Saturday, July 7, 2012

Eschatology or Est Scatologie by C.D. Tolliver

It was supposed to be zombies and giant scorpions and dragons and sun-eating wolves.  As it turned out, Fimbulvetr was hot and arid and Mayan jaguars couldn’t for the heat. Ragnarok lacked its super-human mortal gods and no one shouted “She fell! She Fell! Babylon the Great has fallen!” announcing Armageddon as Gehenna overflowed its banks and mephitic vapors poured from Avernus, the birdless place in Italy.
A simple experiment involving the newly discovered Higgs boson, a smattering of tachyons and a cup of really good Earl Grey tea, sans milk and sugar, spelled the end of the planet, or at least Central Europe, which was scooped out of the planet like ice cream on a summer’s day and deposited just this side of Mercury’s orbit.  In three days, Switzerland, the Alps and the beer halls of Munich would become part of the solar furnace, and 8 minutes and 20 seconds later a blast of gamma radiation and x-rays would hit the Arecibo Observatory in Porto Rico and put an end to the SETI project forever.  There may be intelligent extra-terrestrial, but life on Earth would be extinguished by someone saying, “Tea, Earl Grey, Hot.” in a poor imitation of the precise diction of Star Trek’s Patrick Stewart.
Who would have guessed that a catastrophic series of events would be triggered by tea, the life’s blood of the TARDIS, spilt in a déjà vu moment mimicking Saturday Night Live’s “Pepsi Syndrome.”  The world ends not with a bang or a whimper, but with a shout of “Oh, shit!”, fried circuit boards, a power surge through the European electrical grid, and the meltdown of two nuclear power plants.
The electromagnetic pulse knocked out all the spy satellites over Eurasia triggering an automatic launch of ICBMs, now lacking guidance systems and targets, into suborbital ballistic arcs.  It was a bright day for Earthlings as the European Union lost the Swiss and nuclear devices, happily unarmed, rained down on population zones, preserving life for another day.


  1. i like how you melded all those references together to make an excellent piece. i enjoyed reading this. well done.

  2. Wow. There's a lot going on here. This is a really smart, informed response to the prompt. I feel like I've just been taken on a roller coaster. I keep re-reading, and I can't decide if it reads more like poetry or like the Findings section at the back of a Harper's magazine, but either way it's definitely got a touch of genius to it. Great job with the prompt.

  3. I kept reading it faster and faster as I free-fell with glee. Wonderful pace and imagery.