It’s the End of The World As We Know It

Submitted into Contest #105 in response to: Write your story from the perspective of a side character.... view prompt


Adventure Fiction Speculative

The day began with a bowl of cereal, because the apocalypse is no cause for an unhealthy breakfast. Of course, no one knew the world would be ending that day. The girl certainly didn’t, so she started the morning the way she always did. She walked down the creaky wooden steps into the kitchen, where her mother Cassandra already was. Cassandra was nursing a glass of scotch, as per usual, and sipped it by the window. A breeze swept past the glass. The girl ate her breakfast as quietly as always, but something about the crunching snapped Cassandra out of her stupor. She glared at her daughter. “Jesus, girl, I heard your damn alarm at one in the morning, you know! Can’t you control anything in your miserable life! Can’t you do anything right, goddamnit!” 

She punctuated the statement by throwing the glass at the clock over the girl’s head. She blinked up at her mother, a deer caught in headlights. Her chair slowly scraped across the floor as she made her way out the door. “Useless daughter, stupid. Are you deaf, girl, mute? What is wrong with you!” Her screams echoed and faded through the long grass.

The girl contemplated school. She usually went, but her mother had stopped making her go a while back. She let her feet wander the path, deciding against education for now. For now, she headed to the barn. It was a run-down little thing from the Old Age. All the tech in it had been pilfered and broken, all except for a dead, disposable phone that she had found on her first day there. She had made a habit of finding abandoned places when her father left, and this one was her favorite. Graffiti littered the walls and it had only two bedrooms, once, when there were still beds. The girl had been fixing it up for months now. She had pried off the carpet, cleared the debris, and swept the floor. The light fixtures that had been broken last week were now fixed, but not by her doing. She figured it was a little angel or a bored gang member or the like, and thought no more of it.

Today she planned on painting the walls. They were scratched and dirty, and could use a dark green coat. She dipped a brush into the bucket she had left last time. She dragged the paint smoothly across the wall, watching it drip down. She went on like that for hours, marveling at how well the paint worked for being fetched out of a dumpster, like most things here. Lord knows she didn't have the money. The sun had risen and dipped by the time the first room was nearly done. She figured that she could take a break as sweat dropped down her brow.

She went out to the bushes behind the barn, breathing in the unseasonably warm air. She went to wipe the sweat off of her face when she saw it.

A red mark, a bruise where there shouldn’t be. The little spots continued up her arm and past her sleeve. The virus had come at last.

The first thing the girl thought of were the scientists. They had said that global warming would not be without its retaliation. They spoke of the end of the world, the end of all time. But it wasn’t supposed to be now. No, the scientists had said forty years. Forty years, not her time. Her children’s time, maybe. She was supposed to be dead in forty years. Not now, please god, not now.

Tears overflowed onto her face. A sob perhaps, a gentle one at first, then a whimper, then the floodgates broke. She fell down onto the dirt. It wasn’t supposed to be now. The world was ending. It was over. But it couldn’t be, they said she had time. Time to grow up, to graduate school. She was supposed to have a job. She was supposed to have a career that she worked hard for. She was supposed to have a love story, and get married to the man of her dreams wearing a snow white gown that her friends helped to pick out. She was supposed to have children. Good god, she was supposed to have her first kiss at least. I mean, before all that she was supposed to at least turn twenty. Have an amazing birthday with the people she loved, get a nice house and go to a fun college. They said she was supposed to have forty years.

The alarms sounded. Panic in the streets. An odd calm settled over her as she walked through the streets of her home, not bothering to wipe the snot off her face. The tears had subsided, replaced with sad acceptance. The world was ending. It was over. 

The streets were not as calm as her. The girl felt like she was watching it all through a glass veil. There was rioting, looting, and killing. A thousand acts with zero consequences, because it was all ending, who cares? A baby was left crying in the streets, but no one bothered to tend to him. A man ran out of a bank carrying bills and jewelry in his hands. He stopped, suddenly, as if he had hit a brick wall. A sadness dawned on him as he realized the pathetic uselessness of it all, the quiet compreneding. Before an axe was buried in his back.

She decided right then that that wasn’t how she would go. If the world was to end, she would take it with dignity. She turned in the middle of the street and headed to the forest.

No one told the woods about the end of the world. The foliage was thick and green. She stepped over a fallen branch as she contemplated. Those stupid scientists. All the adults that talked about the end of the world, that warned against it. What did they care? Their lives had already gone by. Their only next step was death, anyway. They ruined the planet, and they tell us to fix it. And now the planet’s dying and we’re all dying, and the girl had not had the chance to even begin her life. Her life hadn’t begun, and it was ending. God, not even a driver’s license. Damn scientists.

She took a breath to calm down, fresh tears settling on her face. She heard the music, then. There was an old fashioned radio in the clearing. An old song was playing through the din. 

Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn

World serves its own needs

She settled her head into the crunching leaves. Her body laid itself down, her eyes surveyed the sky. There were so many stars. She felt peace, then. The world was ending. It was over. No more sorrow, no more tears. All her problems would be gone in a moment. And she was sad, still, but it was more of a melancholy. There was nothing to be done to fix it. It was all over, at last.

She focused her eyes on the stars and ignored the sirens. She took one last deep breath. She closed her eyes. The plague, the war, the climate, asteroids colliding with the planets, killer monsters and sorcerers and the ending of a thousand movies.

    You vitriolic, patriotic, slam fight, bright light

Feeling pretty psyched

It's the end of the world as we know it

It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

And I feel fine…….

    And then it was over.

August 01, 2021 15:31

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Shinta Harini
22:14 Aug 11, 2021

Hi Ayesha. I'm always afraid of reading (post) apocalyptic stories because the idea of the world ending really terrifies me. That's why I understand how the girl feels. This story describes that feeling perfectly, which makes me more afraid. Well done. One thing, though. I have worked with several small publishers and learned that song lyrics is one of the things being copyrighted. Therefore we can't include it in our stories. If you tell about the song and describe the content of the lyrics, that will be fine. It's different from song title...


Ayesha 🌙
04:37 Aug 17, 2021

Thanks so much! I’ll revise the song lyric thing.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Akshara P
17:22 Oct 19, 2021

Can you please follow me, Ayesha? You will make my day! 💗


Show 0 replies
Akshara P
08:06 Oct 09, 2021

This story was so cool to read! I loved the ending! 💗 Could you read mine if possible?


Show 0 replies
Em Stolt
14:20 Aug 07, 2021

Wow! This story was so cool to read! I ended up reading it five times it was so good! I love the ending!


Ayesha 🌙
18:59 Aug 07, 2021

Oh my gosh, thank you! I’m so glad you liked it


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | We made a writing app for you (photo) | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.