There is something pure about the cold. It’s sterile, empty, I find it perfect for thinking. You see, there’s this story I want to write. It’s about… well never mind what it’s about, the point is I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about it. It’s my destiny to tell this story. I just know it deep down. One day the world will experience all the thoughts I’ve dreamt up and it will be glorious. I will be a hero, loved by millions. My artistic expression will change the world when it’s finished. Don’t believe me? Just you watch. I’ll work harder than anyone’s ever done before. I’ll spend every waking second perfecting the perfect story. Nothing will distract me, never will working be anything but the utmost priority. Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it to you. To all of you. Millions, billions of years from now people will say “This, this was the thing. The thing that turned the tide of humanity. That inspired the will of our species to burst from its shell and soar into the infinite.” It’ll change the world, the universe.

It took more time than I anticipated. Then again you can’t rush something so influential. All my waking hours I spent headlong in this epic of mine. I was prepared to devote my entire life to it. So that’s what I did. It’s been 75 years, I’m rapidly succumbing to age. But it is finally finished. It’s beautiful. It’s everything I dreamed it would be. The moment I’ve yearned for all my life is finally here. When the people get just a glance at a work of art this majestic, they will weep with joy. I’m not delusional, this vision of mine is the greatest thing ever to come from the human race. And now It’s finished. I realize such a claim is hard to believe. That is why I am going show it to everyone.

I step outside my house for the first time since I was a child. The streets are cold and silent. I walk with my life's work tight under my shoulder. I need just one person to witness its glory. The outside world seems emptier than I remember. In fact, I haven’t seen a single sign of life. Every street and store is deathly vacant as if everyone has disappeared. A panic sets in, I wonder if I’ve waited too long. I wander the towns and cities for days on end. Searching for a single face. A thought buried in my mind spills over into a looming certainty. Perhaps I am the last human on the earth.

Eventually the nights become bone chillingly cold. I look for refuge in a building which proves very difficult. Every door I come across is shut tight. In desperation I kick at one hoping to break it down.

A disheveled young man opens it from the inside. I stare in bewilderment. He stares back.

“What do you want? I’m busy!” his cracked voice shouts.

“I-I-where has everyone gone? I haven’t seen a single person for miles!”

“Eh? How should I know? I don’t care about those things. I’m creating the greatest piece of art the world has ever seen! And you’re distracting me, goodbye.”

The door slams and locks before I can respond. I back into the open street--look out over the cold, sterile, empty city.

Every single door is locked.