Month: December 2012

The End: Part 6


4:00 PM (GMT + 1), 20th December, 2012

They had been lying on the cellar floor for more than 24 hours oblivious of time. They could barely move and their voices had grown weak and faint. They laughed nonetheless, sharing stories and jokes about their lives, recounting moments they recently realised they shared.

Joshua felt an uncommon peace lying beside Chineye, he focused on her eyes and hope she felt the same. Even as he watched her struggle to talk he imagined them talking of similar things in a different place and time; somewhere in the future when they might have been slightly older, maybe on a University campus and they were sitting on a park bench, hand clasped in each other’s grip as they watched the sun go down. He would have loved that.

He saw the animation in her eyes as she tried to describe something interesting and he imagined her moving around, gesturing with her hands. She really was the most beautiful thing he had ever set his eyes upon.

Chineye suspected Joshua wasn’t listening, his eyes were focused on her but she wondered where his mind was. He seemed happy wherever his thoughts were and with the little strength she had she continued to talk to him, if he was still listening. The crush she had on him had become something else, something that made her feel safe despite all the despair around them, unconsciously she reached out for his hand with her good hand and held it just as she fell silent.

“are you here or somewhere else?” She couldn’t stop herself from asking.

“it might be somewhere else but you’re also there with me, it’s an unreal, not so distant future where you’re saying the exact same thing you’re saying right now with me by your side as we watch the sunset. Maybe I’m trying to imagine all this in a better way. I can hear you but I’d rather be where I’m seeing you in my head… I think I’m going crazy.”

“but you know that’s what you’re doing right? Taking your mind out of our present situation and putting it somewhere safe. It’s not entirely a bad thing but I want you to be here, right now. You know the funny thing, I went upstairs earlier to get some food items and water, I left them on the shelf over there. Want something to eat?”

Joshua looked to where Chineye pointed but was too weak to move. “I guess we can forgo that now, I’m not feeling hungry.” He smiled weakly, the pain he felt in his lungs made it difficult for him to move and he honestly had no appetite.

“I didn’t understand why you showed up at my doorstep the day you told me you loved me but now I think I do..” She paused to gather to catch her breath. “.. you’ve been with me through it all and right now, even if I’m scared, sad and feel so helpless about what’s going to happen, I’m glad you’re right beside me. I always had a crush on you for over a year, but I told no one, I was even scared to write it down in my little diary until recently and I guess it’s safe to say I love you too Joshua, I really do.”

Joshua felt faint and but he heard every word Chineye said. He tried to say something but he felt too week.  Chineye watched him, her eyelids getting heavier, her breathing becoming more laboured, she strained and pulled her weight as best as she could, dragging herself even closer into Joshua’s chest, with her good arm she held on to him, resting her head close on his chest, feeling his faint heartbeat, listening to its rhythm until it became still, by then, she had begun to fade away as well.

Somewhere in the City, a young man sitting in a bar got to his feet, determined to get home to his father and brother, he began to realise how much a bad idea doing a bar crawl at the end of the world really was. He looked around him, everyone in the bar seemed lifeless. He had to get home, weak and sickly he made his way out of the bar, staggering over bodies on the street.

“Pops will be pretty mad at me if I show up in heaven with a hangover.”

He turned to glance at a nearby Church where many had gathered to pray earlier. Bodies littered the premises as far as he could tell. He kept walking, hoping he would make it home but his lungs couldn’t carry him any further. He fell in the middle of the street, head facing home, his eyes closed as he whispered “I’m sorry Joshua..I’m sorry…”

 

 

04:55 PM (GMT + 1), 21st December, 2012

 

The Asteroid hit Earth 10 mins earlier, the physicists had gotten their calculations wrong but it did not matter, all life form on the surface of the planet had died 24 hours earlier. From space it was a quiet collision watched by no one known. On Earth itself, it was beyond deafening, the scientists were correct about the point of impact, it straddled the South American and African continents, destroying whole continental shelves before plunging deeper into tectonic plates. Its force took it beyond the Earth’s mantle, whole continents shifted and mountains crumbled, ocean waves rose to heights never seen before and covered entire continents.

The foreign elements from the asteroid caused an uncommon fusion reaction with the common element within the earth’s core. The outcome was like 50,000 atomic bombs, its after shocks went beyond the Milky Way.

