International Writers Magazine: The End
by DIANA BRETHERICK
Catalogue numbers 53-59.
Diary entries extracted from rudimentary computer storage device
prior to predicted extinction level event - circa 2008. - April
its such a beautiful word almost inviting. When you
say it, it flows around your mouth like a really good wine. It sounds
calm, peaceful, even harmonious. Unless of course it forms a small
part of the end of the world - then it becomes rather more alarming.
I say small part because apparently were also looking at the
equivalent of a nuclear winter. So even if youre lucky enough
not to drown you will still be frozen solid.
I was in the precinct
the other day and a man started to rave about impending doom and so
on. Everyone just ignored him. Does that make him mad or us, I wonder?
I was there, I heard him, but like everyone else, I didn't listen. Perhaps
we should have, but how do you prepare for the end of the world? Repent?
Will God swat a comet out of the sky? I don't think so. If only I had
become a Jehovahs Witness. They've closed their doors now. I could
have ridden it to hell with the rest of them...
Perhaps I should explain. There is a large comet heading right for us.
Theyve been calling it an NEO near earth object
except that now its going to be rather nearer than was, at first,
anticipated. You couldnt even say that we didnt see it coming.
You cant miss the bloody thing its huge and its
been up there for months. Actually, you cant help but admire it
in a twisted kind of way. Its beautiful though it doesnt
look real as if its been stuck onto the sky with glue.
There it hangs like a malevolent jewel, almost as if its laughing
at us. Maybe it is.
This then, is my end of the world blog. Im not sure whos
going to be left to read it - intelligent cockroaches maybe, who knows?
But someone might and thats good enough for me.
Once we had a huge comet heading right for our planet and now
we have two. The governments of the world, in their wisdom, got together
and sent a missile up in order to destroy it, Bruce Willis style. Unfortunately
well lets just say a certain level of incompetence
rather than bombing it into bite size chunks which would burn
up on contact with the Earths atmosphere, they merely managed
to divide it into two lethal fragments. It was bad before but
now its worse. Bruce Willis must be laughing himself silly.
Ironically the predicted date of impact is Friday 13th June. Unlucky
Nobody seems to know how to act. Should we still go to work? Should
we abandon ourselves to an orgy of unbridled hedonism? Everyone seems
to be carrying on as normal, except of course its a different
kind of normal. We look at each other in a new way, as if were
trying to find some kind of an answer. Were denying our fate.
Can you blame us? May 26th
Apparently theres been some looting in Waitrose in Waitrose!
Nothing signifies the break down of law and order more than members
of the middle classes helping themselves to extra virgin olive oil and
sun dried tomatoes. Elsewhere theyre rioting in the streets but
here the anarchy, though present, is quieter. People have stopped going
to work and Ive noticed next door are having more sex than usual
but other than that, life is, on the surface anyway, much the same.
Theres no water and no electricity now and if you havent
got food already youre going to go hungry. Its getting increasingly
grim out there. Some people are wandering the streets as if in a daze.
Others are begging for food. Everything just disintegrated
No-one seems to know exactly whats going to happen or whether
or not there are any measures we can take to protect ourselves. For
a government who used to be so fond of issuing edicts about how we shouldnt
do this or that in case we harmed ourselves, they have become alarmingly
silent. Before the TV went off for the last time there was an interview
on the news with a minister. He was being asked about where it would
hit and what would happen. He just kept saying he didnt know.
The interviewer wouldnt leave it there.
"Is there anything you do know minister?" he was asked.
There was an agonising close up of his fat sweaty face, wide eyed and
terrified. He just shook his head. When politicians stop lying you know
that the game is up. I think it was around then that it really started
to hit home. In less than a month Im going to die.
Fuck. I dont normally swear but
Less than a week left. For a while regret almost overwhelmed me
all the things I havent done or said but now Ive
accepted it and its come as a relief.
A lot of people have gone now. Im not sure where. Ive started
to think about that myself. But the question is where should
I go high ground, low ground, underground? Which is best? Theres
been very little guidance. Once it became clear that both fragments
were going to hit, everything started to shut down. Weve given
up. Theres no chance of a Hollywood ending. The certainty of our
end is terrifying.
Hours to go now and Ive made a decision. Theres a hill outside
the city. Thats where Im heading. Ive no idea if it
will offer any protection but if Im going to witness the end of
the world then I might as well have a good view. The worst thing was
leaving my cat. Ive had her since she was a kitten. Saying goodbye
was hard. I gave her some of her favourite food. And then I picked up
her up to cuddle her
.but she wriggled free and went off through
the cat flap. And I realised Id never see her again.
Its time to go. Nothing left to stay for. As I look around my
little flat it doesnt seem like home anymore. I feel somehow rootless,
abandoned. Im used to a solitary life. Im self contained,
always have been. But in the last few weeks Ive felt more alone
than Ive ever done.
I dont know who will read this, if anyone. I suppose I should
say something momentous about looking after the planet but I dont
really have the heart. You cant possibly be worse than us, whoever
you are. All I hope is that this disaster will bring a fresh start and
maybe we, or you, will do better this time. I suspect however, that
youll make as big a mess of it as before. But then Im a
born pessimist and with what Ive got to look forward to
maybe its just as well.
© Diana Bretherick November 2007
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