The Last Gasp
by Richard Weeks
"It's beautiful. The depth of colour, the way it pulls light in. Frank, I forgot it could be like this."
Frank put a steadying hand on his friend of 70 years’ shoulder.
"I know Arthur." That's why I brought you here one last time.
The red wine occupied the glass the way a statue occupies a plinth. There was a mesmerising quality to the liquid. It drew the two men’s gaze and held it rapt.
"Thank you, my dear friend. I will never forget this moment, its perfect." said Arthur.
His reverie was interrupted by a rough voice.
"You've had your minute, move along. Let someone else get a look."
"Please, you don't understand... this... my life... my last…"
"I said MOVE!" The guard thumbed the catch from his assault rifle. Behind, two other guards paused from frisking an elderly woman and dropped their hands to their side arms with practiced movement.
"No," sighed Frank, his shoulders slumping. "No, we're going. Thank you."
"Thank you, citizen. Next up, come on, look sharp. Get your look at the last glass of wine on the planet."
Frank and Arthur wrenched their eyes away from the atmospherically controlled display case.
"It's funny but everyone always thought it would be global warming that did for us." said Arthur. "Not some stupid bug."
"I heard they're down to the last strain of resistant wheat." said Frank.
“My last memory will be a happy one.” said Arthur.
“Me too.” said Frank.