The problem with the end of the world

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


Drama Funny

The problem with the end of the world is that you never get a nice day. No matter how good you start off, you always end up in a pile of guts and gore.

Today was a good day until the zombies showed up. Sun was shining, no acid clouds melting flesh. There was even a deer with nine eyes that we spotted on our way to get supplies. The Turned ruin everything. I only got this new combat gear yesterday and it's already stained in blood. Their slow stumbling gait as they moved towards us meant we couldn't stop, not even for a baked beans break. We ended up eating while moving which always gives me indigestion. Oh, and Derek lost his leg. Not to the zombies, it was a rabid squirrel with the jaw the size of a lion that chomped it off. But Derek's coping very well, hopping along with the rest of us.

The other problem with the end of the world is that it's tedious. No one ever mentions how boring it gets. Sure, there's snippets of excitement when you're running away from murderous fish that have grown legs or from other survivors who have been alone long enough that they've turned a little feral. Apart from that, though, it's bone-achingly boring. There's no TV shows during an apocalypse. And god, no new topics of conversation. It's all, did you see that zombie last night?

Makes you wonder why you keep fighting. Why you keep going while the dark under your eyes lengthen and lengthen. I think everyone gives up eventually.

That's what happened to Susan. One day, when a tentacle monster barreled towards her, Susan dropped her weapon. I never told the others. I was worried they'd get ideas.

It wasn't like Susan was a very nice person anyways. For God's sake, she shot a child once. Not even a Turned child, a regular human child who stole her cookie. Though the worst thing about Susan, apart from the whole homicide thing, was the fact she had a grating voice. And I don't care what she said, she had that voice before her whole street burnt down. Although, you shouldn't speak ill of the dead, right, and Susan was part of our family. Maybe she was kinder before. I know I was.

See, the problem with the end of the world is that it kills you. When the world ended, I became someone new. i don't mean i cut off all my hair in some symbolic move--although it did get fried off in the blast. The person I was before, she would never have survived this with her soft hands and her soft legs and her soft heart. There was no place for her, unless that place was six feet underground. I think she died the first time I killed someone. By that point, it was easy and all the blood just blended in with the rest on my hands.

"Are you all right?" Simon asks, his singed off brows drawing together in a frown. I found Simon crouched under a cardboard box as he waited for the mutated cats to leave. Isn't he sweet?

"Yeah," Marina adds. "You seem a little off."

Marina's the eldest of all of us, at the ripe old age of 40. She'll probably die soon. No one makes it past 42.

I smile. "I'm fine, just thinking."

Simon exchanges a look with Marina. "You look a little pale."

"Probably blood loss. You know how it is."

Simon glances at his amputated hand. Yeah, he knows how it is.

At the front of the group, Jasmine hears us talking and turns around. Jasmine was a pro-tennis player before this and as she's the most athletically inclined, she gets to head up the group.

"What's going on?" she says, rubbing her hand over her shaved head. She was a lucky one, got to choose to shave her head instead of having it ripped out of her skull like the rest of us. Plus, she has a fantastic head shape whereas mine is more like a squashed watermelon.

"She's not looking too well." Simon points at me.

"I'm fine, really."

Jasmine steps towards me. Oh no. I recognise that look. It's the one she has before putting a nearly dead dog down.

"Do you have a headache? Do your gums hurt?" she asks, still faking concern.

As in, do I think I'm about to sprout horns and fangs.

"I'm not turning," I say.

Simon holds his hands up in surrender. "No one's saying that."

"No one at all."

"Well, I am a little." Jasmine shrugs.

I point to Derek. "What about him? He's the one who was bitten."

Everyone turns to look at him. His face is etched in a permanent frown. No, literally, some psycho cut a frown into his face.

Marina scrunches her face up. "He was bitten by a squirrel. It doesn't count. Besides, it feels a little mean."

"Yeah, it's almost...coldblooded," Jasmine says. They swivel their heads towards me like pigeons. Not that there are any pigeons left any more. They're an easy source of meat and were all eaten in the first month.

"I am not turning!" I yell.

Dead silence. There's a pun in there somewhere. Finally, Derek realises something is wrong and spins towards us.

"It's fine, Derek," I say. He cups his right ear, the one that hasn't been bitten off.

"It's fine!" I shout. Derek promptly falls to the floor. "We should really build some crutches for him."

"We will," Jasmine says. "After."


"After," Simon repeats.

They clutch their weapons.

See, this is the problem with the end of the world. There's no trust anymore. Before, I think people trusted each other. We believed them. We worked together. There weren't any arguments, were there? My memory's a little fuzzy. But I'd like to think everything was better in the before times.

“I’m sorry,” Simon says, his kitchen knife pointed at me. Even Derek’s hopping towards me with murder in his eyes.

I could take them. I could. But then I'd be all alone. And that would really ruin my day.

September 24, 2020 16:41

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