Death of the Raven by Keiron Tonge

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SUMMARY: a simple short story about post apocalypse London and the sole survivor.

Death of the Raven

Between abandoned skyscrapers walked a man. He stood tall at least six feet but slouched. A long flowing coat darker than jet hugged his shoulders and lay slack over thin legs. He walked with a distinct limp. Others rarely noticed but to him it was there. Widening an unseen chasm between himself and normality. And besides what people thought about him when they found out he liked it. To himself he was no freak, deviant or abomination, he was just different.

Smoothly for his worn condition he kept walking between buildings he had never seen before, but that echoed familiarity. The coat swung as he turned a corner into the shade, what was an alley was now a sanctuary in this desert of nothing, under the coat was a simple white t-shirt and jeans with black shoes. All of which were tattered with use. The only thing about him not ragged was a small gold crucifix around his neck. It had no religious use because he was not religious. It was a reminder of the life he had. He lifted up his head to look out upon the "city". his hair was long enough to reach his eyes but was unkempt and did not spoil his vision. His eyes were invisible behind dark, circular sunglasses that allowed no view of his eyes from any angle. Stubble hung on his face. Not long enough to be a beard. The skin visible was covered in sweat but this was a man aged beyond his years. Only nineteen or twenty this man carried himself with the air of a person much older.

Forgetting the city he glanced at his watch. Faint digital figures told him that it was not yet mid-day.

The city outside the alley was empty. The streets, alleys and buildings. Broken glass hung limply on automatic doors that no longer worked. Stands belonging to street vendors were forgotten and bus stands stood solitary in the silence. No customers waiting for a bus. No eager youngsters to set off home from school and no busy parents waiting at home to receive them. The rumble of traffic was extinct in these streets, no buzz of mobile phones or radios blaring out from clothes shops.

The shops themselves were broken into and desolate. In electronics shops packaging lay on the floors, televisions were missing from places on shelves while others remained. Racks in clothes shops were devoid of items in places and any food shops were devoid of produce except the odd tin or bottle.

And yet amongst all this the man in the alley was unconcerned almost emotionless in the midst of past chaos.
He stood and walked out into the sun of the street holding his head high and ,looking up into the face of a clock, gave a deep sigh. The clocks face was cracked. Past majesty had faded from its face and the one remaining hand pointed to the twelve. The other was impaled in the ground below the tower standing tall in the desolation all around the clock there was nothing, the floor was charred outside the alley in a great circle. A circle dominated by the clock and nothing more. For all around it was gone. Wiped out by an unseen force for hundreds of metres around the clock. He stood now in this circle of nothing staring in to the broken face of Big Ben.

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