So What’s Your Apocalypse?
by Nathan L. Yocum
“That’s great it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an airplane. Lenny Bruce is not afraid.”
-REM It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)
Bad news…the world is going to end. It’s an inevitability akin to taxes or Hollywood divorce. We as a species will die out. Our world will twist and change and crumble to dust. The Earth will be rendered unrecognizable to the tortured spirits that loom in its wake, scouring for the last bits of food and clean water before succumbing to their hellish deaths.
The world will end. I can’t stop it, you can’t stop it, Kirk Cameron can’t stop it. The only relevant questions are “how and when?”
Imagine that the Earth is a gun and you’re Christopher Walken from The Deer Hunter. What bullet (or apocalypse) will be the harbinger of your destruction? What are your apocalyptic options? How likely are they?
I’m here to help. Here’s a breakdown of four of the most common forms of apocalypse.
Examples in History/Pop Culture: The Black Plague, Omega Man, Contagion, The Stand
Likelihood of Occurring: Possible. Global pandemics are kind of a yearly thing. Mind you, not everything is as ultimately destructive as the Black Plague or Captain Trips, but one of these days bird flu or swine flu or monkey flu is going to land on your sinuses. Will you survive?
- Unlimited parking.
- No worries about food supplies, you will literally never run out of canned goods and bottled water (assuming you survived near a city).
- Social standing goes way up, opposite sex has to be less choosy (this could be a con if you were wealthy/attractive/charismatic before the fall).
- Get to scoff at all those dead suckers who forked out $7+ a shot for tubes of Airborne. Way to buy the hype!
- In order for a global pandemic to be legitimate it needs to wipe out at or around 99% of humanity. Odds are that means you, Ninety-Nine Percent-er.
- Even if you survive, all your family and friends will perish.
- May have to endure flu-like symptoms.
- Even if you survive, you might be caught in a good vs. evil fight to the death.
Examples in History/Pop Culture: The Mad Max Trilogy, Dr. Strangelove, Fallout Series
Likelihood: Possible but not likely. If you would have asked me this question in 1987, I would have declared that nuclear holocaust will undoubtably kill us all just as soon as the Ruskies sober up long enough to find the button. Also, Michael Jackson was rad. In all things time is a merciless beast.
- Cool bomb shelter with art deco furniture.
- As long as you’re not near a city or military base or fallout zone you have nothing to worry about. Hurray New Zealand!
- Five words…assless chaps and a motorcycle.
- If you’re Hollywood cowboy Slim Pickens, you get to ride the bomb to sweet, sweet oblivion.
- Runny sores, sore throat, slight cough, death.
- New York, Moscow, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, London, pretty much any place that has an ounce of cool and lots of people…first wave target.
- Mine shaft gap.
- Realize that you have all the time in the world to read a library full of books. Step on glasses.
Examples in History/Pop Culture: Deep Impact, Life as We Knew It, The Extinction of All Dinosaurs
Likelihood: Totally inevitable. Meteors strike Earth every day. Over the course of millions of years, some of those have been big enough to bust some shit. Just ask the dinosaurs. Oh what, you can’t? Because they’re all dead from a world-altering meteor strike? I rest my case.
- Beautiful dusty sunsets, sunrises.
- If you are one of the smaller surviving species (I’m looking at you chihuahuas), you could evolve into the world’s apex species.
- Can justify life of environmental irresponsibility. Your carbon footprint doesn’t matter now sucker!
- Survivors could use the time to reconnect with family members…assuming they survived.
- Even if you don’t die of impact, drastic climate change and freezing winters will insure a horrible nature-related demise.
- Your life might be saved by Bruce Willis and/or Ben Affleck.
- Flies evolve into the next dominate race. Gross!
- Meteor hits during 2012, making you a total asshole for ridiculing gullible friends.
Examples in History/Pop Culture: Book of Revelations, Left Behind, World War II
Likelihood: If you’re a devote Christian – 100%. If you’re an Evangelical Christian – 100% and soon. Everyone else – 0%.
- Indisputable evidence that God exists and is following a plan laid out in the Bible. Hooray!
- No more missionaries knocking on your door.
- My life of pious goodness has granted me eternal bliss and escape from hell on earth.
- Eat it, hot Wiccan girls who wouldn’t date me in high school.
- I didn’t lead a righteous, holy life. Shit! Goddamn it! Fuck!
- Owe Kirk Cameron a long, awkward apology.
- Two words…unbaptized babies.
- God exists, and he is a spiteful, angry God!
…coming soon to a blog near you…
- Zombie Apocalypse
- Natural Disaster
- Special Cateogory- Game Show
About the Author:
Nathan L. Yocum is an author, teacher, and entrepreneur living in the jungles of Hawai’i.
As a writer Nathan’s inspirations include Kurt Vonnegut, Cormac McCarthy, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Charles Bukowski, but admits that the list goes on and on.
Nathan is also the editor-in-chief of SpecLit Masters Magazine, an eZine featuring the best in new speculative short fiction, as well as an award winning screenwriter for Catbrain Film Factory. His first novel, The Zona, was published via Curiosity Quills Press in February, 2012.
This post is part of the Curiosity Quills Blog Tour 2012.
Curiosity Quills is a gaggle of literary marauders with a bone to grind and not enough time for revisions – a collective, creating together, supporting each other, and putting out the best darn tootin’ words this side of Google.
It also runs Curiosity Quills Press, an independent publisher committed to bringing top-quality fiction to the wider world. They publish in ebook, print, as well as serialising select works of their published authors for free on the press’s website.