The world fell; the ash fell faster. As thick as the leaves on which it was supposed to be landing, except those had gone. Creating a pleasant sludge to trudge through, neatly balancing out the destruction that had fell almost as completely.

All the lights still shining but nobody left to illuminate. No-one except me, anyway.

The wind would still sing in the distance, an eery reminder of noisier days, but really even the moving air dared not come too close; each flake would sit casually on my coat, just where it fell, no matter how much grace I lost trudging through that sludge.

God willing, they'd cried; God willing? You'd think God'd've gotten around to this a while ago. Not a soul in sight and the only profound thought to be mustered is that it had been inevitable; indescribably so, even. Playing with such things. Toying. The outcome certain, yet we'd never learn. Can't now. Learn what, even? The best question asked, but far too late.

Admittedly the odd taxi passes by once in a while, but not enough to make a dent in my mood, nor barely enough to get back to where we were, at that. Six, nay, seven billion lives lost or near enough and no half-fleet of city cabs is going to undo that. Where are they going, anyway?

The homes are empty and beyond the wind the only sound I can hear is, once in a while, faded remnants of "My Funny Valentine"; faded in that it must be far away and the melody drifts in and out of my perception, dancing around empty buildings and silent streets. Really, Billie wouldn't have wanted this to change, wouldn't she?

Anyway, the ash still fell, so it doesn't make much difference now. I can get to where I am going easily enough, just as I got to where I just was, easily enough. But to where next? It doesn't make much sense to have any such goals on the surface of it, but then why not? Why did we ever? There seems to be just as much purpose in trudging along deserted, ash-laden boulevards as there ever had been, commuting up those same streets when they were filled with voices, sights, smells.

In a way, this is better. Calmer. It's hard to imagine that, had the world been this way to begin with, it would ever have fallen; but then, that's rather the point, isn't it? God willing, indeed — it does rather make one wonder.

And that distantly howling wind really is quite eery.