|A Moment in Time
Author: Luxar PM
A short story about a man's last moments in a godforsaken world. The environment is taken from The Road by Cormac McCarthy.Rated: Fiction K - English - Adventure/Suspense - Words: 969 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Published: 03-29-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5854308
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
As the pale morning rose over the mountains the man woke with a start at the sudden warmth on his face. The darkness was still there, pierced by the sun pushing through the one window in the room. His heart raced, and with a rush of blood to the head he swept the room with his eyes. The darkness remained and the whole world remained silent, the way it would be for a long time. Slowly he rose from the worn sheets and instantly felt the pain that comes from sleeping on a hard floor. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and gave a painful glance towards the bright morning that came through the window. He looked through the window for a long time.
The sounds of wood settling and shoes against wood created an environment that calmed the man. With each painful step came the remembrance of survival and of the harsh world that surrounded him, of the pain and suffering still to come. Yet he was stubborn in his manner and he refused to consider the thought of death.
The appliances in the house were broken years ago either by their owners or by their time spent in the dead air of the world surrounding them. The man had found some old coffee beans that would turn to dust in your fingers but he used them anyway. He took a stone from the yard and ground the beans to a fine powder and poured them into a cloth. He poured hot water through the makeshift filter and sipped the bitter nectar that had never tasted so good in his whole life. He looked back through the window noticing how much time had passed since he awoke. He knew that he had to leave before the sun was at its highest point in the sky. He knew that time would catch up with him very fast if he wasn't careful. He knew a lot of things now.
The torn blankets and derelict clothing was a necessity and he jammed them into his bag while scrounging around the house for anything else he could use. He poured the last remnants of coffee grounds into his hands and quickly pushed them into his mouth. He coughed and tried hard to swallow the dry dust. He found a can of tomatoes, rusted and bent, left behind years ago. He shoved them in the canvas bag and kept looking. Outside the wind was creating dustdevils that spun across the landscape like elegant dancers, outcast from their homes so far away. The sun ran its course along the sky, and the man hurried as for he knew the dangers that came with the day. When he found nothing in the house that he could use he grabbed the bag and left the house without hesitation.
The white dust that covered the land stung his eyes with reflected light and he put on his corroded sunglasses. On the horizon were buildings flattened and destroyed by the creations of man. Everything goes back to its origins. No one can stop that and no one ever will. This is where it all begins and where it will also end. Time will slowly creep up on the world and then it will be too late. The day progressed and the man kept a steady pace towards the mountains. The mountains were dead with ash laden trees and brush. He knew that he wouldn't find much there. He wouldn't find much anywhere else. He had to keep going. He had to keep living. He knew little about the people who survived, who still thrive out in the dry wasteland that conquers the earth. These were no children of God. We are our own creators.
The sun reached the edge of the horizon and the man slowed to a stumble as he reached the foot of the mountain. His lungs ached with every breath and he could feel his heart fumbling with every pump. His eyes were bloodshot and salty tears ran down into his dry mouth. He stopped and tasted the sea. The memories of his past flooded through the ash and the sun and soon he was alone in his memories. Thoughts of times past and people long gone. The memories faded and his eyes rested upon the rocks that formed before him. A small cave. A dark alcove hidden beneath the ash. He made his way towards it without a second thought.
Inside he could not bring up the strength to light a fire. The strength in his legs left him and he fell to the floor in a heap of cloth and dust. A soul shattered and broken by the flaws of man. He pulled the thin rags tighter to his skin and thought warm thoughts as night was brought ever closer. His eyes flitted up towards the sky and the pinholes of stars broke through the dust. The tiny pins and needles moved up his legs and he closed his eyes. He knew not the importance of his life nor the importance of humanity as a whole. There will be no knowledge of the events that happened here because he knew that these things that happen now are not important to the rest of the universe. He isn't saddened by this fact, but rather enlightened by the knowledge that their actions will not influence the natural course of the cosmos. His eyes closed and the memories returned but intertwined with the coarse thoughts of his current situation. He felt the need to confess his flaws but he knew no good would come of it. As his body pulled close in a final embrace with the world his life ended and the man returned to his origins within the earth.