Authors Note: Written in 2017. I had constructed a large universe for this story, but in the end, I only ever finished this one short. It's still decent as a standalone tale tho!
The last three men in existence found themselves at a long since abandoned pub.
A candle illuminated the small segment of the bar disk where they sat. Their silhouettes idling by the low light. One of them, a clean shaved brittle old man in rags by the name Gordy, sipped from a glass of dark liquid. Poured from—as far as he knew—the last bottle of liquor in existence.
He coughed to the taste. “This is awful.”
Behind the bar disk stood an old spindly gentleman with a priest collar called Mitch. He sported a mustachio yet carried it with a sense of nostalgic pride.
“Well,” Mitch said as he scrubbed a glass clean with an old cloth. “It's the last remaining bottle for a reason.”
Next to Gordy sat Kenneth. Muscular despite his old age and dressed like an army man with a rifle slung over his back. His great beard and long hair covered most of his face. There was a glass in front of him with the same liquid. “What's in it?”
“Gammel Dansk.” Mitch said.
Kenneth picked up his glass and inspected the content with furrowed bushy brows.
“Well boys,” Mitch said as he held a personal glass with liquid. It was clear but with a yellow tint and not black like the ones he had served. “To the end of all.”
Gordy mumbled as he saw the clear liquid. He had a suspicion that Mitch might have saved a last batch of tequila for himself. “To the end,” he grumbled and held his glass high.
“To the end!” Kenneth agreed in a cheer as he clinked into their glasses with his own. He had a smile on his lips. They had gone years without a bottle, this was one last opportunity to get shit faced before they had to move again. That they had found the pub last week with some liquor left untouched had been short of a miracle in his opinion.
“The last end that is and ever will be...” Gordy added as he pulled an old sheathed dagger out of his pocket and inspected it. “Depressing...”
His comment made each of them sigh as if a dark cloud had materialized above their heads.
“Well,” Mitch said as he stretched his back. “Blaming ourselves serves no one as we're all that's left. Let's not brood over our past.”
“We still have each other.” Kenneth said as his eyes sparkled with renewed vitality. He took Gordy's hand and squeezed, “and all eternity ahead of us.”
“I was not meant for eternity,” Gordy said with shaky voice. His sad eyes stared at the dagger between his fingers. “I do not regret what I did for you—both of you—if I had to do it all over again, I would. But the burden of our sin weights on me and I find myself asking; am I to blame for all the misery? Am I the sole person responsible for the end of days?”
“I didn't mean to imply—” Kenneth started but the entrance door slamming into the wall and interrupted him.
Gordy slid the dagger back into his pocket and faced the intruder with a blank stare.
“Hello,” a boyish-looking figured said as he entered the pub. Moonlight reflected in his chiseled face and beautiful blonde curls.
“Leave.” Mitch said, not bothering to look.
“People only.” Gordy added.
The young boy gave them a raised brow, “Am I not a person?”
Kenneth scoffed, “we know what you are.”
“You're an idea, a concept.” Gordy said. “You don't belong here or anywhere.”
“That is alright.” The boy said. He ignored their hate and approached the bar disk, taking a seat on the far end, away from the three aged men.
Mitch rolled his eyes, “I suppose you're going to ask for a glass of liquor?”
“If you do not mind.”
Mitch poured the last bit of Gammel Dansk in a dirty old glass and sent it skidding across the bar to the boy. He caught it with ease.
“It fills me with such joy that I have finally found you all.” The boy said.
“Yes, well, it was bound to happen sooner or later.” Mitch said. “We haven't heard from the other group in over five months, so I suppose we are the last of the last.”
“Such a shame,” the boy said with an eeriness in his voice as if to mimic sympathy. “If only it could have been prevented.”
“Such a shame?” Kenneth said. “You've killed us all!”
“That we have,” the boy admitted. “Though, I would perhaps not use the term kill. Nevertheless, it is what happens when your kind meddle with things they do not understand. It was not the first, but it will certainly be the last.”
Gordy responded with a nervous twitch to his comment and the boy noticed.
“You feel responsible?” The boy asked.
“Get on with it, boy.” Gordy snapped at him.
