The Final Lesson

The Final Lesson.

By David Eccles

Concealment is a skill that is rapidly learned if one wants to stay alive in this day and age. You, however, have no need to acquire that skill. For you to continue to exist, all that it takes is the ability to satisfy the hunger inside you.

Streets once brimming with life are now filled with death and are littered with the bodies of the slain; their sun-bleached bones and distended, maggot-ridden torsos and half-eaten faces putrefy and liquefy as they leech into the earth. If those same streets were filled instead with the crimsons, browns and gold of fallen autumn leaves, you would not notice, for beauty is a concept you can no longer grasp.

Do you struggle to keep going every day? Do you worry where you will find your next meal? Do you sleep at night, or do you even sleep at all? So little is known about you and your kind, and there are so many unanswered questions needing answers. The truth of you is there to be learned, but just what can you say without the power of speech?

Observation of your body language is all that is available, and so inquisitive eyes watch you from a distance, eager for you to teach the minds behind those eyes something new each day, so that they might understand. As they remain in hiding, scientists scribble frantically in journals and watch you in your attempt to satiate your urge for flesh, tearing open the neck of an old woman whose car ran out of gas at the wrong time, and a mental note is made by one of them to retrieve the can of gasoline that fell to the ground once the coast is clear.

Their unwillingness to interfere was not the act of monsters; it was the act of scientists ensuring that a level of control remained in the experiment. At least that’s their excuse.

How does it feel to be considered an experiment, and do you even remember what an experiment is? Do you retain any memories, or have you forgotten everything, including what it was once like to be human? Are you still capable of learning?

A trash can being knocked over alerts you to the presence of food, and you slowly turn to see a figure in military clothing standing before you with pistol raised and the safety off. You advance, not hearing the whispered prayer that escapes his lips. Taking pity on you as he prays to his God, the soldier takes steady aim and squeezes the trigger, hoping that his aim is true and that you will finally get to meet his God. The back of your head explodes and you fall to the ground, lifeless at last.

For you, John Doe, the experiment is over, and you have just learned your final lesson, though you won’t remember it: once you die, it’s best for all that you stay dead!

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