I hold words dear. I hold them dearer now that the world is ending. Now that it all comes tumbling down. I can hear the sirens. That scares me, but I’m more afraid of when the sirens stop. When the sky falls silent, helicopter blades no longer slicing through its vast expanse. When the last bastions of human order and structure give way to the flood of the fearful, of the dying.
I write my last words now, but these aren’t the ones I hold dear. These aren’t the words I hoard and covet.
I’m staring at my bookcase, blinking against the smoke in the air. The crackle of fire tells me my choice must be made quickly. Whose words will I take with me? Whose stories will I clutch against my chest as we escape this apocalypse? As we try to escape this apocalypse.
Bronte and Tolkien, I think. Though Tolkien’s tomes are heavy, I know if I carry them with me I will never tire of the expansive world contained within. I imagine myself huddled somewhere, in some ashy corner of our dying world, and finding hope in the pages of The Lord of the Rings. There will be no Mount Doom for humanity, no ring to destroy to prevent our catastrophe. But I can dream, to dull the hunger as we scavenge.
And Bronte? I will let Jane Eyre whisk me away as well. Her story may have no apocalyptic themes, but I love it so. And maybe, in the time after the end of times, I will want a place to escape to that is not broken and dead and dying still.
I wonder whose words you will covet, whoever you are reading this? What books will you foolishly pack, filling up room that should have been saved for bottled water and ammo and food? What words are more important than fuel for your body? What stories will you rescue from the end of the world?
I’m signing off now. Writing my last. It occurs to me that I will take one last book with me–one last collection of stories as we leave the burning remains of our home in seek of some quickly fading hope. I do not think we will survive, but I dearly hope so. I will keep my books to the last. And that final book?…
“In A is for Apocalypse, the world ends in both fire and ice–and by asteroid, flood, virus, symphony, immortality, the hands of our vampire overlords, and crowdfunding. A stellar group of authors explores over two dozen of the bangs and whispers that might someday take us all out. Often bleak, sometimes hopeful, always thoughtful, if A is for Apocalypse is as prescient as it is entertaining, we’re in for quite a ride.” – Amanda C. Davis, author of The Lair of the Twelve Princesses
I hope you enjoyed that bit of silliness above. In case you’re still trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with me, let me explain! A is for Apocalypse is an exciting project, put together by Rhonda Parrish. It collects twenty-six apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic tales, each one starting with a different letter. I can’t tell you the title of my story in this collection (it gives the story away a bit), but I will tell you that my letter is Y (Y is for…). A is for Apocalypse officially launches today, so Rhonda marshaled a handful of us contributing authors up to blog as if the world were ending. You can find more such posts from contributors Cory Cone, Beth Cato, C. S. MacCath, Pete Aldin, Sara Cleto, Alexandra Seidel, and editor Rhonda Parrish.
I hope you’ll give A is for Apocalypse a read, especially if you’re a fan of apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic stories. I’ve read a few of them already and can tell you I’m in excellent company. I’m eager to read the rest of these tales. You can also stop by the Facebook Launch Party, which will be running most of the day today. I plan to drop by sometime this evening.
And I meant my questions above, by the way! What books or stories would you take with you as you flee the end of the world? Let me know, I’d love to hear people’s answers! (For what it’s worth, there are quite a few more books–and possibly different choices–I’d have picked, I just didn’t want to jabber on too long).
A is for Apocalypse is available to purchase from…
Createspace (10% off through August, promo code – TY6D2CWD)
Smashwords (10% off through August, promo code – PJ67Q).