“And then there were none”: Reflections in an Empty Pond

He remembered.  That’s all there was, and, of course, his body.  Everything else, everywhere was gone, well, except for imagination.  Strange that he’d list that last, it was possibly the most important thing that still existed.  Mankind was gone, as was nature, as was the multiverse.  Only he stayed behind; the last guardian, but guardian of what?  Of memories he guessed.

And he’d known what he was doing when he’d agreed to take on the task, if not why. 

His hair still grew, it was infinitely long now, as were his nails, and he still perspired, but that soon evaporated and then vanished into the eternal nothing, actually, infinitely longer than eternal.  He didn’t breathe and of course, urination and defecation had ended, at the end.  He’d accepted the charge when the universe was still young, when the multiverse still was.

And he’d known what he was doing, that it would be irrevocable and endless, if not why. 

But someone had to assume the role.  He’d known how desperately lonely and boring it would be, until only despair remained, without any hope for respite, without any hope for death.  Without any future, only the vacuous present and memories of the past, and his growing hair, and his growing nails, and every once in a while, a bit of perspiration that all too quickly vanished.

Hopefully the first trillion years were the hardest.

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

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