As it all started with a big bang, it seemed to have ended with one.

But maybe its true what they say about Ends and new Beginnings, because still within the Milky Way, as the silent shockwaves spread throughout the universe, telling a tale of a Planet that once was to those who might or might not exist, through whatever medium they might or might not measure or perceive, in worlds not yet imagined or imagined, as though decreed by the unseen masters and forces that guide this very Universe, something almost insignificant stirred on the planet Man called Saturn, and it had life.

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The End: Part 5


06:20 AM (GMT +1), 19th December, 2012

The pain woke Chineye up, her head and left shoulder felt on fire, she winced from the sharp pain when she tried to move around so she lay still. She had thought her eyes were still closed but on second examination realised she was lying in a dark windowless room. It was damp and she imagined the worst things lay in the shadows looking at her, waiting to pounce and tear her to shreds. Trying to recall how she had gotten here while moving ever so gently in order to avoid igniting the sharp pain in her shoulder, her mind started to slowly gather thoughts; Where were her parents? Where was Joshua? Ada???

She remembered the Breaking News report on TV, her father giving her orders to go with Joshua after he said there was an underground basement in his house, her dad told her he would be right behind her, she had only made it out of the compound when she heard the sound from the sky, then came the lights; sickly green, she had tried to call out to her father and mother to move as fast as possible but…..

She screamed, her body couldn’t take it anymore. They were all dead.  She remembered the huge flaming green rock falling on the house and the explosion, she had never seen green fire in her life before, until that night and it was that same fire that engulfed her home, her parents and her cousin. She remembered running towards the house and screaming, willing to plunge her hands in but Joshua had held her back, she clawed at him and was willing to gouge out his eyes for trying to stop her, then the explosion happened.

She kept screaming.

 

She had stopped screaming when Joshua came back into the cellar, he held a rechargeable lantern up so she could see it was him, the power must have been disrupted when the meteorites hit. She noticed part of his face had burns and his hands were covered in torn clothing. His eyes seemed glassy, like he had been crying but he moved firmly towards her, dropped the lamp by her side before crouching. He stared at her, as if to asses her wounds, she was trembling uncontrollably holding on to her wounded shoulder, trying to keep it still to reduce the sharp pains coursing through her body.

“I’m so sorry Chineye, I truly am…it just happened so fast and I didn’t want you to get hurt..I didn’t want to lose you.”

Joshua knew he was terrible with words but they were all he had right now, he stretched out his hand and touched Chineye’s, and for a moment she stopped trembling. Her back was turned to him so he lay down beside her, careful not to touch her shoulder. She felt a certain calm return as she realised how close to her he was but she couldn’t stop crying. Joshua lay still beside her with only his hand on her arm unsure of what to do next.

“Why are we still in your basement?” Chineye asked several minutes later, trying to gather her thoughts.

“The meteorites’ radiation killed everything out there, we barely made it into the house, I felt it would be better if we stayed down here for a bit longer till we were sure it was relatively safe to go out.”

“Where’s your father?”

Joshua stiffened and held his breath. He had hoped Chineye would skip that question but he knew she was way smarter than that. She sat up after making a bit more effort and didn’t take her eyes off him as he tried to answer her.

The scenes were flashing back way too fast for him to maintain his composure, he hurriedly sat up, still mindful not to hit Chineye’s shoulder. Holding his clothed palms to his eyes he fought hard to hold back the tears but they still came flooding out.

“I didn’t know he went looking for them, I brought you in here when we got knocked to the ground by the explosion and I had just managed to get to my feet, I was about helping you up and getting you t my place when I saw him running towards us. He said there might have been survivors in your house so he went towards the building. I didn’t realise the place was contaminated so I took my time getting you back to the house and cleaning up your wounds. I fell asleep beside you for a while and by the time I woke up I realised Dad hadn’t returned…..”

Joshua was trying so hard to stop sobbing and Chineye noticed he had developed a terrible cough, she feared he had finally started showing sign of radiation poisoning.

“It’s ok dear..It’s alright.” Chineye could see Joshua trembling, he wasn’t as strong as he looked. He was probably terribly weak but she wasn’t sure Joshua wanted to stop talking.

“…i finally went outside to look for him….He was lying there, in front of your house, like he was asleep. I’ve never seen him like that before, i tried to carry him all the way here but he was too heavy.”

