Inappropriate use of the song-lyrics-as-a-post-title technique!
While I was waking up this morning, I had two-and-a-half dreams about the apocalypse.
I am an Action Movie Protagonist Guy, but the skinny kind, that’s probably like a scientist or something. I’m an atheist, and I have an exasperated blond girlfriend who is some sort of a Christian. Sitting at the computer one afternoon, I realize that it has suddenly gone dark as night outside the blinds. Thinking suddenly of the Biblical signs of the apocalypse (note: some signs may have been made up for purposes of this dream), I spring into action and stay right there in the chair and check Google news, hoping against hope that I am wrong.
I am not wrong – the great meteor, Leviathan, has arrived to block out the sun, whose light will touch this earth no more. Leviathan’s dark surface glows faintly red in places, smoldering from within with a volcanic heat that, as a scientist, I know is improbable for an object of Leviathan’s relatively low mass, though possibly forgivable given its young geologic age. (Less than six thousand years, right? Ba-dum-ching.) The glow seems to trace out some sort of symbols, or perhaps a face, but I cannot quite make out the pattern. Perhaps it will become clearer as more of Leviathan falls to earth over the following months, as foretold by prophecy.
(characteristics of Leviathan based on similar meteors from Earthbound, Final Fantasy VII, Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask)
But wait – if the meteor is already here, then, as foretold by prophesy (that I made up), the rapture must already have happened! Where is my blond Christian girlfriend?
But she is standing behind me, weeping silently, her face contorted with shame and grief – she did not really believe, and though others were taken, she has been left behind. I lead her away from this place as fire rains down, swearing to the apocalypse that this is not over.
Because I am an action movie protagonist, and I talk back to non-sentient things like the apocalypse and volcanoes and diabetic ketoacidosis as if they have a personally antagonistic relationship with me.
(real life intrudes – someone was being loud outside, and I woke up a little, but fell back asleep pretty fast)
Same apocalypse, different viewpoint. Now I am myself, at my parents’ house. We go out to buy groceries in preparation for whatever comes next. None of my family is gone, but the store is nearly empty. I pick out shallots and ginger root and listen to a man lecturing the people in the store about how wrong we were. I wonder why he is still here, and who was on the radio this morning preaching? (Because we are in post-apocalyptic times, radios, cars, and guns work, but nothing else. This is a necessary part of any good apocalypse and must not be overlooked.) I begin to suspect a conspiracy.
(characteristics of possibly-contrived religious apocalypse based on many preachy fantasy and sci-fi novels; post-disaster ginger-buying scene taken from my Havegale writing project)
But it really doesn’t matter much – the damage is done (I am sure that the vanished are never returning, wherever they are), and anyway my mind is made up. I see someone else listening to the preaching man with a disgusted expression, and comment quietly that, even if there is a god who has done this, and even if it should prove its reality to me, I will not believe in it. Because I have only my own conscience to guide me, and because hell is unconscionable, and because what has happened to the world is unconscionable, I will not believe in a god that would make them. If there is a heaven, I rebel against it.
The other person nods seriously, because this schpiel is my actual real-life opinion on the matter, and figments of my imagination cannot help but be moved by it.
We drive home over landscape that is now light and chromatically undersaturated, because Leviathan has all fallen to earth and the sun now shines through dust. In the field beside the house there is now a strange place, black and red and glowing, where large fragments of Leviathan seem to have burrowed. Men in black clothes swarm around it.
There is a way in. Looking over my shoulder as I take a bag from the car, I think that tonight, I will go down. I will give whatever lives inside Leviathan a piece of my mind.
(characteristics of evil-hole-in-the-ground based on Tailchaser’s Song, Richard Monaco’s Parsival, the mining stuff from the Darkover books)
(real life – I woke up because my neck hurt really bad, and realized I’d fallen asleep on the floor again. It was about eight AM, which was obviously too early, so I got into bed.)
My house is in the middle of a magical forest, where people often get lost two feet from their door, and where strange things with pearly eyes live under tobacco leaves. But the forest is small, and things from the outside, like radios and rust, have recently begun to encroach upon it.
People here never go outside at night, and think it shameful when they find themselves awake after dark – they hide in their rooms then.
But one night, I walk outside and look up. The stars are hard to see because of the bright lights of the outside world, which is really very close. Disappointed, I go back inside and close the door.
The next day, I have gone out for a second and gotten lost in the magic forest, but don’t really care. I take a nap under a leaf. Sometime later, Mom wakes me – there are men in black clothes here, looking at pieces of rusted metal and fiberglass debris that have fallen around me while I slept. The debris looks like pieces of someone’s Winnebago. The men cannot see me, and do not seem to see Mom clearly. She tells me that the world is ending, so I should come home.
The sky is orange, and then black.
Someone tells me what has happened. We have been, until now, in the Age of the Sun God – but he could only maintain his power while the people shunned the night. Last night, too many people looked at the sky, and now the era has turned, and it is the Age of the Moon Goddess. The sun will shine no more. There is nothing, this person tells me with finality, to be done about it.
I am secretly a little pleased.
But because I know my duty as the protagonist – and also because I realize, reluctantly, that a Moon Goddess who throws Winnebago parts in my magical forest probably cannot be relied upon to put on a proper Age Of The World – I begin to consider where I might find a cleric, a wizard, and a swordsman to round out my party. I cannot find any socks, but I put on my shoes and tell Mom that I am leaving to save the world. She says exasperatedly, “All right, dear.”
(my behavior towards the end based on Renge from Ouran High School Host Club, The Paper Bag Princess, Cimorene from Dealing With Dragons; Mom’s bad parenting taken from my Magus Anmere: Cyborg Werewolf project)