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Good start

I don’t plan on posting the whole content of what I write for every day, but I thought I’d post my first 1600 words. I’ll occasionally do excerpts for the future, though.

I know it’s rough, and there are parts that don’t flow at all and there will be typos and bad parts and yes, RW, the tense is all fucked up, but December’s for editing.

November’s for writing.

On Tuesday, the world ended, and I missed it.

Now, for those of you who are confused, I’ll break it down into small, easily consumable word parts. Clearly (as in, duh), if the world literally ended, I couldn’t be writing this. As much as I shun sheeple and avoid social contact, I am still, inevitably and unfortunately, a part of the world. And the world’s still here. It’s spinning (as far as I know, I mean, I’m not a metereologist or a sunologist or a galaxiologist and I’m just going by the fact that so far, the sun keeps setting and rising and temperatures haven’t dropped to negative one million degrees), and the plants are still green, and gravity seems normal (note to self: test this theory). But all the people are gone. Poof. I haven’t actually seen another living person in several days.

(As an aside, this is the third time in my life where I thought all mankind had vanished from the face of the earth. The first time was due to a gross misunderstanding involving myself as a five-year old child and a negligent babysitter who didn’t quite understand the rules of hide and seek. The second time resulted from the combination of ingestion of too much alcohol and a group of prankster roommates who thought it would be clever to leave full sets of empty clothes on the couch and in the middle of our apartment as if the occupants of said clothing had disappeared. This time, though, I’m pretty sure that the majority of the world’s population is gone. I can’t account for everyone, and future events that would make the late, disappeared M. Night Shymalan say “What a twist!” prohibit me from making the sweeping statement that I’m the last person in the world.)

So, back to the whole “nobody left” thing.

How did I figure it out? A chill down my spine? A feeling as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced? A singing candygram? Nope.

I stopped getting emails.

Being one with my computer, I long ago removed the Pavlovian Windows default “New email” chime that makes one’s eyes dart to the Inbox upon hearing it, and replaced it with what I considered to be a very clever sound clip of Dana Carvey singing about broccoli. I’ll grant you that it does get a bit old when you get at least one new email every two to three minutes, but even now, it still makes me laugh. Fun fact, kids: even when all of the people are gone, spammers live on. Through automated mailing programs and scripts and codes and ones and zeroes, I have continued to receive email about making my erection longer and harder, my hair thicker, my semen more forceful, and my bank account richer by helping a poor African prince who just needs to escape his country. Dear Prince Walid, I think you’ve escaped with everyone else, and I don’t really have any need for money, or a longer erection or thicker hair. Although the more forceful ejaculation might be fun for target practice on one of these boring nights.

While working on the computer, I noticed something was wrong. And much like the Sherlock Holmes tales that everyone knows about the dog that didn’t bark, it took me over an hour to realize that Dana Carvey wasn’t singing about chopping broccoli. My heart pounding, my mouth dry, my palms slick, I thought of my server first. My precious server – was it down? Did some mean people hurt it? Is that why my email had ceased to sing? A quick test disproved that horror, and instantly I felt better. Maybe there was just a backlog somewhere and I would shortly have a new flow of email in my starving Inbox.

Minutes go by.

My patience grows thin.

My finger hurts from hitting “Send/Receive” over and over again. My ears yearn to hear the melodious broccoli song.

Finally, I turn to instant messaging.

BuffyFan1138: Hey, Whedonosity. Are you having any problems with email?

(And before you ask – no, I refuse to type in that horrible vernacular that has plagued everyone who text messages and uses instant messaging. If you learn to type properly, it’s just as quick to type “Are you there?” than “r u there” and it looks a hell of a lot more intelligent. I also refuse to use “LOL”, “ROTFLMAO”, or any of those for sheer lack of veracity concerns. But that’s not important right now.)

BuffyFan1138: You must be away. I’ll talk to you later. (Notice the lack of ttyl!)

BuffyFan1138: J’onnJ’onzz, you there?
BuffyFan1138: ShiarEmperor93, you there?
BuffyFan1138: WiiBePlaying, you there?
BuffyFan1138: BanthaFodder2000, you there?
BuffyFan1138: KristenBellNo1Fan, you there?

No answer. Repeatedly. From any of my circle of friends. The friends who are never offline. The ones who message from their phones. The ones who carry their laptops everywhere.

So I take a deep breath and brace myself for what’s next. Something I had been dreading, but now saw was a good idea. Necessary, even.

