Epilogue

Over the next nine days Thomas Winter watched the world around him change.

The morning after reaching the rocks, Clare and Tom watched the sky change colour. The familiar icy blue slowly became tinged with purples and pinks. The atmosphere gradually thinned. By midday on the third day thousands of stars were visible. As the day wore on the sun too changed colour from deep orange to light yellow, to white and finally monochrome grey.

Over the next three days the tide went further and further out until the water had completely disappeared. Where once there had been cold ocean there was now nothing - just a vast and silent tundra.

The temperature increased.

The air became drier and started to taste and smell different.

On the sixth day every alien ship drifted upwards into the sky and hovered silently at an unimaginable height.

On the eighth day Tom left the rocks in search of food. He ran across the dry sea bed from the island to the shore. Tired and weak, his fear kept him moving forward.

Once I was running I was fine.

The nervousness, the trepidation and apprehension all disappeared in seconds. I just kept putting one foot down in front of the other.

I knew that they were watching me but I didn't care and I knew that they didn't care either. I was of no interest to them.

I ran back towards Thatcham but I couldn't find it. The whole village had just disappeared, as had every road, building, animal, car, tree and person. In its place I found an unending blue-green blanket of what looked like grass. It was finer though, and shorter - almost a moss of sorts.

I was there for just over an hour but I couldn't find anything to eat or drink. I knew it was pointless to keep searching and so turned to head back to Clare.

I stopped for a while when I was up high on the hills again. I looked down over where the ocean had once been and watched the moss which had covered the land slowly spreading out over the drying seabed. It was moving as I watched - creeping out towards Clare.

I rested for a minute or two.

Looking up above me I could see thousands of alien ships just sitting and waiting. I didn't dare think about what they might be waiting for.

I ran back to Clare and sat with her.

We held each other and talked about all that had happened and all that had gone. She went to sleep that afternoon and didn't wake up again.

No matter what they had done to the rest of the human race, they hadn't beaten me. I hadn't fallen in line with their program. I had kept control. I knew that it wouldn't be long before I died, but I would die knowing who I was and why.

For another seven hours Thomas Winter was the last man alive.

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