Postcards from the End of the World (excerpt)
Fit 2 Whereabouts, Section VII
You are standing in the sundial garden. It is dark. Presently, you look about you and find that you are enclosed by walls and a high ceiling, you are underground.
You see now a dim, distant light, probably originating in the middle of the giant, horizontal clock. Intently listening, you hear whispering. Half inaudible, silence and rustling of leather, and… something gelatinous.
You are blinded by a sudden light. When you are able to refocus your eyes, you inexplicably find yourself standing in the parking lot of a supermarket, surrounded by shopping carts and cars. You compose yourself, deciding to legitimize your visit by going in and buying something.
“I’ll beat them at their own game.” you mutter under your breath, grinning at old frozen ladies drolly rolling past you with full carts, “I needed to go shopping anyway.”
Entering through the auto-let-in Transec X-ray carbonizing smell-o-vac system, you find yourself surrounded by large, colorful species of advertisements, jumping around their metal jungle, feeding on the weak shoppers; welfare prunes and food-stampers.
These strange animals (known commonly as Andees) are the result of scanning living organisms, such as rabbits and chimpanzees, onto a computer. The mad scientists and IBM jerks mess around with the animals digitized genetics to form new and peculiar animals whose main purpose is to catch your attention at any cost and sell you their clients product, whose name is usually spelled out, along with their logo, in the animals hide.
“Oh, look at the cute monkey! What does it say on his back? Oreo’s? Oh, let’s get some!” Also, some Andees talk.
Wondering around to the pay lanes, you quickly scan the headlines of the newspapers and magazines, only one catches your eye: a news article reporting the mad escapades of several gangs of dogs who, ex-domesticated and forced to earn their own keep, have taken to breaking into humans homes and stealing food and such.
You pause, not stopping but just barely walking with your head turned to read about how some of the dogs had adapted nicely, and were working government jobs, child care occupations, and tobacco farming.
Suddenly, a small green blobby melon-shaped cat catches your eye and immediately starts toward you. You veer to the left, picking up your pace as you head for the produce section. Almost directly behind you is the feline Andee, digitally intent upon making a sale. Vegetables are much safer.
“Hey, darlin'”, the cat purrs from behind you, “C’mon baby, gimme a chance!” On the cats back you see that against its green fur is a patch of purple that reads: “Instant Death brand cigarettes” with their world famous logo; a man intently and calmly contemplating a rather phallic looking cigarette while simultaneously being stabbed, hung, drawn and quartered, guillotined, axe-murdered, drive-by’ed and biochemically annihilated. The cat light up a smoke and offers you one. You decline with silent contempt.
“Have you ever even tried Instant Death brand cigarettes?” the cat looks away and purrs lithely, blowing out sensual blue smoke rings.
“Shut your hole and get outta my face! I’m not interested,” you quicken your pace.
“Aw, come on, you fachin’ hypocrite! At least give it a try before you piss on it and condemn it to hell! That’s all I’m Asking!”
You try to get ahead of it, heading for the onions and apples. More people are being harassed by a large group of dog-like Andees, which is gathering around them, barking and dancing, trying to desperately entertain. But causing the people to freeze in fear, screaming, shitting and pissing themselves.
“Isidro!” you shout, seeing the little man wearing the stores uniform, sweeping up the produce aisle, “Get me out of here!” You see the cat still approaching, but it is becoming nervous because of the ill entertaining dogs. Isidro smiles and nods at you in utter incomprehension.
“Um, uh…¡Necesito me voy!” you say.
“Oh… ¡oh, si!” he drops his broom, still smiling, and rushes over to the lettuce display. You walk up to him and see that Isidro has uncovered a secret passageway behind the bin that hold the lettuce. You stare at him, dumbfounded, as he gestures for you to climb up into the bin.
Quickly, you climb up onto the rack, over the desolate lettuce, crushed, and set yourself down the hole, sliding.
© 1993 Robert Emmett McWhorter