Over the past few days, we called it a vacation. By convincing ourselves this was okay, that’s how we coped. It was easy, too, because I’d always been resistant to change. Even in the hours leading up to this inevitable and unavoidable end of the world, I still deny it.
When we step into the warm sand, I look out at the water. The sun blazes at the farthest end of the earth as it lays itself to rest, and a brilliant citrine shaft glistens from the calm, blue ocean. The orange sky is empty of everything but small clouds that hang there like soft balls of gossamer laced with thin, golden threads of silk. The crisp breeze eddies from the sea, contrasting the final moments of the dying sun. It’s everything I had hoped my last moments would look like, except for one thing. I glance back to find Crystal. I want to kiss her, feel her soft lips upon mine just one last time, but I can’t. She’s already gone.
I follow the remnants of her existence across the beach. It starts with her sandals followed by her thin, peach shirt as the breeze folds it over. Her white shorts lay half-covered in the creamy sand. Her bra hangs from a jagged, brown rock jutting from the earth. A pair of blue satin panties I always liked on her float languidly at the center of a tide pool. Her footsteps thin by the time they reach the ocean where hundreds of thousands of crabs play over each other. Crabs that used to be human.
Three weeks ago, The Makers returned. Those who created the world. Those who constructed humanity from nothingness. Those who watched us for centuries. Those we disappointed with our humanity.
After imparting their disgust with us, they allowed us a few questions, because they knew, as humans, we had many. Nothing we said or did changed their minds, though. We already proved, through years of unchange, that we’d never get better. They maintained that we’d still wage wars if left alone. Irrespective of how many of us had grown to accept those who were gay or of a different ethnicity or religious belief, there were still far too many of us that couldn’t respect or love their fellow humans. We failed, and thus had to pay the ultimate price.
Not long ago, they required us to surrender to a mutation that retrogressed us to an undetermined point before we were human. Many fought this, and many died because The Makers had no problem exterminating anyone who refused. Which led me to this beach.
I take a deep breath, and stare down at the green laser line in the sand. All I have to do is step through it, and I’ll transform, too. This is the end for us, but I suppose it’s also a new beginning. I shrug, whisper my last goodbye to those I love, and step into the transmogrifying light.