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.