Aphelion Issue 225, Volume 22
February 2018
 
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The Bunker

by Jordan Louis Carter


Atomic fire ruined the world. The once beautiful blue world called “Earth” was now a frozen crater. Francis Niyara was the last man alive, holed up in an underground Bunker. He felt distraught; his colleagues had deserted him, left to look for other survivors in that toxic, frozen wilderness. Francis had stayed, preferring the security of the bunker, but knowing he would have to leave in two years.

With no warning of the apocalypse he had no time to collect anything from his house. Everyone was gone: his Mother, Father, Sister, and friends. Everyone. Nothing could erase the pain of his bereavement. The animals, the trees, the rivers and the food, there was just so much loss. He couldn’t stop crying over the thousands of deaths. Who started this war? All the Deaths were on his head.

Such a pity, he truly loved the World. His parents painted pictures of enchanting, captivating works of nature. He read amazing, beautiful poetry that his Mother introduced to him from a young age. He loved science, the idea that the world, our universe could have been an accident astounded him. He hated man’s progression in science though. There were marvellous breakthroughs but using Agent Orange in Vietnam, and developing deadly gasses to use against other life? No. Science should be a way to better humanity, not for another way for men to kill each other.

He thought a lot about conflict. The countless wars that had been thought? Race? Ideology? Land? What did it achieve? Always the victims were innocent, corpses piled up in cities, towns, or battlefields. Why did his colleagues have to go? They were so eager to find other life. Francis kept telling them there was none left. If the fallout didn’t kill them, the lack of food and water would. Soon he would be forced to decide, should I leave or stay?

He kept staring at his wife’s picture every day, wishing he could say goodbye. His diary kept him busy in the day. He had no other way of passing time. He couldn't contemplate whether to stay and die in this casket, or go out and find another sanctuary. Like Davy Crockett he would find no happy ending. If the Alamo would be Davy’s end, nuclear wilderness would be his. With no females to reproduce, the human race was over.

It tortured him. Every time he slept he saw faces from the world he used to live in. He saw time and again the day the bombs fell. On that day, he went to his research lab. The Government had warned Scientists not to stay as nuclear war was deemed inevitable. They still stayed, knowing of its security underground. It came, on a usual day at lunch watching television in the staff room all the channels turned off. Francis kept flicking until he found the emergency channel, it warned you to get to safety immediately.

Eleven months later

Time was up. With the power failing, he thought a lot about ending his life. It was hell for him, he always thought somehow life had to improve. But the food was awful and the air was barely breathable. He’d take his diary with him for another race to read in the future. It detailed the end of man and how to learn from them. Time was up and he decided to take anything else that he needed for survival and head out into the wilderness.

He wished he had more time. More time to exist. Existence itself was perplexing but he’d trade anything for an extra year of shelter. He wished he knew what the purpose of life was. He knew he risked death to find just one person out there. He could die or he could find other life. If he died he could end the last dark chapter of man. But if there was a group of survivors Humanity could begin again in a new Ice Age.

On a hilltop overlooking a decayed town, he tried to access the town, but everywhere the eye could see it was pale white frost with levelled buildings. Getting to the town entrance he saw frozen skeletons, cars, buildings, anything that resembled society destroyed. Death shimmered here, leaving his calling card, a vast sound of silence filled with corpses.

Trapped between a bitter frost and toxic air, this would be the place he died. He said to himself ‘I take the last steps of mankind.’ He kept his diary in a plastic wallet in his satchel. The title read “Francis Niyara, the last man.” Truly, if Hell existed, this was the truest definition of it. Truly humanity deserved this wasteland.

He fell from the icy blast. Feeling the pointlessness of going on he took his helmet off. Later a short figure approached, appearing to be wearing a silver hazmat suit. He knelt to look at the corpse and took the satchel. Walking away, the figure looked to be intensely interested when he found the book.

So, there were more humans. There were some survivors, but for how long?

THE END


2018 Jordan Carter

Jordan Carter is 23 years old, and from the UK. It’s been his passion writing short stories, and he hopes one day to publish a Novel. He loves reading various genres like Horror, Fantasy, Science fiction, Romance and History.

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