A/N: Hey there! Thanks for checking this out! So this is an idea that popped into my head and refused to leave me alone. Not quite a story, sort of jumbled poetry, this apocalyptic piece looks at our potential future (if we continue to degrade our environment and fight with each other) and examines religion and hope (and the breaking of both).

I guess? I'm not really sure. Let me know what you think.

Written in maybe half an hour.


We never made it to the stars, to Space, that Final Frontier

To put down roots in other worlds and clutch with

Prying fingers and bony claws a place among the gods

Of whom the Old Stories told and for whom men killed and were killed,

Because we ripped out the roots of Demeter's trees

And sucked dry, like a starving babe, Poseidon's endless seas

And there is nothing left.

But you believed in them, those Old Stories

And you refused to let what was left of humanity's dying members,

Those old women with skin cracked as the earth and eyes black as the moonless night

Tell you otherwise, that the world was dead and always had been, even before The End,

Because how could the gods be so cruel?

And in the dust of the New World you dreamed of Old Things, things like trees and cities and music and water –

The water! An ocean, vast and boundless as the tales of Ares' slaughter

And so you left.

You left with the eagerness of youth and

The walk of a man who has nothing to lose and everything to gain

Because how could the gods be so cruel?

And you left with a pack on your back and few supplies

Leaving nothing behind but the cries of old women,

Their cleft voices keening judgement and death

But with scorn you turned from them with one quivering breath,

And you did it.

And you saw what the old women warned you of

Because you walked across the baking sands where heat melts the flesh

And you wandered to the end of the salt flats and tasted it on your skin

And you saw nothing but your shadow at dawn before you

And your shadow at dusk rising to meet you

And you felt the cruel rays of Apollo's Sun peel your back and face and hope

And you gazed upon the distant skeletons of old cities, full of memory

Burnt and lifeless as the air boiling in your lungs.

You lost your youth, and your eagerness, and you

Even lost your pack, at some point, though

You can't remember now because the days blur together like the shifting sands

Like Hades Underworld swelling to the top

Because the people you met were echoing shells devoid of love and bloated with cruel desire

Could the gods be so cruel?

And you begin to think that maybe the Old World wasn't so very

Different from this one.

And now your beard is long and your feet are tired and

Your bones are protruding like starving cattle

And after so long, after so many years,

You gaze upon what you were always looking for

The ocean

And you know Minos has weighed you and has found you wanting

Because there is nothing left.

You fall to your knees in the sand, your skin dry

and split as the dying earth, and you let out a

Parched wail through cracked lips,

The cry of a man doomed to die

Broken, crippled, burned, scorched, seared

How could the gods be so cruel?

Even the stars are gone tonight

And you know, now, because those Old Stories are just stories, after all,

We did this to ourselves.

...I've been playing a lot of Fallout lately.

And watching Mad Max.