Monday, July 25, 2011

Dire Prophecy

The perfect utopia for Coast to Coast AM devotees is desolation and destruction.

Since I started working nights, Coast to Coast AM has become a constant source of amusement. I wonder what would happen if these nutjobs turned out to be right? They're so passionate about this crazy stuff -- would they be happy if it actually happened? I'd like to think so.

Also, this is supposed to be funny. Unfortunately, my idea of "funny" doesn't always translate well.

This was originally written for some flash fiction contest where the prompt was something about people being happy about the Apocalypse, or something. Needless to say, I came in somewhere around last place.

In the end, they had been right.

The howl of unstable atoms blasted the population into shadows. Stretched into fallout smiles across crumbling buildings, the scene replicated itself like faulty RNA, rewriting the cities of the world with fallout ink. Despite the crumbling half-lives, lead-suited armies continued to march, but not against each other: They administered plague to the survivors, which combined with the radiation to produce a legion of mindless, feral beings that would attack the creatures they once were. Soon, the zombies were destroyed like the half-angels from the wild stories of prehistory: At the other end of our solar system, Planet X's unwieldy orbit careened precariously close to our own, causing the poles to shift to the equator in less than a week, and the resulting floods momentarily washed the world clean. Unfortunately, the Lizard People that inhabited the Hollow Earth seized the opportunity and proclaimed the Denver Airport as the capital of the New World Order.

Once, they had been the crazies who called into late-night radio programs, disembodied voices carried by crackling radio waves from underneath tinfoil hats, spouting nutjob conspiracy theories. Their zeal and fervor was unmatched; it had become their religion. Like cockroaches, their paranoia had gained sustenence from the most unlikely souces, and they proliferated. Invest in gold – No, don't. When society collapses, it won't even matter. We are your saviors. Listen to us. We will save you from the aliens, disease, and governments. We know the truth. “Wake up, people!” became their Amen.

They built domes built into the desert sand and condos fashioned out of old missile bunkers; patched abandoned subterranean dwellings left over from the Cold War. They had stockpiled food and antibiotics; transistor radios and batteries; ammunition and comic books. On the chosen date, they filed underground like trooping fairies, removing themselves from the world they had so desperately wanted to end. They held their collective breath and waited.

Plutonium roared and decayed; hearts swelled and broke; the heat blasted the pathogens into snaking fossils. The oceans receded and society toppled. Sleeping gods peeked in on their charges before abandoning earth for a fresh start. Silence ruled with an iron fist.

After the Four Horsemen came and went, the hatches opened. Faces thrust to the sky like sunflowers, the paranoid inhaled a lungful of desolation. Dancing to the symphony of air-raid sirens, they cheered in unison. The unwelcoming and uninhabitable landscape blinked itself out of slumber and slowly smiled.

It was exactly what they had wanted.

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