Joshua coughed more violently again and his breathing had become more difficult, Chineye knew it was a bad sign but she tried to seem calm. Joshua finally got to lie down for a bit after she convinced him he needed the rest, as soon as she was sure he had fallen asleep she managed to get up and made her way up to the ground level of the house, it looked haunted outside, the trees were all dead and smoke still hung in the air.

She moved straight to the kitchen and checked the fridge and the store, she found biscuits and a little bread. With her only good arm she packed it all into a basket along with several bottles of water and went back to the cellar. For some reason she felt safer down there than in a room filled with windows.

She found Joshua still sleeping so she put the basket on one of the several empty shelfs in the room, she lay beside him and drifted off to sleep soon after. If the scientists were right, it would all be over soon enough. She dreamt of her parents as she slept.

……………

Several thousands of miles away from earth, a large rock moved at pace, surrounded by orbiting smaller chunks of rocks it was clouded by unknown elements in their gaseous states. Its mission was death and destruction and it had travelled for millions of years to arrive at this very point. It began its final descent. As it passed Saturn, its rings dispersed completely and its surface became irradiated, engulfed in a green hue of gaseous emissions.

The End: Part 4


05:45 AM (GMT -6) 18th December 2012. North America. Eastern Sea board.

Fred Rumford was nodding away in front of his computer system while working the ghost shift at the observatory. His hair had already started falling out but he didn’t really care, the pain in his gut wasn’t going to slow him down either. He wanted to record and report history happen, even if it was the last one. His colleagues had all abandoned the facility the day the news broke yet his fascination was even more piqued. He knew what was coming and had been monitoring the chatter on the internet, the latest being about the floating debris around the larger asteroid.

Physicist had reported the debris would be the first to cause damage and casualty once they entered the earth’s atmosphere and their arrival had been put at a much closer date.

The 18th of December.

So far, nothing had happened and Fred had no reason to pick up the phone to NASA’s emergency line. He hoped things would stay this way for as long as possible even though he knew they wouldn’t. The head of NASA had personally put in a call to him, thanking him for how grateful he was for choosing to stay back, apparently very few people were still at their stations and people out there needed to know exactly when hell was coming to earth.

Fred understood their desires to be kept abreast of issues and situations, the desire to feed on data was the main reason why he sat at this desk monitoring the asteroids and the meteorites orbiting its radioactive atmosphere.

Everything the United States, Russia and China had thrown at it didn’t put a dent in it. It stayed it’s course and was billed to arrive as predicted. Fred heard rumours about the underground bunkers and deep sea habitats hurriedly constructed to save and preserve selected individuals. He wished they would stop.

This was it! The very end, not only was this asteroid going to simply hit the planet, its radiation levels indicated it would render every form of living organism dead and infertile once it spread all over the globe. The penetration depth within the earth’s core had been none conclusive but one thing was certain; no one had seen this form of radiation on any spectrum and no element on earth had shown any form of resistivity what so ever. It was all hopeless it seemed.

Life started with a big bang, it only seemed natural if it ended with one. He only wondered where the damned asteroid had come from, satellite imagery from its surface showed vastly unfamiliar elements and features, nothing organic and no form of power source, only the unexplainable radiation & gaseous emissions covering its outer surface.

A red light went off on his monitor and his heart sank that very moment, he pulled up the Google/NASA feed but nothing irregular was happening. This didn’t surprise him, the Feed was 15 minutes delayed to the google website. He accessed checked the information the observatory’ telescope was feeding him and accessed a couple other high powered telescopes in the area; they weren’t any different from his own data.

Heavily, he picked up his office phone and called NASA, Armageddon had begun.

“Fucking Mayans.”

 

3:30 PM (GMT +1), 18th December, 2012

Chineye sat on the kitchen stairs at the back of her house watching Joshua in the garden, she had been crying and couldn’t stop looking at the second freshly covered mound of earth. Joshua was shovelling more dirt on Kene’s grave. Ada had found him hanging in his room when she came home, she wanted to force the door open and tease her cousin who she deemed too quiet and reserved but found his body hanging from the ceiling with no note anywhere in sight, just tufts of hair lying all over the room. He looked pale, almost ghost like when Chineye had finally gone closer to take a look at him, even her father who had seemed aloof could barely conceal his own growing sense of despair.

