He stood at the edge of the tiny town, his dark, bare feet in the grass, which was sticky with spilled blood. He knew it was foolish to stand, to be seen, but he felt someone should witness this, the end of the world. Around him, smelling salty and musty in the end-summer heat, lay his people, thousands of them. All brandishing any weapon they could find, none were a match for the mysterious creatures who came from below to destroy them. There was not a sound, not from any direction. The silence was terrifying.
In the distance, he saw a sparkle of light, glimmering as though it were shining off a crystal – the gossamer, wax-paper wings of the beast, beating so fast they were barely visible, save a glint in the sunshine. Suddenly, the beast turned, and sounding a shriek that pierced through the silence, it flew with blinding speed toward the place where he stood.
He braced himself, taking a deep breath, trying to picture his life as it might have been had he lived past the age of eleven. He felt at peace with his short time on Earth, and shut his eyes.
Seconds passed, then perhaps a minute. The pain never came, and he felt a breeze on his face – the scent of the beasts had disappeared, leaving only the metallic smell of blood in its wake.