The Apocalypse Lullabye (Awake)

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"What's the matter, kid, can't you sleep?" asked Jack, leaning over his stepdaughter's crib.

Jack's stepdaughter peered up at him and yawned. She was a baby. She was awake.

"I'll sing you a lullabye about the end of the world," said Jack.

This is what Jack sang in a gentle, crooning voice:

"Rock-a-bye baby on the tree top,
The tree is dead because all life has stopped,
There's nothing left now but flames and wind gusts,
And a soft bed for baby of ashes and dust."

The baby drifted off to sleep.

Jack went over to the window of the apartment. He gazed out at the hazy city surrounding the apartment building. He imagined the city completely obliterated along with everything else in the world. He imagined his baby stepdaughter the only living thing left on planet earth. Alone in the rubble. Lying in the ash of a ruined building. The solitary screams of the infant would be the screams of the entire human race. An anguished wailing in a ruined world.

He walked back over to the sleeping child. "ah, to be a baby again," he said, "It's what the taoists were essentially after--freedom from organized thought, language, and all other barriers in our perception. To be a baby is to be alive in the purest sense. You simply are alive. Such innocence. Such beauty."

Suddenly he felt a strong sense of purpose. He grabbed a peice of paper and a pencil. He wrote this:

Dear World Leaders,

Please don't start any more wars. Please find some way to manage our finite resources for a sustainable future. Please. After all, there are babies on this planet!

He threw the note out the window. He hoped the wind would carry it to its intended recipients. He sincerely hoped that the wind wouldn't blow his note in to a smokestack. Or a furnace.

Lullabye and goodnight. Go to sleep little baby.

Jack turned off the light and climbed in to his own little bed.