“Why now???” Chineye began to scream again, Joshua ran over and tried to hold her, he felt weak and he ached all over, the sweater he wore seemed inappropriate but he wasn’t wearing it for the weather. The skin peeling around his abdomen wasn’t something he needed Chineye to see.

Joshua spent the previous night wondering how she felt about him, if she felt the same way. He had walked down the street to her house with his father following him out the door wearing a curious look on his face. There was no point trying to explain to him why he was spending so much time at the Okoli’s.

Several times Joshua had tried bringing up the ‘Love’ topic in the brief moments he found himself alone with Chineye but it felt like she tried hard to avoid the topic. It made him unsure yet, that same morning, as he made his way to her house, he saw her walking down the street as if she was heading his way, as soon as she saw him she ran into his arms crying, she then told him about her Uncle Kene. He held her as long as she allowed him to before guiding her back to her house. They had been sitting at the back of the house since he had helped Mr. Okoli bury Kene and now he felt this was a wrong moment to bring up the talk again, he would probably never get the chance.

“Are you scared?” Joshua asked while trying to maintain eye contact as he walked towards Chineye, Mr. Okoli’s words had started to become more meaningful to him;

“to love her you’ll have to hold her hand even if she doesn’t offer it…. she might act strong but she still needs someone to reassure her it’s all going to be alright even when it’s not… can you do that for my Chineye? I fear I might not be there with her in her final moments”

“I can’t say I’m not. Aren’t you?” Chineye’s voice trembled.

Calmly, Joshua sat beside her on the stairs and took her hand, making sure his eyes never left hers, I’m here Chineye, and I’m not going anywhere.”

For what seemed like a long time both pair of eyes held on to the others gaze and all fear and impending doom was forgotten. Gradually they drew close, lips parted and a kiss was shared, not deep, but sincere.  Chineye was the first to pull away and she giggled, Joshua kept looking at her longingly unable to hide his fascination.

“Chineye and Joshua, come in here quickly!” Mr. Okoli’s voice could hardly mask the worry as he called them. He had seen the Breaking News indicator on the TV screen and feared for the worst, his Wife and her niece had been sitting quietly with him in the living room. The kids joined them just as the Vice President came into view to make the announcement; apparently the President had taken ill.

“We have just been notified by our Space Monitoring committee that within the hour associated meteorites formally orbiting the incoming asteroid will enter the Earth’s atmosphere, despite best efforts to divert most of them by international joint military forces their impact points have been observed to be high density population areas and several of our cities are within their impact zone, we urge you all to find underground shelter near you to seek cover, an alternative is to stay in clear sight and far away from tall buildings. Please do so in an orderly fashion. God be with us all Ladies and Gentlemen.”

There was nothing orderly about the panic and pandemonium that followed that announcement.

The End: Part 3


09:23 AM (GMT + 1), 17th December, 2012.

…………….

Dear diary,

I know this might be one of my last entries and it might be a freaking waste of time writing all this down but I’m not sure of what else to do to stop myself from going insane. Everyone around me is acting like nothing’s going to happen so I’m jus trying to play along.

The boy from down the road came to my door yesterday night, he seemed nervous but he met my parents and he says he loves me. (‘_’ ) I really don’t know what to do. I’ve always had a crush on him but I really haven’t thought about acting on it. I’m pretty confused and haven’t had anyone to talk to ever since I had a fight with Abike…..gosh.. I miss her. Wish she didn’t have to go to boarding school.

Well, he’s still here right now, passed out beside me on the kitchen stairs, it’s where we slept all night. He’s actually sweet and pretty smart like I suspected he would be, but he can get really nervous. He told me about the asteroid, really scary. He said the reason why the orbiting satellites didn’t detect it early enough was because there was nothing to detect. Its radiation emission or sumthing like that interfered with the satellite’s frequencies.

They only saw the large rock coming when it was within visual range. Ever since the radiation poisoning and the dead animals its now easier to measure its speed.

It all ends in 4 days and I’m afraid to think of how it’ll feel. I snuck into my room while he wasn’t looking to cry for a bit, God, I was almost bursting. Holding it in for so long isn’t easy.

His name is Joshua by the way, I’d prefer to call him Josh but I’m still not willing to admit it.

Did I mention Uncle Kene’s acting funny? He won’t come out of his room and I think I heard him crying when I leaned closer to the door. He said he’s fine buh I know he isn’t. Everyone isn’t.

