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A Future's End

by Skylar Joel Harris about a year ago in Mystery
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From an impossible dream

A Future's End
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Hundreds of years beyond the age of super heroes and super villains. The fight for balance has turned into structured chaos in a dystopian reality. There is no city or economy like humans have ever known, where now everyone has a minimum of two super powers, and can have up to a dozen.

Those who don't have powers, are trafficked by factions and force fed drugs to induce powers upon them. These innocent people struggling to survive in this world usually die, and others who don't suffer dire consequences. Because they are often late bloomers, and the forced quirk is conflicted with one that hasn't yet surfaced and can permanently alter their personality and appearance.

I wake up everyday, wondering what my powers are. I know I have unique powers. I'm still alive, still alone. Lost, searching for my home or family or any friends I used to have. Problem is, I have no memories. The compromise to a power I can't identify, is I only live in the present moment. Every journal entry, is an attempt to help me orient my reality not just daily, but for every second.

When I look in the mirror, I believe I see the same person every time I do. But I could also be able to change appearance, though it appears from my entries I've remained the same. I see hundreds, thousands of people with this power. It seems normal to manipulate your self in some way, or others.

The cities are all trashed, abandoned, in the sense there are no groceries to buy. Nothing to trade, no places to go that haven't been damaged or ruined or vacated, or rebuilt into fortresses. Night time is the worst, it's when nocturnal quirks emerge, and most are lost to their savagery. Consumed by the chaos of no future.

Factions hold the anchor to our world now, and whatever is left of the government broadcasts themselves on the news. They manage whatever is left of civilization and do their best to rehabilitate it with their academy of "heroes". Everyone is a vigilante, seeking their own justice, making their own purpose. Mine... is seeking something that will help me remember, anything.

I witness battles everyday, sometimes multiple times a day, and I don't sleep until there is enough distance that I can close my eyes without fear. Sometimes the rumbling in the distance, the destruction miles away lulls me into sleep. My journal is the only solace I have, without it, I wouldn't have a story to tell or remember.

I've been able to map out where I've been based on what notes I've taken, and what to avoid, and where I can go back to incase I need clothes or rations or lest I'm injured, medicinal needs. Without memories, I somehow remember how to write, my body knows what to do. My body remembers everything I go through, my mind is always a blank slate. No feelings to go back on, except the feelings of being lost... the feeling of searching for something I lost.

My favorite faction is the only group I'd call heroes these days, because they will take groups down, without killing them unless they HAVE to. Their group gets larger because of it, helping others come to their senses. I've been trying to contact them, but always find myself alone in every attempt of seeking them out. As if my cognition only remains relevant every seven to ten seconds, and I'm never fast enough to get their attention.

I don't think I've left this city, something tells me I need to. But I can tell, I'm too afraid to try. Afraid I'm going to leave something important behind that will tell me all I need to know, or at the very least, why I've forgotten how to remember anything.

Last time I saw them, they were in trouble. Using powers I've never recorded before, how I was able to see this fight I'm still unsure. Maybe I'm the wind, and my body is an illusion, seen only by me in a mirror because it helps me from going insane.

They were at a school, not a hero school, a normal human school. Drugs were being used on people to remove their quirks, and sent out into the world to be taken and trafficked or killed. Or maybe they did it to disable threats.

This hero faction came down, in their jets and giant forms, their elemental powers, and ability to speak anything into existence to fight. It wasn't easy for them to overcome their enemy.

Something new was conjured, like an alien or monster. It didn't seem human, although many of us don't seem human, these were from another world or realm I can't fathom. I can't even tell if I'm only dreaming this anyway, or if I'm actually alive and part of this world.

They stepped through the brick school like it was nothing, roaring through the streets, and creating craters with each impact. The Transporter summoned a new device after throwing a homing beacon, and gargoyles swooped by, throwing a dark purple sphere pulsing to the center of it. It constructed a mass, mimicking the monsters they were fighting.

These demons have no skin, just bone with multiple limbs, and their flesh hidden underneath the bones. When hit, their body splashes like liquid acid, and is harder than steel at other times. They took down the gang members so that they could focus on these death defiling entities.

