Story from Maurizio Brancaleoni

Who Cares About the End of the World

The end of the world is nigh. So what? This doesn’t change things. All my life I’ve been wishing to do something important, go down in history and now I know that it’ll never happen. So let the apocalypse come, who cares. Finally something really democratic. Not even the greats of the past ages are safe, everything will disappear from the face of the earth. Pardon, that’s going to disappear too. The Big Crunch, the return to the singularity: few believed that it would really happen.

I was talking about that with a female friend just yesterday.

– I don’t see why we should get desperate. In any case, each one of us would have to die sooner or later.

– You’re insensitive as usual.

– At least we’ll die together – I said, although my love is unrequited.

– You creep me out – she replied, and started chatting with her friends on Facebook.

I remained at her disposal anyway. Shortly thereafter, she ordered me to go and rent all the disaster movies I could find because she would throw a party that night.

They want to overcome the fear of death, I said to myself, by mocking it, laughing at it. It was a good guess: on my return, I find her making out with two guys in skeleton costumes.

– The best is yet to come – she says.

– I’m partying too?

– There’s always the dog.

That was one of her friends. Soon after other people dressed up as the occasion demands – gravediggers, ravens, worms and whatnot – walk in with crates of beer and any kind of commercially available drug.

Moral: there was little interest for the movies and only I and the “dog”, wearing a tombstone costume, watched them, until she left me to participate in an orgy with two skeletons, a coffin and a mausoleum towards the end of the night.

At dawn they had all sunk into comatose sleep, as in one of those music videos that stage the typical post-party morning of the latest pop star. I walked out in the garden and watched the sun rise.

I’m still here now, contemplating the sky. It won’t be long until the end.

Komm, süßer Tod!

Really, that’s what life was? We could do without it, thanks. Adieu.

Maurizio Brancaleoni has been widely published in several journals and anthologies. He has a bilingual blog where he posts literary gems, interviews and translations. The original version of “Who Cares About The End of the World” was first published in 2012 in an anthology of apocalyptic short stories.

2 thoughts on “Story from Maurizio Brancaleoni

  1. Definitely as bleak as skeletons partying. And the real thing treated as a form of disaster movie! This spirit continuing, preceding the disastrous event against the secure ability to watch the sunrise. In each way the apocalypse treated with a pinch of salt. I think you must be an optimist. Me? I’ll try some more Haiku before the end of this dark night, secure some cerebral sunrise. Thank you Maurizio.

  2. Oooohhh, nice, darkly humorous and insightful into the human condition and all the various numbing behaviors we engage in. I feel like I have been all the characters at some point in this varied life of mine, though it’s been decades since most of it. 😉 I especially like the symbolism of the “orgy with two skeletons, a coffin and a mausoleum toward the end of the night.” Makes me wonder how deliberate the author was with that. Sometimes the gems to the reader are different than the author’s intention. After all, writing, like other art forms, takes on a life force of its own, that interacts with the perceiver and can transform into something new… 😌

Comments are closed.