|It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)
Author: No Name and the Lonely Machine PM
No one actually believed the Mayans were right, until, well, the world pretty much ended. Destruction of civilization and humanity comes in various ways, from earthquakes to tsunamis and cannibalism to a zombie-esque plague. Eight survivors from all over the United States become banded together whether they like it or not. TEMPORARY HIATUS.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Words: 1,540 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Published: 12-22-12 - id: 3085288
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Well, my darling readers and writers, I wanted to get this published in time for the twenty-first, but I ran a bit late.
Summary: No one actually believed the Mayans were right, until, well, the world pretty much ended. Destruction of civilization and humanity comes in various ways, from earthquakes to tsunamis and cannibalism to a zombie-esque plague. Eight survivors from all over the United States become banded together whether they like it or not.
"That's great, it starts with an earthquake..." - REM
"I wanna go home."
"Shh! They'll hear us!"
"Then why are you yell-whispering, genius? They can hear that, too."
"Just stay out of it..."
"Besides, I think we'd all rather be home right now."
"And you think I'm stupid. There isn't actually a home to go back to."
"Kid's got a point."
"Shut the fuck up! They've already found us..."
And before I go on, I must explain how the world ended.
Well, I guess it didn't technically end; I mean, Earth was still there, and there were people and everything. Just not the ideal world you want to live in. And, well, most of the people were bastards who'd use you to live another day, cannibals, rabid humans, mutated and deformed psychopaths, corpses, dead and/or dying citizens, some were infected with God-knows-what diseases, what we presume to be aliens or zombies, etc, etc, etc.
So: December 21st, 2012. Mayan Apocalypse. Some pretty wacky shit, right?
Yeah. It was some pretty wacky shit.
But, unfortunately, it was also some pretty true shit as well.
I was at home, trying to get some shut-eye, which is really lame, considering that tomorrow was our first day of Holiday Break from school. I should've been out at some Christmas party with booze and girls, but I was doing something much more pathetic:
I was half-asleep on the beat-up old couch in the basement, TV still on, which was dully lighting up the dim cellar with a ghostly bluish light, the low and distant sound of the shitty sitcom putting me into unconsciousness. I remember my eyelids were closing...closing...and then that little electric hum of the TV abruptly flickered off. The digital clock on the cable box - time that had been reading 11:59 seconds before - and the small green-lit power button on the tube shut down. The only sound left was that bit of static from the television turning off. I sat up in a daze, scratching the back of my head. I blinked rapidly when the crappy lights on the ceiling burned out. I watched, eyebrows creased, as each last glow became like everything else - dead.
A cold sweat broke out on my neck, and the hair stood up on my arms. Screw Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and the little girl from The Exorcist; I hated power outages. And power outages in the basement, I practically fainted. Oh, wow, I was such a man, so afraid of the dark. I obviously didn't live up to my eighteen-year-old expectations.
I had one of those panicking moments where you get so freaked that all you can do is run around like a moron trying to find the stairs, your heart practically jumping out of your throat, all the while slapping the walls for a useless lightswitch thinking some kind of creature is going to get you if you don't find some way to see. Or at least until you get out of your unfinished cellar that still had a reputation for those nasty centipedes.
My admittedly-dirty socks slipped around on the gray, smooth cement floors, nearly making me fall more than once. I finally did trip over one of my dad's boxes from a billion years ago.
Now, my basement, being a basement, is pretty big. One half is used for storage, full of old crap that my family will never get rid of. The other half bears a striking resemblance to the basement in That 70's Show, but that's not the point. The side with the storage was the half with the stairs, from which the beginning of were in the corner surrounded by mounds of relics from the Stone Ages.
My face met the stiff carpet that we kept all the junk on top of, hitting an empty spot that smelled rather like piss.
Still trying very hard not to flip out, I groped at the hard and crusty rug, trying to find something to help me up without causing more unnecessary pain, and trying to figure out where the hell I was so I could find the stairs. There was a loud, kind of thundering sound from upstairs.
"Must be Mom or Dad," I muttered to myself, trying in vain to provide a little comfort to yours truly.
I finally managed to grab the end of what I assumed was the bin we held our Christmas decorations in, and yank myself up, finding footing in the bare spot I face-planted in. I began to plow through all the shit, accidentally sticking my feet in boxes and falling into other various pieces of shit, and shoving more shit out of my way. Once, my nads collided with the edge of a table, which delayed me quite a bit, but at least I forgot about the little beasts in the dark. What did I think was in there, anyway? Langoliers?
Eventually, I fell onto the bottom stair, head smacking against the thin wooden railing. I'd either collapse of exhaustion or never fall asleep from too many bodily aches. Grabbing onto the railing, I pulled myself into a standing position, and carefully climbed the stairs. About halfway through, my panic attack came back and I booked it out the rest of the way.
I finally emerged from the basement, and stumbled into the kitchen. The light was still dark, but a little better thanks to the passing car's headlights on the main drag outside. I managed to find the cabinet where matches were stored, and took a minute or two to find a candle we never used under the sink.
Utterly grateful for the light, I heard footsteps softly pad down from upstairs.
I paused and turned around to see my mother in the next room, shining the light from a flashlight around. "I'm in here." She turned in the right direction, and came into the kitchen.
"Was it you making all that racket?"
"I was in the basement, Ma, you know that it's impossible to get out of there even in broad daylight."
She shook her head, gray-streaked brown hair in a mess. "You should've went to sleep in your room, not the cellar."
"Right...what was that noise from up here?"
Her forehead creased, and her eyebrows furrowed. "What are you talking about?"
"That noise. It was kind of a...I don't know. Rumbling sound?"
"...I though that was you." I shook my head.
"Still asleep. You know how he is." She rolled her eyes, and looked up at the ceiling as if she could see through it to her husband.
Then her eyes narrowed, and she focused harder on the ceiling. I watched her for a moment without saying anything, but finally asked, "Anything interesting up there?"
Her brown eyes flickered back down to me, still narrowed. "Look up there. There's a crack in the ceiling."
I stretched up to my full height to get a closer look. Indeed, there was a faint, crooked line etched in the white paint. "Weird."
"I'll tell you what's weird. We have a power outage. There was nothing wrong with the weather today at all."
Suddenly, that rumble came back, and the lights flickered once, twice, before going out again. "Maybe something hit a power line."
Then the official end of the world started.
Living out West, I'd experienced my fair share of earthquakes, but this had caught me completely off guard. It didn't feel at all like a typical earthquake; it was as if we were on a ship that was simultaneously rolling on huge waves and being shaken around as if it were vibrating. First, the hardwood floors began to shake underneath my feet. It felt vaguely like one of those trick floor-panes in a funhouse, where it starts to move under your feet; you can still keep your footing, but you're being rocked back and forth. Then, I could hear things being thrown off shelves in other rooms, and the kitchen cabinets began to fly open. Plates, bowls, pots, pans, other various tools fell out. A falling skillet hit my head and nearly knocked me out cold. I heard my mother yell my name as she gripped the end of the table to try and pull herself under. One vicious tremor shuddered through the house, and I was thrown on my ass, smacking my head off a counter.
And with the combined forces of hits from the staircase railing, frying pan, and granite countertop, I blacked out.