I picked up the phone. Useless instrument that it is. Using email and instant messaging allows you to get your message across carefully and explicitly with no room for misinterpretation, plus you can save a record of all conversations. This lets you refer back in the case of an argument, whether it’s something minor like a quibble about a television show, or something major like a discussion of a plot point of Star Wars.

Even though I try to avoid the phone at all costs, I have the numbers memorized to each of my most important friends. One by one, I dial their number, and one by one, I get a voicemail. I expand my social circle and start dialing family. Still no answer. I try to order a pizza. Denied.

Finally, I try 911. After 100 rings, I give up.

While the phone is ringing in my ear, I flip on the TV. Most of the channels are showing their normal shows. NBC, FOX, the CW, SciFi, Comedy Central – all running their normal early afternoon broadcasts. That’s when I decide to try CNN.

It’s hard to describe, but I have never seen anything as eerie as what I witnessed. The CNN logo shone brightly in the corner. The news ticker continued to run, discussing the typical shit. The majority of the screen, however, was occupied by an empty chair. The only sound was a beeping that must have come from a monitor or cell phone somewhere off-camera.

I watched that chair for two hours. Waited for someone to come back, for someone to walk by, for someone to pop up and say “Surprise.” I didn’t want to change the channel just in case the second I switched over, everyone who was in on the big joke came back.

Finally, I switched the TV off. My head hurt. It was getting dark outside, and I still didn’t know what the fuck had happened. I took some ibuprofen and grabbed my car keys.

Pulling out of the driveway, things felt wrong. And it wasn’t the typical ill feeling I get from fresh air and too much proximity to grass and dirt. It was a sense of stillness. Of thickness in the air. Of (and I’m even embarrassed to put this sentiment in print because it is so cliched and cheesy and stupid) loneliness. I drove down the small street where I lived, and it wasn’t until I prepared to turn down the main road that I was hit with the gravity of the situation.

Imagine fifty or sixty commuters occupying both sides of a four-lane road, driving 50-60 miles an hour on their way to the barber, the grocery store, home, their mistress, daycare, wherever. They’re on their cell phones, drinking a soda, listening to music, whatever.

Now imagine that they all just disappear, all at once, without warning.

See the cars continue in their general direction as they start to slow down. The ones with bad alignment start to drift toward the center, the next lane, off the road. The cars bump into each other at relatively harmless speeds. Nothing flips or smashes – they just crunch a bit and drift to a stop, sometimes hitting a stop sign or ending up on the grass. A few run head on into other cars, and create a small jam that radiates out like a spiral. But since the crashes are minor, there are no horns blaring. No sirens wailing. No alarms going off. Just crunched drifted cars as far as you can see. Tinny music is barely audible through one of the cars’ open windows.

Are you imagining that? Yup – that’s what it was like. Except, of course, for the car that hadn’t hit anything yet and its idle speed was high enough to take it driving right by me as I pulled up to the intersection. Nobody behind the wheel, only going a few miles an hour, but just slowly, quietly driving by.

Do you blame me if I shivered? Because I think anyone would have.

I sat at the intersection for a minute longer, watching the seemingly haunted car drift right into a stopped car. The tinkle of broken glass is unaccompanied by any other noise. That’s when I realized that I didn’t really have a plan. As far as I knew, I was alone in the world. But I needed to do research, prepare, get supplies, and start a plan of action to learn more, to the best of my ability. And by God I had to pee like a motherfucker.

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37 Replies to “Good start”

  1. CP

    Can you ever make it through anything without the word “ejaculation”? :cocksuck2: Just wondering.

    If you are the last person on earth, Avi…who is going to blow you? Surely this new world can’t deprive you of this? Maybe there is a nice sewer pipe you can slide the ol’ snake into? You know, for that warm, wet feeling?


  2. HoosierGirl5

    I’m going out on a limb here, because I know you’re probably going to laugh at the uptight school teacher from Indiana, but…..
    I loved all of it, except the last line. I hate the word “m-f-er”.

    I can’t wait to find out what happens next. And of course, if you find a bathroom….


  3. Avitable

    Amanda, never be sad about Whedonosity.

    Girl, Dislocated, it’s clunky and uneven, but it will be easy to revise later.

    Mom, is that good or bad?

    CP, ejaculation is a wonderful word. And I’m sure I can find a shopvac somewhere.

    HG5, that’s okay – I know it’s not a word that everyone likes.

    Fab, I think the guilt makes you have to pee more, yes.

    Britt, you do realize that first-person perspective existed way before blogs, right?

    Wayne, I hope it’s not boring you already!

  4. metalmom

    Adam, this was WONDERFUL!!! I want to read on…It’s been a long since I read a book I didn’t want to put down…Even longer since I finished one in a single sitting…this seems like one of them….

