Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
In Adrian Barnes’ “Nod,” the apocalypse occurs over a month as 99% of the earth’s populace loses the ability to sleep and slowly goes insane. In Sandra Newman’s “The Country of Ice Cream Star,” the world is full of children because everyone above the age of 21 mysteriously dies. For my challenge, invent your own strange take on the end-of-the-world story. Tell a story set in an apocalypse never or rarely seen. 200 coins to the most original work :)
Written by desmondwrite

Freedom and the Word Machine

Fearing the 60s and the riots, when everyone from academics to assholes were in the streets protesting against the CIA and their machine that could kill words, and wanting to keep their seats in the House, the Republicans in charge of the Science Subcommittee on Research and Technology focused their budget on the antithesis of a dictionary-demolishing weapon: a thing designed to promote and propagate words important to the American people, specifically the Republican party.

A test-run on the word "Recognition" (randomly selected from a Thesaurus) yielded funny results. Peering into a basketball-sized biosphere, the Subcommittee watched an army of ants retire from service and sweep across the fauna, examine every leaf, touch softly the heads of aphids, squint at flowers, knead antennae diplomatically, before they turned rust-red eyes up toward their observers, making the Subcommittee very uncomfortable.

Next the Subcommittee fired "Limited, Representative Government" into a vacuum-sealed glass of bickering Syrian hamsters, and watched the rodents form a Republic of little Ciceros and Caesars, with great orations delivered from the wheel, and mobs of bites behind the igloo. "Technology" led to spiderspun cities of silver, dung cars, silkworm sweaters and sweatpants. A lobbyist suggested "Consumer," and all recoiled as the experiment's population decreased from 19 cats to a groaning one.

I'm not sure what happened next. Possibly there was a leak in the biodome or a fingerprint. Or the machine, in materializing the abstraction, was affected, along with anyone who touched it. But "Freedom" found itself spilling over the planet like an endless, invisible acid, and the Republicans in charge of the Science Subcommittee on Research and Technology found themselves the careless architects of humanity's dissolution.

First, the effects were tolerable. Free from law, we did what we wanted. Free from daily schedule, we enjoined the chaos of self-pleasure. We stayed home, we made love, we took the kids to the park. But soon the acid touched the bonds of family, and we found ourselves wandering away from connections, apathetic to distance. People cried bitterly as they walked, until they were free from emotions as well; free, free, free from logic and madness, from vices and virtues. We ceased speaking the languages. Wild calls, babbling. We ceased needing to breathe, or eat, and our hearts made their own rhythms or crawled from our chests. Some people floated into the sky; others fell through the Earth.

The chair of the Subcommittee tried to turn off the machine, but her interest waned, and free of ration she began to lick the floor, before her tongue fell out, and then she curled up into a spider-like obscenity and screamed in strange bursts. I, free of perspective, or present-ness, of my own life's narrative in Hyderabad, never having met any of these people, watched her.

Our atoms stretched like cigars and detached. We became plasma clouds of skin tones and white gaseous eyes and an internal dispersing pink mist – and then we dispersed.

Free of death, the people persisted in their unraveling.

Free of time, the people unravel.

27
14
31
Juice
383 reads
Donate coins to desmondwrite.
Juice
Cancel
In Adrian Barnes’ “Nod,” the apocalypse occurs over a month as 99% of the earth’s populace loses the ability to sleep and slowly goes insane. In Sandra Newman’s “The Country of Ice Cream Star,” the world is full of children because everyone above the age of 21 mysteriously dies. For my challenge, invent your own strange take on the end-of-the-world story. Tell a story set in an apocalypse never or rarely seen. 200 coins to the most original work :)
Written by desmondwrite
Freedom and the Word Machine
Fearing the 60s and the riots, when everyone from academics to assholes were in the streets protesting against the CIA and their machine that could kill words, and wanting to keep their seats in the House, the Republicans in charge of the Science Subcommittee on Research and Technology focused their budget on the antithesis of a dictionary-demolishing weapon: a thing designed to promote and propagate words important to the American people, specifically the Republican party.