I hear mum calling me, have to go, hope I get to write about Josh some more before it all ends.

Xoxo. Chinny.

……………

12:09 PM (GMT +1), 17th November, 2012

The navy blue KIA Picanto pulled out of the estate gates slowly, it seemed the driver behind the wheel was reluctant to go any further as the car rolled down the road slowly. Chineye wished she wasn’t the one who had to go check on Ada; her cousin on her mother’s side. She was also Uncle Kene’s cousin but he still hadn’t left his room since the night before.  Agatha had warned Chineye to drive slowly and take her time, “no need to be reckless dear.”

She felt as though her mother was watching her as she took a left turn at a junction without looking to her right or waiting to see if there was an oncoming vehicle. The streets were quiet, except for a few stragglers who walked without any apparent destination; the depression on their faces said it all. As Chineye guided the car towards the building in her cousin’s flat was situated, trying to park parallel to the pedestrian walk way lining the street, a man came out of the house across, he seemed to have some difficulty keeping his balance, staggering out of the walk through gate, he coughed terribly and his skin seemed flaky and pale. Joshua caught the man’s gaze and realised he was crying. His age could be put at around mid 50s but he looked sick, really sick. He managed to stop coughing for a bit when he saw the two kids, he held his hands together in a prayer like manner and went down on his knees wailing loudly;

“They’re dead! My babies! They’re dead!” there was no mistaking the pain in his voice, whatever he had lost had torn him, hollowed him out.

There was nothing the two teenagers could do, he seemed not to notice them any longer, his reality had been shattered and they were not real to him. He clawed at his hair screaming, momentarily stopped, the hands he brought before his face now clenched a hand full of his own hair. He gasped as if trying to choke back more tears before hurriedly getting up and running out of the street.

Joshua and Chineye stood by the Picanto watching the whole thing, not sure of what to do, they watched this stranger run down the street and make a left, the last strand of sanity he had had finally snapped, they heard him scream even louder, the sound of an approaching vehicle’s horn startled them. It happened too soon, the screech and the muffled bang they heard, both Chineye and Joshua suspected the same thing. Their gazes returned back to the house the man had emerged from but they feared venturing in to find out what had caused him to lose his mind in at that moment. The horrors they had heard of, the mass suicides and mental meltdown made them fear what lay within the walls of the compound.

If Joshua and Chineye had ventured into the premises, past the expensive cars parked outside, past the tastefully furnished living room and into the master bedroom, they would have come upon the lifeless bodies of a young mother and a new born child lying peacefully on the king-size bed in the middle of the room, death was the prelude to the end of the world.

 

 

Ada wasn’t Chineye’s favourite cousin; she was considered the wild one,  worked in the city but had refused to move in with her aunt despite several protestations, the argument put forward had been that single young ladies weren’t safe living by themselves. Eventually everyone agreed she would get a place no more than 10 mins away from Agatha’s home. It was a small flat; one bedroom and a living room. The door was slightly ajar when Joshua and Chineye got to the flat, Chineye immediately became worried; what had happened to her cousin? Had she hurt herself? Had anyone hurt her?

She ran into the room screaming “Aunty Ada! Aunty Ada! Where are you?!”…she thought she heard someone crying in the bedroom and made for the door hitting it with her shoulder immediately she turned the door knob.

What she found stunned her, Joshua was behind her hoping the worst hadn’t happened, Chineye suddenly froze and something told him that wasn’t a good sign, he felt flushed and embarrassed upon seeing what Chineye was staring at. Ada’s legs swept the air above her as her lover made her moan carelessly, they both were covered in sweat. They barely noticed the two kids had come into the room or were watching them

Joshua took Chineye by the arm and guided her to the living room. He wasn’t sure if Chineye was upset or relieved, one thing for sure, the sight of her cousin in that state was unexpected.

She sat down for a minute then got up abruptly, made her way into the kitchen and came back holding a glass of water, it was merely exercise; she wasn’t thirsty.

A few minutes later Ada came running out of the room panting and laughing, barely clothed, she pulled her night robe over her body much tightly as soon as she saw Joshua.

“Chineye, why didn’t you call to tell me you were coming?” Ada seemed momentarily embarrassed, she walked over to hug her cousin but decided against it, she simply took the glass of water out of her hand and downed the contents of the cup.

