The End by Maxwell Salen


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Normally the thirst doesn't get to me, but so close to the end it would not be ignored, cloaked in the shadows poised to strike. I sat silently in the semi-darkness of our comfortable, high-rise apartment. Though the lights were off the darkness was speared by a hundred pinpricks of light, from the digital clock on the wall to the ready light on the television and a hundred other annoyances.

I could hear keys jingling outside the front door, and then the familiar scratching noise as Elena scratched the door trying to put the key in the keyhole while juggling her designer handbag and more than likely two or three other shopping bags from various expensive clothing stores. She finally managed to open the door bustling through with a perfume of relief, tiredness and Elizabeth Taylors 'Passion'.

"hon you home?" To her the apartment would be cold and dark. The bags dropped to the ground as she fumbled for the light. The switch clicked dryly, but nothing happened. The globes had all been removed.

Outside the window, the delicate lacework of city lights was suddenly extinguished, as a blanket of night enveloped the city and more. Elena was still scrabbling around in the entranceway.

"I'm in here" The words came out with difficulty, as if I hadn't spoken in years.

"the lights are out!"

"It looks like theres a blackout, the whole city has gone dark"

"can you get a light, a torch or a candle or something its pitch black in here"

"I couldn't find anything, come in here and sit down."

"i will if I can get there without banging into the damn table"

Bouncing from wall to wall down the hallway she finally made it to the lounge.

"where are you, its scary here alone" She was so right.


***


I closed my eyes and looked out through the hole that used to be the lounge room window. The cool, crisp taste of the night-bound city washed over me from the wind pouring in.

I had told her at the end I didn't love her, I told her that I was saving her from the ruin of humanity and that this was a mercy.

A predator shouldn't be troubled by thoughts of prey.

It was almost time. The power had been off for long enough for me to cloak.

Perched on the window clothed only in flesh I unfurl my darkness and it billows out behind me pitch-black and powerful, licking over me, nipping at the wind.

I pick up her body lying amidst shards of broken glass, a rag doll in my arms. Quivering in anticipation, I stand at the window on the border between steel and sky and pause.

The time was now, it was here.

Leaping into the night, clutching her body to my chest, shadowy wings bear me up up UP. To FEEL the city through my darkness, the smell, the fear of the city intoxicating. Soaring high above the skyscrapers in the moonless sky, this was a perspective long forgotten crawling on the ground.

I shrieked into the night, all my hunger, all my rage, all my loneliness.




And the night answered me. To the north a winged brother called in return, below me a trio of furred brethren barked 'welcome!' and 'join us!' In the distance a bansidhe wailed again and again.

I released her body into the night, and with it all my love, all my hate, all my frustration and the long years of playing a human fell as well. What was left was the cold sharp sense of the predator. The purity of the hunter.

Never again would we hide, never again would we be hunted. Time to pull the wool from the eyes of the flock, the wolf has come to feast on the sheep.

Time for the end of the world. I think I'm going to enjoy it.