Muscles finally relax. Mud stains still creep along his arms and heavily callused hands that built the walls and picked the fruits lie still. The animals roam in their fields, oblivious as they had always been.
And in his wooden hut the heartbeat of his mechanical clock counts down its seconds,
A steady tick that has outlived its maker.
He lies on his back, arms outstretched in welcome, eyes still but wide, searching the sky
Never knowing he was the last.
The ripples toyed with strands of hair and they swam apart from her with a life of their own. She was still and silent but around her was a mane of fireworks exploding into vibrancy as the moon emerged to look down upon them: the sleeper and the dancer.
For he moved with the wind and his eyes were bright and alive, searching and yearning. The starlight was a great façade, an elaborate stage of spotlights guiding him through the night. The mirror was mostly unbroken but he tiptoed around its fraying edges and the breeze rustled his tangled hair, and his eyes came upon her.
The moonlight enveloped her still form and the beauty of that moment surpassed his terror for how could so wondrous a being cease to shine once the moon turned its gaze away, even in sorrow.
He died. As big events go it was strangely insignificant. One moment he was as alive as he had ever been: the sounds clear, the smell of the air infused with fading light, bitter blood’s warmth trickling across him, colours so bright, the world fiery with adrenaline and expectation and the sensations of a second promised to overcome him as fear crawled into his open mouth, and the next he was not.
Eyes seemed dulled or blind, the colours warped and a congealed, sickly sky hovered, oppressive, above him. The land fell apart and he was left with a mud-brown wasteland that stretched beyond the curvature of the earth. As he cast about he was struck by the sheer bleakness, barren soil with no peaks or valleys, a huge nothing that sharpened in his vision, endless monotony that even in the earliest moments threatened to consume him. Death was not what he had imagined.