Authors Note: All that is written is complete fiction. Any relevance to real life situations is completely coincidental.
Warning: Some swearing. one gay couple. a sprinkle of violence and, hopefully, a good laugh.
End of the world...
When people think of the end of the world, they are not worrying about the plants or the animals or the world blowing up, even though if the planet exploded it would definitely suck. The definition of `end of the world` for man kind, is when the human race can no longer survive. The animals and plants can continue living, but when all mankind turn to zombies and die? The world will live on.
Sure, a few Nuclear Power Plants and various other machines which need to be looked after by humans may explode in our absence, but the planet doesn't necessarily flood or freeze or catch fire or explode. Just take explosion out of the god damn equation.
Although, as humans, we want to keep hope alive as we trick ourselves into believing mankind can beat all the odds. Films aid our paranoid fantasies about 2012 and the apocalypse and aliens and zombies, but no matter the devastation mankind faces, there is usually at least one person left alive in the end. Not in those `every-one-dies-bye-bye-world-` films where the reality of mass death and destruction is truly depressing.
This story however, might open your eyes to a more humorous path down the long and winding road of `Possible Apocalypses`.
The loud ringing of silence was one of the most deafening sounds mankind could hear. The silence was even worse when some one broke it... and on the quite and desolate streets of Scotland, someone did.
"Hello...?" A cautious, Indian voice rung out curiously in the cold, followed by steam. The dull scuffing of the soles of their shoes on the road being the only other sound accompanying the fading echo of their call. It was quite chilly but there was no snow on the ground, only the threat of a light layer of frost.
The young man; possibly in his early twenties and definitely of Indian orient, stood quietly in the middle of the road. He looked down at the pizza box in his hands and then looked about himself again, tapping his foot.
"Why am I holding this again...?" He questioned to himself out loud.
He adjusted his plain red cap and shrugged his white track suit coat to sit more comfortably on his shoulders before he started walking again. Less than a few moments later, a clucking sound stopped him.
Listening carefully, he heard another cluck and turned around. Down the road, standing right in the middle, was a white chicken. It continued to cluck and peck the ground, making its way down the road to him. Somehow completely smitten by the adorably oblivious bird, he walked towards it.
"Hello there... what are you doing out here...?"
The bird turned its head so only one eye was staring at him.
"No-no. Do not be afraid, I'm a little bit lost myself." He cooed, crouching down. He pulled out a piece of crust from the stale pizza and tossed a bit to the bird. "You look a bit hungry..."
The bird pecked at the bread and when it had finished, he held out a piece in his hand to try and catch it. "It's all right... come here..."
He stretched out and the chicken stretched its neck. There was less than an inch between the two when there was a loud popping sound.
A second later, the chicken had shot out of his site. The man fell back onto his ass and squawked in surprise.
Someone had just fired a bazooka at the chicken.
There was a small explosion and feathers slowly fell from the sky.
Then, a rumbling came from the demolished building and a sound like no other. Staring in fear at the shadows amongst the clouds of dust and debris, he jumped a mile when a hand slammed down on his shoulder.
"C'mere chicken whisperer! What the hell do ya' think you're doing?!" A Scottish accent growled loud and angry. The man looked up at the masked figure and let out a whale. The masked figure rolled their eyes behind their shaded goggles.
"Oh how manly..." The feminine voice mocked before pulling the man up by the arm. Removing the gas mask, long brunette hair fell frizzy and greasy down the young lady's back. Freckles were crinkled in annoyance at the man's constant cowering.
"Pull yourself together man! Unless you want to be eaten by Cluck-zilla over there I suggest you run with me and run fast." The urgency in her voice was enough to make any man, sane or insane, follow suit. As they ran down the road and into thin alleys, conducting various sharp corners and disorientating turns, they emerged from the maze that looked like it had been through a war.
Houses destroyed or crumbling, cars and other items strewn along the way either burning or broken. Yes, it definitely had to have been through a war.
When the two stopped under a mass of twisted metal which the man assumed used to be a bus, the other grabbed his collar and pulled him in. She was scowling. "I know of your condition and all but what the fuck?!"
The man let out another whine and closed his eyes tight when the other raised her arm. He was bracing himself for a punch but it never came. Opening one eye, he looked up at her and asked. "What condition...? Who are you.....?!"
She let him go and cautiously peeked outside. "Before I answer, do you even know your own name...?"
The young man opened his mouth to answer, but all that came out was a sound and nothing more. He looked about the floor in horror, as if his name might scuttle across the floor and he would suddenly remember. "I... I don't know."
The girl growled. "Exactly. I bet you don't even know where you are.... or even remember how you got in the middle of that street with that fucking chicken."
The man strained to think but ended up shaking his head. "No..."
She turned to him and grabbed his shoulders until their eyes met. "Listen to me. None of us remembered our proper names after that explosion. It covered the entire planet. I can't tell you the whole story right now because we need to keep moving and I don't need your shocked ass trailing behind and getting killed. We called you Joe."
