The Blog

Countdown to An End to All Things: What to Expect

An End to All Things Countdown:

5 DAYS

He'd Wave the Knife Like a Baton

photo credit: Alan Levine via Flickr

 

In light of the 2012 Mayan Prophecy, it turns out that we have but a short time to prepare for the end. Procrastination is not recommended.  That is why each week leading up to our collective doom we will post short excerpts from stories in Jared Yates Sexton’s collection An End to All Things that give clues as to how to survive the Apocalypse–or at least how to make it a little more comfortable.

WHAT TO EXPECT

You don’t ask questions. You don’t complain. You get in line and you get in the truck. When you get out and you’re standing in front of a big hole, you don’t ask how. You just dig and you dig with every goddamn thing you have. You dig until they tell you not to dig anymore. The heat doesn’t bother you after a few days. Day in, dayout. Bending over, chucking dirt. Ain’t got time to bitch about the heat. No time to bitch about water. You got to get your arms in rhythm. Ticking like a clock. Don’t pay any attention to the dirt in your teeth. The sweat on your lip. The whole world’s just a patch of dust and rock right in front of you. Nothing more, nothing less.”

—from the short story  “They Put a Shovel in Your Hand and You Dig”

 

“She looked like she was about to cry, just like she did in that dream, but what really got me, what really got my attention, was the knife in her hand. She was gripping it for all she was worth. Gripping it so hard her knuckles went white.”

—from the short story “You Never Ask Me About my Dreams”

 

Translation: It will be tough rebuilding society from the rubble of our cozy, past existence. It will take work once there are huts and roads to build, wagons and carts to pull and haul back canned goods and Twinkies to your small, makeshift village.  You will have to harden yourself, but you must always stand guard for personal attacks. They can come from anyone, even your family—especially your family—probably because of all that hardening you will be doing.

 

About Abby Hess

Abby Hess is a publicity assistant for Atticus Books.

Comments are closed.