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Written for HT100 Challenge #95: Same name, different story

Last Man Standing

by Ralu

He goes all the way up. He climbs; step by step by step, looking down from time to time. He likes it - the rush. The vertigo. Everything shrieks down to the edges of a cigarette burn, smudged and dirty...but still, all the same. All so fucking depressingly the same.

So he climbs.

Up on the roof, he lays on the cold stone and stares up, all around. The sky's breaking apart, the buildings slowly rot and crumble; taste of ashes in his mouth, blood stains on his fingertips, smoke filling up his lungs, curling underneath his ribcage like a dying river snake.

"I'll wear clothes of fire and climb all the way up to heaven...and never come down," he mutters absently, watching the sky falling into pieces above him.

Never ever.

He stands up - and he's the only man left. All to himself.

All...depressingly the same.

One of these days, the sky will shake and shiver and disintegrate into dust. The earth will turn upside down like a coin flipped over - naked and sterile and hollow. Everything will be smashed. All over.

One of these days...

It ain't that long, baby. It ain't that long.

The Pied Piper always remembers his lost children. And the children never forget the Pied Piper's soundless rhythm, constantly creeping just beneath the skin, where the blood flows. Always...whispering. Poison.
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