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๐—Ÿ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜ ๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—˜๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ต

๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜”๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฌ ๐˜—๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ

He came out of the underground bomb shelter and walked through the rubble of a dead world. All around him was a barren wasteland. It had taken three days for the final attack to shear all life from the surface of the planet.

He climbed a steep hill and looked across the ravaged terrain. For the past three weeks he had been in his shelter, hunched over a shortwave radio, trying to contact someone, anyone, still existing on the burnt out cinder that had once been a thriving planet. But no voice gave answer to his own.

The sun beat down through a lifeless sky. The very clouds had been burnt away.

Suddenly, he stopped. He saw movement ahead. It was life. Another person walking through the nightmare. He lifted his hand to his brow to shade his eyes from the sun. In a moment of shock, he realized that he knew her. He wondered if madness was creating an illusion. But no, it was truly her.

He put his hands to the sides of his mouth and called out. She gazed toward the sound, squinted against the sun, then turned and ran in the opposite direction.

He sat down on a stone. He watched her silhouette grow small against the horizon and realized that what she had always said was true.

She wouldnโ€™t marry him even if he was the last man on earth. โœฆ


Mark Pearceย is an author/playwright whose stories have been published in national magazines and plays produced on the New York stage and across the US.ย He was formerly Resident Playwright of the New Ensemble Actors Theater of New York, and his play Asylum is listed in the Burns/Mantle Theater Yearbook: The Best Plays series.ย He resides in the Denver-metro area and briefly, Greenwich Village, while one of his plays was being produced Off-Broadway.ย He loves cross-country road trips, and his favorite activity is to sit in darkened theaters to watch characters that had previously existed only in the privacy of his own mind come to life.


Speculative fiction & POETRY ZINE
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