The boy swept his glass as if he had no sense of taste, which was most likely the case. “I am sure you have prepared yourselves already, but just in case, I will allow you to take a minute.” He said as a pair of grand wings exploded from his back and filled the room. They had a golden glow which radiated like sunshine throughout the pub.
The blinding glow only lasted half a second, in the other half each of the men had made themselves ready for a fight. Gordy threw his glass of liquor at the boy, it still had some left in it, and then he followed up by throwing the candle. The boy's upper body caught fire. Kenneth grabbed the rifle from his back and blasted a shot at the boy's abdomen. Mitch pulled a shotgun from behind the bar disk and let a wide spread of pellets bombard the boy's entire body. From the holes, they could see right through his body.
“You know,” the boy said as the bullet wounds rejected the metal and closed themselves. “Those things do not actually work on me.”
The fire still burned on his upper body but he didn't seem to care or even take notice.
“Fuck!” Kenneth yelled. “He's one of those!”
“It's Abby St. all over again.“ Gordy said.
“Nowhere to run this time.” Mitch added.
“Nowhere indeed,” the boy said. “Now, please, if you may. You are the last of men and I am here to collect.”
“Fuck you and your fucking rapture!” Kenneth yelled as he ran towards the boy with the butt of his rifle. He swung it wide in the air hoping to strike. The boy didn't even bother to dodge, he just waved the back of his hand and a gust of wind swept Kenneth into the wall.
His body crumbled down on the floor. Unconscious.
Mitch had taken the opportunity to jump over the bar disk. Despite his advanced age he was still as nimble as a monkey. He attempted to squeeze himself under the right wing of the boy while he kept busy with Kenneth. The boy slammed his wing down without looking, blocking Mitch's path as if he anticipated it all along.
Gordy was never one for acrobatics and had instead reached for Kenneth's glass. He threw it into the boy's face. The fire soon caught up from the chest and blinded the boy as his face burned. He used the opportunity to crawl his way past the right wing and to the door.
“You had your epoch,” the boy yelled behind Gordy as he stepped out. “It is time to let go of your mortality!”
“Shut your trap you glorified carrier pigeon!” Gordy yelled back as he made a few steps outside. The darkness outside caused him not to notice the swarm of winged fiend's waiting for him until it was too late. Basking in the moonlight, thousands of them had lined up in an ever expanding circle around the pub. He stopped in his track and frantically searched for a route to escape by with his eyes.
“Raphael, actually.” The boy said as he joined Gordy on the dark street. His radiance giving glow to the outdoor environment like a giant searchlight.
“Why don't your shitty army glow like a Christmas light the same way you do!” Gordy said as he turned to face his enemy, fingering the blade in his pocket.
“I allow myself some privileges.” Raphael said. “As would you all.”
“Oh fly off!” Gordy cursed.
Raphael placed two fingers on his lips as if in thought then pointed them at Gordy. “Do you even know why you are the last mortal in existence?”
“Because you just killed my comrades,” he said with a sneer, eyeing the army of angels with vengeance in his heart. A seething hatred growing in his soul.
“Oh, not at all.” Raphael said. “But that's beside the point. As the last of your kind, I believe at least one of you deserve the knowledge of why.”
“Delightful.” Gordy said through his teeth.
“One of you mortals committed a sin so severe, the death of Christ pales in comparison.”
“Uh-huh,” he said, keeping an eye around him and fingering the button on the dagger's sheath.
“You don't seem surprised.” Raphael said. “Not at all curious what it was one of you did to cause the end of your little world?”
“Not really,” he said as he used two fingers to loosen the dagger from the sheath. “Look sonny, I don't know what you're playing at but get it over with. I've lost. There's nothing left I can do to fight. Half your face is burning and you don't even care. What can a lone man do against a God? Nothing.”
“Don't! ...Call me a God.” There was a hint of pure fury burning in his eyes. To suggest an angel is a God was of the highest offense.
“Fine. Whatever.” Gordy said. He did not want to risk the opportunity he sought. “Get on with it.”
“Very well.” Raphael said and approached. He reached for Gordy's head with his long fingers. Gordy assumed it was the process required to extract souls from their host vessels. To lay his hand on his head and send his soul to the celestial city. Moments before Raphael's hand touched, Gordy twisted the blade into his heart.
