The Floating Hope

The lights were flickering on and off, casting a dismal glow on the ocean platform. Thirty-five years ago, when the earth had flood and America had become nothing but a wasteland of shining seas and stormy nights, the light towns had been set afloat. The Blackout of 2020 had triggered the new Dark Ages, and ever since then we had known nothing of the sun’s rays. We knew only of the soft glow of lanterns bouncing off pale skins and artificial warmth heating frozen bodies. The light towns were now adrift, beacons radiating hope in a sea of unsurity. Tonight the lights were sitting on the blackness of the water, glimmering like miniature galaxies on the universe known as earth. One felt like he was a giant, the size of God even, having a hand large enough to reach out and hold a star in his palm. It was magic. The little bulbs were flowers blooming life in this dark world. But the bulbs were dying. They all went out, covering the water in an empty abyss of blackness. The motion of the water signaled an existence: that we hadn’t just died and become nothing. The lights returned in a spectrum of flares across the water’s surface. Life returned and the rhythmic lull of the ocean was nothing but secondary sensory information. People started to crowd together on the ocean platform. Community was all we had left when the lights would go out for good. Several hours later, the sparkling lights extinguished forever. We were alone in the darkness, left to suffer an existence with nothing but a sea’s swaying. It was the year 2050; the year that humanity’s final radiance went out and the year that existence ceased to be anything more than nothingness with memories of somethingness.

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