The following is what happens when I get bored at 3:00 a.m. It was inspired by the song "Rubicon" by VNV Nation. Enjoy.

An extravagant palace towered over the dirt and dust from which it had been raised, its gleaming white walls shown brilliantly against the black, dead sky above. Inside, hundreds of conspicuously-dressed party guests danced in the large, ballroom under a shimmering, golden ceiling from which half a dozen crystal chandeliers hung gracefully, almost dramatically. The bright colors that were large, small, short and tall visitors moved in unison below, atop a white marble floor.

A man in a dark suit which served him conspicuously among his fellow guests, danced as silently as a lonely night, with a beautiful, yet faceless young woman. He did not know nor care who she was. He was fast losing his ability to think for himself, to make his own decisions, and to feel. He knew very well what was happening. The absence of hope had taken the form of an unknown amorphic thing that was neither material nor thought, neither real nor imagined, and it ate away at the conscience of mankind.

The few who remained would soon suffer an even more frightening fate than those by which they were surrounded.

The woman with whom he was dancing stopped moving. Her hands grew cold, as if something was sucking the life out of her. Or even as if she had never been there at all. A tiny, very fine crack began to descend down her face, across her nose, around her cheeks. Its tiny limbs tore through the cold porcelain flesh. The man sensed the interest, real or not, of the people around him. They encircled the dancers, one of which had now gone completely white, completely cold, and thus completely non-existent. One of her dead, dry, and fragile fingers broke off in the man's hand. One by one, pieces of her fell to the floor and shattered: her face, her nose, her ears, her limbs. Like a mannequin, smiling for the world, but lifeless inside.

The surrounding spectators watched, intrigued, horrified, amused, angry. The truth was that they didn't know what they were feeling and the vast majority was unaware that they were feeling anything at all. The rest couldn't remember what they had just witnessed and simply carried on with the emotion it had induced. Their faces then appeared to sink. Now, even their absent-minded emotions were disappearing into their mannequin bodies. The man looked around at the throng of literally faceless party-goers and made his way calmly to the door.

The door opened for him and he stepped outside not to the surroundings from which he had arrived, or at least from what he could remember. The distant trees were aflame and smoke seemed to swallow the entire sky. He heard distant, echoing laughs from the party behind. He had enough sense about him to recognize once again their emptiness.

A girl in a white dress approached from a distance. He walked slowly in the directly from which she was coming, praying for himself, that he could preserve his mind long enough to discover whether or not the girl was dead yet. As they neared one another, the man knew by the expression on her face that the girl was indeed conscious, and so was he. He took her hand, "Pleasure to meet you. I do not have a drink, but would you care to watch the world end with me?"