Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Proser

Okay, after four months of stalling I've decided to clean-up and post the rest of the second-coming short story. I wrote this last July to read at Chris B's Xtreme (il)Literature Slam. I posted the first part back in August, but never got around to posting the rest of the story (despite several inquiries into the matter). I'm kinda a jerk like that.

Anyway, here is the rest of the 5-page version of the story (I didn't have the patience to clean-up the 12-pager). It is the same version I read back in August.

First, read THE FIRST PART .

Then, Here's the rest:

Parts Two and Three

Things have been really fucked-up Jesus came back to Earth.

He descended to Mount Olivet just a few months ago (at least that’s the general consensus). That’s when the entire area became enshrouded in light and angels began congregating around the mound. No one saw him for over a week, so you can’t say for sure, but within a few days of the shroud of light’s descent the entire eastern half of Jerusalem was packed with pilgrims awaiting the rapture.

It was widely reported that the concept of “rapture” was conceived and popularized by John Nelson Darby in the 19th century, as part of the Dispensationalist movement, but that didn’t dissuade the pilgrims. If anything, any rationalization of the ongoing events just strengthened their belief… poor bastards.

By the 13th day all of the world’s religious leaders had congregated around the base of the mountain the western slope – facing Jerusalem. The military had tried to dissipate the crowds, but were quickly overwhelmed. By this time it was a solid sea of bodies for 5 miles in every direction.

On the thirteenth day Jesus appeared from beneath the shroud, on the western slope, toward Jerusalem.

Personally, I think that he was freaked-out by all of the crosses that littered the landscape. Hell, if martin Luther King or JFK came back to life, I’m sure that the last thing that they’d want to see is a fucking hunting rifle, but that’s just me.

Anyway, he took off running through the crowd – He didn’t get far. All at once the crowd of faithful surged forward, crushing the religious leaders and the man-god in one unstoppable throng of humanity. He didn’t stand a chance.

Within 5 minutes of the second coming of Christ, pilgrims in search of the ultimate relic were ripping him to pieces. I watched it all live on CNN – a bird’s-eye view of the evisceration of the messiah. I could see it unfolding before me – it was truly horrible.

That’s when things got decidedly Old Testament. Time went sideways. Everything slowed down, or sped up, or whatever. My fancy-ass monkey brain can’t describe it well enough, or even begin to comprehend it for that matter. If you want a technical explanation, ask an angel – those fuckers seem to be everywhere.

All I know is that all of a sudden it was like we were living in breathable water. Then a few seconds/minutes/hours/days (who knows) later the rapture happened. Well, I call it the rapture, but that’s just gallows’s humor; there definitely was no ascension involved. Everyone just sorted melted in agony and were consumed by the earth. Poof, gone.

Then everything went back to normal.

---

I assumed that everyone else had been consumed by God’s wrath. I went outside; no one else was around. I was alone.

As I drove to the Home Depot to grab some generators, there was no one else around. As I filled up barrel after barrel of gasoline at the gas station, no one was to be seen. I even backed my Jeep right up to the front door of Atlantic Guns, and filled it to the brim with rifles, handguns, and mostly ammo… (All of the ammo), and there weren’t any signs of life.

On the way back I headed downtown to grab some top shelf bourbon and tequila. That’s when I realized that I wasn’t alone. A small group of bums were building a huge bonfire out of furniture in the middle of 7th street. They saw me coming and started charging. I whipped across to the oncoming lane and got out of there as quick as I could. When I got back I parked in my backyard and unloaded everything down into the basement.

I spent the next week holed up in the basement in the dark surrounded by what liquor I had left, a mattress, and a motherload of guns. I was too afraid to hook up the generators. I figure if there were other survivors out there that the telltale whir of a diesel engine or the glow of electric light would create attention that I wasn’t ready for. I stayed huddled in a dark corner with my finger on the trigger of an AK-47 for 9 days straight. It’ll fucking eat at you.

Lack of bottled water and toilet paper was my downfall. I found that it was easy to shit in a hole in the yard, but a real trick to clean up with notebook paper and water that had accumulated in the neighbor’s birdbath. I had all the guns in the world (for all intents and purposes), but you just can’t wipe off shit with a shotgun or drink a revolver. Without basic provisions or a fresh water supply, I was doomed. Plus, I was almost out of cigarettes, and had started into the bottle of Vermouth as a last resort. It was time to go.

I used my second-to-last bottle of water to give myself a good lathering of soap, and changed into some fresh clothes. It felt good. I threw a few clothes in a knapsack; grabbed a rifle, a shotgun, and 2 pistols; filled a couple of dry-boxes with ammo; threw a generator and two cans of gas in the back of the Jeep; locked up everything in the back room; and walked out into the warm sunlight.