The man didn't need to say anything as the young woman sighed with a nod. "I know, not brilliant. But before the explosion, you worked part time as a delivery boy and partly as a time keeper on a prawn farm. Don't ask me why time keepers should even exist on a prawn farm, nobody knows. We have come to discover that you suffer from constant and severe memory loss."
She gave Joe a second to let what had been said sink in. Joe then asked. "But... why did you fire a missile at a chicken?!"
That weird noise echoed into their hiding place and the girl pulled him up. "I'll explain that later. Right now you have to come with me."
Joe was hesitant and felt like protesting when she said. "Well either come with me or die." She grinned falsely and Joe knew she was growing impatient. "Your choice!" She beamed at him.
The freakishly happy grin on her face made Joe flinch but he followed her as they jogged in a crouch position for the best part of five minutes, stopping and hiding in rubble and under dead trees. The ground would shake every now and again and there would be a loud grumbling noise one might here on a horror film.
The young lady told Joe to stay put before she ran out into the middle of a round about. A small hand gun was pulled from her holster and pointed about the place as she ran. Pulling up what looked to be the top of a drain, she looked about once more and waved him over.
The two jumped down into the drain after the lid was securely closed over the top of them. There was a splash and a squelch and Joe whined. "Eeeeew..."
The other then murmured under her breath. "Oh shit..."
A young girl stood in the dull orange glow of a safety lamp, a boy the same age as her stood opposite at the counter with a knife. "Now Damian... be careful with that." She eyed the boy cautiously. Damian shook, the knife in his hand pointed at her. "I.... I really don't want to, Avit, so don't make me do it!"He shouted, his Irish accent very clear with distress.
Avit's own Scottish accent grew riddled with distress. "Please Damian, don't let this end like before with Burt!" She pleaded. The dark haired boy advanced towards her. "It wasn't my fault!" He shouted as he rammed the knife handle into her stomach.
"He kept shouting at me and you are putting me under pressure! So you can chop the bloody potatoes!" He complained. Avit took the handle and placed it back in his hand. "You've got to learn how to cook sometime! And chopping potatoes is simple. I promise I won't put you under pressure."
She patted his shoulder and took a knife for herself, standing next to him and showing him how. "Plus, Burt is just Homophobic.... but he's a really nice guy. Now, just watch me."
She placed the knife on its tip and cut the potato in half. "See...?" She looked towards Damian. His hand shook as he placed the knife on its tip and pushed down.
"Steady.... steadyyyyy..." Avit murmured as Damian slowly put more pressure on the knife until BAM! The two jumped and stared in horror at the knife before they realised it wasn't the chopping implement that made the loud noise. They turned to the door behind them.
Two people stood looking very unhappy.
Avit beamed. "You found Joe! Where was he at then Lian?" The younger girl walked towards the two and then gagged, stumbling back and covering her mouth. "Oh Lian... you didn't..."
The woman spoke through her gas mask. "Don't go there...." She growled as she took off her crap covered boots.
"You went down the wrong drain again...." Avit sighed. Lian's head shot up and she marched towards the younger girl. "I told you not to go there!" Her shout was muffled by the mask. Avit dodged behind Damian who put his hands up in defence, hoping he wouldn't be barged over and covered in crap.
Lian stormed off up the stairs into a brighter orange light, leaving Joe standing rather stinking and still confused. In the awkward silence, Joe quickly took off his cap and fiddled with it. "Um... hello."
Avit nodded, placing her hands on her hips. "Well, at least you haven't forgotten your manners, huh Joe?"
"You know who I am... Could you tell me what's going on please? She hasn't done anything but swear at me."
Avit opened a large heavy looking door on the far side of the room and motioned for Joe to follow. "Let's clean you off..." She laughed. He trailed after her into the darkened hallway, which was cold and gave Joe an eerie chill. There was a white light behind a partially closed door at the end, which only seemed to make the atmosphere colder.
Daring to break the sound of clipping steps, Joe needed to know. "Um... Why is it so.... quiet...?" He nearly whispered, fiddling with his cap. Avit pushed the door open and Joe squinted into the brightness. Not even the outside world was so blinding these days.
They walked into an freakishly porcelain bathroom which looked completely out of place, it was nearly as sterile as a lab. In fact, with the test tubes and weird yet wonderful empty bakers all shapes and sizes and various other lab-like items... it must have been.
"This looks like a lab." Joe speculated out loud. Avit was busy pulling open yet another door made of glass. "Yeah, I think it used to be one." She agreed.
"Now hop on in here please." She indicated the open glass door and Joe reluctantly went through. Avit then slammed the door behind him and the man jumped, dropping his cap as he ran back to the glass door. It wouldn't open, she had locked it. "What's going on?! Let me out!" Joe cried, hysteria and a possible asthma attack was coming on strong as his breath quickened in panic.