Raphael's jaw dropped. He had suffered bullet wounds, explosions, incineration. A long list of violent ends of confrontation, but never touched by a human. In the end, they always gave in. They always allowed him to let them pass on to the beyond. It was part of his show. The damage often inflicted to his body and healed as a display of intimidation and might. Creating the illusion of an unstoppable force.
“How dare you!” Raphael shouted in a deep-layered inhuman voice. His wings spread wide and mighty, splitting into two sets of four. The army of angels screeching in unison like uncontrollable creatures of horror.
Gordy staggered back and lost footing from the stress of commotion, ending up on his rump.
“How dare you!” Raphael repeated as he pulled the dagger out of his chest. He held the dagger in his hand and looked down upon Gordy as if to punish him, but then... He lost footing. His legs weak. “What... what have you done to me?” He too, fell onto his rump.
“The same thing I did to Azrael.”
Raphael looked at the blade in his hand, his lips began to shiver at the sight. “T-This can't be! You gutted him with his own blade?!”
“You are an idea.” Gordy said.
“I... Why...” Raphael began to lose his ability to speak, to form coherent thoughts.
“What happens when an idea dies, Raphael.”
“You bastard...” Raphael mustered. His body decaying, pieces flowing off like ash in the wind.
“Ideas don't have self-awareness. They don't think for themselves. They are mere thoughts by others. You are the delusional manifestation of those thoughts.”
“Soon, those thoughts will disappear forever.” Gordy said. Raising himself up to stand. “But. My people, they live on.”
“Yes, that's right. I will be the last. But I will be eternal.” He pointed to his temple. “In here, my kind will live on. Be remembered. Always. You? I will forget.”
The last of Raphael's body vanished with the wind. Gordy looked out across the angels around him. They had all frozen in place. As he stared at them, they too puffed into dust and swirled like an endlessly large spiral towards the night sky. Untouched by the dust, he found himself at the eye of the storm.
He bent down and picked the dagger from the ground. Sheathing it and stuffing it into his pocket. He had acquired it by happenstance one fateful day and turned the world into chaos the day after. Raphael may have been the Archangel of Judgment Day, which Gordy supposed this was. But the Lord's personal assassin, the Angel of Death had also been slain by his hands. There was also a third creature. He wasn't entirely sure if the third one had been an archangel, but he was certain it had been something similar. He knew what it had represented, and how after killing it, he had ended the world. This left him without question, without doubt in his mind, that the others would come for him. They would find an excuse to one day come and claim their revenge. He was certain. If the Lord would allow it.
Gordy walked with heavy steps back into the pub. The souls stolen from his old fellows, now gone forever, their empty vessels left on the floor. He carried them to the bar disk and prodded them up in chairs.
He crawled across the bar disk and bent down behind it. There, he found an almost full bottle of Malört. “Hah,” He said with a low tone as he nodded to the lifeless husk that had once been his friend. “Mitch my friend, looks like I misjudged you.”
There was still one glass left on the bar disk that hadn't been used in the fight, the one Mitch had drunk from. Gordy filled it up and took a swig. He coughed with a bitter grimace. “I'm sorry boys.” He said. “This one is for you.” He poured some Malört from the bottle down on the floor.
He emptied the glass and placed it firmly down the table. Tears began to roll down his weathered cheeks.
“Why did it have to come to this...” He said with shaky voice. His lips shivering as he pushed his tears back.
“We could have been together forever.” He said as he touched Kenneth's hand.
The tears kept coming, and his voice let itself go. He bawled as he moved his hand from Kenneth's hand up to his hairless neck.
“How was I supposed to know she was Death?”
His upper body crumbled across the table, his hands moving down and finding a rest in Kenneth's.
“I only reacted. She was coming to hurt you! I never knew what it would do to the world... Please forgive me...” He yelled between cries.
“Despite how far we've come...” His cries turned to low sobs.
“Despite ending the world for you... I failed you my love... Please forgive me...”
He squeezed Kenneth's hands, “...Please forgive me.”
In a world bereft of all life, only silence prevailed. Silence, and the sobs of the last man that ever was and ever will be.