Words – Working at the End of the World

A black cat curled up and asleep

Well it’s the 20th of December 2012 and I am sure you have read absolutely everywhere it’s the end of the World tomorrow. I have had an interest in the Mayan calendar prediction of the end of the world since I read a book about the crystal skulls, a long time before before Indiana Jones got involved. It was a magnificent read when I was in my early twenties, all about crystal skulls carved by hand from one piece of high quality quartz and ancient knowledge of stars alignments we only know of now because of telescopes. The stuff of magic and a world with magic is bit more happy with than without I find, real or not.

In the summer of 2009 I wrote this short piece, mostly just a bit of fun whilst practising conversation pieces, but as the world is ending tomorrow or just starting a new phase (give or take any calander miscalculations) I thought I would dust it off and bring it to you.


Working at the End of the World


You know the end of your world will happen tonight.” he said as a matter of statement rather than a question.

“What?” David exclaimed knowing that most of what his companion said was true. “Tonight?”  he continued with a sense of panic in his eyes as he still looked around trying to find his keys so he could leave for work.

“Yes, tonight.” he replied looking up with some disdain, as if he should not have to speak twice.

“So I should not bother going to work then?” David asked, wondering why he was asking this in the first place.

“Well you could but your boss would just be upset with you tomorrow.” he responded.

“Hold up, you said that the world ends tonight. So what’s the point of going to work? I should be calling my family, finding my close friends, saying goodbye to the one I love…” he frantically continued. David’s breath became shallow and his vision blurred as a panic attack began to set in. Suddenly it all stopped as he felt a sharp pain in his lower left leg. “Ouch! What was that for?” he screamed down at his companion.

“You were panicking for no reason!” he replied as he walked away and rubbed up against the open door.

“Of course I was panicking, you said the world is about to end!” David defensively answered.

“And it is.” he replied, now leaping onto the messy bed and looking about for a spot to lie on.

“OK, you’re doing it again. Winding me up and watching me freak out for no reason.” he reasoned. He sat down on the bed next to his companion and started to think. “So the world will end tonight, but tomorrow will still happen as my boss is going to be upset…” he contemplated to himself as he spoke aloud.

“Only if you don’t go to work.” the voice said, now from the other end of the bed.

“What, the world will end or my boss will be upset?” he asked.

“Both, but your world ending will happen either way, your boss’ reaction is just basic probability, like most of your life.” his companion said in a sleepy yawning kind of way.

“OK, so my boss’ reaction aside, how is the world going to end? Big explosion, giant solar flare, inter-dimensional demonic entities or is the world destroyed to make way for some space equivalent of a bypass?” he finished off sarcastically.

“Well if you’re going to get like that, then I can’t be bothered” he said defiantly and closed his eyes, nestling his head into the duvet.

“Don’t be like that, it’s a lot to take in, the end of the world and all that,” he pleaded. “I just want to know how the world will end tonight!”

His friend and companion raised his head up, his eyes bright and large stared straight at David standing at the end of the bed. “Well, and I only answer you now to save your dignity, there will be no big explosion, no solar activity will wipe life from the planet, no demonic armies will arrive and definitely no bypass. It will just fade from existence, as you close your eyes and sleep.”

“Oh, just like that, sounds kind of peaceful. I guess when I wake my world is recreated?” he asked the black bundle of fur now very asleep on his bed. He looked at him, smiled and gave him a small stroke behind his left ear. Then he found his keys, opened the door and left for work.


Copyright – David Atlee

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