Here’s the situation.
The end is finally here. The world as we know it is coming to an abrupt conclusion. I don’t know the reason. Take your pick: zombies, disease, meteor, whatever. Doesn’t matter.
What DOES matter is that you’ve been fortunate enough to be given space in a survival shelter. You’ve taken refuge in the underground fortress, the doors have been bolted, and the whole thing has been hermetically sealed. Outside, storms rain fire upon the land and the seas are boiling, but inside the shelter, you and 899 strangers are able to wait out the blasts, snug as bugs in rugs.
Wait a second. Eight hundred and ninety-nine strangers? Living in… what… something like 135,000 square feet? Jebus, that’s only 150 square feet for each of us! You can’t even take a city bus without getting frustrated at the smelly old man sitting too close to you, and the woman with the screeching baby, and the drunk teenager vomiting in the back seat. Crap! How long are you stuck in here?!?!
FIVE FREAKING YEARS?!?!
Okay, so a few ground rules will have to be established. It’s the only way we can insure we’ll all make it through. Plus, it’ll be hard to repopulate the planet if, upon release, every person flees from the crowd, desperate for solitude, and no one wants to speak to each other again, never mind have sweet sweet apocalypse nookie and make babies.
Suggestions for Surviving the Shelter Experience
(1) Farting in closed spaces is now culturally accepted, considering everywhere you go is a closed space. Get used to the funky smells of your neighbour’s gut microbiota, especially after bean night.
(2) The ugly carpet is only going to look uglier as time passes, but once you go insane, you won’t care about the decor, so that’s something to look forward to.
(3) The people who live in the room next to you? The ones who are coping with stress through copious amounts of rutting, even though a mere curtain separates you? When they reach orgasm, I bet they’d love to hear you scream along. That’d be fun!
(4) Get a few people together and start an amateur dramatic society, then act out your favourite scenes from thematically-relevant movies like ‘Apocalypse Now’, ‘Road Warrior’, ’28 Days Later’ or ‘Armageddon’. Shake it up by making them musicals.
(5) It’s okay to pick your nose and eat it, but don’t expect any kisses.
(6) Water will be strictly rationed so showers are no longer an option, but it’s easier to stomach the stench of body odour if everyone pretends its the newest fragrance from Gucci.
(7) Only flush toilet paper down the toilets. Please please please remember this rule, now more than ever.
(8) That woman with the annoying hyena laugh? The one you hear late at night, echoing through the halls? I hate to break it to you, but that’s actually you. Doesn’t the carpet look intriguing tonight?
Note: I wrote this post, and the next few blog posts, for a long-ago website called ‘The Girl’s Guide to the Apocalypse’. This site led into an anthology called ‘The Girl at the End of the World’, which is coming out in July from Fox Spirit books. I’m re-posting my end-times blog posts here, because they’re lots of fun and I’m particularly proud of them. I’m looking forward to sharing more info with you about the upcoming anthology, which is a thing of post-armegeddon beauty.