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Apocalypse Live: It’s The End of the World, Charlie Brown

Jan 23rd, 2012 | By | Category: Fiction

Epilogue

It was too late already.  In a small wooded area, below the fall leaves, the air itself began to slowly thicken into a faint cellophane.  The coagulate spread out in a lethargic sheet towards the sky and crept unhurriedly towards the atmosphere, it’s edges curving in a wide arc to the south.  The initiating event was unrecognizable to anyone, even those who knew what was happening.  Not even the animals stirred at the blip on the screen of existence.  Had anyone been looking they wouldn’t have noticed the slow change, so imperceptible, as it was, it might have been taken as an invisible warm breath on a cold day.  This was how the end started.  It crept into existence with laborious sloth and yawned at the sky.

It took three months for the first subtle signs of a change to become tangible.  A slight shadow might appear out of the corner of the eye and then vanish when it came into focus.  A trick of the light mixed with an overactive imagination.  The air was a little stale for a moment, or perhaps it was a bad memory forcing it’s way up the nostrils.  Passing through the filmy air, time would bend, slow, and speed at random intervals.  It would take two decades for anyone to suspect anything.

Had mankind known, it wouldn’t have mattered, so it’s better this way.

1.

It’s the end of the World Charlie Brown

The air was colder than usual for early August, but still warmer than the summer had been.  It had been a colder than average summer, including the strange blizzard in the middle of July.  The snow had piled three feet deep overnight.

The whole area had become a bustling hub of activity all summer long.  Geologists dragged millions of dollars in equipment to search for magnetic and geological anomalies, nothing.  Meteorologists thought it was gasses and air pressure, they left scratching their heads.  Religious leaders and paranormal investigators hounded the area to find spiritual activities, everything was inconclusive.

Environmentalists blamed global warming.

That’s silly, Evan thought.  If it was warming wouldn’t we be sweating ourselves to death?  He pulled out his down coat and trudged down to the nearest coffee shop.  No driving today, the snow was too deep for even the plows to make it through and it would only get deeper as it poured from an only slightly cloudy sky.

Evan looked up, shielding his eyes, to see the sun beaming through the clouds.  It was strange to feel the hot summer sun on his acne scarred face while his ears froze in record low temperatures.  His long brown hair stiffened into a permanent ponytail as he walked.

The streets were empty now.  Only a few dared to go outside in the awkward weather, and only for a few feet in case they wouldn’t get back in their houses.

 He saw the open sign on the front door and his legs kicked up snow as he sped along.  He placed a hand on the ice covered glass door.  Warm coffee awaited him on the other side of the door.  A slight push and it swung open, heat pouring out like furnace.  It was welcome.

Once coffee was in hand he sat at a table far from the cold windows.  Alone with this thoughts.

Did he remember to leave the window unlocked?

Last time Evan went out for coffee the door to his apartment had frozen shut and he had to break the window and slide his big-boned frame through the tiny window.  Thankfully, the cardboard sealing the cold air from his warm home was flimsy and taped in place, it wouldn’t be hard to push in and tear.

Stupid landlord was going to take forever replacing the glass.  The heating bill would be astronomical.  Perhaps he should just fix it himself?

 

Somewhere, in the blizzard, Alex trudged down the street with her reusable grocery bag.  Her knit hat, complete with cat ears, slowly froze to her head.  Brooks had better appreciate this, she thought through her chattering teeth.

Tri-mittened hands clamping tightly on the handle she tried to take shallow breaths.  It burned to breath in too deeply.  The Gray scarf that had once tightly covered her mouth had fallen down around her neck and she was now sucking in the frigid air.

Out of the corner of her eye she caught sight of the coffee shop sign.  A cup of coffee from the Green Bean sure would feel great about now.  She slowed down and looked at the warm “open” sign.  The red glow was beautiful.

She quickly noticed her plump frame in the glass and frowned, sticking her tongue out.  Tiny nose, tiny mouth, tiny all over mostly…why couldn’t she have been thin as well?

Evan laughed in spite of himself and swallowed the last dredge of sugary coffee syrup before standing and walking back into the cold.  8:00 am.  This weather had to stop sometime.

A red blur, with cat ears ran by him.

Alex?  She always wears that stupid hat.  Evan thought of stopping her a moment and walking her home.  Not that anything bad would happen today.  Thinking better of it he watched her walk away.

And then a thought tickled the back of his mind.  The thought wasn’t even an image that he could recollect but somehow it caused a noticeable blush to run from the tips of his toes all the way up his body to the top of his head.  The warmth was welcome but the bright red on his face was not.  Feet planted, he stood trying to concentrate on what his subconscious was

 telling him.

“Hey!”  An authoritative voice jerked him from his thoughts.  “You gotta go.  Hey!  Buddy?  You on something?!”

“Yeah,” Evan shook off as he swam out of the soup of his thoughts.  “No!  Sorry!”

“You have been standing here for fifteen minutes buddy, staring in the same direction.  Either move on or go back inside.  It’s freezing out here.”

No way it has been fifteen minutes.  Evan looked at his watch.  It is now…8:17!  With a nod, and promise he was not on drugs, Evan ran down the street.  Won’t be late, can’t be late.

Between the panic, confusion, and speed he slipped.  Overcompensating for the forward motion he kicked back and his heels flew towards the sky while his head and back leaped into the air and began their painful descent.  Time stopped.  He knew the impact was coming.  This is gonna hurt.

The ground took longer to find him than he expected.  BAM!  He hit the ice and snow.  The pain was coming, he could feel it.  Any moment now.  Another moment, no?  Then a slight sting in the back and it was gone.  The Policeman laughed from where he stood, and Evan could only blush once again ashis brain was nudged by another thought.  He turned and walked quickly from where the Policeman called after him.

“Slow down Charlie Brown!  It’s not the end of the world.”

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