The End of Everything | Daniel Norrish

The terrible conclusion to this gripping series.

The End of Everything

Daniel Norrish

To the Nines Award: Part 9 


The raging fire was all around me and I could feel the clothes on my back disintegrating in the heat. No human being could survive in that underground furnace, but I swear to you now, I stood and gazed around me at the carnage of which I was responsible.

I pulled my tortured frame up the stairs and into the bush away from the destroyed facility. I thought I’d die there in the dirt. I thought my corpse would shrivel up into a tight ball of insect silage, but I healed.

I understand if you don’t believe this part of my terrible memoir; you shouldn’t. No sensible person could be expected to trust me when I say that I lived. But the facts are that I stood and I looked down at the exposed bones of my bloody hands and I watched the skin grow back over them. The pain simply ended and I too became a ghoul. I too felt an unbelievable urge to procure and feast upon whole masses of human flesh.

I knew, standing there in the bush, that Antonio and I were the only devils of our kind upon the planet.

“Antonio!” I screamed as I found the trail of his footprints. “You fiend! You murdering, vile cannibal! Do not take this virus back to the world. Think of the damage you will do. This could be the end of everything.”

“This ascension is the future, can’t you see?”
I heard his voice ahead of me and I sprinted over the sharp rocks and pointed sticks on the ground. I felt the skin of my feet being punctured and torn away, but what did I have to fear? Any trivial injury would quickly vanish.

“Be reasonable, let’s end this now,” I urged as I stepped out into a clearing and saw my enemy.

“Our return will be glorious,” he said. “Only the strongest will survive. Don’t you see? Nothing but survival will matter anymore. No one’s bank balance or career or residence will ever be important again. Everyone will earn their place on a food-chain.”

“You’re insane.”

“Yes I am, but that won’t matter. Every person you have ever known, including your parents, your lovers, your politicians, your heroes and heroines, EVERYONE will be a murderer.”

“Please-” I began to beg, but I stopped when I saw what he was doing. He was stuffing the corpse of the first woman I had killed into a backpack. He had severed the stinking, rotten limbs of the guard I had to assassinate upon leaving the facility and he was packing them like a picnic.

Then he ran.

I have no idea how long I chased him through the bush. It must have been hours because I marked the progress of the sun across the sky as we panted and swore at one another. When I charged ahead, he sped up until I tired and slowed once more. If my pace dropped, he took a moment to walk and catch his breath.
We were perfectly matched and the sun set as the bush around us thinned and turned to desert.

I was exhausted and I had no choice but to rest as the wind lashed at me in the growing darkness. Antonio paused on the horizon ahead and I could see that he was feasting on the filthy gore he’d so strangely packed.

I gave chase again at dawn. Antonio ran ahead of me with new vigour and he traversed the rocky plains of the outback with exuberant pleasure, but I was exhausted.

I could hear his cackling on the wind.

I am so ashamed to say that I could smell the rot of his provisions and I craved a taste. My throat was so dry that it stung to breath, but I wanted to drink blood much more than water as I pursued the fiend across the sands.

I collapsed in the afternoon heat and my mind wandered into unconsciousness. When I woke, the moon was high in the sky and Antonio was long gone. I looked down at myself and I saw that something had gnawed away at my fingers as I slept and I no longer possessed the power to heal. I sit here now, waiting to die and wondering how long this terrible torture will continue.

How long until this indestructible mind of mine quits? How long until I’ve devoured my very soul?

Antonio is among you now. He is somewhere in Australia breathing the horrible infection into the lungs of everyone he passes.

Please believe me. This isn’t a story. My only chance was to write out these absolute facts and post them on the internet where the eyes of innocent readers could find a warning.

Prepare yourself for chaos. It’s already too late.