Everything alright at the end of the world

Submitted for Contest #60 in response to: Write a funny post-apocalyptic story.... view prompt

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Sep 25, 2020

Funny Science Fiction

The sun rises, marking the start of a brand new day for the 250 million humans who still survive on Earth after the apocalypse took place. As a matter of fact, apocalypses, plural, because each corner of the planet had its particular end of days. In the United States, aliens invasions have destroyed the east coast. A similar case of fighting for a parking space occurred when two UFOs groups arrived at the same time in New York. After threats, screaming and weapons show off, one of the squads obliged the other to look elsewhere to spread the chaos. Rumor says that someplace in Nevada was the chosen one. The west coast suffered from the fury of San Andreas Fault and Yellowstone. The long-awaited Big One came, and many celebrated. At least for a few seconds before realizing their houses were falling on their heads or being cover by lava and flying rocks.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, gargantuan monsters emerged from the bottom of the sea to overthrow the Asian cities. People for a few moments were mesmerized, thinking that it was the result of the advance of special effects and the animatronics industry. Those thoughts last until they become the equivalent of gum in the bottom of a shoe for a hundred tons creatures. The creatures were only following their instincts to mate, lay eggs, and return to the seafloor. Unfortunately for civilization, nature wants to follow its path and annihilate anything in the way. Rumor has it that the people who had died victims of mating rituals preferred blind themselves than behold the frightful images of the act. There's another one that says that if the internet still existed would be possible to find NatGeo quality videos of those performances in its deepest layers.

In Western Europe, everything started with somebody coughing without covering his mouth in a crowded subway. One week later, an army of "zombies" had appeared, George Romero's zombies. But, with the difference that it was only an extreme case of a mix of allergies, leprosy, neurological motor and speech failure, and ooze infection. The population, accustomed to years of terror films and pop culture, faced as the raising of the dead and established hunting season to the victims. What could be solved with several antibiotics and handwashing escalated to excessive firepower use, civil war, destruction of public institutions, people hiding in bunkers, and explosions. Today in some zones in the ruins of the city, there are signs spread demarcating where the infected ones cannot access. In the post-apocalypse world, what is growing is the segregation of the 'Thriller disease' victims.

In Eastern Europe, vampires emerged and found very little resistance in taking control. The mixture of political chaos, the pop culture's charm on vampires, and the comforts of being only a flock had been the key to the bloodsuckers' conquest. Being a member of the cattle includes good and varied free food, furnished residence, first-rate health insurance, and several free time. To the ones who lived through the crises and consequences of the Soviet period, the new status was an improvement. The promise of turning a vampire attracted many, but it was impossible because they are, in reality, different species, related as much as wolves and foxes are. Although, it never stopped anyone from trying to crossbreed. Whatever prestige pets enjoyed in the human glory era now was the place of the human race in the age of vampires, leaving the fangs ones to deal with corruption, bureaucracy, economy, ethics, and other problems in society. Humans that remain at most needed to be cute and yummy until the final days

Some parts of the world also suffered from raptures and the flames dragging people. It wasn't clear the destination of professional drivers, pilots, and taxi drivers but, almost all had disappeared suddenly in the middle of work hours. Vehicles were left without control and leading to terrible accidents, from cars shelving to planes falling over residential neighborhoods. Surgeons and patients disappeared in the middle of surgeries. Caos everywhere. There were stories of organs disappearing from bodies that had received transplants. What, by the way, wasn't the most pleasant sensation. Without people to watch over the property, a primal selfishness instinct soon took place. People who were left behind felt the right to do whatever they please. The payback for their earthly acts turns out, would never come. What led to a wave of giant violence and nihilism that ended up claiming more lives than the disappearances themselves. The criteria to be taken or dragged was not clear, as hundred of religions and cults was following in those days. People could have disappeared for never have eaten shrimp, never have used anything of animal origin, went to the church all Sundays, or even because they answered the Nigerian prince e-mail, just more unsolvable mysteries.

