Tony turned from the crowd and walked back into the empty city. He walked along the quiet street, towards the tower at the end of it. He wondered how long it would take for his brother to return. There was a car with all four doors open. Tony couldn’t remember it being their before. Cracks, both large and small, had formed all along the street. Some of them were still creaking along, shooting out, twisting and turning. A window on the left shattered and made Tony jump. One of the cracks had shot up the building and through the glass. Shards flew at him. Those that touched him didn’t leave a mark.
One of the buildings on Tony’s left had shutters on the upstairs windows. The hinges started to rust. The wail they made as the close one final time made Tony jump, and he had just enough time to look up and watch one of them fall.
Tony sped up and walked towards the tower. Before long he reached the gigantic building. He walked back into the room which he had stood in only minutes before. It was the only place in the entire city that wasn’t breaking down.
Tony looked back, through the open doorway, and out towards the city. Trees, bushes and over plants had started growing through the cracks in the floor. Within seconds some of them had grown so high that Tony couldn’t see the tops of them. Butterflies franticly flew in between the trees and other wildlife followed.
“Tony,” Nate said, as he walked down the stairs behind Tony. “What are you doing here?”
Tony turned around and faced his brother. Tony noticed straight away that Nate’s clothes looked older. His gloves had become fingerless with strands hanging off from every finger.
“It doesn’t matter,” Nate continued “I’ve spoken to them. He’s here. Jimmy. He’s here and he’s hurt. We need to do something or this whole world could crumble.”
Nate waved his hands in the air towards the outside. Tony looked outside for a moment and wondered if it was worth it? Was it the paradise it seemed to be? But then more important things jumped into his head. He turned around and looked at Nate.
“Where?” He shouted and took a step forward. “Where is Jimmy.”
“Wait one moment.”
Nate moved from the stairs and towards the doorway, beckoning Tony to follow. Once they were far enough away, Nate turned around and spread his arms out in front of him. He stretched out his hands, with his thumbs pointed out to the sides. Slowly he lowered his arms and the staircase followed. It burrowed into the ground and created a new passage. Tony watched, awestruck.
“This is where Jimmy is,” Nate stated, while smiling, after the staircase had stopped moving. “We’ll go down there and help him.”
Nate walked towards the steps and Tony followed. Tony took his first step down and shuffled his feet trying to make sure the ground was solid. He then carried on walking. After a couple of steps he stopped and turned around. Nate was stuck at the top. Some kind of barrier was stopping him from coming forward. Tony watched calmly, as his own brother started to fall apart. Nate took another attempt at walking down the stairs but he couldn’t pass the barrier. Tony walked back up to him. Nate lifted his arms towards Tony. His nails old and yellow. One of them slid off and bounced down a couple steps. The others shortly followed.
“What’s happening?” Tony asked.
Nate tried to reply. He tried to tell him that he didn’t know, but when he opened his mouth yellow and black rotted teeth fell out. His jaw disconnected with his skull. Nate’s eyes began to melt. Two little streams ran down his face. He dropped to his knees and tried to scream, but he couldn’t. His tongue had shrivelled up. His skin tightened and thinned until it looked like there was none there. Small holes formed in his clothes and spread. Tony watched calmly as his brother fell to the floor, he then turned and walked down the stairs.
As he walked down, Tony tried to keep track of what direction he was facing. The stairs continued until he couldn’t keep track. He stopped from time to time and wondered if he was facing the city, or facing the nothingness beyond the tower. Questions that he couldn’t answer. Soon enough there was an end in sight. He stepped of the final step and walked along a dark corridor, which was lit by purple flames spread evenly apart. He walked down until he couldn’t see the staircase behind him. And then he reached a door. He looked up and couldn’t see the top of it. As he got close enough to touch it, the door jolted and opened. It looked like it was made from marble, but somehow Tony knew better. He stepped forward and into a small circular room. In the middle was a throne which an impressive design. The back of the throne rose up so high that Tony hurt his neck looking at the top. All the way to the top were snakes entwined within each other. Tony couldn’t tell if those snakes were carved in or not.
Behind the throne, on both sides, were two column with more purple flames mounted on top.
On the throne was the slumped mess of a man. Tony walked towards him.
“Jimmy?” He asked.
“Yes,” groaned the man, who looked up revealing his dark red eyes. “Tony. It’s you. Do you like it here. I won’t be like this for long.”
Jimmy voice was croaky, and grew quieter.
“What are you?”
Jimmy just smiled, but that didn’t last long.
“Just take me back. I want my family.”
“Just wait. They will all be here. Soon enough.”
“Let me out of here. I want to go back to them.”
“That wasn’t part of the deal.”