With nowhere left to go, he walks.
He sometimes follows the warmth, sometimes the stars, sometimes the moon, sometimes the sun, sometimes the road, sometimes his gut, sometimes his ear, his eye, his fear, his stomach, but he never stays.
He gets what he can from once filled houses.
He tries for food and water and shelter and warmth.
What isn’t rancid or taken or chewed is his.
It’s an existence, not a life, a slight, razor thin existence.
His gut fear and revulsion to the scattered corpses rots away as the bodies themselves as time passes. He barely notices the ragged piles of bones any more. Only to see if they can help him survive for a few more moments – a pair of unsplit boots, the warmth of unspoiled cloth. It is not often anymore.
He wanted to save people, even a person., but he could not save a population, and when he first awoke in his new, empty, lonely world, he was too late anyway.
So he walks.
He keeps no appointments or dates or anniversaries to remember and celebrate and mourn. His is the responsibility for all the anniversaries of births and deaths and weddings and the tiny events that make up lives, lives of all the fading pile of bones of people . Every day carries the echoing silent lost memories of a thousand reasons to remember or celebrate. So he celebrates and remembers none.
He has abandoned all human agencies on time
No watches, no clocks, no calendars, no phones, no screens.
He sleeps when tired, raises when rested ,eats when hungry, drinks when thirsty and adds more clothes as it gets colder.
He obeys no schedule, no timetable, no alarms.
By the sixth month he had almost stopped talking. At first his unending string of small comfort babble was just a hope that he was talking to someone, anyone, anywhere. By the end of the first year, he just made sounds of alarm or fear or surprise.
He carries on walking.
He fears no insecurity, no bullying, no redundancy, no social awkwardness, no bills, no debts, no lateness, only injury and disease.
There are no Firemen to rescue him, no Ambulances to save him, no doctors to cure him.
And he keeps walking.
The herds in the field, unattended, have perished and occasionally violently.
At first there were waves of death and dying and corpses, and terrible and sudden evolution of survival of the most savage and least emotional about their meals. All the creatures unable to cope without their human masters were dead within weeks. All the creatures unable to cope with the new world of angry and snapping teeth were dead within months. Savage carnivores; scavengers and raptors. The apex creature of this new landscape were packs of canines, only the hungriest, most vicious, least domesticated ,most able to re-wild make up and stay alive in the packs.
He fears the howls and barks of these packs.
The remaining cats continue as before, self contained, retraining their hunting play into reality and food. The ones with warning bells starve. He doesn’t fear cats, they will not attack him unless he isn’t stupid.. He is too large to be prey. But he is easily small enough for a pack of dogs to take down. They now follow and stalk and prey and devour the remaining herds that have broken their paddocks and roam in search of fresh grass.
Great swelling waves of rats swept through the towns and cities, generation after generation cleaning and defiling and destroying supermarkets and shops and houses. Cats and raptors followed the rats and the hypermarkets were teeming with claw and tooth and death and life.
He stays away from there..
Occasionally the packs of Dogs go after the rats and cats and raptors. Everything is always hungry and on the edge of life.
Without maintenance the automated machinery of the former world ground to a halt, never to restart. Power and water no longer ran from the walls. Mansions and maisonettes all fell silent save for the slow crumble to ruin.
Mosses and grasses and weeds slowly advanced and reclaimed the tarmac and concrete. Water burst from pipes in the winter and pooled until the water stopped running. No longer scared by the rumbling trucks and trains and cars and feet, the scavengers and raptors moved back in.
Without so much unused produce, there were explosions in populations in the first couple of years, before the new and old bounties ran out and the populations had to feed on each other – a short lived new bounty, and then back to scraping for sustenance and subsistence.
He scraps and scrapes for sustenance and subsistence.
He is the Last Man On Earth.
And he wishes he wasn’t.