|Before the World Ends
||[Jun. 2nd, 2011|12:14 am]
I came down to the shore for some alone time, some time to write, and to watch the end of the world. The beach house I rented for the week came cheap and had a perfect view of the vast ocean from the deck. From there, day and night, you could find me sitting on wicker chair at a small wooden table. Sometimes I ate my meals there, but most of the time I was trip-trapping on the keyboard of my old and tired laptop.|
The battery had gone to shit a year earlier; however, there was an outlet outside and I ran an extension cord from there to the dying electronic box I transcribed slivers on my imagination on. The only time I really went inside the fully furnished beach house was to use the bathroom, to cook, or to sleep. I had no idea if the TV worked because I never turned it on.
I knew the world would end because I saw it in a half-dream. One of those moments while you are passing through consciousness. I saw it clearly, in my mind's eye, after waking from a dream about my ex-wife. Some would say that my feelings of dread and belief that the end of the world was approaching was the direct result of experiencing a dream of my ex. To this I often smiled when recounting this tale and would say, "They both remind me of black holes where all happiness, light, and goodness disappear into, true. But that is merely coincidence."
They do not take to my explanation, and yes they probably still equate the dream with the other; nevertheless, I know they are wrong. I saw it in that second I passed from one state of mind to the other, in a moment that seemed like hundreds of years, when Lovecraft came close to me and whispered secret things in my ear. I saw what was to come. It frightened me though I understood.
I remembered Lovecraft. His face a blur like using a camera that would not focus. His breath stank of mint and earth. And though he spoke to me I had the distinct impression he thought I was someone else. Had I received the message in error? Was it meant for someone other than me? I would never discover. Lovecraft revealed it all, and then he left. And I was awake. Remnants of Lovecraft's explanation of the end of things and a foul dream about my ex dancing within the reaches of my mind soup.
I recounted this story for my friends, my family, a few bartenders, and one local radio personality to asked listeners to call in to tell him their theories about the end of the world. One woman told the DJ that Aliens would return to Earth, claim they were here first, and kick us off the planet. A man told him that the world had already ended and we were in Hell. (I assumed he was still married.) And they all thought they were right, but they all were wrong.
Even though I remembered Lovecraft I could not, for the life of me, remember the date The End would come. It seemed to have been whited out of my memory. At least that was what I thought until two weeks ago when it came to me out of nowhere like bad news or bizarre sex scandals involving politicians. It must have done that on purpose, burying itself deep in my noggin until the time came to act on the information.
I quit my job. Grabbed a bag of necessities. Then I drove for the coast.
I am a procrastinator you see. Life has a way of making one forget things like hopes and dreams and instead often has you living in the world fate wants to stick you in. I have, for the better part of my life, wanted to be a writer. To share stories, not unlike what Lovecraft did once upon a time. Sadly my novel had sat half finished for longer than I cared to admit.
I decided I would sit in a house by the water and finish my book while I awaited the end of the world. And really, what better way to meet the Apocalypse then by besting Fate? At least, I had hoped that would be the case.
Seven days to craft this story. God, they say, made the world in seven days. I was making a world too. Creating something from nothing. I wondered if that made me a God. I wondered if that meant the Apocalypse would spare me. It seemed doubtful.
On the last day I did not rest. I wrestled with words and phrases. I clashed swords with sentences, and mounted paragraphs like they were my sexual playthings. I dominated pages. And the story I had to tell poured out of me like a violent storm. A storm like the one gathering on the horizon, turning the light blue sky into a dark purple bruise.
Finally I reached the last two words in my story: THE END.
There was a crackle of thunder and a flash of lightning. A storm was coming, but I already knew that. I sat back in my chair. I saw the dark, massive shapes spring up from the ocean as Lovecraft's Old Gods were (re)born and ready to put an end to the time of man. The blurry faced man was right. The Old Gods were returning and it meant the end.
But I had finished my story. The story I might never had finished otherwise had I not known that the Apocalypse was nigh. I smiled as the dark, scaly things slithered up the sandy beach, croaking like demented frogs.
I wondered how the rest of the world would meet their end. I wondered perhaps selfishly if any people I spoke with would remember my warning and realize with their last breaths that I might have had a point. It did not matter. Not anymore. I hoped they met their end like I did mine.
Had the Old Ones come a day or even an hour earlier I would have been a man that never achieved the purpose I had or wanted for myself. With my story ended I am giddy and laughing when they come upon me.
The last words I utter in this world are straight and to the point. "Fuck you Fate. Fuck you."
(c)Shawn J. Douglas 2011
Hi. Be my LJ friend? - Amy and Steve's, and Vince and Tina R's friend S.T. I try to keep my LJ separate from my FB because LJ is where I say all the weird stuff; hence, the goofy and cryptic initials.