I headed straight south down 13th toward downtown. The entire way was punctuated by the frantic barking of dogs from behind closed doors. They could hear the hum of the engine and seemed to be hoping against hope that their masters had returned to let them out, give them food, and not beat them too hard for the piles of shit all over the living room carpet. It was a futile effort, but that was all they had.

I’d drive through the occasional pile of charred debris in the road, and occasionally I’d see a body or two (or three) in the road, but nothing alive. From the looks of the corpses it seemed like the gang bangers that remained tried for a king of the mountain/lord of the flies end times winner-take-all turf war. By my estimation, everybody lost. I didn’t see any remaining signs of human live all the way down to U Street, but the rats were out in force.

I parked in the alcove of the bus lot between S and T. There were plenty of other cars around, and if nobody saw me pull in, then the car should blend in undetected. I tucked the 1911 pistol into my waistband, and grabbed the AK to go do some shopping. I filled my backpack with spare ammo, and covered everything else in the back up with a blanket. I figured that I’d hit one of my old haunts, The Black Cat, first and see what I could salvage from there first. It was familiar, should have a lot of what I needed, and the less stops the better.

The door was boarded up but open, and I scurried in – rifle first. I turned the corner and was met with an unexpected sight. I came face to face with the barrel of a Mossberg street sweeper. Nobody shot (but just barely). I think I saved myself by saying “I’ve got some shells for that, if you need ‘em”. The words came out all hoarse and squeaky. It was at that point when I realized that I hadn’t said anything (aside from the random cursing streak) for over a week.

Once I looked past the barrel of the 12 gauge, I realized that I knew that I recognized the holder, and I could see that she recognized me. It was Molly, one of the Black Cat bartenders. I looked further around; there were two more people I knew there, along with a few other people I didn’t know, and oddest of all… a fucking angel passed out and bound to the bar. Even during the apocalypse, The Black Cat seemed the place to be.

Word from the crowd was that after the non-rapture people just started coming out of the woodwork. Most of them were not the type of people you’d want surviving the end of the world. Apparently, I’d made a sound decision to hole-up for a few days. It was an all-out throw down between the dregs of society. Junkies, bums, gang members, thugs, and the disaffected all jockeyed for position at the top of this new world without society, law, or God. A couple of the girls in the place had been raped, a couple of the Black Cat refugees had died fending off attackers, and everybody there (aside from me) had witnessed death up close and personal. The world was a mess.

The angel was still lying out-cold on the bar, but everyone had something to say about it. All agreed that:

A) The fucking thing spoke like Dr. Seuss.

B) It wasn’t happy that people were still on the Earth.

C) It definitely couldn’t hold its liquor

D) Most of what it said was dead wrong… Angels lie.

The angels had descended to take dominion over the world, and were very surprised to find survivors. They had tried to talk God into cleaning up the rest, but he was either gone, or not listening.

This angel clamed to be Uriel, who (according to the Goth chick with the pink hair) used to be a huge big-shot in heaven. Who knows how he ended up here; the one thing that is for sure is that once he got here and realized his boss was on vacation he hit the bar – Hard.

Molly told me that it had said that we were “remained” because we didn’t have the common sense to repent. Our stubbornness or ignorance had spared us.

I hadn’t even thought about it, but she was right. I was too engrossed in the television coverage from day-one to think about praying. I had been an Agnostic since I was 15, but was too perplexed by the happenings to even think about the implications. I was saved by my stupidity. I saw the proof of the divine, and was too awe-struck to accept it. I kept waiting for what followed next… Like an idiot.

Somehow we all ducked the omnipotent rage of God. We were too awe-struck, willful, stupid, or fucked-up to accept the obvious. We looked straight into the eye of god and went “pfft”.

Everyone in the place had a story about religion, and not one of those stories had a happy ending. That small crowd was filled with boys who had been fucked up the ass by their childhood priest, girls who were molested by pious family members, kids who were disowned by their religious parents for their decisions, or those who had suffered a great loss that defied reason. Everyone there had rejected God, and he didn’t seem to think enough of us to bother.

We are the damaged remnants of humanity, and all that remained were strippers, thugs, drug addicts, whores, homos, the hate-filled, a couple of Goth kids, and me. We are the soul-less scorned ex-girlfriends of God.

We are the dejected meek, and we have inherited the earth. We’re just not sure that we want it.


3 comments:

Secret Rapture said...

My inaugural address at the Great White Throne Judgment of the Dead, after I have raptured out billions!
Read My Inaugural Address
My Site=http://www.angelfire.com/crazy/spaceman

edP said...

I am so glad you put the rest of this out here since I had to leave the reading.

And now I see you've been splogged by a Rapture Alien

Secret Rapture said...

edP, yes, I'm a type of spammer. The Secret Rapture soon! Within months, if not years, by my hand, we will be in the post apocalyptic world of 'Jericho' on TV! Stay tuned!