A test-run on the word "Recognition" (randomly selected from a Thesaurus) yielded funny results. Peering into a basketball-sized biosphere, the Subcommittee watched an army of ants retire from service and sweep across the fauna, examine every leaf, touch softly the heads of aphids, squint at flowers, knead antennae diplomatically, before they turned rust-red eyes up toward their observers, making the Subcommittee very uncomfortable.

Next the Subcommittee fired "Limited, Representative Government" into a vacuum-sealed glass of bickering Syrian hamsters, and watched the rodents form a Republic of little Ciceros and Caesars, with great orations delivered from the wheel, and mobs of bites behind the igloo. "Technology" led to spiderspun cities of silver, dung cars, silkworm sweaters and sweatpants. A lobbyist suggested "Consumer," and all recoiled as the experiment's population decreased from 19 cats to a groaning one.

I'm not sure what happened next. Possibly there was a leak in the biodome or a fingerprint. Or the machine, in materializing the abstraction, was affected, along with anyone who touched it. But "Freedom" found itself spilling over the planet like an endless, invisible acid, and the Republicans in charge of the Science Subcommittee on Research and Technology found themselves the careless architects of humanity's dissolution.

First, the effects were tolerable. Free from law, we did what we wanted. Free from daily schedule, we enjoined the chaos of self-pleasure. We stayed home, we made love, we took the kids to the park. But soon the acid touched the bonds of family, and we found ourselves wandering away from connections, apathetic to distance. People cried bitterly as they walked, until they were free from emotions as well; free, free, free from logic and madness, from vices and virtues. We ceased speaking the languages. Wild calls, babbling. We ceased needing to breathe, or eat, and our hearts made their own rhythms or crawled from our chests. Some people floated into the sky; others fell through the Earth.

The chair of the Subcommittee tried to turn off the machine, but her interest waned, and free of ration she began to lick the floor, before her tongue fell out, and then she curled up into a spider-like obscenity and screamed in strange bursts. I, free of perspective, or present-ness, of my own life's narrative in Hyderabad, never having met any of these people, watched her.

Our atoms stretched like cigars and detached. We became plasma clouds of skin tones and white gaseous eyes and an internal dispersing pink mist – and then we dispersed.

Free of death, the people persisted in their unraveling.

Free of time, the people unravel.
#scifi  #horror  #apocalypse 
27
14
31
Juice
383 reads
Load 31 Comments
Login to post comments.
Advertisement  (turn off)
Donate coins to Syne.
Juice
Cancel
In Adrian Barnes’ “Nod,” the apocalypse occurs over a month as 99% of the earth’s populace loses the ability to sleep and slowly goes insane. In Sandra Newman’s “The Country of Ice Cream Star,” the world is full of children because everyone above the age of 21 mysteriously dies. For my challenge, invent your own strange take on the end-of-the-world story. Tell a story set in an apocalypse never or rarely seen. 200 coins to the most original work :)
Written by Syne

Crushed (Part 1)

Note: I realized this challenge was ending so I rushed to write what I could. Part 2 to come later

On the first day, I woke up not feeling quite right. For some time now, getting up each morning had been a burden, but this was different, it was a strange kind of lethargy. Every step I took required effort. I must be coming down with something, I thought.

By the time I had walked to work, I was well out of breath. But I felt somewhat better at work. I figured it was the kiddies, or the sense of purpose my job gave me. I was a swimming instructor at the local YMCA, only a few blocks away from my place. Though it would never be my friend, the water had become my therapy, ironically.

It was the birds on the second day; it's usually the birds. The streets were full of them on the way to work, common birds mostly, like pidgeons, robins, black birds, but there were a few vultures and hawks too, just standing there on the grass and pavement, refusing to fly away even as I approached them. But I was too drained to take my camera out. All I wanted to do was work and go back home, just like every other day.

On the third day, I called in sick. It took me ages just to drag myself out of bed. That day, several planes lost control and dropped out of the sky. The media attributed it to the strange weather patterns and sudden storms that were occurring in several places around the country. The worst was yet to come.

