The eclipse got stuck, and the world turned black.
Buildings stood forgotten, plants died and people scrabbled about in the dirt. They fed on beetles, cockroaches and grubs—anything that could survive. Life was bleak, and the light stayed away.
In amongst the rubble one man found he had the light. Whether by drugs or by accident was unknown to him, but he looked at his glowing fingers and knew he was special.
His family discovered his secret and made him hide. They knew the hunger of others.
But he would not listen. He had a gift. Where there was blindness he could give sight.
A year passed before he decided it was time. He stood atop a broken pile of machinery and called out into the endless night.
"I am the light of the world." He spread his arms wide, lighting the world.
The yellow light spread like wild fire across the tops of abandoned buildings and long forgotten houses. Alleyways and deserted streets burst into brightness. Every corner, every crack was touched by the glow.
People had begun to gather and now they saw their world in all its glory; half naked bodies huddled together, some covered in feces, most covered in dirt. The dead lined the streets, stinking and rotten where they had fallen. A group of men raped a young girl as she stared blankly at the concrete. Underfoot, still born babies and cockroaches were trampled together their innards blending with the dull grey of pavements.
The people saw themselves for what they really were and they could not handle it.
They tore him down. Extinguished the light.
And so began the end of everything.
Rich Sampson lives in Hampshire, England with his wife and new baby boy. He has previously been published in Space and Time Magazine and can be found on the net at rich-sampson.blogspot.com