The end of the world must be a perfect breeding ground for diluted philosophy. In a time where the common man no longer exists, and the 'elite' are the ones who still have their heads, it must seem so.
In a small village beside a still-running stream lived two boys by the names of Erik and Rio. Long gone were their days of lavish parties and jewelled luxuries. The most expensive thing they owned now were their own lives.
So as members of the privileged aristocracy, they simply had to find some way to adorn the boredom that now represented wealth.
"Don't you think that our world is a lovely place?" Erik asked on a particularly cloudy afternoon. He plucked a crumbling leaf from the tree and crushed it in the palm of his hand. Then, with a deep breath, he blew the remnants into the air, and the pieces fluttered like ash down to the ground.
"Nonsense. Have you seen where we've been living for the past few years?" Rio scoffed.
"But how beautiful it is, to be alive," Erik replied. "Have you no hope for us? For our people?"
At this, Rio paused for a long moment. He stared at the barren land around him, at the murky skies and the wind that was no longer as sweet as it used to be. And thus, he found his answer: "I used to. But any man with a hint of realism in his soul can tell you that's a foolish idea."
"Don't you think that heroes could exist out there?"
"There are no heroes among men. Only those less wicked than others." Nonchalantly, Rio bent down to pick a pebble off of the cracked ground. He stared at it for a second before tossing it as hard as he could, out into a grove filled with the corpses of trees. Yet no matter how hard he listened for it, Rio could not hear the pebble land.
"Your logic disgusts me," Erik laughed as he watched his friend toss another pebble. This time, the distant echo of it hitting another rock could be distinguished.
Satisfied, Rio looked back to meet his friend's eyes - oh, his friend, with that handsome black hair that matched the dark shambles of huts behind him, the junkyard they called a 'village'. What had the world done to them? Two young men, full of potential and wit, now reduced to mere survivors.
Was living enough?
"You disgust me too," Rio replied tartly, and offered a hand to his friend so that he might stand up to see another rusty sun rise. To live another day.