January 06, 2010


"Please, this dingy won't save us from an eight-point earthquake."

"Yes, I know that. Still doesn't change what I want to do. We've got to save everything--ourselves."

"Some things you can't stop. In comparison to the universe, Humans are small, weak creatures. We've always have been and always will be."

"Shut up already and help me!"

Sigh. "Only because you are my friend, not because I think this will do anything."

Pause. Frantic breathing. Grunts. Thuds.

"There. What time is it?"


"Okay... Almost. Close the door. Bolt it. The third one too. Okay, checking everything and...what are the seconds?"


"O-okay. Stand back from the door, quickly! I hope ten feet below ground is enough, maybe we should have--"




"Now are you satisfied? The world has ended."

Grace sighed again and walked over to the bunker door. She had just graduated from college eight months ago, and had a nice teaching job in the local middle school. A tall, curvy half-Asian, she had a no-nonsense attitude when it came to living life, and being afraid of the world ending was one of them. Her attire said it all--a worn T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers with the heels almost falling off. Not even a coat or a poncho in case an 80-foot tsunami should crash into their bunker and send a surge of water into the room. She unlocked the door with her well-manicured nails and looked up into the clear Michigan winter.

"Don't!" Too late. Micky shied away from the light like a vampire and, for a moment, thought about shoving Grace out and locking the door.

But, the time had passed.

"Maybe it was supposed to be 11:11 in California." Grace scoffed and walked up the stone stairs and into the sunlight.

100 packages of Ramen, 100 cans of assorted vegetables, 100 cans of tuna in water, 288 bottles of water, a can opener, three ponchos, a GPS, two switch blades, a shotgun, 100 rounds of ammunition, 30 feet of rope, a rechargable electric lantern, two weeks of clothes, three pairs of hiking shoes, two rechargable flashlights, and a radio. Micky had filled the bunker half-full of shit, and for what?

He felt congested in this space, and followed Grace outside, slowly. He was a few inches taller than Grace, but skinnier. In his eyes, he wasn't a wimp, but he wasn't really a muscle man either. He could bench press 120 lbs. and carry his little sister of nine years around on his back. However, when it came to things like the world ending, he could squawk around like the best of them. Decidedly White, even though he really was full German, Michael Burkberat couldn't help but feel a little cheated.

Inside his mom's house, Helena teased him while "Spongebob Squarepants" skipped to a commercial.

"Hey bro, back so soon? Or..." Helena's bright blue eyes opened wide in mock horror, "Are we in Hell already? Wow, I didn't know they had Spongebob in Hell."

"Shut up Helena!"

But the child was already sticking her tongue out at a Princess Barbie commercial, lost in her short attention span.

"Bested by a nine-year-old, Micky just give it a rest." Grace opened up a can of 7-up and took a few gulps, walking over to the couch and taking up the remote, "And no need to watch this crap."


Channel 31...30...29...

"Oh Micky, back so soon!"

Micky's mom, Margie, had worn herself gray between Michael's paranoia and Helena's childish antics. Already retired from her doctor job, she had hoped to enjoy the rest of her days taking care of her children and making sure that they always had a home to return to in case things were bad. In Micky's case, he never left, which she thought was her fault. Like mothers before her, she had refused to kick her twenty-four-year-old son out of the house.

She walked into the kitchen to make some ham sandwiches for Helena and Grace.

"The same Grace?"

"Yes please."

Channel 10...9...8...

"Wait!" Micky shouted, the adrenaline kick starting his nervous system, allowing him to dart forward faster than he intended, knocking his knee on the edge of the couch. "Ow! Wait! Turn to Channel 8 again!"

Micky didn't wait and took the remote.

"It's just the news, there's always something bad on..." Bur Grace shut up once the anchorwoman's horror struck voice pierced the room.

"Not like anything before. A...a uh... The resulting landslide has destroyed residential areas 30 miles in radius of Mt. Rainier, the northern face completely... Another bulletin. An 80-foot tsunami is heading towards the east coast, and will strike around 8pm tonight. Residents have nine hours to evacuate. I guess..." The middle-aged woman halted in disbelief, "2012 is true..."

The TV was turned off.


Grace glared at him and threw the remote over to Helena, who almost didn't catch it in time.

"Enough. Just because the Earth is catching up with us, everyone needs to panic. I feel sorry for the people in Washington, I really do, but all the other states are fine, and the other countries are fine. It's just America having these problems. Everyone's scared that the world will come to an end because an ancient calendar ended. So they panic, making every disaster that happens today apart of the 2012 phenomenon.

"Every day people in third world countries are killed for the sake of religion, politics, and resources. Every day children die of disease because no one wants to give them already available immunizations. Today, our country is in trouble, and we cry about it like it's never happened anywhere else. Like people haven't suffered in other time in history. It's all bull shit."

Grace took a sandwich from Marg, saying thank you, and walked away. Marg smiled and nodded. Helena turned the TV back onto Spongebob, and Micky slumped down into the couch behind her.

"Oh no, Patrick! Watch out! It's okay Spongebob, I know what to do--oh, hey Spongebob, what does D-A-N-G-E-R mean? Huh? AAAAAAH!"

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