Story 5: It's the End of the World as We Know It, And I Feel...

Story 5: It's the End of the World as We Know It, And I Feel...

A Chapter by SomeTypeOfArtist
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A glance at how different people react in the face of impending doom.

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It’s the End of the World As We Know It, and I Feel…

 

     What would you do if there was only one month to live?

 

     Alex freaked out when he saw it on the news. In thirty days, the sky was going to fall and crush everyone underneath. Apparently, scientists had it wrong the entire time. The sky was a ceiling, and the Earth was evidently flat.

     “That doesn’t make any sense,” Alex exclaimed while he was watching TV.

     “Can you prove them wrong?” Brittany asked.

     “Well… no. Personally, I can’t. I wouldn’t know how to.”

     “There you go, then. The Earth is flat, and the sky is going to fall and kill everybody.”

     Alex didn’t know how Brittany could remain so calm. Didn’t she care if she was going to perish? And what about him? Them? They’d been dating for three years now, and Alex was about to ask her to marry him. She was his world; why was she so content with it ending?

 

     Brittany’s boyfriend was freaking out as he watched the news. He freaks out every time he watches the news, so she’s learned to ignore him by this point. There was some coverage of the sky falling in a month.

     Oh well, she thought. I was getting pretty bored with life, anyway.

     “Brittany,” Alex asked, “aren’t you upset at all?”

     “About what?” She had been drifting in and out of the program and Alex’s ramblings.

     He grabbed her by the shoulders. “We’re all going to die!”

     She shrugged. “Everyone’s gotta go sometime.”

     Alex started hyperventilating.

     Brittany sighed and got up to get a paper lunch bag. “Here, calm down.”

     Alex took the bag and started breathing in and out. When he finally settled down, Brittany plopped back down on the couch.

     She was tired of Alex. He was so jumpy, he overreacted about every little thing, and he just wasn’t very good at comforting her. Why did she feel like she was the one always taking care of him, like a child? She wanted to dump him years ago, but she was afraid he would kill himself.

     She perked up. Well, we’ll be dead in a month anyway. She looked over at Alex, who continued panicking at the television.

     “Oh my God! You’re going to die! Mom’s going to die! Dad’s going to die! Everyone-”

     “Alex, I’m breaking up with you.”

 

     “F**k you, O’Boile!” Chris screamed at his boss.

     Mr. O’Boile spit his coffee out as his loudest employee barged into his office. “Excuse you!?”

     “F**k! You!” Chris jumped on top of his desk and kicked a bunch of papers and other supplies among the room.

     Mr. O’Boile’s face quickly turned magenta. “You had better have a DAMN good reason for this!”

     Chris quickly calmed himself and looked down at his boss. “Uh, well sir, the thing is, I don’t. You’re a giant sack of horse s**t, and I’m telling you off. I’m afraid it’s really not any more complicated than that.” He smiled and jumped up and down on the desk until it gave out and crashed on the ground. “So go f**k yourself!”

     “You’re FIRED!” O’Boile screamed.

     Chris unzipped his pants and took a piss on O’Boile’s face. “Yes. Yes I am.” He zipped up and marched out the door.

     I can’t believe I did that! Chris thought as he walked past rows of cubicles. I’ve never felt so alive! Shame, only realizing this weeks before we all bite the dust. Well if we’re all going to die anyway, than I’m going out with a bang!

     As Chris made his way into the lobby, he stopped by reception.

    The receptionist looked up at him, perplexed as to why he was standing there, staring at her. “Hi?”

     “Brittany, for the past two years I’ve walked by you every morning, and every morning you drive me so god damn wild I need to splash cold water on my face as soon as I pass the restroom.” Chris quickly dove in and gave her a big, long kiss.

     Brittany was stunned and let the whole thing happen. This was creepy, but she hadn’t felt passion like this since before Alex.

     Chris broke it off. “You’ve got no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that. Here,” Chris said as he gave her his number. “Call me sometime.” He winked and left the building.

     What should I do next!? he eagerly pondered.

 

     Dan set his head down on the bar and shook it back and forth. “Hey,” he called, hoping a bartender could hear him. “Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey.”

     “HEY,” the bartender said as she slammed her hand on the counter. “Quit sleeping.”

     “Give me more scotch.”

     “You’ve had enough.”

     Dan shot up like a bullet, with a look of malice on his face. “You’re god damn right I’ve had enough! I’ve f*****g had it up to here!” he exclaimed as he tossed his shot glass at the ceiling. It shattered and sprinkled down on the ground. “There,” he said, pointing at the ceiling. “Not where it is now, but up there-”

     “I got it, thanks. You’re paying for the glass.”

     “Fine, I don’t care, give me more scotch.”

     “What’s the matter with you?” the bartender asked as she poured Dan another shot.

     “I wasted the last six years of my life, that’s what’s wrong.”

     “Ah. And I’ll bet this whole ‘end of the world’ stuff isn’t helping, huh?”

     “Nooooooooope!” Dan said as he flailed his arms about. “Six long, painful years of working my a*s off for my stupid degree, all for what? For the bloody Armageddon to show up and say ‘Hey, good job, here’s some death, bye!’”

     “What were you going to school for, anyway?”