“Well, there’s barely time for anything these days Ada..” The Contempt in Chineye’s voice wasn’t missed.

“.. My mum has been worried, you haven’t answered your phone all day but clearly I can see you’re fully occupied. Joshua, please let’s go, I think we’ve seen enough already, Ada is very fine indeed.”

With that Chineye left the apartment just as Ada’s lover came out of the room, he wasn’t fully clothed as well. Joshua lingered a bit and looked at the two adults in the room, “ Please call Agatha, she’s worried about you.”

The End: Part 2


01:23 AM (GMT +1), 17th December, 2012.

Chineye sat on the kitchen stairs landing at the back of the house staring at Joshua. Joshua in turn stood over the grave of the recently buried dog, he seemed in deep thought at the moment and she figured it would be best to leave him be. She already had enough to do trying to understand the events of several hours that followed after Joshua had shown up at her door a few minutes before 8:00 PM.

……..

“Hi Chineye….uhhh …hope you’re alright?” Joshua couldn’t have felt more stupid that very moment.
He tried to think up all the best lines he had ever read up on the internet but nothing came up. The mere fact that he was standing before the girl he knew he loved threw a massive spanner in the internal workings of his thoughts.

“Joshua, right? You’re Mr. Akanni’s son.”

He smiled, the mere fact that she knew he existed calmed the storm of panic raging within him. He was all of a sudden filled with a sense of relief as she continued talking.

“Aren’t you supposed be like doing something, you know, getting ready for the end of the world?” She really didn’t know what to say. Not only was she surprised about him showing up at her doorstep, she wasn’t exactly used to receiving boys at her house.

“Chineye! Is that your boyfriend?” Her mother’s voice came from across the hall way, but it grew closer with each word.

“So, now that it’s all going to be over in a few days time you’ve decided to come clean..”

Chineye swung around immediately, intending to protest her innocence but the smile on her mother’s face caught her off guard.

“Mum.. he’s not..”  She was too shocked to offer any quick explanations.

“Invite him in already, we could all use the extra company, maybe arrange a quick marriage while we’re at it.” Chineye’s mother gestured to Joshua. Joshua’s state of shock had returned. He kept staring straight ahead, unsure of what to do next. A part of him wanted to simply run back home and straight up into his room. He was sure Chineye wouldn’t want him around. Involuntarily, he stepped forward instead. Now standing beside Chineye, the extent of how taller than her he was now became apparent; not much.

Chineye’s mum still stood in front of him with her hand stretched out and for a split second he considered prostrating instead, he dismissed the thought and reached out to shake her, bowing his head slightly, “good evening ma. It’s so nice to meet you Ma.”

“hahahaha…Its Agatha my dear, don’t bother about ‘Ma’ or ‘Mummy’. You’re obviously Yoruba, wonder what Chineye’s father has to say about that.”

Joshua smiled momentarily. He never imagined he’d find someone to make him smile a bit in these depressing times. He followed Agatha without giving much thought to what Chineye felt about the invitation.

Chineye’s father seemed subdued, in a way he mirrored the general mood Joshua had felt from everyone he came across on his way to see Chineye. He wondered why Agatha seemed undisturbed.

“I’m afraid you’ll still have to call him Mr. Okoli, he’s not really in a humorous mood right now.”

Agatha motioned to Joshua to sit right beside Chineye as soon as she was done with the quick introduction.  He found Chineye glaring at her mother intensely beside him, he thought of moving to another chair then changed his mind almost immediately.

“Chineye never mentioned you, how come I’m meeting for the first time today boy?” Mr. Okoli wasn’t wasting any time apparently and Joshua suddenly began to convince himself this whole thing was a bad idea.

“I’m actually not Chineye’s boyfriend sir.” Joshua tried to avoid Agatha’s eyes.

“oh, so who are you then? Chineye doesn’t seem too pleased to have you around, which means you’re upsetting her, not like there aren’t more things to be upset about but you’ve suddenly made her a shade darker.” Mr. Okoli wasn’t too bothered about Joshua; he just needed something distracting other than the asteroid’s approach he had been monitoring with Agatha on the internet, NASA and google had set up a live feed on youtube and the amount of information coming in was both interesting and alarming. The boy seemed quite honest, was visibly a nervous wreck and for some unknown reason felt his daughter liked him.

