A mob of people were banging into each other, running in random directions. It would have been funny except their eyes had progressed from quivering pupils to blank constricted ones. Empty hands swung involuntarily as their feet moved with a heavy tread on roads carpeted with money. Shiny beautiful clothes adorned their bodies. Their possessions lay strewn on the pavement. Diamonds, emeralds, gold, rubies all winking in the sunlight but nary a person near them. A few families were carrying coffins.
Some people sat with slumped shoulders on the periphery of the crowd with one hand holding their child and the other their head. The children stared at the sky and the sun, breathing heavily.
"What is happening?" 12-year-old Lina asked her father, Mark.
"Like the saying goes, the world is ending not with a bang but a whimper."
"Why? Everything seemed so normal till last month." Lina furrowed her brows.
Mark looked at the pavement near them where a torn poster floated.
"Footprints from the past will determine your future." He murmured.
"Is the eternal footprint that people have been searching for since the last twenty years?" Lina's eyes widened.
Mark nodded and closed his eyes.
"But we can still find it?" Lina clutched her father's hand.
Mark looked at the clock tower whose hands were not moving.
Lina looked from the clock to the crowd and a tear made its way past her cheek.
Just then, two voices were raised above the slow muttering of the crowd.
A couple of smiling faces parted the crowd. "We've found it!"
There were no reactions.
"Seriously, we found it. Look at the clock."
The tick-tock of the clock's hands started getting mingled with racing heartbeats.
"Where is it?"
The two led the way as they pointed to a landfill, then marched on to the junkyard, shook their head when they came to a gas station and finally picked up a plastic cup from the street and kicked it into a recycling bin.