29

Jan

by thefourpartland

There stood upon all the plains a single light. It was a dull thing, little more than a soft glow amongst the tall stalks of wheat that covered the many square miles, but it was there. It had been there each night for many years now, and no one had stopped to observe it, for there was no one left to observe.

The plains were empty of all animal life, and had been for a great many years. Yet still the light burned, and that was a curious thing, for had not the men who created it long since disappeared?

Indeed they had, and all but a few of their buildings had fallen to ruin, and where once dwelt many thousands in great hives called cities, there was only the gentle swaying of vines in the breeze, and the smell of fresh budded flowers.

Yet here upon the plains there was that light, and it came from a window of an old building, squat and square and crumbling. And if one stepped closer to examine the structure, and had knowledge of the lost times, one would see that it had once been a house, a place for men and the children of men to stay in comfort.

Grass sprung from the cracks in the building, but insects and flies troubled the green stalks not at all, for they had gone too. Only the rustle of the wind broke the stillness of the plains, until with a sharp clatter the last pane of glass in the window fell in.

In that instant, the wind died, and all about fell still, for the light had gone out before the coming of the dawn. That had never happened in all these long years, but at last it had come. With the dimming of the light, there would be no more artificial light in this world, for that light had been the last tool of men to function.

And if one had stepped inside the house, they would have seen the pane of glass had cut a wire that ran from a car battery to a child’s night light. It kept the child safe no more.

Comments

  1. Jessica Rosen on 01.30.2011

    Beautifully crafted. I felt a dreadful, haunting emptiness expand as I read. Moving closer, fear deepened. The last words were chilling as they ejected me from the spell of the story. Your use of language is gorgeous. Thank you for posting this.

    Take care,
    Jess

  2. L.M. Stull on 01.31.2011

    This is an exquisitely well-written short piece wherein every single word holds significant power over the reader. As the story unfolds, you are tormented with an aching sadness. The ending sends you plummeting into a pit of despair as you learn the true meaning.

    A perfect example of how amazingly powerful the written word can be. Simply put, this story is dark and stunningly beautiful (shoot me, I called it beautiful).

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