Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The World Will Not End In 2012 (Short Story, Part One)

To a guy like Jack Martin, the idea of the end of the world was only slightly funny. The real hilarity lay in the fact that it wouldn't. At least not for everyone else. Jack's world was about to crumble like what's left in the bottom of a bag of Doritos.

Today was the big day. December 23rd, 2012. People were taking this shit seriously, stocking up on food and water and what-not. Jack's stores consisted of an old milk jug filled with water and a half eaten taco, both of which would be consumed as soon as he was done brushing his teeth.

CNN blared in the background. It was the best thing on TV today. Riots were breaking out all over the world. People were freaking out: shelves at stores were empty, traffic jams were occurring even on side roads as folks tried to leave the city, and the bars were open early. Only one of those things mattered to Jack, and that's why he was brushing his teeth.

As he left his shitty basement apartment he seen a man holding a sign. It said "Repent, for the end is near!" Normally, he would pass right by without a second thought. A day like today, however, called for conversation.

"So, what's with the sign?" he questioned as he strolled up to the well dressed man as casual as ever. It was a loaded question; he knew it, the man knew it. Still, it solicited a response.

"Haven't you been watching the news, son? The signs are everywhere! The earthquake in Saudi Arabia, the drought in Africa, the Hurricanes that destroyed Florida! Accept Jesus! He is the only one who can save you!"

Jack hated when people called him son. Especially when he knew he was at least two years older than the man with the sign. He looked young. That didn't mean he was.

"Isn't there always a drought in Africa?" The man cocked his head as he was about to speak, but was cut off. "And why is Jesus the only one that can save us now? Where has he been? And why would he want to save me? More to the point, why are you still here? He saved you long ago but your life is no different or better than mine is come a day like today."

"Son..." the man started in. Some straws are final and this was one of those. Jack reared back and kicked that bastard right in his nuts. Hard.

"I'm 43 years old, you piece of shit. And I pay $450 dollars a month to rent this shitty apartment here. That may not seem like a lot to you, but to me it's nearly two paychecks. That means this here piece of yard is my property, hard earned. End of the world or not, it's still mine. Now get the fuck out of here."

The man didn't move. He couldn't. He was writhing on the ground holding his nuts. Didn't matter to Jack. He said what he wanted to. It was a good start to the day but time for him to get down the street. He wouldn't be the only one drinking a cold beer before noon. Not today.

The bar was packed. The seats were all taken and it wasn't even 10:30 in the morning. Jack wasn't planning on finding a seat though. He wanted a beer and was headed to the patio to smoke. And not just a cigarette.

He had an understanding with the bouncers at the Dirty Duck. They let him smoke pot out back. He let them use his apartment to blow cocaine Mondays and Wednesdays. He never did it with them, though. He was too old. It didn't get him high anymore just made him go to sleep.

It was an unusually warm day for December in Colorado. Birds were chirping and the skies were clear. Fifteen minutes later, it would be a blizzard outside.

Surprisingly, for how packed the bar was the patio was sparse. Only a few stragglers puffing on their cancer sticks populated the immediate area. If he knew it wasn't a Tuesday morning, this could very well pass for a Wednesday afternoon. He sat back in one of the weathered lawn chairs, pulled out his one hitter and let some smoke fly.

"Son," said one of the stragglers, an old well dressed man in his seventies at least. Before he could finish his sentence, Jack thought 'Oh no, here we go again.' But what he said next was a shock.

"Do you mind if I have a little taste of that stuff? I haven't ever had any and I've always sort of wondered what all the fuss was about." Jack had half expected a speech on why drugs are bad so he was taken with the words. He passed the man his pipe and watched as he took a long draw.

Author's note: Right now I'm just toying around with this story. If the feedback is good enough, I'll go ahead and keep going.


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