"Wish I had an airline ticket," Parchy said. "I'd take off for parts unknown, and don't know as I'd ever come back. I got a bad feeling."
He looked up and the sky was growing darker though it was only three-thirty or so, and he said, "I don't know what. But something. Can't you feel it?"
I surely could.
A middle-aged couple came by, and they were looking up, too, and all quiet. You could just tell they felt something was going to happen. A few cars came along, but they were going super slow, and that looked strange, compared to the way people usually drove.
I lit a cigarette, even though I was trying to stop, and I puffed and I puffed, till that calmed me down some. But Parchy jumped up and began walking to and fro in front of me. He muttered something about "It's getting closer." I threw away my half-finished cigarette and said, "What's getting closer? If you got any idea what's going on, spit it out!"
He pointed up, and there it was. The sky was turning a skuzzy looking grey; looked like a ten year old blanket that had been on a flophouse bed and never washed.
The cloud, or whatever it was, settled over the streets. It was like being in a cold, clammy, really smelly fog; one that had been blown across an endless desert of dead, rotting fish. Made me want to throw up. And it was so dense you could hold your arm straight out but couldn't see past your elbow.
It was that way for quite a while. Parchy stumbled over and put his arms around me, trembling with fear. Then he said, "I think we're gonna be all right, Natty. Not the others, though."
He was right. Not long ago the dirty fog lifted, the fresh air came back, but everything had a lifeless feeling. We looked around and we saw people lying on the sidewalks, and in cars, even hanging out windows. And everywhere was covered with dead birds, animals, insects--anything and everything that used to be alive.
"We could look," Parchy said. "But I'll bet we wouldn't find another living person in the whole world."
I think he's right. We're it. We're the last. We're the Inheritors. the whole wide world and everything in it is ours for the taking.
But what the hell are we going to do with it?