Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"Last Man on Earth"

This was my response to a challenge to begin a story with the words: The last man on earth sat alone in his room. There was a knock at the door...

The last man on earth sat alone in his room. There was a knock at the door. He tried to ignore it, but it came again, then again, never insistent, but ever persistent.

"Yes, yes, come in."

The door opened slowly and a hunched form shambled in. The sharp black suit and shades were a stark contrast to the condition of the being's skin. Bits of his flesh fell to the floor in clumps as he made his way to the desk where his master sat.

The man didn't bother looking up from his writing. "What do you want, Jones?"

"Brains-s-s- s-s."

"Very funny," the man replied. He finished his entry and put down the pen. It really wasn't funny, not anymore. True, he had found it humorous the first thousand times or so, but now? The only word he had heard for months from any mouth but his own was 'brains.' He was more than a little tired of it.

He took the tray from Jones and set it on the table. Time to eat. After all, Arther Beadleman, Undisputed Ruler of the Entire World, had to keep up his health. He snorted.

What a joke.

"Brains-s-s- s?"

"Oh shut up and go away."

Jones put a decomposing hand to his collar and whispered a muffled "Brains." He didn't seem to notice as a large chunk of his cheek fell onto the eagle emblazoned on the floor as he shambled back out the door.

Arthur looked at the microwave meal on the desk in front of him. It was still frozen.

"Ahhhhhgg! What was I thinking? It sounded like such a good idea at the time."

The fact that most evil geniuses failed to think their plans through held little consolation for him. Most evil geniuses were foiled before their plans ever came to fruition. Many failed multiple times, or were stopped just moments after achieving their goal. At least that's what the "Evil Geniusing for Dummies" book had said. Leave it to him, Arthur Beadle, to succeed his first time out.

How was he supposed to know his zombie virus would work so well? How could he have predicted the speed with which the world would succumb? Who knew that all life would be affected - animals and plants - leaving him as the world's only living occupant? How could anyone have guessed he would be stuck eating processed food that his "servants" could never remember to cook, use candles for light because no one had enough brains left to run the power plants, and be stuck forever in the freaking White House because going outside put him at risk of catching the MUTATED virus that he had no antibodies for?

He adjusted his position at the Resolute desk. Who knew that the President's chair was so freaking uncomfortable?

Arthur Beadle tore the top off the meal and munched on a frozen french fry.

Being the Undisputed Ruler of the Entire World sucked big time. He picked up his pencil and went back to work. When he published the updated version of "Evil Geniusing for Dummies" he would make certain he included that fact.

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