A Journal To The End Of Time
I know what’s coming. I’ve prepared. I have 6 months’ worth of food stockpiled. I have water filters, duct tape, nails, wood, tools, plastic sheeting, books, music and cigarettes. To whoever may find this diary in the years to come, most likely an alien race, read on. I am to be among the last living beings on this once homely and life-giving rock, we call earth. This is what happened to humanity.
Today is the day. I’ve taped the seals of my windows shut, then I taped them again. I’ve boarded them up, I’ve boarded the door, I’ve filled the keyhole with glue and then taped that. There’s nothing I haven’t thought of. Each room is filled with plants, oxygenating my haven. My water filter is working perfectly, my camping stove is set up and I have plenty of gas bottles. I have ridded myself of all electronics, and disconnected my internet and phoneline; I simply cannot take the chance of some hazmat suited scavenger finding me and my supplies. For now, I have everything I could need in this house; I have food, water, warmth and shelter. I have 6 months until the food runs out. I have 6 months to live.
The silence has been the first thing to start getting to me. The CD player is now set to play on a continuous loop, though every voice I hear is surely dead by now. I change the disc from time to time, every few hours or so. It has been almost 14 hours since the air outside became unbreathable; sadly, no gas mask could protect against this. It’s a modern-day great flood. I am Noah, yet I am alone, I have forgotten the animals! How selfish I have been.
Let this diary be my ark.
My preparations can now be deemed successful, I have survived for days with no ill effects. I dread to think what sight would greet me from the window. I am glad that it isn’t possible to look. My conditions so far are very comfortable; I have warmth and plenty of books to read.
I have lit some candles to ward off the lonely dark when it’s night time. At first, their light cracked my eyes like porcelain thrown against brick, but after a few minutes I grew used to them. It is much easier to write by candle light than by the blades of light cutting through the cracks in the boards on the windows. I no longer worry about scavengers seeing the candles’ light, nothing out there can still be living.
I haven’t said another person’s name in over a week. My clothes are rancid, my skin is grey, my hair no longer feels like my own. I can’t waste water by having a shower.
The plants are growing weary of my voice, possibly of the music too; they are beginning to sink and shy away from me.
A small amount of air must be inside! The plants are slowly dying. I suspect that the air is seeping in from the seals on the doors, these are hard to tape properly. To counteract this, I have moved everything upstairs and quarantined the entire ground floor using plastic sheets and duct tape. My living space has halved, but at least I am living.
I haven’t written in you for a while have I? You’ve been hiding beneath the camping stove. I’ve read all the books at least 4 times. I have invented a new game though; I’m ripping out every fifth page of each book and using those pages to make a new book.
My new book doesn’t make any sense.
My new book does make sense! It’s a hidden message. I’ve ordered each page based on the alphabetical order of the title it came from, once I work out the hidden message, I may be able to receive its wisdom. Perhaps it will tell me how to go outside.
A month today since I last saw anything other than the inside of this house.
My new book doesn’t make any sense.
I dreamt about god again last night; I’m on the verge of something.
I’ve put a book containing pictures of people from around the world on my bedside table; I don’t want to forget what human faces look like.
I don’t like looking into the mirror and the mirror doesn’t like looking into me.
I’m hearing things; things keep going up and down, up and down, up and down. They only stop when I ask them nicely. As long as I know I’m hearing things, I can’t be mad. I need to add some variety to my days.
The last of the tinned steak in gravy will be my lunch today. I had intended to ration my rations to make sure I had a variety. I couldn’t resist the tinned steak in gravy. The last human alive, succumbing to temptations, how human of him.
He dreamt about god again last night; he’s on the verge of something.
He’s been eating the food too quickly; he doesn’t care anymore. He wonders if the sun is sad, looking down on all that death.
His pen ran out, he’s writing in pencil now. He has nothing left to say.
He sneezed upstairs! The toxic, jaundiced air is surely seeping its way in! He is moving everything to the bedroom.
Not everything fitted into the bedroom, so he only bought in the essentials. He leaves the bedroom once per day to collect water from the bathroom. He has a plastic sheet taped over the entrance to the bedroom for the rest of the time. His living space is very small now.
He doesn’t have enough room for thinking anymore, so he doesn’t have thoughts.
The clock is ticking.
He wishes he had stayed outside with everyone else; he doesn’t like being the last human on earth.
He coughed in the bedroom! The air rises to the top of the room surely! He doesn’t stand up anymore, up in those suffocating clouds, he only sits and lies down.
He can’t stop eating, for there is nothing left to do. He has eight packets of cigarettes left. He drew a tree on the wall in crayon, it grows sometimes, it shrinks sometimes too. He misses the trees.
He made himself laugh today, how he laughed! He forgot to write a will, so he set about writing one, but then he remembered! Whoever finds this diary is welcome to all of his possessions.
He may be the last human alive, but he doesn’t feel human. He smells like an animal, he looks like an animal, he even moves like one, cautious and guarded. Some tortured creation.
It ate too much again today, that greedy beast. Is it speeding up the end on purpose? Does a creature understand purpose? It drinks water from its bowl now, only from its bowl.
It has four weeks of food left, if it keeps its greed corrupted mouth open as it has been doing, that is.
It dreamt about god again last night; it’s on the verge of something.
The walls of its room are closing in. The crayon tree has died, it didn’t water it enough.
It lies beneath its bed now; the air is too toxic to lie anywhere else. It put on the gas mask; the gas mask doesn’t work. It tried to rearrange the book it made; creatures can’t read books.
It needs peace.
Its plants are almost dead, soon the oxygen will be gone, like the food, like it.
There was a knocking at the door today, frenzied.
Sounds and lights come from outside, sounds and lights comes from inside.
The sounds and lights want it dead.
It doesn’t want to starve to death, it’s going to go outside, to die like the rest of its race. It tries but it fails. It tries but it fails. It tries but it fails.
It tries but it fails.
It tries but it fails.
It feels in control again, It has regained some peace of mind. Tomorrow is its last day, it will suffer no more. He is going to go outside; he is going to breathe in that toxic air. He’ll hold his breath for as long as possible, to be the last living thing to enjoy some sunlight. Just for a minute, I’ll be free.
Today is the day. I have made my peace. What awaits me in the afterlife? Is there an afterlife? To whoever finds this diary next to my lifeless corpse, rejoice in it, for it is an artefact.
I’m about to open the door. My pen shaking, my legs trembling, my heart pounding, my breath held. I want just one minute of sunlight before the air has chance to corrupt my lungs.
It takes a deep breath. His final breath. My most satisfying breath.
I’ve opened the door. I’ve stepped out. I look up to the sky. I look back down at my page. My chest is like a vice. My lungs begging to breathe. I look ahead.
The birds are singing.