Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A Short Story by Joanne

So, this week, I'm reading The Gates by John Connolly (review forthcoming). I am enjoying it a lot, particularly because it reminds me of a short short story I wrote a few years ago. I thought, in the spirit of giving and as a sort of preface to that review, I would share my story with all of you. I very rarely share things that I write with other people, so you should consider this an special treat. No, really. Please to enjoy...

Subject: Fw: Fw: Fwd: End of the World

When the end of the world comes, at least they can’t blame me. I was the guy who sent the mass email. Now maybe you think, “Hey, mass email isn’t exactly the best way to get across something as massively important as the end of the world.” I guess that’s true. But what would you have me do, huh? Go right up to the police or the FBI and tell them, “Hi, my name is Gary, and my next door neighbor is the Antichrist.” That would just be silly. Besides I’ve seen all those movies. You know the ones with the huge budgets and bad acting where this scientist guy discovers meteors/ aliens/ dinosaurs and nobody believes him, especially this evil general looking dude who says he doesn’t believe in meteors/ aliens/ dinosaurs. Like half the movie is spent with this poor bastard going around trying to tell people to run and hide and nobody does and he gets all frustrated and the meteors/ aliens/ dinosaurs crash/ destroy/ eat people anyway. So basically what I did was cut out all that running around time. Not that I’m lazy or anything, just practical. Besides, this one time I got a chain letter from a friend of mine that started in Pakistan or Paraguay or Papua New Guineaor one of those other ‘P’ countries… maybe Peru. But anyway, it started pretty far away and must have gone to a lot of other people. That’s what gave me this mass email idea. What, you have a better idea?

I mean what is a guy like me supposed to do when he discovers he’s living next to the guy who is going to destroy the world. I mean, ok… so maybe if it was one of these terrorist types it might be easier because people are so jumpy about the whole crazy-guys-blowing-up-stuff thing. But this dude doesn’t even look Arab. He’s like this normal white guy. Ok, well at least he looks like a normal white guy. In reality he is the Antichrist, but I think I already mentioned that. But anyway, there isn’t exactly any point in telling people he’s the Antichrist anyway. I mean what are they going to do, huh, lock him up? I’ve seen this guy kill people with his mind all Darth Vader style. Like locking him up would do any good. Hell, I’ve read enough books and seen enough movies to know that the best thing to do is just chill out, get drunk... on second thought, get REALLY drunk and basically wait around for the inevitable. When archaeologists discover my body, if there are archaeologists, or even people, in the future, do I really want it to look like those sick Pompeii guys with their mouths all open and reaching out all petrified and shit? Hell no I don’t. I want to be found sitting in front of the TV, maybe with a Playstation controller in my hand, just calm as can be. I think that’s really very Buddhist of me actually.

Anyway, so I figured, I have my situation all figured out (couch, booze, Playstation) but I thought I might as well give everybody else an opportunity to do what they really want to before the time comes. I thought that was the least I could do you know. Like the first person I told was my friend Dave and he was like “Yo, I am totally going to BASE jump off of my office building during lunchtime tomorrow.” Something like that would never have even occurred to me (I’m not exactly sporty) but you know that was always his dream to do that so, like, hey, by all means he should. So yeah, Dave saying that got me thinking about all the other people in the world and stuff. Like maybe there is some dude who has always wanted to ask out this girl but he was too afraid or whatever and him knowing that the world is about to end might like give him the confidence and junk… or some chick who has like never gotten laid… or some guy who has always wanted to see Paris but has been saving up for his daughter’s college education but since nobody will be alive by the time she gets to college he might as well go on a trip or whatever.

So yeah, when the end of the world comes you all can’t blame me for not telling you. At least I sent the mass email.Which, like, I totally didn’t have to do.

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