Apocalypse Questions (flash fiction repost)

She had just made a joke about the pending apocalypse, the end of the world as we know it, and he half-laughed as he made his way to the counter of the local coffee bistro.  Placing his order – all forty-seven words to denote how he wanted his drink to be made – he pondered why he had laughed…to make her feel good.  Had not someone on the Internet even posted the exact date.  Like that car insurance commercial where the girl says if it’s on the Internet you have to believe it.  That guy who disbelieves her is put in his place when her French model date arrives and actually speaks French!  Damn he thought, if it were not true then why would there be December 21 Internet sites…people do not spend money on a dot.com if it was not real.

‘So why did I laugh?’ He was perplexed.

She could see his confused look from where she had sat down; not next to the window, to avoid glare on her touch pad, but close enough to see the afternoon sky.

As soon as he settled into his seat, he told her that she should stop being childish and take the approaching apocalypse seriously.  “If you want a scientific explication, just Wiki it.”

“Sure,” sarcasm lost, “If it were true…wait, Bang, maybe that’s why Penny finally gave in to Leonard?  I bet Sheldon has already worked out a way to avoid it, and is waiting for a primetime special to announce it!”

He was not amused.  No, he had more important questions:

– When the world ended on December 21st, would the gift card his aunt sent him for Christmas still be valid?

– Would ‘forever’ stamps still be good for postage?

– Can he depend on Google Earth to adjust their maps?

– Will there be a negative effect on the number of ‘likes’ his blog receives?  Let alone ever being reblogged by someone.

– If he takes a 12-hour sinus pill at 11:59 pm on the 20th, will it stop working at 12:01 am?

– Is the Twinkie situation a sign?  And who is spreading the disinformation that Twinkies’ shelf life is not infinite?

‘Questions, questions…how can she not take this seriously!’

While he is pondering what to Google next, she is texting the airline about her pending Christmas vacation.  “This is interesting,” she waits for him to raise his head from his laptop, “the airline says that should we be held on the runway due to the ensuing apocalypse, they will abide by FAA rules and let us deplane in no more than three hours.”

‘Damn, I forgot,’ quickly entering his search question: Are plane tickets refundable due to the apocalypse?  Looking up at her smile, “You laugh; just don’t ring the doorbell to my bunker.”

“Here’s another question for you, will they still have free breadsticks here and, of course, free pizza delivery?”

His face went pale; how was he going to survive in his bunker without pizza and beer?

(Apocalypse Questions is a work of fiction, © Steven S. Walsky, November 2012.)


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