GREAT. by Parrish Turner. Copyright 2017 PARRISH TURNER

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1 GREAT by Parrish Turner Copyright 2017 PARRISH TURNER

2 TIME Sometime in the future PLACE The Great Pyramids of Giza CHARACTERS : a traveler

3 SCENE The man walks on and slumps off his huge bag. He stretches up, pulling out the knots in his back. He takes a minute to look around him. Take that dad. And you thought I would never get anywhere in life. Well. Yeah. He pauses for a minute. Breaths in, then turns to mess around in his bag. Reaching back into his bag, he fishes out a recorder. After fiddling with the controls, he gets it placed and ready to go. Ok. Today is day 242? No 245. It s getting more and more difficult to keep track. I m not sure why it is important at this point. If there is no one around, what does it matter if it s a Tuesday or a Friday. I tried to keep track for the first month or so. I am not really sure what month it is now. It should be about autumn. I am not used to this heat for so late in the season. I guess I couldn t expect the same sort of weather patterns in Egypt as I used to get New York. Anyway. I have finally made it to Pyramids. They are much bigger in person. All those pictures you see in textbooks or the internet really don t give you any idea. I guess that s because there is no point of reverence for size. You never really see any trees or anything to compare it to. There is no comparison for the real thing. Can you believe that we built this? When I was a child, I used to watch that show uh, Ancient Aliens. There was this man with this with huge hair. Every episode they would show some human creation, like Stonehenge or those outlines in the fields. Every single time, he would show how humans could never possibly accomplish it. Bullshit. He said that there was no reason for man to have done that. Why the hell not? How many things have we done as teenagers just because we can? So what? Why the hell not? How different is building a huge pyramid than someone who makes a huge tape ball in order to break the world record? Why the hello not? I mean, come on. Why did we go to space? Humanity was great. Man sighs.

4 Humanity. My mom showed me the Harry Potter movies as a kid and there was this one quote. Great. Terrible but Great. That was humanity. It was terrible but great. I mean, all the things it accomplished. Yet it was its own downfall. It s like when my mother used to tell me about what happened with the Challenger. That really shows everything. Just think of the name. The Challenger. Man was shouting up to God. Daring him. Challenging him. He stops talking for a second, freezing. He looks around. Sorry. I thought I heard something. That seems to be happening more and more often. I will just be walking around and I think I hear someone just over the hill. Or I hear music, just off in the distance. I think I m going crazy. Whenever I run over the hill or try and find where the music is coming from, it stops. There is never anyone there. I mean, I haven t seen anyone since the disaster. I keep hoping that there is someone else out there, but it is hard to know for sure. I have been traveling for months now. At first I was hoping that I would find someone. I kept thinking that eventually, I had to find someone. The world has gotten smaller, they used to say. We just thought it was. Once you leave your backyard, you realize just how big it is out here. I have almost given up hope of ever finding anyone. If there is someone else, they are probably doing the same thing I am. Traveling around. I have traveled thousands of miles. What are the odds that we will ever find each other? We probably aren t even on the same continent. But I guess I have nothing better to do. I have been traveling around, seeing the sights. I figured, if I was going to die anyway, might as well try and see the world first. I started off in North America, didn t have to cross any oceans for that one. Looked around South America for a bit. Then I had to cross the ocean. Luckily I went to summer camp every year as a kid. I was hoping it wouldn t take me too long, luckily I made it across in one piece. It took me 40 days and I ended up in what I think were the Canary Islands. Locating myself has been very difficult. I was so used to using GPS growing up; I had a difficult time learning how to work with maps since the satellites fell. I have had to learn a lot of skills. I guess I am one of the lucky ones. I was in scouts and had been camping before all of this happened. I know I wasn t the only one who lived through the initial disasters, but most people didn t last long after that. They didn t know how. At least in America. People here in Africa would have been better off, if they had had any chance. I keep thinking that maybe there are some tribes or something still here. Maybe they lucked out somehow. I think I know better.

5 It s like I was saying with the Challenger disaster. Everyone watching and the shuttle takes off. 73 seconds. That was all it took. In the air, then bang. And everyone is sitting there thinking to themselves, no. Surely not. But there it was right in front of their faces. Everyone was dead. There was no getting out of there. People hoped anyway. Here is the real kicker. They knew it wasn t going to work. It was too cold, the wind wasn t right, all of that. They knew. But they did it anyway. They got all cocky. It s all going to work out. Just like teenagers. Nothing bad is going to happen to me. But they were right. Things were going to go wrong. And they did. Just like how we knew the disasters were coming. They hinted at it in the news. We learned all about it in science class. We all knew it was coming; it just wouldn t happen to us. It was a few years away. It wasn t our problem. The problem for the next generation perhaps. But in the end, I think we all knew better. I used to hear about these people who would build these shelters hidden out in the woods for when the disasters hit. I wonder sometimes if they got out there in time. Everything happened so quickly. For the first month or so, I used to live out in the forest. I used to wander around in hopes that I would stumble upon one of their shelters. It was silly because I know they were designed in order to be hidden. They didn t want anyone finding them. What are the odds of me finding something that is designed not to be found? Well these tapes are meant to be found. I figured, even if I couldn t find anyone, maybe I could leave them a message. I have been traveling to some of the most well-known places on earth and leaving messages. Seven natural wonders, seven man made wonders, places I just think are cool. I am hoping that maybe someone else wonders this way and they can see that they are not alone. He sits for a minute, staring out. I wonder if I really am the last of us. Is this really it? We were great. We made mountains. Just look at these pyramids. We worked for years to build just a single pyramid. Only to be wiped out in a matter of days? I don t believe it. I don t. He sits silent for a moment. And then turns the recording off with a loud click.

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