Traveling across the blasted earth one of the boys picked up a loose rock and threw it, hard, over the horizon, which was just a series of dunes not far in any direction. But the sound that came back was a high, hollow one, not the sound of the rock hitting the dry sand or a desiccated tree. Tuned to any indication that there might be something to scavenge, the group ran over the hill, hurly-burly, to see an old wood cabin.
When the old man sitting on the porch did nothing at their approach, the boys left him to run inside, rummaging for food or water or anything to smash. And the old man continued to sit there in his chair, on his porch, saying nothing. Curious, one youth asked him, “What are you doing old man?”
The old man responded, “Waiting for the end.”