Hollow
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This world is empty. There’s little for me to write here, so expect nothing but filler. I am writing this entry in my diary during what is possibly the end of the world. We went down not with a bang, but with a long malcontented sigh. My name is… my name was… well, I can’t remember, since that’s been taken from me too. Everything this world once had was taken. I don’t even know why I’m still alive, but I feel myself obligated to record this. Maybe that’s my final purpose here in this life.

I don’t remember when it began, but sometime back the world started to lose color. It started off small, and hardly anybody noticed. The first symptom was the rise of depression. Those who became afflicted with this mental disease were enlightened to the colorlessness of the world that others could not see. They felt a compulsion to talk about it, to relay to others how empty and meaningless everything now was to them. Through this, their infection spread. It was the most contagious disease known to man, spread through simple words alone. Some were more resilient than others, but more and more fell into deep depressions and spread their pessimistic ideologies to others, infecting them as well.

As the number of depressed people increased in the world, those who weren’t yet affected and those who had the power and money to do so, began to take advantage of society. Cruelty and greed the likes of which have never been seen before on Earth, a lack of empathy so huge it was almost unbelievable. And the world, depressed as it was, sat by and watched as the select few destroyed it from the inside out.

Pollution, oil spills, food wasting, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, the war on homelessness, the war on drugs, the increasing wage gap, the inflation of prices, the greed, the hunger, the insatiable desire for money no matter the cost, even at the expense of countless human lives. These were a portion of the many things that led our world to ruin. The rich and the powerful bred nothing but hate and hate turned into money. The irrational anger of the masses was taken advantage of and converted directly into coin.

The extent at which humans destroyed the world as they knew it is immeasurable. Over the decades, society crumbled and everyone became a slave of their own akilter moral codes. The people religiously worshiped the government and the country they lived in and malevolently maladapted the religions which had been followed for centuries before.

No progress was made in these dark times, and they became a second Dark Ages, by every definition. The only things that were done were things that were considered profitable. If it didn’t turn a profit, or if it limited the profit produced by other things, no matter how harmful they were, it wasn’t done. Science was rejected by society and the few who believed in it grew increasingly outnumbered by the ignorant masses who were comfortable losing themselves in their own delusions, dissuading all rational explanation.

When society had finally crumbled as far as it could go, the physical world began to lose its inherent properties, as a direct result of their own meaninglessness. Every human on Earth woke up one morning to find that the world was devoid of color, nothing but shades of black and white, and no one was surprised. The next thing to go was positive emotions. It became impossible to be happy or excited, even a little bit. No more warm fuzzy feelings, no more joyful summer days, no more youthful excitement. The world became just as bleak as its inhabitants had believed for many years beforehand.

The next things to be taken from us were fundamental senses, anything that gave our bodies and minds stimulus. Hearing was lost, and now no sounds could be perceived. The sound of a lover’s voice vanished from existence. Not as though it mattered, because even if someone had heard it, they wouldn’t get the same feeling of enrapturement and joy as they would have in the old days. Then, our sense of touch was taken. We could no longer feel anything physically, no matter how soft, how sharp, how hot, or how cold. Then we lost our senses of taste and smell.

Food, the last joy on Earth for many people, became unenjoyable. The world became more bleak than anyone could have ever imagined. If they were capable, people would have started to panic, to question “Why? What’s going on?” and to think to themselves “I knew the world was empty, but I never thought it could be this empty!”

It’s a classic mistake of the human mind to underestimate just how bad it can get. Perhaps that’s the reason why this disaster was allowed to unfold. Nobody did anything about it because they (ir)rationalized with themselves that it wasn’t as bad as everyone said it was and that the situation would take care of itself in time. That self reassurance, that enabler of inaction, the terrible curse of procrastination; it was our undoing.

The final thing to be taken from mankind was ourselves. And no, I don’t mean that we died, because how would I be writing this then? No, what I imply is something far more terrible. The loss of self. The loss of individuality, of personality. Everyone became a mindless cardboard cutout, a reflection of everyone else without depth or intrigue. But if the person who was first reflected was empty too, then that means that everyone was completely and utterly void. The world and its people were now as empty as they could ever be.

And now, here we are, at the end of it all. The final breath of Mother Earth was expressed as the longest sigh in history, followed by a curling into the fetal position and a lack of movement. A resignation to stay there, floating empty and meaningless through the great wide universe.

I wonder if there’s anything else out there that may find us one day, and ask themselves “What happened here?” Believing in aliens is just about the only hope I have left. It would be a right shame if Earth housed the only life in the universe, and it had just died so anticlimactically. Billions of years of evolution, all leading up to what?

The hope that life will continue elsewhere in the universe was probably the only thing that inspired me to write this entry in my journal, a play-by-play commentary on the end of the world. I don’t even know if they’ll be able to understand English, but hey, they can probably translate it eventually, right? It’d just be lame if they couldn’t.

And so I leave my final message to whoever may come across this journal and the desolate planet it was written on. Do not make our mistakes. If the disease of depression, categorized by chronic sadness, a bored outlook on life, an incurable jadedness, and a belief that the universe is devoid of meaning, ever shows up on your planet, you must take what steps you can to eradicate it immediately.

Do not allow compassion to die. Do not allow empathy to die. Do not allow greed and hunger to overcome you. Do not allow the suffering of countless millions to come to your people for naught but the gain of material possession.

No matter what hardships come your way don’t allow anyone to convince you that this is the end; there is always a second chance, unless you never take your first. Fill your life with happiness and create what purpose you can find for yourselves, since no divine purpose will ever be given to you. Don’t allow the universe to truly lose its meaning.

Fight on.

— The last man on Earth.

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