The crowd stood in silence, the large space was filled with mourners, some carried signs, all wore black. They looked up at the window of the Cathedral and waited, praying for good news, but knowing there was no hope. Inside the woman lay on a large bed, her long golden hair was splayed out around her. Her hair, which once shone with light, had become dull and brassy, her skin was pale, her eyes sunken and dark. Thin wires snaked from her skin and into machines which were monitored by a team of doctors. They stood around the machines, not knowing what to do, there was nothing they could do other than help ease her suffering. A nurse carefully injected something into her IV, she didn’t stir. Over the last year the world had watched as her three brothers and two sisters all succumbed to the same disease, they who had lived for hundreds of thousands of years were dying and there was nothing anyone could do.
The woman opened her eyes slightly, they were milky white instead of the bright, brilliant blue they had been. She called out weakly for her sister, one of the nurses stepped forward and gently gripped her hand. “I’m frightened, the mortals have heaven and hell, but what waits for us on the other side? Do we have our own heaven? Will I be allowed entry?” the nurse didn’t respond, her eyes began to close as she drifted to sleep again, the nurse kept holding her cold hand. A year ago only a few had been allowed touch the gods, those who were deemed worthy enough, since then a parade of doctors and shamans had been through, all trying to find a solution.
The woman let out a soft breath then her body began to collapse in on itself, they watched in silent horror as the last god passed from existence. Finally there was nothing left but the bedsheets and wires. One of the nurses started to cry softly, a doctor went to the window and there he unfurled a giant black flag, the crowd gasped collectively, there was silence for a moment, then the screams started as the crowd cried out as one in grief and horror. Clouds rolled over the sun, casting the world into shade. The gods were dead, they who had done so much for man, they who had slain monsters and fought demons were gone.
Elsewhere, a man stumbled from the depths of a dark cave, squinting against the sudden, harsh brightness, he felt the cool air on his skin, he smelled the sweet scent of the flowers. He stumbled forward, he was not used to walking on two legs, beneath his feet the grass died, nearby a flock of birds took flight, screeching into the sky. The man turned his head in wonder, then he began to laugh, behind him he could hear them, thousands of them, hundreds of thousands, the ground shivered beneath their footsteps. The time of the Gods had ended, now it was their turn.