From high above, a white anodyne fog blanketed the ruins of the cityscape, filling cracks in many of the high-rise’s bodies. There was a promise of rain hanging in the air, waiting for a proper invitation. Michael sat atop one of the tall skyscrapers, dangling his feet over the alabaster sea below.
At street level, nature had gradually reclaimed what had been hers all along. Trees wrapped like grapevines around the bases of the buildings; weaving in and out of shattered windows, pulling closer to a sun that was nowhere to be found. Light was no longer something to be cast, but merely acting as a presence taking hold of the city. The omnipresent mist refracted rays of light in such a way that shadows were left arguing with each other.
Michael’s older brother Declan came over and leaned on an otherwise untrustworthy crumbling balustrade. “Hey, Declan watch this.” Michael sifted through the chalky rubble next to him, pulled out a fist-sized piece of sheetrock, and tossed it off the skyscraper into the abyss. No sound came.
“So if we never heard it hit the ground, do you think it’s always falling?” Michael looked up longing for an answer from his older brother who only let out a sigh. Michael bit his lip and scanned the dusty concrete floor, searching for his follow-up statement. “Hold on, hear me out. Like what if our perception is the only thing that matters, right? The whole, if a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound idea. But in reverse this time, because if we never hear the rock hit the ground, then who is to say it ever hit the ground in the first place.”
“I mean really, think about it. What if we ran down the fire escape and got to the street level, who’s to say, and let’s say we even find the damn rock, who’s to say it only just hit the ground by the time we get down there. We cause it to stop falling because our perception causes the rest of the world to start moving. Like gears in a clock activating by your proximity to such gears.”
“Wouldn’t that be crazy?”
Declan moves to his brother and rests a big hand on his shoulder. “Please don’t throw rocks off the building, Michael. I know it’s been a while since we’ve run into anyone besides the two of us, but with our luck someone is finally going to be coming to find us and before they can even enter the building they’ll be smashed on the skull by one of your rocks.”
“I know Declan, but like I am saying if nothing moves when we’re not around, that’d be impossible. Like the clouds move, but that’s only because we can see them, but through the mist down there. I cannot see damn shit through that mist.”
Declan helps his brother up and they stand face to face, “Yeah, sure no problem Declan, sorry if I bothered you.”
Both brothers walked back inside to their makeshift home and that night they ate well as a downpour played outside and never did that rock hit the ground.