The Last Couple on Earth

Originally I was going to post only the link to it, which is here if anyone cares, but then decided to carry on in normal tradition and post the whole thing on.

I wrote this for two separate contests on Storywrite.com, but merged the criterias for both of them into one. The first one was a picture prompt (I chose these two pictures) and the other which stated: "Yes, I want romance. But I don't want NORMAL romance. I want romance viewed through the eyes of a third party."

This is the result

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THE LAST COUPLE ON EARTH

Imagine this, if you can, my reader. It’s, well, it’s the end of the world. The fires have long since died out and the mutations, if there ever were any – I never met some, that’s for sure – are gone. Now it’s just the dead silence of a lot of people being dead at the same time, and the stink of a lot of people being dead with no one around to give them a good burial.

It’s not really important to know how the end of the world happened, or how I came to be, apparently, the only survivor. Just that the world ended and everybody died. It’s really tragic, but when you’re dealing with mass death on that level, a number reaching over six billion, well, it’s hard to really care. It’s not something you can shrug off, but it’s not really something you can mourn. It is as it is. You just accept it and try to carry on. It’s been three years and I haven’t met anyone else. Not a human around. Not even a dog, or a bug or a pigeon. Nothing. Everywhere’s just the same, really. The same quiet, the same stink, the same sense of emptiness and decay that, somewhere, God is laughing and the world, eventually will be just as it should have been a long time ago. It’s not something you get used to, being alone. It gradually builds on you, and you try to find people anywhere you can, in a desperate but altogether hopeless way. It’s something I learnt to accept a long time ago. 

I’m in Chicago now, having spent most of the last year travelling around the United States, taking different cars as far as possible till they died, in the vain hunt for anyone who was still alive. It was there that I saw, in the middle of the bench off Burnham Park, the last couple on Earth. There was nobody around them, just loose 3-year old litter fluttering around the base of bench. I watched them. They sat next to each other, his hand, almost a pink colour, was holding her pale Dresden hand gently. They didn’t say a word, and stared blankly in front of them, almost in my direction. Around them, the stink of the world, the feeling of death and loneliness, all vanished. All it was, was them. 

I felt like approaching them, but decided not to. They looked so blissful and to walk over would be breaking this world they had encompassed themselves. He looked ahead of him, at the destruction and disturbing quiet in front of him, expressionless as ever, thread stitched together into a shapeless smile and she did too, only half of her head had been caved in and she saw the world through just one beady and unblinking eye.  They sat on the bench, and never spoke. Not unlike most of the people here. But they were different. While everyone had died, they were never born. They just were. Glassy-eyed, they watched the world together. A perfect, undying romance and, in this world, something worth keeping. I left them alone, and carried on in my search. ..