The Acceptance of Civilization's Ruin

Before Reading Allow Me to State...

...that this is purely a fictional tale based upon my idea of how some might come to terms with some form of apocalyptic end. The content, while not too extensive, may bother some readers due to its nature. 

As the sun began to fall behind the banks of the Mississippi, the humid warmth that had made the daylight hours almost unbearable danced before their eyes. The intermittent crescendos of the cicadas washed over them in waves, and she imagined the setting sun as a falling curtain, slowly bringing to a close the evening serenade that the insects flawlessly performed. Stubbornly, she refused to see or hear anything beyond this: the raging river and the cicada’s lulling cacophony.

From the rise on which they sat, one could see easily across the muddied waters and take in the greenery that sprawled across the opposite shore. Closing her eyes, she pictured the endless highway, which she knew lay just beyond that mass of trees and thickets, and recalled the manner that it wound through miles of well-tended rice fields and cultivated farm lands.

She allowed her eyelids to flutter open once more and turned to him. He sat in a similar fashion, arms laced around drawn up knees, impervious to all else that surrounded them. He squinted against the dazzling rays that reflected off the river’s turbulent surface, but met her gaze after several moments. He smiled, and she returned the favor in kind.

They had been sitting on the grassy knoll for a few hours already in absolute silence, waiting. Now, his hand slid down to the dried grass before him, and grasped the object that had been at his feet since they had settled there earlier that afternoon. Still smiling, she focused her sight back on the swift current.

“Wherever this takes us,” she whispered, “do not forget to find me.”

“I’ll find you,” he replied.

He raised the gun, placed the warm barrel against her temple, and pulled the trigger. The sharp crack of the shot cut through the air, and for an instant, his postured remained unmoving. Then, without hesitation, he turned the weapon towards himself and released another round as the sun finally slipped off the edge of the horizon.

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Comments 8 comments

Allen Williams profile image

Allen Williams 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

Wow, that ending is not what I was expecting! I thought the story was pretty good.


Craig Suits profile image

Craig Suits 5 years ago from Florida

Geez lady, couldn't you think of something happier to write about? I dunno, oh maybe a smallpox epidemic perhaps. Morbid but well written non the less. Bobby Dillon did a song similar to this many years ago with the same outcome. I can't remember the title right off the bat but if your interested, I'll look it up for you.

Might be interesting to compare his lyrics to your text seeing as the subject matter is the same.

One difference is, he probably put a few hundred thousand big ones in his pocket for his efforts.

This tale is unfortunatly not quite as fictional as you might think.For various reasons, It's been happening everyday, throughout our global populas since day one. i.e. Adolf and Eva.or Romeo and Juliet You neglect the reasoning behind the acts which is the real drama. Without that all important reasoning, you story is simply the last chapter from a book of many.


Lilith Eden profile image

Lilith Eden 5 years ago from Memphis, TN Author

@ Allen,

I have never really attempted to include any element of surprise before, so I was excited about this story.

I'm glad to know that it had an effect.

@Craig,

That is true enough, your opinion on the lack of drama, but my intent was to convey the unexpected suddenness of an act such as this and how often times there is absolute lack of evidence as to why.

Plus, not giving an absolute reason for their actions allows the reader to imagine what they will and make the tale perhaps a bit more relatable.

As an example, for me, when I read this, I imagine that after they commit their acts, one notices the city rising behind them. It's buildings, some of which are surrounded by barbed wire fences and barricades, have been desecrated by bomb blasts and gunfire, and there are tan army tanks and deserted civilian vehicles crowding the narrow streets. There is no sign of human life.

Still, for someone else, the reason may be far less epic and much more meaningful. It's up to the reader to decide.

-Lilith


Craig Suits profile image

Craig Suits 5 years ago from Florida

Good grief...You got one hell of an imagination...


Barry Seal 5 years ago

This is eerily beautiful. This should be some type of series.


Lilith Eden profile image

Lilith Eden 5 years ago from Memphis, TN Author

Thank you Mr.Seal.

And you have impressive foresight, considering that a series is in the making :)

-Lilith


Derek Cagle 3 years ago

It was very sad and beautiful.


Lilith Eden profile image

Lilith Eden 3 years ago from Memphis, TN Author

Derek:

I believe that the idea of being able to choose the individual with whom one can die with is perhaps a sad, yet peaceful concept.

Thank you for reading.

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