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There Will Come Soft Rains (Alternate Ending)

In the nursery, the jungle burned. Blue lions roared, purple giraffes bounded off. The panthers ran in circles, changing color, and ten million animals, running before the fire, vanished off towards a distant streaming river…

Ten more voices died. In the last instant under the fire avalanche, there was a voice madly repeating the day, over and over again…

“Today is August 5, 2026, today is August 5, 2026, today is…”

As the voice frantically repeated itself, and the kitchen continued to psychotically make breakfast of ten dozen eggs, six loaves of toast, and twenty dozen bacon strips, the noise reached a crescendo…

Then there was the crash.

Fire consumed the harried house as it fell into itself floor by floor, attic to kitchen, kitchen to cellar, and cellar to sub-cellar. The crash rumbled and jarred the foundation of the house as it crumpled like paper. The fire roared on as it spread through the yard, hissing on the freshly showered grass. The dead land was consumed and the neighborhood went up into the night until the dawn broke through the haze created by the night.

In a once immaculate street stood stone and concrete pathways, caved in cellars, and odd charred beams. There was a hissing of the last mechanical whirs before the silence suddenly laid over the ruins. The silence was odd and hadn’t been known for many years. The land gave a quiet whisper as the last of the human’s touch on the world had been carried away on the wind.

The breeze blew slightly through the charred, dead grass, and the earth moaned from the weight of the cracked concrete slabs. The earth rejoiced in its victory as it began to grow again.

And in years time, it may see the faces of its old friends once again.

 

One Comment

  1. This is a very subtle but effective alternate ending. It shifts the focus away from the absurdity of technological remains in the absence of humans and instead makes us think about what is actually left behind when those remains finally disappear. And, in the end, it feels hopeful instead of desolate. Nice work

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