, a whistle echoed from outside, snow started to flurry in the air. More lights came on and a figure followed the dog and checked a screen while the dog did its business. The town was waking up;  life was beginning to return to Conrad’s photograph. He wasn’t the last man on earth, he wasn’t even one of the few last people on earth. he climbed back into bed and closed his eyes. his heartbeat slowly returning to normal. 

No comments:

Post a Comment