Friday, January 26, 2007

After the End

An excerpt from one of the pieces I'm working on now, which is a short story that I don't exactly know where to go with:

It was a cold and calculating morning that arrived after the apocalypse. Not that it was any laughing matter, of course; but Shine was just surprised that there was even a morning to look forward to.

He awoke from beneath a corrugated tin teepee that he had constructed a couple of weeks before. He was surprised when the relatively flimsy material was able to withstand hurricane-strength winds and the fireballs of the Revolution, and he had lain, half-awake, half-mad with grief and terror, as the armies of Heaven and Hell destroyed the world and pretty much everything in it.

There had been no television for over a month; not since the satellites had been crumpled like loose bits of notebook paper by the occasional asteroid. He vaguely remembered buildings being blown over like rows of matchsticks, a domino effect that ended in loud crunching noises not unlike ants being crushed underneath a particularly vindictive pair of Havaianas. He didn’t know how or why he escaped the destruction – there was a memory of running, of gathering up blankets and clothes and food from 7-11 (which he later learned would be rendered almost inedible, but then that’s food preservatives for you) and hiding, simply hiding, from shadow to shadow to shadow, like hopping from one stone to another in a vast, metaphorical pond.

Shine wasn’t sure what happened to the others – other humans, other animals, Others. But over the days, he had become quite adept at defending himself from the insects that had started creepy-crawling from beneath the rubble, from beneath the earth. Large jet black cockroaches and moon-pale worms, luminescent things of wing and legs, segmented bodies like strings of amber and jade, all moving moving moving from under the earth to taste the air of destruction and defeat. That was the way with wars, wasn’t it? One side was always bound to lose, and the other was bound to win.

No title yet, though. I'm wondering where it's going, but I find myself unduly excited.

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