In the year 2022, in some way, all types of catastrophic events occurred: meteors had fallen, glaciers had melted, earthquakes had occurred, volcanos had erupted, dictators' doppelgangers had appeared, corrupt governments had been elect, the world cup canceled, Elvis Presley came back together with the King of Pop, apes become more intelligent and had established cities, the plagues of Egypt returned, ghosts of annoying parents appeared to bother, dolphins and whales had disappeared ordering the world to fuck off in supersonic language, and other types of freaky cataclysm. The nostalgia to say that "in my time" things were more difficult or that everything would be fleeting somehow proved to be lies. The end of human society came in all colors and shapes for everyone. Correction, for almost everyone.

In many countries and cultures, before this fateful end, it was common to have internal jokes which people affirmed that some city or region did not quite exist, was a lie or a hoax. Like the cities of Bielefeld in Germany and of Kikkis in Greece, also the state of Acre in Brazil. Among other small regions spread by the globe. Including some countries in Oceania that global warming didn't flood. This satirical jest apparently had some truth in it because the apocalypse did not reach those places. Clearly, repercussions of the events that had occurred in the remaining world eventually hit them. Even in that case, which came couldn't be considered the end of the time. Just a change of air, paradigms, and routines. Another Monday.

The Acre is a Brazilian state, double the size of Portugal, situated in the Amazonian rain forest territory making a border with Bolivia and Peru. Brazil was award with a cataclysm combo. The population divided themselves into two sides and tried to exterminate each other in a civil war. One wearing red, the other curiously adopt a Fifa shirt as uniform, and the reasons for such wrath got lost in a distant past. While this war was happening, an animal revolution started all over the world. The Brazilian case was orchestrated by capybaras, the world's largest rodent, take advantage of the fidget period, and initiated human mayhem. Everyone was startled when they noticed how vicious those serene-looking creatures were. Although, in Acre, they never appeared, busy in taking others lands for its ascension empire. In other regions, a new type of drug made the people lose the will to make anything that not involved sex, alcohol, and fun. This drug was created in South America and spread to the globe. Although it has passed through Acre, it never stayed there. At that time, nothing really stayed there, either foreigners or commodities. At some moment, the irony of the facts brought some benefit to the place. While people died of STDs, dehydration, and starvation in the world, in Acre, everything was ordinary as it comes, deaf to the rest of the world when the Internet finally fell.

New routines had risen. Habits which included not leaving home too early, while mutant animals could still be in search of some imprudent party folks or have breakfast with soda and industrialized snacks. If paying attention to the water you drank before was important after acid rains, ash storms from the burned Amazon forest, and radioactive dust, now was a case of life or death. Everyone knows that this type of diet will take its toll in the future, but when this future may be kinda short, the motto 'live fast, die young' was trending.

Paper, plastic, or metal money proved as useless as a fork to drink soup. Soon batteries were the main currency. In a world where electricity was rare, batteries have become the only key to accessing the old pleasures of sitcoms, music, and video games. A pair of batteries AA still with energy could feed a family for a few days. Goods exchange also had its place in the new society. After all, the carcasses that the giant cats bring for its human beings need to have some use. Now the familiar cats and dogs have four to five times the old size and make use of their claws and teeth sharp as swords, but in their souls, they still saw themselves as puppies and kittens, happy to be next to a human. Yes, even the cats.

The Acre's population even established a type of agreement with the spirits of the woods, leaving weekly offerings. In the post-apocalyptic world, cigarettes, marijuana, and cocaine were of little use. Seemingly, the parties of the mysterious and scary beings needed something more to attract their celebrity correspondents. Ancestral gods with Lovecraftian looks sometimes passed by with their retinues of cultists taking pictures and poking people, admiring the remains of the "old society" and their old habits. The place, for a few days a year, becomes a mix of zoo and open-air museum, and since there was no way to avoid it, the only option was charge entry and put together some scenarios to improve earnings. Ancestral gods are quite generous with payments, only leaving a lot of dirt, corpses, and driving the people to a crazy state for a couple of days. Nothing that anyone couldn't handle.

