It’s funny; I’d always been among the people facetiously clamouring for an extinction of the human race. We’ve been through a hell of a lot. Pandemics, genocides, famines. If you can imagine it, it’s probably part of history. Yet as I sit here with one hand around my wife, gripping the couch with the other, hoping she doesn’t notice, I can’t help but wish for a do-over.
Maybe we collectively brought about what we wished for. Or maybe that thought I’ve held so dear is simply a coping mechanism. Easier to believe we deserve death, that we had a death wish, than to accept life is and always was a fragile, fleeting gift from the universe that nobody is or was ever guaranteed.
I kiss Susan’s forehead and assure her we’ll be fine, that the government will shoot down the nukes long before they reach us. This is, of course, a lie, and we both know as much. We’d been warned for months about the possibility of bombs dropping but had shrugged the news off each time. Surely that will only happen to the poorer countries on the other side of the globe, I had thought. Surely our military will be prepared and shoot down any missiles. Surely it will come out the man soon to be responsible for our deaths is bluffing.
Alas, a day came when the goalposts could be moved no further. I’d thought about this scenario often as a boy. I had imagined then I might spend my last hours having fun, whatever form that would take depending on my circumstances in life. There’d been nothing fun about this last week and certainly nothing pleasant about anything today. I can only hope there is a Heaven that me and Susan will be permitted to enter, because there is no hope of salvation left on Earth.
I bring Susan closer to me, as close as two people can be, and close my eyes tight, head resting against hers as the windows shatter.
Alejandro Gonzales is a horror author residing in Northern California.
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