The empty wrapper flips and somersaults its way down the high street towards me, ducking in and out of the shadows between the downcast gaze of the streetlights. It’s the only thing moving in that once congested thoroughfare. The shops stand empty, the street silent but for the faint sound of the wind as it plays its mournful symphony, the percussion of the windows shutters above me and the reedy crescendo of letterboxes stuffed full of unopened mail.
Everything is in order. It’s not the dramatic apocalyptic scene that we’d always envisioned. Cars are parked neatly in their spaces at the side of the road; doors are closed and windows remain unbroken. That’s how it was when the Event happened: nothing really changed in the world, no big bang, no screams of pain and panic, and no news stories with rolling tickers at the bottom of the screen spelling out our impending doom. People just went home, kissed their husbands or wives, played with their kids and put them to bed, and then… were never seen again.
Hands in my pockets and coat collar drawn up under my chin, I wander aimlessly down the middle of the road. I turn into a side street, walk between rows of town houses, neon lightning flickering from behind the windows. Amber eyes watch me from behind a half-licked paw as I walk past. It feels strange to be observed now; I work hard to resist the urge to hold my hand up and shield my face from that haughty glare, the eyes hold questions and accusations “What you doing here two-legs, don’t you know that we rule the world now?” I want to turn and shout that we’re still here, all of us… here and yet not here, but my accuser has already closed its eyes and gone back to cleaning its face.
Everyone is here, yet no one is.
Except me, alone. All alone. I wander the dark streets and listen to the sounds coming from the houses, brought to me on a wind that sings the song of the end of all things.
Maybe one day, if I keep moving on, I’ll find someone else who isn’t stuck inside playing Dragon Age: Origins.