“I simply came to find out how Chineye was doing that’s all, I’ve got to get back home now, didn’t intend to come in or disturb anyone.” Joshua looked straight at Chineye for the first time. Suddenly he remembered why he came.

“I’m in Love with you Chineye, I’ve felt this way for a long time and I just thought I’d come here and tell you. Goodbye Mr. & Mrs. Okoli, goodbye Chineye.”

Joshua stopped looking at her and slowly got up. Chineye had frozen. She didn’t know what next to do or say, her eyes simply followed Joshua as he began to leave the room.

“Young man, you really are going about this all wrong, you can’t just tell a girl you love her and walk away, especially in these last days. What happened to spending every waking last moment with her? You children of nowadays have so much to learn.”

Everyone in the room had stopped moving and had listened disbelievingly to what Mr. Okoli had just said. Joshua turned round quickly as if to be double sure of what he had just heard.

“I’m sorry sir, my planning only went as far as expressing how I felt to your daughter”

“Well, I think my daughter deserves better, you can show yourself out of my house if mere words are all you have young man.”

Chineye couldn’t believe the current conversation had to do with her. That her father was a part of this conversation shocked her even further.

“Ben, be nice to the boy, it’s probably his first time talking to a girl like this.”

“It definitely is and it most likely will be his last, which is the more reason why he shouldn’t screw things up. Young man, you have 6 days to woo my daughter starting from this moment, I’d suggest you start immediately.”

Chineye immediately stood up, glared at her father for a few seconds before running past Joshua to the back of the house through the kitchen. Joshua wasn’t sure what to do next.

“Sit down young man, I’d like to talk to you.”

The End: Part 1


07:13 PM (GMT + 1), 16th December, 2012.

He really didn’t think there was any reason to hold back, with the confirmation of the inevitable, Joshua had only one thing on his mind; he had to see Chineye.

He had been sitting with his Father in the living room all day watching the news.  It wasn’t good, not for the News Anchor reading the news off the TV prompter, or his Studio Crew or for Joshua or for his Father. This was literally the worst piece of news for every living person or animal on the face of the earth.

“…Ladies and gentlemen, the expected time of the asteroid’s impact has been put at 17:10 GMT, on the 21st of December, 2012. Scientists have put the impact point somewhere along the eastern coast of South America, stretching all the way to the gulf of guinea in Africa. We are unable to give you any new information regarding efforts to stop this impending catastrophe but we will keep you updated on new developments. God be with us all…..”

Joshua thought about all that had happened in the past couple of days; how the animals first started acting strange and sickly, then gradually started dying. It was everywhere, the Health Ministry had issued a warning to refrain from eating all forms of diary or live stock, and then people too started getting sick and dying. The hospitals were overwhelmed with bodies and the worrying started, Churches began to hold deliverance services and vigils, local and central mosques became more vocal in their calls to prayer.  It didn’t take long before the WHO confirmed our worst fears, some sort of after blast radiation had spread all over the planet and its source was a massive asteroid heading straight for earth. Its path was unmistakable.

It was earlier in the day the President finally broke the news, though the social media sphere had already gotten wind of what he was going to say when the special adviser to the President announced he would be making a speech.

It still felt surreal, like a vivid dream, the World was going to end in less than a week. Joshua got up from the living room sofa he had been sitting on with his father.

He let out an unusual yawn and stretched his hands to their extremes at both ends, he still felt pretty healthy considering the claims that every single person in the world had suffered a certain degree of radiation poisoning. He figured maybe his immune system had found a way to fight it, as soon as his thoughts had settled on concerns for his personal health, thoughts of Chineye became overriding. He had to see her.

“Dad, I’m going down the street for a bit, are you going to be alright?”

His wiry frame now attempted to impose itself before his absent minded father, at 16 years of age there was nothing remotely imposing about his almost 6 foot height.

Jonathan’s mind had been wondering, lost in thought but not panicked. His biggest fear had been for his two sons; Jonah and Joshua. “hmm.. oh.. eemmm, you still haven’t heard from your older brother?”. He rubbed at his eyes as soon as he sat up straight on the sofa. He suddenly realised he and his son had both been slouched while sitting down to watch the news, something he always warned them against, not that it mattered now, they were not going to be needing seats where they were going in less than a week’s time.