    KEEP GOING!!! In the words of Rob Schneider
    “You can do it!”

  5. Trish

    I thought it was great. I was actually looking forward to you getting outside and wondering what you would see when you started driving.

    But, one thing, what is it about you and having to pee when you are driving? Don’t you go before you leave the house? Bladder failure on the day the world has ended could really screw up your health.

  6. Britt's mom

    Sorry, son. As in “wow – very very good.” I second the others – I kept reading wanting to know what else you would see.

    I like to see your brain and talents – but I like the regular ol’ Avi too. :crazywife:

  7. Avitable

    Metalmom, it’s definitely not wonderful, but I’m happy with the start. Thanks.

    Trish, I must sit strangely in the car.

    TMP, I promise not to dominate the blog with nothing but my writing.

    RW, and I know you always make fun of me for the tense issue.

    Amy, you’re my new favorite person. Unlike that Britt chick . . .

    Mom, I’m not going to make my blog all about the writing, I promise.

    Poppy, I am?

    Britt, I don’t know, but I definitely need a smiley with a foot kicking someone in the ass.

  8. Lynda

    You have a very captivating opening. It made me somewhat reminiscent of Earth Abides. Then you have that whole mass disappearance thing going on. I love reading the history and mystery of mass disappearances, like Roanoke Island.

    Sure, maybe it could be tweaked here, and polished up there, but it is a very good start!

  9. hellohahanarf

    you always gotta piss in the car. i just don’t get it. but it makes me laugh. and you are here for nothing but my amusement, right?

    p.s. britt has been rw’s hero for sometime…who you trying to kid? wait, maybe she’s been mine.

  10. Sybil Law

    What a great start! I’d read it. And I will, if you keep posting!
    Please get that bladder drug I’ve mentioned before! Even in fiction, you have to pee. Actually, it makes me LOL. (Haha – I hate that crap, too, but it really fit well here!)

  11. Dee

    It’s caught my interest and I want to read more: that’s got to make it a pretty good start šŸ˜€ Looking forward to the reading more. Also looking forward to the editing :poke:

  12. Avitable

    RW, and that’s why I respect your opinion so much.

    Lynda, croatoa!

    Brandi, for a million dollars?

    Britt, thank YOU! That’s all I ask for.

    RW, I thought I was your hero!

    Hello, I drink too much every time I go out to dinner, that’s why.

    Tracy, awww, I’m all verklempt!

    Sybil, ROTFLMAO.

    Dee, yeah, the lack of editing is driving me crazy too.

    Bossy, it took that long?

  13. Y2K Survivor

    As a Type II diabetic I have noticed a need to pee like a motherfucker on more than one occasion… sometimes on more than one occasion per hour. But, oddly enough I never notice the urgent “Gotta go right freakin now” pressure until I stand up. (after drinking two or three large travel mugs of coffee) Yet you have those strong urges in a sitting position.

    This is not a criticism, I enjoyed the read, and in fact, I have felt a need to make potty while in a sitting position and a mandatory three times a night from a sleeping position… but the most urgent, is always just shortly after standing. Often in the midst of a project like making more coffee (water running) watering the office plants from a large bucket (more water running) or needing to clean all the dirty coffee cups in the office so I can drink more (even more water running) SO there I stand in the middle of a task with co-workers all around me, seemingly impressed by my diligent work ethic and hopefully not noticing the middle aged fat guy doing the pee-pee dance while desperately wanting to run down the hall to the men’s room. And if one day I don’t make it… it WOULD be the end of the world!

  14. Y2K Survivor

    OMG I just realized where you are going with this story! It’s an Omega Man type story where a new STD turns all blow-job hookers into mindless zombies that want to fellatio/cunnilingus the human race dry of all bodily fluids. They only come out at night, and at first the allure of free oral satisfaction, nearly destroyed the entire race.

    Luckily, you had been watching porn and passed out from masturbation when the world ended, and thus had a bit of needed recuperative time that allowed you to see the real dangers. Then, in bat shit crazy Charelton Hesston mode, you build a huge arsenal (only of super soaker water guns) and fort up in an old sperm bank where you have a large amount of ammo-fluid to hold off the endless attacks of the blow job zombies!

    I am not sure where you go from there… do you put an additive to the jizz ammo like some of that nasty crap people paint on little kids thumbs to break them of the sucking habit? Do you project an endless loop of the “2 Girls and Cup” on a nearby building wall?

    I am not sure where the story will end, but I like the way you think, you sick bastard. So tell me, was I right???

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