The end came not from fire or ice, but from protein drinks. After the first tainted Power Fountain beverage claimed a human life, the world and Power Fountain LTD shortly broke down from there.The world was survived by the employees of the dissolution of society.
Holed up in a skyscraper for four years caused strain upon the 217 remaining people on Earth, even if it did come with new friendships, greater understandings, astonishing romances between accountants and marketing reps, births, clarity of demise, factions, deformed births, a short-lived quest for a legendary lost game of Solitaire removed from the computers to maintain productivity, lost births, murders, suicides, murder suicides, suicidal murders, muimimal surcers, and very little filing.
By the end, 215 people had died. This is the story of how the remaining one and a half people spent their final day on a planet that would be be inherited by the smarter iguanas.
The CEO that started the kerfuffle coughed out a gold tooth. It was not natural gold; not when he first started guzzling his own protein drink. Once the water fountains broke down and the maintenance staff dissolved into a puddle of protein years prior, Gonson Gobsmack (CEO) opened the vault that held the last untainted Power Fountain cans and issued them to the final nine humans.
To his immeasurable regret, even though they were untainted, sitting in aluminium cans for years had adverse effects on the consumer. Seven died. Two remained; Kevin Beecher (Data Entry Clerk) survived off of pen ink due to insurmountable fear of the protein drink. Gobsmack fared better only a day longer than the other seven who drank.
He was essentially dead, but delusion kept the man who sucked the world away busy.
“Beecher, file these folders for me, would you? Got to have things orderly for our clients. Appearances give us power. Power Fountain. Power…” Then he died.
Kevin nodded. He knew the last CEO on Earth had been confused, but who was he to ignored a dying man’s request?
He took the colorful folders to the cabinets and began sorting them by state. New Jersey (now barren, orange and musty ash within a month of the tainted shipment), Ohio (survivors lived there for a week until a turtle raced into them and caused the living corpses to shatter), Montana (a revolutionary form of suicide was invented there, but no one was around to document it), and Michigan (the only state with an inhabitant, Kevin Beecher).
He placed the folders into the correct slot, coldly pretending that he wasn’t just shuffling the names of corpses around a hollow coffin. Even seeing a folder with his own mother’s first name on it couldn’t distract him from his menial task.
The last data entry clerk wiped away a smudge from his lips. It had always been a disastrous habit of his, drinking slightly toxic pen ink at work. But it had been a large company, and he had enough experience with data entry that he could pretend he wasn’t there for Quality Assurance purposes, watching the world melt off while drinking a pen over a vat of protein-enhancing liquid.
“Gibson, Kristen. Hewlett, Stewart.”
He told himself that it started when a cute girl in marketing laughed at the ink on his face. Not a mean laugh, but a “chase after my heart” laugh.
“Larson, Alison. Brie, Brie.”
But he knew it was a predispositional habit of his spawning from middle school. He just chewed his was through a pen and liked the taste of it. Now he needs it to survive.
Kevin Beecher realized with horror that his work is done. Nothing could distract him anymore. He rose and turned from the standing metal caskets. His footsteps kept time with the blinking of iguanas, more and more spawning each day.
He continued trudging past the marketing girl, who had died drinking the “clean shipment” only a day gone. She had been his office wife for three years but never bore him a child. They couldn’t justify it. They saw the world; it was not a world of hope.
Finally, he reached the center of the office. For five hours, Kevin gyrated wildly, saying nothing and looking eager for a vacation day. At last, his voice shone through his dance.
“And… done! Well, now that that’s over with, better go get the handgun my boss keeps in his desk and blow my brains all over the office.”