Insert Chassis Albuquerque: The Inconvenience.

The Inconvenience.

Well, it happened.
I just knew it would.
The end of the world, bright nuclear pinpricks of cloudy heat and light rising upwards on the New Mexico horizon as the radio fizzled and crackled from all the electromagnetic interference. Talk about an inconvenience, I was supposed to be signing a publishing deal tomorrow - how had this happened? A software error, a fucking software problem! We’d mistakenly misread a RADAR signal and opened fire on a jet ski and blown up a tourist believing it was the entire Russian sea-force invading! Of course, this act had escalated tensions internationally,
Russia proclaimed it an act of war (the tourist wasn’t even exactly Russian, they were from Latvia) but America reacted preemptively and launched their missiles on Russia first, just in case.
And immediately China had retaliated.
Oh, yeah, so that was the other thing, because of the software malfunction the missiles had mistakenly fired on China – Russia was untouched and China was a nuclear mess; but still, what have the Chinese ever done to anyone, recently?
Actually I could see why both Russia and China weren’t too keen on us, we'd a propensity for constantly ingratiating ourselves where we weren’t wanted and then fucking everything up.So maybe we’d been flying a little too close to the sun for too long, I guess. I still had time and took a look in the fridge - an old Oliver Evans model from the 60s – and emptied the shelves and contents out onto the floor, climbed in and pulled the door closed behind me.
While waiting for the shockwave I prayed to God, ‘cause finding God’s what people do when they suspect they're about to die or, even worse, survive some goddamn catastrophe. I said in the darkness of the refrigerator, “God? You there? Well, listen pal, I’ve never been too political, so don’t take my life, take someone else’s – what about that Byron Mauzy’s?” I suggested. “He’s a real piece of work, isn't he, remember when he..." and I detailed some incident or other but all my calls to God were met with the fierce resistance of silence. I guess his line must've been pretty busy right then.
When the shockwave struck I was eating an apple and when I came to I had to dig my way out of what was once my house. Stepping out of my refrigerator I gingerly made a technical assessment of what was left of the contaminated earth, then decided no amount of technical assessment would make much difference - most of New Mexico was devastated; America was all but flattened.
Typically things began to happen pretty quickly, they escalated, because of course some of the survivors were high on pot and harder drugs. I saw my neighbour, August Baldwin, grasping his phone still to his ear, just the handset with the severed cord dangling from it; he takes great solace in this routine act as he observes all the devastation whilst yelling, sweating and clapping his hands maniacally.Then some guy driving around what was left of the neighbourhood was yelling out his window that he was Guy de Villa and was looking for Petrof Becker and if anyone saw him we were to let him know. It was a most unusual request, grammatically quite confusing, so I shouted after him and he stopped his car - actually he threw threw it into reverse and skidded to a stop past me.
"What you say?" he said gruffly out his window; for a second I thought he was going to exit the car and beat the shit out of me but still I remained fairly resistant to his line of questioning, because I knew it irritated him.
“We should tell him you’re looking for him or we should tell you if we’ve seen him? It’s a little unclear, please expand more precisely…”
Holy shit! He got out of his car!
And I said, “Look, let’s not overreact here, whilst we just suffered a nuclear catastrophe let me begin by saying my earlier comments were completely misconstrued, I was at the nerve centre of an Electromagnetic Coronal Mass Ejection when I said all that shit." Then I said: “Do you know there’s a blue Ford Mustang heading straight toward us? It could be your friend, Petrof Becker.”
It was true, down the road I could see the Mustang smashing through the strewn wreckage of the neighbourhood.
“What you think I am, stupid?” the guy yelled.
I shrugged as the blue ford Mustang flew by and struck this Guy de Villa character and there was a muffled crunch followed by his scream; it looked like he’d got some “airtime”, too, because he was now laying on the ground at the feet of August Baldwin some distance away writhing and holding his leg and screaming: “Help me! Help me, godammit…!”
The blue Ford Mustang, it slowed briefly – I saw the driver’s head turn back and then it sped on again into the dust and debris of the falling earth and I was never able to confirm if that was really Petrof Becker. I looked around, at Guy De Villa, August Baldwin and the way the sky had practically inverted – we were mankind, doomed to continue as the moon drifted further and further away from the earth, further and further away from the dark ages deeper into outer space. My phone rang, it was a message from my service provider: WE PROVIDE COVERAGE NO MATTER WHAT! the message proclaimed proudly.
All very peculiar, what were the guidelines for this type of occasion?