“I already told you Dad, Jonah said he’s hitching a ride home with his friend from school that you shouldn’t worry about picking him up since everyone’s going to die anyway.”

But Jonathan wasn’t paying attention anymore, the latest news scrolling at the bottom of the screen had caught his attention, a Top ranking finance official had just been apprehended making away with a bag load of money.

“No problem son, just tell him to be careful…” Jonathan felt the statement was patronising as his voice trailed off.

“whatever..”

As soon as Joshua had shut the front door, he moved hurriedly, he had to get to the end of the street. He didn’t want to call but something told him to, but he wanted to walk, to see things for himself.

The street was busy in a strange way, people walked up and down with a sense of finality; shoulders dropped and resigned eyes focused on the floor before them. The trees lining the streets were dying, yellowing leaves and drying branches, dead birds could be seen scattered beneath their once green shades, and the evening air carried the strong smell of death.

It wasn’t what he expected but it was close; the old couple who lived next door seemed calm, quite unusual considering how often they fought on a daily basis. They were out on the front garden staring at their yellowing leaves and withered flowers. It all seemed for no reason now, all the tending and weeding, they were known to spend so much time tending to their prized garden. Now, they only looked up at Joshua for a few seconds without acknowledging, simply staring with empty glassy eyes.

The Oladunni boys; twins, were sitting at the foot of the stairs leading up to their white front door, they both were holding several bottles of cough syrup, several more empty ones lay at their feet. Joshua wasn’t sure what to do, on a less apocalyptic day this sight might have caused him no small amount of concern but today, it just wasn’t worth trying to stop them.

The Thompsons were packing. They were taking everything, the oldest of them, Babs was sitting behind the wheel of his father’s new Range Rover Sports smiling with glee; finally, he was going to put all the driving lessons to good use. He was only a year younger than Joshua.

Joshua’s mind had barely been far from Chineye all day since the news broke. There were already reports of suicide all over the city and everyone had been calling their loved ones to find out the immediate worst, it was a miracle the phone lines were still working. Chineye wasn’t Joshua’s girlfriend, she was the love of his life but she had no idea.

To Chineye, Joshua was just that kid down the road she said ‘Hi’ to. She knew most of the boys in the neighbourhood her age talked about her because she found out the hard way how jealous their sisters were of her. For a 15 year old, her body had began to draw the kind of awkward glances the hot blonds in bikinis got in American movies and ads. She always felt uncomfortable about the stares until her mother had assured her she would soon get used to it.

She had just finished helping her uncle Kene bury the dog in the backyard when she heard the doorbell. Wearily, she walked back into the house through the kitchen, passed her parents sitting at the dining table discussing quietly. She looked at them suspiciously for a second but kept on heading towards the door. Her parents had been discussing the Mayan prediction and its accuracy all day immediately after the President’s speech and had scoured the internet for more information about the asteroid heading for Earth. She still couldn’t understand how all this was possible in the real world.

‘Asteroids & radiation poisoning’???

She was hoping Speilberg would show up on national TV to announce it was a hug international hoax. If that’s the case then the dead animals were all up for Oscars.

She swung open the door slightly to check who had rung the bell, seeing Joshua there was the last thing on her mind.  Surprised, she opened the door fully and stood within its frame. Considering Joshua was standing a foot step lower from door’s base Chineye towered above him.

He almost regretted his action at that very moment then thought about next week, there wouldn’t be any next week. He swallowed the little saliva left in his mouth and the knots in his throat refused to give way, half choking, he let the words out; “Hi Chineye….”

Coming Soon… The End


Earth
Earth

You thought I wasn’t going to put up anything this month did you?
Well you thought wrong, I’ve been busy trying to sign out of 2012 in a big way and boy did it take me a while to come up with something worth putting up.
I kept thinking to myself what I could possibly post before the year end that would interest you all and not be so cliche, it sure didn’t come easy but it eventually did.
I have to warn you all though, it is cliche.
With all the prediction talk about the end of the world thanks to our Mayan ancestors, I figured why waste that sensation on speculation and worry. I decided to turn it into a story and starting from the 16th of December, there’ll be a new post every single day till the 21st of December on my blog, its a series that I’ve titled ‘The End’. Hope you guys enjoy it.
No, I’m not going to give you any sneak peak now, just be patient and wait till the 16th. I just hope you all love it.

See you guys here on the 16th.

Deuces.