"Calm down, it's just a cleaning chamber! Now this might knock the wind out of you a little bit..." Avits voice came from a speaker in the corner. Joe's eyes grew wide and he swallowed hard. Suddenly, a loud noise like a rushing river and Joe was knocked over, water spraying all down his back. It was quite cold and Joe was out of breath and shivering as he struggled to stand and run away from the torture.
Some where behind a one way wall, Avit was silently having fun as she let out a small giggle whilst manoeuvring the large water gun. Lian came up behind her quietly, leaned over then said abruptly. "That is no way to treat people, Avit." Her voice came stern and scary. Avit jumped and let the water cannon go.
Poor Joe in the next room was wailing as he pointlessly tried to escape the trail of high pressure water following him around the chamber.
Bedraggled and soaking, Joe sat wide eyed in a spare pair of Burts boxers with a towel around his shoulders. Lian was drying her own hair in a new set of clothing. Joe blinked at the small group of people sitting about him in yet another dully lit room. He sat on a small wooden stool and by the looks of what the others were sitting on, who ever sat on the nicest chair was the highest in rank.
In theory, Joe had to be one of the lowest ranking members of the circle and this Lian woman was one of the higher ranking members. She sat on a comfy looking chair with cushions, but there was still an empty seat. A large, patterned arm chair which looked like it came from the house of an old woman.
In the awkward silence, Joe fidgeted to get a little more comfortable; "So... uh, who are we waiting for...?" Joe questioned. Lian shot an unimpressed look at him and he twitched uncomfortably, gaining a splinter and squeaking about it. Avit answered him. "We're waiting for Jorso."
"Oh, I see. The leader." He cooed excitedly, a grin playing on to his face. Finally, some answers. Avit frowned in confusion. "Leader? Nah, he's just the best story teller, really." She explained, summing it up. Not the leader, but Joe would still get to understand what was going on.
The door creaked open. A man in his late forties to early fifties wandered in and sat down in the big comfy looking chair. "I see we've found you Joe, where have you been...?"
Joe didn't get a chance to explain when the Spanish man rambled on. "Well well, lets see... where to start..."
There was a long pause as the old man placed a finger on his bearded chin.
Eventually, everyone grew tired of waiting; "At the start." They all growled in sync. The Spanish man jumped and nodded. "Ah, yes yes. Well, how about I re-introduce every one here?" Jorso pointed at Joe. "Obviously, you are Joe. This here is Damian and Avit. You have met them."
Jorso turned in his seat to the other four. "That there is Commerman and this is Julia and she is Forthes and this is Burt." The majority of the circle waved at Joe and he gave a small, awkward wave in return.
The Spanish man suddenly hunkered down, the lights dimming so that the room was nearly completely dark.
"It all started about a year and a half ago. To the time only some remember before the flash. There had been talk of a meteor headed towards the earth. Now, even I can't remember quite what happened, but the last thing every body remembers after waking up where they fell was a fading bright white light. The next thing we know, the world is in chaos, people growing deathly ill but even when all signs of life were gone, they kept on living, staggering around."
"Like zombies or somethin'!" Julia interrupted, her South American accent rung with a near excitement. Jorso paused and then continued. "Er, yes, like zombies." He got back into the creepy story teller theme quite easily. "The animals acted weird, avoiding the humans like they were the plague, sometimes even attack humans in broad day light. Birds flocking and suddenly descending on a man, ripping him to pieces in minutes!"
Jorso leapt forward in his seat, sending Joe and Julia jumping a mile. Poor Joe getting more splinters. The man went on, obviously pleased he had frightened the poor boy.
"Yes, it was not all the animals, mainly the birds. Perhaps one of the most disturbing facts about this whole... apocalypse, is that there are more chickens on this planet than there are humans. The flightless demons started a feathery and bloody revolt against mankind. Any person who wasn't ill already had to fight for their lives in a way no human should. The chickens, they changed. Mutating into ferocious beasts unlike any on earth or in Films! A disturbing stench emits form their ugly beings and they make a sound like no other, we as humans can barely comprehend it. They make the earth shake in their presence and if you are spotted by one, their tongue darts out of their mouth! Studded and green and stinking! Like this!"
Jorso depicted a terrible imitation. After that, story time seemed to be over. Joe had gripped the towel about himself so tightly in fear he had nearly squeezed the life out of himself. "So... so are we the only ones left...?" He asked, hesitantly. Lian snorted. "Course not, we have those bloody Americans dropping by every five months trying to weed us out of resources."
Julia pouted. "Hey!" Lian ignored her and stood up stretching. "Well, I'm hungry. I want food." With that said, she left the circle. Slowly, the circle dissipated in awkward murmurs and Joe was left sitting with Avit.
The two looked at each other and Joe murmured. "Well... that was brief..."