A girl, no older than eight, stands silent and alone, in the wake of the world. Her hair is windswept, although there is no wind at all. To her left, a battered church crumbles to the ground, but the girl does not turn her head. She does not wish to see the wasteland that was once called home. Dust settles gently at her feet as she sways meekly. There is a chilling stillness in the air that one would not expect, and it is eerily serene. She inhales softly, and sinks to her knees, in respect to what she has just witnessed.
Seeing a doll ahead, the girl crawls over to the ragged toy, and holds it close to her chest, taking it all in. This place, and this girl, will forever be victims.
“Mommy?” the girl whispers hopefully. But she knows.
Her eyes snap shut; and she wishes, more than anything, for it to be over for her, too.
Half a world away, a man marvels at his work, in a room which is cold and mechanical. Rows of screens are lined up in front of him, but his eyes are fixated on the destruction. Noise fills his ears as people congratulate him, but the man does not hear them. He has surpassed all expectations with his invention. He stands tall and proud as he exhales softly. With one simple flick of the wrist, this man has determined the fate of his country: victory. He has changed history forever, by harnessing the energy inside an atom. It’s the moment which he has dreamt about; and it’s finally here. The invention to end all inventions.
“I did it,” the man whispers weakly.
This man will be heralded as a saviour; as a devil; as a god; but he knows himself as what he truly is: a coward.
A mushroom cloud of ash and smoke billows up into the atmosphere, and mankind will never be the same.