The New American Apocalypse, Pt. 1

(The New American Apocalypse

Table of Contents: Part Two; Part Three; Part Four; Part Five; Part Six; Part Seven; Part Eight; Part Nine; Part Ten; Part Eleven; Part Twelve; Part Thirteen; Part Fourteen; Part Fifteen; Part Sixteen;

Part One:…)

 

…but you can’t kill Evil, I mean, not completely, because Evil lives inside of us just as much as it lives inside black holes and in the stomach lining of monsters and the mad minds of shapeless beings, it lives between the synapses of our brains like the gaps between stars, it swims in the chemicals stewing our skulls, lives in our old, broken hearts, so, no, no matter what grandiose heroics my friends and I may or may not have ventured into in the past (not to mention, of course, the long and storied history of People Fighting Evil), we always knew we wouldn’t destroy Evil, not as an abstract concept (see, abstract concepts can’t be destroyed, they’re immortal like that, living on some fifth or sixth dimension where they exist as iconic deities) and I think that’s how I became obsessed with the Apocalypse.

Not any specific kind of Apocalypse, mind you, not any specific genre of The End. I’m not much in the way of religion, having always considered it a kind of scam being pulled on desperate people hungry for hope, and nor have I been any kind of scientist studying the inevitable heat death of the cosmos, so I have my doubts on the whole thing insofar as THE GREAT BIG FINALE…I’ve always considered The Apocalypse™ on a much more intimate scale. Y’know, as in “just all the humans” or “just planet Earth” or maybe “just our little corner of the cosmos sucked down the hungry maw of a black hole.”

Something like that.

Because it occurred to me one night (can never remember which, on account of the blackouts and the many various unhealthy habits I’ve grown accustomed to having) that maybe The Apocalypse™ is the only way to actually end Evil, insofar as it exists in our little section of the infinite (possibly dying) universe.

This epiphany, drawn out of a depraved mind swimming in various unnameable, potentially Lovecraftian substances, led me to about a two-week blackout, by far the longest blackout I’ve ever had. And, when I woke up, it seemed like The Apocalypse™ had already started up, that its grinding gears were working its treads through the Earth and burying human bones beneath them. People were going insane. Worse than insane. They seemed *possessed*.

I should clarify. After my dark midnight epiphany, the next thing I remember is waking up in a New York City street wearing the same clothes but much smellier. After the initial shock of my own reek, the first thing I’m aware of is the sound of distant screams. A cavalcade of voices cry out through the urban architecture in several different languages and several more that weren’t languages at all, at least not on Earth, at least not the Earth I’ve spent the last thirty-something years inhabiting.

I stand up and brush dirt and dust off my clothes (as if that will help the smell) and realize I’d collapsed somewhere just outside of Tompkins Square Park. Being of unsound mind, I decide the first thing to do is investigate the screams. So I hoof it toward the Park smelling like undead homeless zombies and feast my eyes on a buffet of nightmares.

A half-dozen men in suits cattle-prod small children into unconsciousness. They gibber between themselves in alien languages and wear bibs over their ties (the kind you see, or used to see, at restaurants when fatcat businessmen throw out greenbacks to stuff their faces, their rolls of unsightly obesity a visible representation of their bloated bank accounts). Three of them hold carving knives and I don’t want to look over at the picnic table by the playground, where the “young professional types” sit with mouths haloed in what is definitely not barbecue sauce.

I do what anyone else would do, given the situation: I run.  I run like hell.

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thesrhughes

I'm a writer of horror, dark sci-fi, and dark fantasy.