     “Art.”

     The bartender snorted. “Well it’s not like you were gonna get a job with that, anyway.”

     “I was going to make cartoons. The best cartoons you would ever see. Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network would literally start a war with each other to see who would get to hire me.”

     “Pretty proud of yourself, huh?”

     “Six years of all those bullshit classes. Didn’t teach me a damn thing. All I needed was practice. I could have done that for free.”

     “So why didn’t you?”

     Dan thought for a minute. He sighed and slammed his head down on the bar. “Six long, wasted years. And now I’m gonna die.”

 

     Emily shook her head. She’s had a lot of customers like this, lately. They all come in and started complaining about how they wasted their lives and now they’re no time to fix anything. Her current one is either trying to sleep on her counter or pretending not to cry. It’s usually been one or the other.

     “Hey, at least you went for the degree. Most students just fool around in college and don’t aspire to be anything.”

     “Yeah, I guess,” he muttered.

     Her art graduate continued his drunken spiel as she pretended to listen. Was she the only one that wasn’t crazy? The sky wasn’t going to fall. That was retarded. Scientists just couldn’t decide to change their minds about something that’s been a fact for hundreds of years. If the sky could fall, why would it take this long for it to do so? There wasn’t a lot of proof that it was going to, anyway. It’s like they just said “Hey, we got nothing going on. Let’s change the rules so it can look like we’re making discoveries.” Stupid scientists. And stupid news anchors for putting all this nonsense into the masses’ heads.

     Emily didn’t care in the long run, anyway. More people were drinking themselves into a sense of safety among danger. The tips have been great the past couple of weeks. The whole apocalypse thing was bringing in good money. Call me selfish, but I’ve got rent to pay.

 

     Frank stood in his backyard, looking up at the sky. “It’s getting closer, all right.” He rushed over to his bomb shelter and opened the door. He rushed down the stairs and went through his provision checklist.

     “Food. Check. Water. Check. Flashlights. Check. Batteries. Check. Generator. Check.” He continued crossing items off the list, making sure his family had enough to live off of until it was safe to come out.

     “Frank?” someone called from the surface.

     “Yes, honey?” he called back.

     Frank’s wife walked down the stairs. “Not this again.”

     Frank turned around. “Laura, it’s going to happen. I can see it; the sky is getting closer and closer to the ground every day.”

     “How?”

     “It just is. We need to make sure we’re prepared. It’ll just be you, me, and the kids until it’s safe to resurface.”

     “And how will you know when it’s safe?”

     “It’ll be safe once the sky stops falling.”

     Laura sighed. “Well once you’re done here, could you go over next door and talk to Alex?”

     “Is he still crying over Brittany? It’s been three weeks now. He has bigger problems. Like dying.”

     “Don’t be so insensitive. They were together for years.”

     “So was the sky. And now it’s going to fall. Bad stuff happens, Laura. Alex can sit at home and cry about it. I’m doing something about it.”

     “That’s why you should go over and talk to him. You’d be good for him.” She put her arm around him. “It would be a really nice last good deed.”

     “Because building a bomb shelter for my family to survive in wasn’t enough?”

     Laura smiled patiently. “You know what I mean.”

     “Fine. Look after the place while I’m over there.”

     Laura kissed her husband. “Thank you.”

 

     “Wonder if it’s really going to fall?” Geoffrey asked his dog as he looked at the sky.

     The dog perked its head up, then slowly set it back down.

     Geoffrey chuckled. “I guess it really doesn’t matter much to us, anyway. It’s not like either of us have much time left.” He rocked back and forth on the porch, staring at the twilit sky.

     Across the street, a man left his neighbor’s house and headed back to his own.

     “Looks like Frank stopped by Alex’s again. Hey, Frank!”

     Frank crossed the street and met him on the porch. “How are you doing, Geoffrey?”

     “Can’t complain.”

     “It’s nice to hear that. I’ve been listening to Alex whine for a week.”

     “It’s too bad about Brittany,” Geoffrey said. “But Alex will find another girl. He’s still young.”

     “If he survives. I invited him into our bomb shelter, but he says he doesn’t want to live in a world without her. Are you sure you won’t come with us?”

     “Yes, I’m sure. Whatever happens, happens. I have no regrets.”

     “Well then I hope to see you soon, Geoffrey. Take care.”

     “You too,” Geoffrey said as he watched Frank walk back home to his family. He pat his dog on the head.

     Geoffrey looked up at the sky. It didn’t look different to him, but with the fuss everyone was making, he didn’t know what to believe. If it was going to fall, this is how he would want to go. Sitting with his only companion, watching the day pass by.

     “No regrets, boy.”

 

     What would you do if there was only one month to live?

 

     

 

 



© 2012 SomeTypeOfArtist


Author's Note

SomeTypeOfArtist
Don't know how I feel about the ending, kind of wish I had more of a resolution for everyone. Suggestions?

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Added on August 6, 2012
Last Updated on August 6, 2012
Tags: end of the world, react, acceptance, resistance


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SomeTypeOfArtist
SomeTypeOfArtist

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Fiction, flash fiction, experimental fiction, and a little nonfiction about the human experience, I guess. Blah blah blah. more..

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