from the End of the World

from the End of the World

This story is written in three separate time parts: During, 6 Months after, and 6 Years after the beginning of the end of the world. Although there is, indeed, a one true definite cause with regard to what happened for the world to fall apart, news did not travel smoothly, truthfully, or universally. Some people are aware of everything that has transpired, but those people are few and far between – mainly confined to professionals within the various governments of the respective countries and continents that have done their best to reduce global panic…. though some governments may not have done as well as others in maintaining this sense of common ignorance. Most of the general public have relied on rumours, heresy, and fragments of information that have made their way across parts of the globe by travellers, wanderers, lost souls… some even maintained the operation of more basal fragments of the internet… though things that would allow easy access to accurate information (eg., Google) were knocked out by the governments and the UN in their attempts to reduce complete anarchy during the fall of human civilization. Some more isolated geographical locations were not even aware that the rest of the world was falling apart for the first 6 months. Those places were unaffected by the ‘plague’ until much later dates. Bigger cities, of course, were the first to be afflicted. The affliction? Pretty traditional, really. The history of the End of the World began to be traced back to what was called by many on a well-known social news and entertainment site as a “zombie apocalypse”. The scientific merit of that name is still debated. Attached is a letter found written within the first few weeks (aka: “during”) of the beginning of the end of the world. It resurfaced after excavating an abandoned house that had been charred in downtown St. John’s (like most buildings within that particular city). Though most of outside this particular house was unsalvageable, the basement was made as an older house rendition – dug straight into the ground. It is believed this basement was purposely created as a cellar-type ‘rustic’ impression, as the remainder of the house was very obviously modern. Inside the main floor of the house photographs were found strewn everywhere of a happy young couple named Alice and Samuel Cottager. The body, according to dental record check, of Alice was located on the premises, and was identified via the Newfoundland Forensic Department. No further family was available for collection or identification of the body. The present location and status of Mr. Cottager is presently unknown. From this letter, the history of the End of the World began to be traced back to what was called by many on a well-known social news and entertainment site as a “zombie apocalypse”. The scientific merit of that name is still debated. This book of collected works was tabulated as an attempt by the remaining alive and united society of the planet to make sense of what is commonly known as the largest and most devastating pandemic to affect the human race. Mortality rates of the current plague exceed Bubonic Plague (estimated 75 to 200 million deaths), Smallpox (estimated 300 million world wide) and Tuberculosis (approximately 8 million deaths per annum) combined. The Promise. I sit here in this room, in the dark, alone. In our basement of our house. The one we build from the ground up. The one we drew the blueprints for together, even though we had absolutely no idea how to scale a kitchen floor on that complicated paper the professionals use. I haven’t got much time. If this works the way that every other person I’ve seen fall apart, I have a few hours… maybe a day or two… before I lose every sense of myself that was ever allowed to walk this earth. I figure nobody’s coming to bring me food or water, and other than the drippings from the leaky pipes that we never got around to fixing, there’s nothing of sustenance down here. So at best I’ll die of dehydration before the fever completely melts my brain. I tried banging on the door and shouting for you to come let me out, but you didn’t answer. We both know you’re not coming. I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t want to watch this either. I found some paper and a pen. So I figured I’d write a goodbye. Maybe someday you’ll find this letter and it’ll give you peace and comfort in the fact that you did the right thing, locking me down here alone to die. I don’t blame you for being afraid or for saving yourself, instead of holding my hand when I need you the most. Lord knows just holding my hand would probably ensure your destruction too. So here I sit, feeling my heart thump hard against my chest, trying my best to write these words through watery eyes. You always hated when I cried. I don’t know what happened these past few weeks in the world, but it seems like everyone has lost their minds. Well, no, not everyone. We made it for a little while avoiding the worst. Though when things started going wrong, and we fought all the time over the most idiotic things like which can of soup to share or what it meant when we saw that old man in front of our house have his head hacked off by those twelve year olds with the crazed eyes and even crazier artillery. Even when the world went to hell, we looked at our pictures from our wedding not six months ago, and all those happy faces. That one blurry photo from the food fight we had with the base of our cake. The look of our faces on the one your sister took during our first official dance as husband and wife. And those pictures cheered us up some. We found a way to keep trying, even though that old man’s body rotted in the heat of the summer just outside our living room window. Even though you swore you saw his hand twitch and grab for nothing, or something, who knows, hours after his brains were splattered on the cobblestone. Even though we saw another stranger stop and gnaw on his corpse… and then decided it was best to never go outside again. I’m sorry I opted not to listen to that decision, because there was a little girl who looked like she needed a mom. She was wondering in the street of our cul de sac and I swore that she was crying. That poor little girl. I didn’t want to watch her die the way that old man did, so when I thought the coast was clear, I opened the front door, stepped over the half eaten body of the decapitated man and tried to grab her attention. I’m sorry I succeeded. You were upstairs, and I heard you yell when you realized the door was open, just as I finally coaxed the girl to take my hand in hers. But then she took my outstretched hand and bit it. And before I knew it, you cracked that little girl across the head and the darkened tar-like blood from her face splattered across mine, and I ripped my hand back from her mouth. Too late. Your face was pale and ghastly. Your dark brown eyes like saucers that couldn’t stop hovering at the sight of my hand with the teeth marks all across the knuckles. Though the girl with her bashed in head was snarling and lunging at me again, I heard the sound of my wedding ring tinkle onto the pavement; it must have gotten caught in her mouth when I pulled my mangled hand back. I grabbed the shiny trinket off the ground just as you hit the girl with the sharp part of the shovel, severing her neck for certain. And you grabbed me by the waist and dragged me back in the house. Then you shoved me down the stairs of our basement, moaning ‘no, no, no’ over and over again. And you locked the door behind you. I must have been knocked unconscious when you pushed me down those thirteen stairs, because hours had passed before I woke up in a puddle on the floor. I felt every one of those stairs on the way down and from now until the moment I die, which surely won’t be long from now, I’ll understand why we didn’t decide to carpet that stairway – the hardwood was way less forgiving on the way down without it. There’s purple spider-like veins radiating from the bite marks on my hand, and my entire arm feels like it’s on fire. So I’m writing with my non-dominant hand. You can imagine this letter has taken me forever to write. And I’m sorry the scrawl is basically illegible. I woke up on the floor when I heard the basement door open and slam shut again. You had thrown a hand gun down the steps. So I guess you gave me that choice. Do I want to end up like that old man? Like the little girl? Or just end it before the transition happens… save you from the pain and trouble of having to listen to me down here alone wandering like an absent-minded soulless monster, slamming my palms against the door to get out and find food. I love you. I swore it at the alter, and with every breath I take I promised to care for you. And I promise I always will.

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