On the fourth day, I thought I had woken up with sleep paralysis. My eyes opened to the dreaded feeling of not being able to move, of sinking down into the bed. Except I was fully awake, and the feeling did not leave even as I crawled my way to the couch, using all of my strength to prop myself up and turn on the TV.

Buildings around the world has been crumbling, the tallest ones.

The Sears Tower in Chicago, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Centrepoint Tower in Sydney, they had all fallen.

Most crops had withered to the ground and died, as if they had been viciously trampled on. Cyclones, earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, and other natural disasters and major weather patterns were being reported all over the globe. No airplanes or birds were flying now.

The scientist on TV looked as if he was using every bone in his body to keep himself sitting straight. His voice was even less stable.

"The Anomaly--it was detected about a week ago. Their presence has affected space-time somehow. We don't--we don't know why, but it has afffected the relative mass of Earth. Meaning--well, you're all feeling it, the strength of gravity on our planet has increased--has been increasing since they arrived--and it continues to increase.

We urge people to stay off the streets and exert themselves as little as possible. At this point, all we can do is wait for the Anomaly to leave and hope for this phenomenon to somehow terminate. I--I'm sorry, there's really nothing--"

11
3
5
Juice
57 reads
Donate coins to Syne.
Juice
Cancel
In Adrian Barnes’ “Nod,” the apocalypse occurs over a month as 99% of the earth’s populace loses the ability to sleep and slowly goes insane. In Sandra Newman’s “The Country of Ice Cream Star,” the world is full of children because everyone above the age of 21 mysteriously dies. For my challenge, invent your own strange take on the end-of-the-world story. Tell a story set in an apocalypse never or rarely seen. 200 coins to the most original work :)
Written by Syne
Crushed (Part 1)
Note: I realized this challenge was ending so I rushed to write what I could. Part 2 to come later

On the first day, I woke up not feeling quite right. For some time now, getting up each morning had been a burden, but this was different, it was a strange kind of lethargy. Every step I took required effort. I must be coming down with something, I thought.
By the time I had walked to work, I was well out of breath. But I felt somewhat better at work. I figured it was the kiddies, or the sense of purpose my job gave me. I was a swimming instructor at the local YMCA, only a few blocks away from my place. Though it would never be my friend, the water had become my therapy, ironically.

It was the birds on the second day; it's usually the birds. The streets were full of them on the way to work, common birds mostly, like pidgeons, robins, black birds, but there were a few vultures and hawks too, just standing there on the grass and pavement, refusing to fly away even as I approached them. But I was too drained to take my camera out. All I wanted to do was work and go back home, just like every other day.

On the third day, I called in sick. It took me ages just to drag myself out of bed. That day, several planes lost control and dropped out of the sky. The media attributed it to the strange weather patterns and sudden storms that were occurring in several places around the country. The worst was yet to come.

On the fourth day, I thought I had woken up with sleep paralysis. My eyes opened to the dreaded feeling of not being able to move, of sinking down into the bed. Except I was fully awake, and the feeling did not leave even as I crawled my way to the couch, using all of my strength to prop myself up and turn on the TV.
Buildings around the world has been crumbling, the tallest ones.
The Sears Tower in Chicago, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Centrepoint Tower in Sydney, they had all fallen.
Most crops had withered to the ground and died, as if they had been viciously trampled on. Cyclones, earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, and other natural disasters and major weather patterns were being reported all over the globe. No airplanes or birds were flying now.
The scientist on TV looked as if he was using every bone in his body to keep himself sitting straight. His voice was even less stable.
"The Anomaly--it was detected about a week ago. Their presence has affected space-time somehow. We don't--we don't know why, but it has afffected the relative mass of Earth. Meaning--well, you're all feeling it, the strength of gravity on our planet has increased--has been increasing since they arrived--and it continues to increase.
We urge people to stay off the streets and exert themselves as little as possible. At this point, all we can do is wait for the Anomaly to leave and hope for this phenomenon to somehow terminate. I--I'm sorry, there's really nothing--"
#scifi  #fiction  #science  #mystery  #apocalypse 
11
3
5
Juice
57 reads
Load 5 Comments
Login to post comments.