This Is How The World Ends

Between the idea, And the reality--Between the motion, And the act--Falls the Shadow. --'The Hollow Men' T.S. Eliot


The world is ending, he sees it.

The world is ending, he tastes it.

The world is ending, he hears it.

Fire, screams, smoke, great billowing clouds of black ash, blood, death, death, death. Everywhere it lies, like a blanket over a small, innocent child. Black and menacing and seething with dripping malice and loathing centered into a small ball of black hate within a black heart.

He smiles and tips his head back because there is nothing more for him to do. He's lost, he's not the same anymore. He wants to greet Death, take Her beautiful dead hand, and walk with Her into the Shadow; be led to the Nothing that awaits them all.

"I can see you breaking," he croons to the blood-red sky. "I see you, I hear you. It's almost over, sweet one. It's almost gone."

He's not talking to anyone, but he's talking to everyone. And the ghosts scream in time with the beats of his voice, begging, pleading, cursing and hating from within the dark. They try to grab him, but their fingers brush over his clothes and through his skin, passing out on the other side without so much as a rustle of clothing.

He laughs; a high screeching giggle bleeding over his lips. "May God have mercy on the cowards." He laughs louder now, cackling like a dying hyena, eyes wild and glassy as he stares at the ghosts who cry and scream over the carnage happening around him.

He wants to tell them that it's no use, everyone is going to die anyway. He wants to tell them to cry louder because he loves the sound of the dead's pain. He wants to tell them to shut-up because he can't hear beautiful Death coming and he really wants to meet Her.

"This is how the world ends," he murmurs softly. "This is how the world ends. This is how the world ends. Not in a bang but a whimper."

And he whimpers then, hoping that it will bring Death faster. But She's taking her sweet time, he knows, because Death comes in Her own time. It's Her plan; Death waits on no one and no one waits on Death. Though he's not all too sure that's the right way of saying it, he doesn't care because he's too far gone to ponder over it anymore.

He falls on his knees and his heart beats a funny, jagged rhythm in his chest that just hurts so bad that for the moment he forgets the war around him and clutches pathetically at his shirt with a cry of his own. He keens like a lost kitten and rolls on his side in a forlorn heap as his heart continues to go funny. He giggles crazily to himself and says, "You're heart's goin' funny. Funny heart."

And then everything is still, completely silent, and he wonders what happened to the screaming and the ghosts crying (because he was really starting to enjoy it, like some kind of warped musical it was). When he looks up, blinking past the blood and dirt and the sudden haze covering his vision, he sees Death with Her glittering red eyes and sharp teeth smiling down at him.

"Hello," he gasps, because it's suddenly very difficult to breathe. "I am...ready... to die." He sucks in air through his collapsing lungs, annoyed that they choose now to fail him when he has been waiting for such a long time to greet Her.

She bends down to his level and strokes his jaw with an icy finger. "You are already dead."

From far away, he hears the ghosts' lament as the war is engulfed in Shadow.

A/N: I don't know where this came from, I really don't. One minute I'm reading 'The Hollow Men' and the next this is being spat out like some kind of mangled saliva abortion. In any case, please review. Always loved.