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End of the World - Post-Apocalyptic (Short Story)

Updated: Oct 14, 2023

Every night, I sat down on the roof of my house hoping to see the end of the world. Who would’ve thought I would get my wish?


Burning lungs, stinging eyes, a black haze of dust, and the smell of something. “Like flowers” I’ve said before, to those that came after, and to all of you who visit me. The end of the world smelled like flowers. There was no explosion. Those came later. All I can tell you, is that there was a flash. A light, so bright that it seared itself into my eyes while I had them closed. I don’t know if time passed, or if it really was just an instant in time. All I know is that after what felt like a moment, the dust came from nowhere.


We don’t call it dust anymore. We call it “Noxyr”. Don’t ask me where the name comes from. Apparently it’s alive, but I wouldn’t really know much about that. At least, not any more than you would. It doesn’t matter anyway, you’re here to listen to me tell you about the end of the world.


When I inhaled the Noxyr, my first instinct was to breathe it in deeply. It was a smooth feeling, like velvet, and the changes… the mutations… whatever it is that you want to call them, began immediately. My skin blistered, the wounds strangely bloodless. The Noxyr flooded into the gaps, black and inky like the void of space. I screamed, more out of surprise than anything else. It didn’t hurt, don’t let anyone else tell you different. It never does. Trust me, I have abundant experience in the matter.


The patches didn’t spread, but they didn’t stop changing either. The Noxyr, now more like ink than dust, coalesced into scales.


I gasped for air, more of the dust flooding my lungs. More of the blisters, more of the ink. But you all know what Noxyr does. And if you didn’t, you can see it right in front of you, can’t you?


I’m getting carried away. After the dust, after the Noxyr rose from nothing, it was time for my world to burn. You have seen the recordings, haven’t you? And you almost don’t believe them.


The light came again. Stronger. Closer. This time it left me nearly blind. The Noxyr had not changed my eyes. Not yet.


I felt the heat from it, scorching my skin through my clothes. It felt like my eyes would cook in their sockets. The shock forced open my mouth, and I took another breath. The Noxyr worked exceptionally quickly. Just three breaths was all it took for almost all of me to metamorphose. The third breath changed my eyes.


I was confused for the next two or three seconds. I felt like I was looking through a filter. Colors were shifted, and I could see something gathering in the clouds.


The light came again. This time, I was inside of it.


I want you to imagine the single most painful experience you have ever had. I know that most of you are soldiers. Many of you have seen combat. I had as well. If you have ever been shot, then you know the type of pain I experienced. But you cannot possibly conceive its magnitude.


The light burned straight through every part of me that was not covered in black. It was like being pierced by white-hot needles, but that does not come anywhere near the feeling of a circular patch of my arm, and the bone beneath it, melting away. It does not come near looking at my hand, covered in small holes.


Not long after, I woke up. I stood, shaking. To my surprise, all of my pain was gone The holes in my body had vanished, but so had everything around me that had not already been covered by the black substance. Noxyr does not evenly coat non-living things.

The Light had consumed everything with its glare. Parts of my home were gone, like someone had taken a gigantic cookie cutter to it. The forest behind my house had fared no better than my house, and the holes in the road in front of me looked like the continued to the center of the earth. Later, I would be surprised at how close to true that thought was.

Around me, others examined the wreckage. All of us were covered in pitch black scales and had thin films of the Noxyr over our eyes. We were almost unrecognizable to each other. I heard sobbing. As you know, the Noxyr didn’t make it in time to save everyone. Not even close. People tried to understand what was happening. I looked up at the night sky.

I saw them, then. Massive. Multi-limbed, with their joints bending in ways that shouldn’t be possible to cross in front of their bodies. A hundred closed eyes, and each time one opened came one of the beams of light to tear into our world. Their bodies were so luminous that they were even brighter than the devastation they called down.


A scream tore itself from my throat and was then joined by a chorus of others. Terror filled us. A primordial thing from the deepest recesses of the human mind floated above us. Monsters. We’ve never found out where they come from. Oh there are theories of course. You probably have your own. But the fact of the matter is we have no idea. The Noxyr? That was always here apparently. Waiting until we needed it. Like an ancient protector. Ah. I’m rambling again.


The monster, as if it had heard our screams, opened its eye and turned its gaze on us. The beam of light was instantly upon me again. I was inside it. I screamed as I felt it burn away the outer layers of the Noxyr that covered my skin. It felt like being in the surface of the sun, but when the light faded I was alive. Steam rose from me.


I was still looking right at it, gasping for breath, as the first missile struck. A thermonuclear warhead. It had been thought that there was nobody left alive. How could there have been, in the wake of what had come before? The fireball consumed everything that the light had not and seared into my blackened flesh. The shockwave hit, and I was thrown like a blade of grass in a hurricane. I awoke again, somehow alive. Goosebumps ran along my body. Just as it had protected from the light, the Noxyr had protected from the cataclysmic power of the bomb.


The rest of the story you’ve certainly heard. Its what they teach you in your history classes. We hid. For years. Underground bunkers setup for the apocalypse were being used. It turns out there were a lot more of those than we thought. There were also a lot less people. We learned that we could survive off almost anything in those early days. The Noxyr processed the barest nutrients for us. It did everything from filter out the toxins from what we ate and drank to allowing us to photosynthesize if we needed.


Eventually we did more than survive. We learned. The Noxyr could be shaped around us. We could control it, to an extent. We could collect it off ourselves and use it for other purposes. The first thing we did was make sure every single bunker was covered in the stuff. The next thing we did was figure out how to use it as a weapon.


We fought back against the monsters. The large ones that had devastated cities and countries. The small ones that had dropped from the heavens like hateful stars. The Noxyr didn’t make us invincible, but it was close enough. Thirteen years later, and we Primordials had reclaimed a third of the planet. In the fifty-eight years since, the subsequent generations have nearly doubled that number.


And now there is you. Perhaps you will witness the final purging of the Lightbearers from our world. Know that even if you do not, however, you fight not only for yourselves but for all of those who still live underground. Remember that while you may not be among the first of those affected by the Noxyr, being a Primordial carries its own punishments. They are plain to see, after all. Take the gifts you have been given by the metamorphosis. Learn to control them. Learn to use them. Hone them until they are sharp enough to cast our enemies from our skies. We will fight on for as long as it takes. And we will have victory.


It’s interesting that our world ended in a battle of light versus dark. It was somewhat unexpected for the dark to be on our side.

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I like this one! would be cool to develop more story around it

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