Fallen Earth and Sandpaper Underwear

Reoh | 16 January 2010 | Comments off

Penned by the hand of WiredSolaris.

I kept running as fast as I could and made the mistake of looking back.I kept running as fast as I could and made the mistake of looking back. The hole in the shaft was big enough for me to see the mutated Underfolk leering out at me. They had packed the shaft with their bodies - inmates, enforcers, travellers, vista, chota, light bearers. No longer segragated but jammed together. I could still see their faces. Sagging lips, wrinkled or missing noses, dead yellow eyes lit up with a kind of stupid animalistic cunning.

My feet tripped over each other, and encumbered by Karl's limp body I went down hard with him crashing down on top. Go, go, get the hell up, now! I jumped back up, groping for Karl, struggling to haul him off the floor, and made the mistake of looking up one more time. They had started crawling out, but this time they had guns in their scaly mangled arms. Haul ass man, run!

Everything below my waist was soaked in blood. I looked down and half of Karl's face was gone.As I started running again, there was a thundering jolt. Karl jerked violently in my arms and fell still. I stopped runnning as I became aware of a damp warmness spreading through my lower torso and legs. Everything below my waist was soaked in blood. I looked down and half of Karl's face was gone. His broken skull protruding like shattered ceramic, and his jaw swinging as I moved. He had taken the shot that would have torn right through my chest. I gave one muffled snarl and looked up again. They were coming faster now. I dropped him and ran.

Damn! Waking up once again in a puddle of sweat.

I had long ago come to dread the long hours after dark, the shadows and sounds and the chronically unstable gulf of silence that drew out between them. Night after night I lay on my bed and stare up at the hole in the ceiling in search of an acceptable substitute for sleep. Sometimes I would actually drift off, only to be rattled awake, heart pounding, throat tight by the same dream night after night.

I hate that damn dream. Sorry Karl, I tried... my best partner.

Sure, the dangers are a lot greater than they used to be, and the rewards will be a lot less fulfilling. But in post-apocalyptic times, that's just the way we like it.Sigh. Time to start a new day, oh the feeling. Getting dressed, putting on underwear made out of sandpaper, which is neither comfortable nor fashionable. Still being depressed because life is still one giant sandbox full of misery - misery and generic beer. And maybe some french onion dip, but it will all be watery. Every day I wake up in that puddle of sweat and look out the window to see a world I’ve never seen before. It’s the same world I knew, but it still doesn’t feel or look the same. No, it’s more harsh and dangerous. Sure, the dangers are a lot greater than they used to be, and the rewards will be a lot less fulfilling. But in post-apocalyptic times, that's just the way we like it.

But such is the norm because hey, congratulations! You just made it another day into post-apocalyptic life!

A life where marauding raiders and radioactive things exist that used to be human and only barely resemble them now. A life hell-bent on being as humanly stupid as possible. It was only a matter of time before some kind soul did what was necessary and nuked the hell out of this planet, putting a stop to our foolish pursuits; rave parties, furry camps, and all that other stuff that proved humans are dumber than rocks. I don't mean really smart moon rocks either, just the regular old kind.

But I don't fret it too much; because the apocalypse is in many ways the dawning of a golden new age, where men can once more be manly. Oh, and the effeminate men can take their place as nefarious villains who use erotic tension to unnerve the various heroes. And when they get a notion to sneak up on you, there isn't anything you can do but shriek and pray they don’t make a desert out of your ass.

About everything now has post-apocalyptic stuck in front of it to indicate that it's harsher and more rugged.Virtually every aspect of my daily life has been radically altered. My daily chores are now post-apocalyptic daily chores. About everything now has post-apocalyptic stuck in front of it to indicate that it's harsher and more rugged. Unlike the olden days that are only a faint memory. Heck, talk about the olden days dominates about every conversation. Take this hypothetical conversation between an apocalyptic farmer and a Vista, both of whom were probably brain surgeons before the apocalypse:

Farmer: Life sure has been one endless battle for survival, what having to contend with the gigantic blood hares that plague my crops and all!
Vista: I hear ya! When my caravan isn't being raided by the Devil’s Own or threatened by ten-feet tall roaming mutated Underfolk coming from your crops, I think about how much simpler things were back before the apocalypse!
Farmer: And the warning signs were so clear! We saw it coming a mile away and didn't do antying about it!
Vista: That's life, though. Can I interest you in some wares?
Farmer: I'll take that hat you're selling.

So the farmer buys a hat with a rough texture, that's full of sand, and is seemingly designed to vex its wearer. But that's how things are now, and they could be a lot worse. Painful underwear and hats are just some of many threats we are facing. In addition to the Devil’s Own and other assorted apocalyptic denizens previously mentioned, there are a wealth of other hostile perils to contend with, such as:

* Maniac bicycle gangs that terrorize small towns by roaming around without proper safety gear or reflectors.
* Radiation will mutate quicksand into quicksand that lulls you into thinking quicksand is an ideal place to stand by singing you the theme song to the Smurfs, a classic cartoon about life in the forest. Don't ask me how the hell you mutate sand, because I'm not a scientist. I just wear the lab coat for comfort.
* Giant, mutated chickens that meander the world in search of brains. Even though the chickens are really just looking for intelligent conversation, people will assume they're hungry for human brains and throw rocks, stones, and deadly rock-stone hybrids at them.
* Gary Busey, having been made ultra-strong by radiation, took control of New Flagstaff and wields ultimate power with those crazy teeth of his. No one dares confront him for fear of having to try to carry on a conversation.

Of course the biggest threats are the radiated insects. Because of their accelerated life cycles, they mutate much more rapidly. As a result, they are quickly beginning to gain dominance over us. And let me tell you, working as a slave for a colony of giant mutated bugs isn't anywhere near as pleasant as it sounds. It's tough, grueling work, like being the guy who has to lower live animals into Mike Tyson's cage at feeding time.

All and all, just another day that is going to be one tough trudge. But with a good work ethic and a pinch of primal bloodlust, I'll do just fine! Just need to remember to lock my doors and windows at night before the bombs go off, because the next-door neighbor might try to get a jumpstart on being a raider. Well, might as well finish getting dressed and start scavenging for the day. Time to stock up on bug spray, lots of it, and just remember that one man’s trash is another man’s baby.

Now let’s go make some festive dirtmen and see what trouble we can find today.

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