In the societies that appeared in these safe places, they divided the mornings between collecting stories of the old world and gathering resources to survive. Most of the historical material consisted of memes and posts of social media transcribed to notebooks. Some moment in the future, all the batteries would end, losing all this rich material. Mobile Phones, previously designed for the elderly, became treasures, as wanted as evidence of the existence of Bigfoot or fairies. By the way, the fairies settled in the southern African region, but little news came from there. If someone were not in search of historical material, they dedicated themselves to guaranteeing food to the community. Wild and bioluminescent boar proved to be a quality source of food along with the weed called soy that dominated the lands after the great burning of the Amazon forest. What happened before the cataclysm, as shown by the ancestral memes.

Afternoons are usually busy rebuilding things that giant creatures have destroyed or collect what they left behind: scraps of food, feces, pieces of construction, and curiously a lot of mail and lost packages. Also, listening to radio conversations with other settlements is a day-to-day activity. This listening usually isn't very productive because each colony speaks its exclusive language, and these languages were by no means the most broadcast in their golden moment. With no other activity to fill the time, the radio became a drinking game, spotting the most common expressions, if you hear "eita" is a double shot. With time this evolved to large groups of people getting together to watch the radio as old soap operas. Doses of drama, comedy, and romances fascinated the public who, with rare sources of entertainment, grasps what they find.

The nights are free. Few groups dedicated to the new religions had appeared. Quite specials ones were the Disciples of Corona who preach social distance and constant sanitation, the Flat Earthers that beyond preaching that the land is flat, also says that nothing exists beyond the colonies, the Muskers that waits for the return of the savior Elon Musk from Mars. Musk, as it happens, is on his native planet enjoying vacations. Like the old times, there are always the ones that devote their time to more immediate pleasures as listen to music, drink artisanal beer, as the industrial ones had gone a long time ago, and spent time with family and friends. Or create one. In the new times, the complex dilemmas about hunger in the world, the missing bees, or the class struggles do not make sense anymore. Nowadays, everyone is starving, there is no class to struggle, it is every man for himself, and the bees came back angry and huge, destroying everything in their path. The bees and pollen season is not an easily forgotten period. Life's quieter now, and people have learned to enjoy the little things, whether it's a packet of cookies in the middle of rubble or the presence of another human being within a hundred miles. Never the question: "Would you stay with me if we were the last people on Earth?" came any closer to making some sense. Yet "no" was the most heard answer.

Throughout the years, new standards have emerged. Dinosaurs already had established hunting ground away from the colonies. People could visit and, with amazement, discover that they look like colossal parakeets and swear like sailors. The talking ape civilization already holds annual football games with the most organized human settlements. The invading aliens had already grown tired of the planet and returned full of cows as souvenirs for their homeworld planets. The real zombies, yes, there was also the return of the dead, had become dust after prolonged exposure to outdoor weather. Most were either moldy or eaten by vultures. Meteor impact sites had already become immense lakes where fish with multiple eyes breed. The machine revolts were over when blue screens appeared on several robots, and a trojan virus caused the central control to trapped itself in an infinite loop playing Tetris. Some open-source machines and that were made by Apple still work in small dictatorships where no one else goes. Rumor has it that when a human gets hurt, they throw it away and buy a new one.

Atomic bombs and colossal earthquakes leave their impact, changing the shape of Earth a little. At some point, human society will collapse, it's inevitable. Yet the rest of humanity follows its path. People ignore everything and try to find their way and maintain some order in the mess that has become the planet. Everyone tries to move on, and because of that now, in London, one last referendum has just come out, it says the UK, at last, ends its ties with the European Union to the delight of Bielefeld and Kilkis, that now can invite Acre to join.

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