a short story by Jeremy C Kester
Note: See end for copyright, notes, and other restrictions/permissions.
Her breaths were heavy. There was no comfort; there was no time. She struggled to find any of it in the barren landscape, but there was none. Even her last meal, something cold in a can gave her little relief from the hunger that grew inside her. Comfort was stolen away in what was left. Time moved into the eternal. Ashes were licked by flame stealing all that was left of what once was.
Below her eyes, liquid fell upon the ground below. A protruding stomach twitched. How could it have lasted this long? How had she not used the knife or leaped to quicken the pace of the march that had existed since the first breath of her species started. End comes. End will always follow.
A piercing scream echoed in the wastes. Life continued that relentless cry for existence against the universe. A last pitiful battle cry for an army already defeated.
Her knees buckled and a hand reached out for something to lessen the burden of the fall. Nothing reached up to lend the help she desired. Instead her body hit the ground. She twisted to protect the only thing left that could matter in desolation. If she could bear the pain enough to allow thought to peak through, she’d have wondered what the point of her resistance was. But deep down she’d have known the answer: the eternal love of mother to child.
The air was dark and cold. This despite the fires in the distance. They did little to warm the poisoned land. Sunlight could no longer pass through, it could no longer warm the planet, like a mother being rejected by its child.
Time passed in an excruciating march. The woman had no sense of bearing on how long went before her and how long was behind. Pain riddled her and consumed her thought. Eventually, it gave way to intense relief. Another cry entered a silent world.
As she held the child, there was only regret. Regret that it could not have been ended sooner. Only seconds of love were allowed. The woman wept, knowing that she was fading from the world. Her vision narrowed and muscle by muscle fell into absent existence. And as she drew her last breath, the young baby cooed, cradled in her mother’s arms, the last remaining life to breath in a world that no longer cared for that which lived upon it.
Copyright © 2022 by Jeremy C Kester – all rights reserved
Do not copy or reproduce without written permission.
This story will remain posted for free for a minimum of one month from the date of posting. After that date, it will be up to me (Jeremy) to keep it on the site or remove it.
If you enjoy the content from me and this site, please consider purchasing one of my books, or if you prefer another way to help support my work, consider donating by clicking: PayPal.Me/jeremykwrites
Leave a Reply