One of them turned and saw me, which scared me. I didn't run, I looked down to write it fast in my journal. By the time I looked up, I'd forgotten I was in danger, and saw the creature nearly devour me up in the highest tree, just as it was snatched from the air, and plummeted into the ground.

I wasn't able to track how they killed the creatures, or what they did with the gang who hosted this whole operation. They were more concerned with each other, making sure to heal. I'd never recorded them being so still, and so kind before. They are always on their next task, snapping jokes, and focused on the threats at hand. This time... it made me swoon. Just watching their affection, I wondered if I had a family.

I blinked and they were gone, and I decided to check inside the school now that it was empty. Every hall, I checked the lockers. Every time I entered a room, I wrote down what it looked like, how it made me feel. Nothing struck a memory I've lost, nothing I find is something that triggers anything familiar.

I search the entire school, posing and imagining what it was like before there were powers. When kids would pretend to have powers, and now everyone does, and there's no more fun anymore. Just survival and chaos, desolation, and the remains of memories that could tell stories to anyone except for me. I can only read the dusted, charred, and soiled documents of people generations ago, and assume their role.

The feeling of being lost and alone grew the more I checked each hall, each locker, and every room that was still there. Half of the building was destroyed, and all that was left was the basement under the gym. It was a bunker, a fallout shelter almost, except it was a locker room for the kids who changed for P.E. Notes I made sure to write down, because it would have been easy for me to forget, and not check the basement.

There's chalk on the walls still, like messages. Symbols directing my imagination, telling me a story. I hear a deep concussive thud, and I assume its a fight nearby. But it gets louder as I get closer to it, warm in my chest. I take only a couple steps at a time, before writing down each difference until I find...

Water and metal, the sound of chains dangling. There's a sound like something breathing, but it's not that either. There's light, it's flickering, and showing me a whole other set of lockers I haven't yet checked. The thud is deep, in my chest now, in parallel to the events outside. This is the first time I've felt anything other than aloneness.

I open the locker, afraid something was living in it, and found pictures of myself. Pictures of me, just me. Taken by friends or family, I was happy... in some of them anyway. Most of the pictures... I'm terribly sad, not on my face, but in my eyes. Like there's a secret I know, that would crush the world if I told it.

I look around, searching my garments, and the sound of wet chains dangling again makes my heart skips a beat. I touch something, it's metal. A small heart shaped locket. The designs are very unique, and I can't find a way to open it. I write this all down, as my heart is pounding, my hands are shaking, and I'm nervous.

I look up at a photo to see myself holding it in front of my chest, tight. It's around my neck, and the way my fingers are holding it, tells me there is a latch along the seam. I feel it, but it won't open, so I whisper to it. Hearing my voice outside of my head for what feels like the first time.

"Open... please..."

And the wind moves through the whole basement like a giant howl, soothing but haunting at the same time. I close my eyes, and breathe it in, gasp as I almost forget about the latch in my hand. I write down what happened, and just as I finish writing... I see it.

The locket is open, and inside is...

My memories.

It's alive, swirling, glowing a wild green, and the more I look into it, I remember. I've never held memories of the past. I've only been able to see the future, and I locked away my quirk.

The further I look into my memories of the future, I see it. The reasons why, I locked it all away. There was no escape from this day from happening. I knew all of these events would happen, even if I stripped away my own powers.

I see the end.

I am the cause of the deaths of so many, my family, my friends. It all happened once I saw the end, I lost control of my powers. I am the ending of this world, and there's no way to kill me... I tried. I never wanted to hurt anyone, but this is it.

The locket closes as she sees the end of the world caused by her own gifts, to which she takes the chain necklace and latches it around her neck. Takes a deep breath, finishes her last notes of her journal, and leaves it behind. Allowing herself to be blind to her fate as it is meant to be.


About the author

Skylar Joel Harris

Author, Musician, Vocalist, Voice Actor, World Builder: Seeking the dream team make all the creative work come to life! I've built an entire Universe of stories from my dreams to make; Graphic Novels, Scores, Movies, Series, & Video Games.

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