The End Of The World.

There is a theory
that the world will be set ablaze,
ashes fluttering like snowflakes.
Feverish prayers uttered in desperation,
falling upon the deaf ears of the Gods.

The destruction of heat will raze the ground,
an inferno that burns alive, and
cannot be stopped.

Another theory says
the world will end in blackness.
A blanket of endless night,
suffocating the living.

It will start slow, they say,
unnoticeable.

Every day, a ray of sunshine
will be snuffed out forever.
An imperceptible dimming
that no one will notice
until it’s too late.

But I’ve seen today’s world
and know the truth.

Nature is no match for us.

Unstoppable flames
are no cause for alarm

when the hate that roars through men
and women alike
is so much more consuming.

Shadows are nothing compared to
the hidden indifference
that creeps through humanity,
swallowing us, gradually smothering
all compassion for others.

Earth will not fall from fires
or darkness.

No.

When that time comes, the world
will already have fallen, ravaged
by the worst of them all:
ourselves.

There is no need to wait
for the end of the world.

Fear follows

The night falls
and He is there,
lurking in the shadows.
We are cat and mouse.

I can feel his stare
His fathomless eyes penetrating into me
A chill runs up my spine,
but it is not from the autumn breeze.

A dangerous dance,
weaving between the lemon-colored lights of the street
My steps quicken,
along with my heartbeat.
Sweat beads on my brow-
From physical exhaustion or fright?
I do not know

His footsteps echo in my ears
Ominous taunts, endless
Each stomp sends a spike through my heart
There are no stars out
Not tonight.

Deep breaths,
I tell myself.
Calm down.

He emerges from the whispering darkness,
Savoring his evening catch
Like a lion stalking its prey, mane matted with anticipation

There is no hiding
the panic that sweeps through me,
taking over my limbs.
My blood turns to ice
A girl of stone, a girl of cold
Frozen.

My pupils dilate at the sight of
Him advancing
My heart drops to the
pit of my stomach

My vision fades, in and out
a halftone haze

Icicles touch
my fingers
my shoulders
the small of my back

My world freezes.

I jolt awake,
sprawled in the street.
The night seems darker,
sharper.

I jump at every little sound,
every movement. Shadows reach out,
claws that swipe at my every breath.

I turn around.
He is gone but

something is not right.

Lauren Koong is a student at Lamar High School in Houston, Texas. She has been recognized by the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and other local contests. Koong also works as the editor-in-chief for her high school’s newsmagazine, Lamar Life.

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