Author: Hari Navarro
The girl sits atop the corrugated roof of her grandfather’s garage as her fingernails loosen and flake from her hands. Her dog, Apollo, a grandiose name for so tiny a pup lays curled into a tight coil dead at her side. Absently she caresses the congealed cake of his fur and it shifts, detaching from the puckering skin below, sliding away in clumps.
In her other hand is a rhinestone encrusted phone. Its screen as dead as the town that before her, just moments ago, staggered and fell crunching to its knees.
There is to be no post-apocalypse, not for the living at least. No hardy bands of grime-faced survivors, no need for an ingenious retooling of technology so as to prop up a society creaking beneath the weight of a powerless grid. Even those smug fucking cockroaches with their annihilation proof grins have fallen and, as of right now, cease to exist.
Its been thirteen minutes since the craft lurched, a continent-sized drunk in search of a shoulder, into our atmosphere and rendered apart. Not that it’s of any consequence, but the inhabitants of said ship had long since checked out. Perishing at the fickle hand of a simultaneous protection-field malfunction and the ships captains carnal notion to swoop in for a better look at a Hyper-nova, the pretty colours of which he thought his mistress might duly enjoy.
So, this was not a we-come-in-peace nor a bow-beneath-our-celestial-wrath kind of visit. It was a ghost that washed in, bobbing on the taciturn tides that heave and push their jetsam throughout the cosmos’ endless radiated sea.
I don’t know why the ship imploded, all I know is that the pathogen buckshot that it blasted down upon us, that which pierced our planet like minuscule black-holes through butter, did on its travels prick every last living thing on the tip of its bitter syringe.
It mattered not where we cowered, whether it be in bunkers lined with cans of baked beans or luxurious subterranean halls lined with the portraits of presidents past, if you were toiling in black dust deep beneath the crust or if you were the gently undulating Swirei at the bottom of the Mariana – there was to be no escape.
The last girl on earth has no way of knowing that she is the very end of her line as her teeth swill loosely, clinking in her mouth. But it is not the chirp of the dead birds that bunch in the guttering at her feet that she wishes would animate this breeze-less haze silence that has now stuffed her into its void. It is the chirp of her phone she craves.
Her eyes deflate and her corneas settle, as badly folded sheets into the acid cup of their sockets and she thinks about things never had. But it’s not bodies and sweat, not Cliquot on jets, nor is it the cling of fashions never worn she desires. In this last flicker of thought, as she knows she is done, it’s the camaraderie of friends, those that are numbers that live next to ‘Likes’ she laments.
She draws her legs to her chin and drops her phone to her lap and her head falls dead at her knees.
The phone blips. Its screen opens to bath her necrotic gaze in blue and an image appears of a boy she once knew. A boy that now drips, melting beneath cartoon dog ears and nose that sag as if formed out of wax.
“#laters”, texts the last boy on earth and his face it falls off of his skull.