This is how the world ends. Not with a bang but with a slow inferno.
Global warming- climate change, whatever you called it, no one believed in it, until it was too late and now is definitely too late. So here I am, at Worlds End. As far north as north goes these days. The last human stand and we’re dying. Like slow roasted chestnuts on an open hearth, the blistering sun has claimed us all.
I look around my empty shop- shop being a very loose term. There hasn’t been money in living memory. Food is our currency. Food, water, air. Survival is the only concern now which makes my little store moot. The near empty space is thick with dust, cloying in my throat and lungs. The sight of my life’s work forgotten and abandoned brings tears to my eyes, precious moisture I can’t afford to lose.
There was a time when I was paid handsomely for my books, the last of the mass produced literature of the 23rd century- the best of humanity and the worst. After music and made up bedtime stories, books were the only entertainment left. Plus the only way of educating the poor souls born into this mess and I was more than happy to oblige. It doesn’t matter now what our kids do and do not know- they’re not going to live long enough to learn lessons from their ancestors.
Our last goat died this morning. Nanny hadn’t been producing milk in a while, the soil as lost all it’s nutrients and she couldn’t get enough to eat but while she was alive, there was hope. We all knew this day would come, no one thought through what would happen the day after, planning for the next 10 minutes is hard enough. We still have fish I suppose. Not enough though, never enough. Starvation is our biggest murderer. Followed closely by heat stroke and disease.
As the sun goes down, I start to hear people coming alive outside- it’s finally cool enough for us to leave our makeshift shelters, someone has started the bonfire to cook up our goat- you never know when the next meal will come.
But I can’t live like this anymore, if you can even call this living. Naming it survival would be a stretch. I sign my name at the bottom of my note, not knowing if anyone will ever bother reading it.
I take one last longing look around before turning off the lights and pulling the knife along my throat.
The Last Book Store is finally closed for good.