New York – The Quiet Earth


New York was always the place of everything. Whatever little folksy thing you think belongs only to your rural backwater, they’ve got two of them, and one of them’s open all night. It’s nothing special really. Strip away the architecture, the crowds, the hundreds of years of massacre after massacre after Macy’s Day Parade and what do you have? What’s for sale? Everything in the rest of America. And then some. And more of all of it.

So, in fitting New York fashion, they have more of the Apocalypse. I came by to make sure my editor was still getting my copy and I noticed it was quiet. Like really super quiet. Like a missing 8.2 million people quiet. Everyone in New York is gone.

But don’t come here. Don’t ruin it. Right now, it’s perfect. All that’s left is silence and treasure.

No idea how they went. The ground is wet. The Waldorf is in flames, but just it, crackling like it belongs in a hearth. Streams of light are rising out of Queens. And there are four riderless horses grazing in Central Park.

I honestly don’t have a clue what happened here, but frankly, I don’t care.

I mean, does it matter? Does it matter how it ends? Zombies or aliens or cancer, it’s what comes next that matters.

Heaven is what you make. You get there whenever you say you’re going to make it. It’s populated with all the people you keep near you.

All the Apocalypse did was kill History. Now we have all of History’s stuff. Fuck the old connotations and the old deeds and the old titles.

There was a book I read as a child. The Mystery of Harris Burdick. Picture book, really, so not a whole lot of reading. Just a bunch of surreal pictures. I looked at each one of them and I swore, someday, that’s where I would live. I wanted to run off into a world where the act of running off was all that I needed to do. Where one spectacular magic moment was the only moment that counted. And then it would all be gone.

I’m going there now. Who’s with me?

Whoever is left to read this, wherever you are, good job. You made it as far as anyone could be expected – as far as anyone, in fact. We’re all proud of you. Now you get to relax. In the bones of New York, the fantasies of Orlando, the soil of Savannah, the crisp air of Boulder, the marvels of San Francisco … Every inch of this is yours to explore. Open all your drawers and discover the shiny riches you’ve tucked away. You decide what it’s worth. You decide what you’ll trade, what you’ll keep. You decide how to be the protagonist in your own story.

Take a deep breath. Smell that? That’s the flavor of the End of the World. It’s got all the old ingredients. Now you’re the chef.


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