Marlowefan would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Literate Apocalypse

By Marlowefan All Rights Reserved ©

Horror

Chapter 1: The End

Decline.

That’s the one word that I can use to describe... everything. I’m getting old now – not so old that I’ve become infirm. But old enough to have taken a broad overview of the society that bred me, that taught me its unfair, illogical ways.

It’s both ironic and disturbing that this should be happening; as a youth, I was trained to believe that my species had entered a golden age – an age of wonder, technology, and enlightenment. We focused on making our lives easier, more productive, as if this was somehow the key to unlocking our next stage of existence.

But it was all a lie.

Though it’s true we were advancing rapidly, hardly anybody noticed that these advances were costing us, and costing dearly. We built thunderous machines that broke free of the atmosphere, that travelled to other worlds. We heaped accolades upon ourselves for doing so, and yet, our achievements were of little consequence; a smokescreen to mask the fact that we had become overburdened by our own cleverness.

Birthrates increased rapidly – exponentially. Our species gained insight and knowledge that should have made our lives better, but our base natures corrupted the core of our fundamental beliefs, until the only possible outcome was decline.

Greed became a societal imperative. Instead of improving our collective lot, and using our insight to broaden the possibilities for longer, happier lives, we embraced the concept of competition, and trained ourselves to believe that we should be winners, no matter the cost.

For each winner, however, there must be, by definition, a loser. As we advanced, the scales tipped further and further out of balance. The gap between winners and losers became a fissure, then a chasm, and finally a canyon. Cracks began to appear, and instead of taking stock of the situation and hauling back on the reins, methods were developed – by the winners – to cover the cracks.

As resources began to dry up, it became clear that our lives were not ever going to equal what had been promised. The lie became so huge and ungainly that it disappeared entirely. The canyon had swallowed our hopes and dreams, our aspirations, until we had become something unexpected, something corrupt and ultimately pointless.

It’s hard to say exactly where the infection took hold – where the rot began to set in – but it was certainly well on the way by the time the industrial revolution began. Sometime before that someone, somewhere had manipulated the social system to gain an advantage, and had acted upon that advantage to accumulate leverage.

Subterfuge became a subtle way of life, the world over. Media outlets became narrower in their scope, and their owners thinned until the voices that were heard around the globe melded into a monotone that heralded a single message; Don’t think.

Conflicts between neighbouring races had taken place throughout history. Wars were invariably blamed on a wide range of political or religious differences, but the truth inevitably spiralled towards the control of resources. With the onset of technology – the same technology that was to have improved our lives dramatically – there came instead an infinitely sharper edge on the other side of the blade.

Weapons were improved to the point that they could destroy the entire planet in a single afternoon of global insanity. The only wedge holding this particular monster in place was the knowledge of Mutually Assured Destruction. A thin wedge indeed.

The wedge held for a very long time, comparatively. One whole lifetime, as judged by that old book, but overall, it was just a short, intense period of anxiety that finished too quickly. One day, not very long ago, the fuse burned to its base and the powder-keg exploded.

I had been watching it happen since I was young. The undercurrents of fear were always present, until in the last fifteen years they had become a river of paranoia, and finally the tsunami had come upon us.

There’s no way to tell what’s going on up there – to tell how many have survived, if any at all – but the atmosphere has been slowly improving, according to my gauges. I can’t be sure if they’re accurate, of course. One day soon, I’m going up there to have a look.

Resources, you see. A shelter like mine, though equipped as thoroughly as possible, soon becomes devoid of certain items. Unfortunately, my storeroom was damaged by the deluge that occurred, and my supply of water is dwindling.

Can’t have that.

I have a geiger counter. I had the good sense to arm myself to the teeth before the deluge. I have a radiation suit of sorts. And I have some idea where to look.

Two of the five of our species who originally shared this shelter are dead. The other two are already gone, out to look for supplies. They haven’t returned, and it has been so long that I fear they never will.

Society has declined into non-existence, and I have never in my life felt so much like giving up. But I cannot. While there’s life inside me, I might as well use it to see if there’s anything that can be done... anything at all.

If my species is to survive, I must make every effort.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Marlowefan
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Kayresia A. Bass: Loved it. Author did some insane research to bring this story to life. A little short for my taste, but an awesome story nonetheless. A few missing periods, and a few missing ending quotation marks, but not enough to take away from the story.Keep going. Add more detail to your future stories and ...

kotabsavage91: This young author really knows her stuff. From the 1st chapter I was sucked in and entertained the book. The characters are rich and well thought out and the plot keeps you guessing all the way through to an imaginatively well exacuted showdown. Keep up the great work, I look forward to more of ...

elssxa: I love everything about this story. I want more...more...more. This author is superb. I am fascinated by his amazing work. I give him five stars.

William Elliott Kern: cthanold123 congrats on your submission to Inkitt.com..............your story and plot are weaved perfectly..........fine imagination, excellent writing. Wish it was a longer Story, but it does suffice to fill my plate for your works............The punctuation and Grammar were okay, but your sto...

Arrwyn Cliona: The story is interesting, so far, introduction of new characters well handled, but the grammatical and spelling errors ruined the reading experience. My message to the author: Even a first draft, ALWAYS run spell/grammer checker before you post ANYTHING!

Kashaf Azmat: The concept is excellent everything is well defined that you can picture the whole scenario which makes you feel connected to the plot and this is the thing that catches my eye and this what i am looking for in every novel.Keep it up

iann4701: I'm no expert but I know when I have read a good book and this was one. From the beginning it had me wondering where it was going next and what the outcome would be. If you fancy a read with a slightly different perspective from the norm then I would certainly give this book a read. I will look o...

More Recommendations

debmart6901: I could not put this story down. I stayed up reading when I should have been in bed. could not get enough, could not wait to find how it ended. Great story telling. Great detail. Loved it. The characters were very vivid.

Juzme34: Once I started reading I didn't want to stop. A few minor grammatical errors caught my attention, but a quick edit can fix those. I found the main character's view interesting, and her thinking process a bit odd. Yet it was easy to follow her train of thought. The story ends with the reader wanti...

Sharon Bergevin: iIt was a good story line...The characters were very colorful and i liked the various direction of each character.. The direction of the story was very smooth and direct.....i would recommend it for others to read this. .....great job ending it with hope......i was impressed by the way each char...

C.K. Bachman: Just read the first chapter. Love how the main character thinks and is conflicted over his wife and the trickery he uses on her.

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.