Rusted precipitation fell from above and coated the young man in fine red dust. He walked along the rotting floor steadily, moving resolutely toward the collapsed far wall, once safely comprised of steel framing and utilitarian windows, now opening up to a sixty storey drop and a breathtaking view of the silent, decaying city.
He managed to make it to a precariously situated section of flooring, thin and infirm, an aerial peninsula. He gazed out upon the beautiful, terrible sight, occasionally allowing his eyes to stray to the feral animals roaming the concrete canyon with a grim fascination. The floor cracked under his pristine shoes only slightly scuffed from the climb up. He paid it no mind.
The wind kicked up between the peaks of the man-made sequoias, growing rough within seconds. His section of floor began to sway dangerously. A pigeon flew in on the breeze and landed on a broken exposed beam of steel. It eyed him with a glassy, blank stare. It cocked its head, ruffled its feathers, and cooed.
He turned to regard it and noted absently that it was not the grey, white, or even black of pigeons of his memory. It was the color of dried blood. Man and bird had a staring match as the wind got more and more tempestuous.
The gust howled, but the man found music in its voice even as it flapped the lapels of his undistinguished suit against his neck. The chorus of whoops and groans of surprising pitch and variation almost seemed to echo times past when the city was a vibrant, pulsating organism bustling with life and activity. He could nearly hear the strain of voices and the rush of cars flying across the now-corroded highway. He could even almost imagine he smelt the cancerous scent of carbon dioxide and hot asphalt.
And then, it was all gone, replaced with the foreign red world that lay before him, only punctuated with the pinprick of life lying within the bird.
The wind did not stop, however. The faded nametag on the man's lapel nearly came free of its pin. Hello, it said. My name is _____. The name was blank, or scratched out.
The bird let out a coo that was nearly a screech and extended its wings as it lost its balance in the gale. With a final reprise, the wind snapped the floor beneath the man's feet, and the bird decided to take off.
The man did not stir. He fell freely, as if unshackled from heavy manacles, and did not foolishly try to counteract the effect of gravity.
He was the foundation of this city, after all. It was only fitting that he go down with it.