Monday, April 11, 2011

The last church on Earth

The undead are back again.
Everytime I dream of them, though, it's different, with the most recent episode having played out the other night.

Zombies were now in the water, polluting it with their infected bodies. I panicked because I knew that we were all screwed, as this was a worldwide epidemic. There was nowhere to go to for clean water.
There were three ways to die:
A. Be the victim of a zombie.
B. Drink the water and slowly become infected.
C. Die of dehydration.

With this in mind, I knew that as the survivors began to dwindle, more people would revert/convert to Christianity. In the beginning of the apocalypse, there was still architecture. Funny, but at the same time it wasn't. So we were all going to die -- I thought, Might as well keep myself busy and do my job: serve the people. It kept me sane, and I was sure that I wanted my last project to be a truly meaningful one. For my own sake, if no one else gave a damn.

My self-assigned project was to create a church/sanctuary on the top of a nearby mountain. With no actual solid walls, the space was enclosed by a series of crosses. They were tall enough that they blended in with the surrounding trees, fitting the context of the natural forest while simultaneously bursting through the canopy of leaves. They were all huge crosses, each one at least 50 ft high, but they were to be arranged around an enormous central cross about twice as tall as the rest.

This sanctuary was meant to be seen from everywhere in the valley below, a symbol of hope and a reminder to stay faithful. It was designed to be accessible by foot, greeting weary travellers and refugees at the end of a winding path riddled with hairpin turns... I never thought that zombies would make their way up there.

Construction was never completed.
Funding wasn't the issue, it was the end of the world.
Tons of people volunteered to help out, wholeheartedly praying and working hard with one goal in mind: to finish the project. But one by one, the team fell apart. Some were lost in the woods never to return, a few foolish people drank water from sources they believed to be clean, and yet others were pulled away as the infected began to spread out from the city walls. Whatever happened, in the end only a little more than half of the church was realized, and the grounds were littered with fading shadows of what used to be my crew.

Over time, the iron crosses rusted to match the color of the tree trunks around them, a beautiful design detail that I'd thought to incorporate. Vegetation wrapped around their trunks, adopting them into the family and burying the dead undead out of pity. Even half finished, my design looked like what it was meant to look like.

There they stood for years.
And then they fell in silence.

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