The Apocalypse of Peter
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by Nick Cato
Category: Horror/Dark Fantasy
Description: It's The End of the World as You NEVER Knew It Seminary student Peter Barnes and his senior friend Harvey Connor didn't expect the last days to include neon meteor showers, unexplainable mutated creatures, or that they'd be housing an all-girl rock band. Thinking they must be the last people on earth, Peter's understanding of all he had been taught becomes rapidly overthrownâ?¦especially when a young, ghost-like figure calls him and an offbeat army on a mission to go up against a most unusual foe. Peter's faith is thrown through the ringer as he gets closer to discovering just what it is that has turned the planet into a festering eye-sore of theological chaosâ?¦ Excerpt: Since I didn't see anyone choking, vomiting, or passing out, and since I was starting to sweat like a gorilla in a sauna, I decided to step out of my little Toyota, amazed the spheres had missed my car. "You see what happened?" the old man said, as if we were already involved in a conversation. "Kind of. I saw a bunch of birds fly over that store then I heard the explosion." The old man looked at me with a gaze that sent chills down my back. Without saying a word, and with the Sun reflecting the yellow polka dots onto his baldhead, his countenance screamed, Something's wrong. Very wrong.
eBook Publisher: Eternal Press/Damnation Books LLC/Damnation Books, 2012 2012
eBookwise Release Date: June 2012
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [122 KB]
Reading time: 56-78 min.
The Last Moments of Ordinary
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Please Read This Part First:
I guess you would've never expected a twenty-one-year-old student in his second year of seminary to be recording the events of the last days. At least, I'm assuming that's where we're at--or where I'm at, should no one discover these notes. Forgive me for all the yellow steno pads, which make up most of this report, but they were what I had at the time I started writing.
You may also be wondering what a seminary student would be doing surrounded by half-dressed women, covered head-to-toe in blood--see the photo I've taped on the inside back cover of this first pad--it was the only picture available. It was taken by my friend Harvey. He took it with a Polaroid we scavenged from a 7-11. It was in a box under the cash register with photos of people who, we guessed, were wanted by the owner for shoplifting.
Harvey took my final picture just a few minutes before he and those women met their fates.
Being this is the first day I've had any kind of peace in over two months, I'm trying to take things slow. My memory seems to be intact despite the amount of times I've been kicked or punched in the head, thrown into walls, nearly killed...not to mention the other things I hope to tell you.
I should also mention I only have a small idea about what has happened, at least here on Staten Island. This little borough was isolated from the rest of New York City and New Jersey as soon as things became really bad, which was by the middle of the first day, which again, I believe was about two months ago. The other boroughs always considered us a part of Jersey, so at least now everyone's happy.
If anyone else has survived.
What kind of a negative comment is that from a seminary...make that, from a former seminary student? Please forgive me, and try to understand I've been under an incredible amount of stress.
I really don't know what's left outside of my immediate area. I took a short-wave radio from the mall, which turned out to be useless, and as far as I could tell, every form of communication ceased that first day. I never thought I'd miss the radio as much as I do, let alone the television.
For now, I need to get some sleep. I haven't seen any more of those things for a few days, and if there are any other survivors who haven't been affected by whatever's going on, I can only pray that we somehow find each other. I have an irrational fear of the ocean, which is odd considering I grew up on an island and most of my friends had boats. I now have access to over 500 of them, and so far I haven't had to use my nightmarish last resort. I guess when my supplies run out, I'll be forced to face my fear and try going south, praying some of my relatives down in North Carolina are still alive, and that whatever boat I take won't sink, and that I'll even know when I'm near North Carolina.
Please forgive my rambling. I'm going to try and enjoy an evening of solid sleep. The place I'm writing from is secure, and like I mentioned, things have been unusually quiet for a few days now. If I wake in the morning, I'll be back to my notes, hoping someone will find me before I have to seriously consider facing the Atlantic, and hoping I can remember everything that has happened as accurately as possible.
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My Recollection about the First Day
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Before I get started, I just want to mention it was nice to wake up after ten hours of uninterrupted sleep, and I haven't felt this good since I could remember. I just re-read what I wrote yesterday, and realized I haven't mentioned who I am.
My name is Peter Barnes. I was a student at Grace Reformed Seminary up in Northern New Jersey, almost finished with my second year, when everything happened. I'm thankful I was home at the time. It all started on a Sunday morning, which--at least that much--I'm thankful for; I'd still be trapped in another state, away from my family and friends were it a weekday, although sometimes I think that might've been for the best.
I was engaged to my girlfriend, Deborah Cantelli, who I dated since my senior year of high school. Her parents weren't too crazy about her leaving the Catholic church, but when they realized my church wasn't a cult or bunch of loonies running around sacrificing babies--as I'm sure most Catholics in my community must've envisioned Protestants--they gave us their blessing...especially when they found out I was studying to become a minister at the respected church my father pastored.
I had just returned for the summer and was out of sync with my parents' schedule. They were already on their way to church and must've figured I needed to catch up on some sleep.
They were right.
I hadn't had homemade pancakes since my Christmas visit, and was glad to see a few were left for me on the stove. I polished them off with a glass of O.J., then ran up to shower and shave.
It was a typical Sunday morning in the suburbs until I made my way to church. That's when it started. That's when the bright-yellow, translucent spheres started falling from the sky and hitting the ground with extremely loud popping sounds. I had to pull over and hold my ears. This went on for a good ten minutes. At one point, the pain in my head was so bad I thought I was going to unleash my pancakes.
It stopped abruptly, as if it had never started. I kept my head down until I was confident it was really over. The quiet that followed was unlike anything I'd ever heard before--or should I say, unlike anything I'd never heard before. As I raised my head over the dashboard, I expected my ears to be ringing from the aural assault, but they weren't. If you can believe it, I actually felt refreshed, like I had been pelted with those rejuvenating bath beads my mom always kept on the side of the tub.
I was afraid to open the window, figuring this had to be some kind of terrorist attack, or like my paranoid friend at seminary would say, "Another step in our government's advancement toward the New World Order."
The road, the sidewalk, the houses--just about everywhere I looked--the spheres had left bright yellow spots, making the entire landscape look like some kind of polka-dotted plane. It actually made Staten Island, somehow, look cleaner, brighter than it was, despite the sunny, clear sky.
After taking this sight in for a few minutes, I saw a flock of yellow-stained pigeons fly over a bagel store up ahead to my left, and descend. Two seconds after their plunge behind the brick building, an explosion caused my heart to hammer and the rest of my body to once again hit the deck. The noise had drawn some of the neighbors, whose voices made me look back out the window sooner than I had intended.
"What in God's name was that?"
"I don't know, Vin, but I wouldn't step on any of those spots!"
An elderly couple stood a few feet away from my car, discussing the unexpected occurrences. Most of their neighbors stood on their doorsteps, all of which had been sheltered by aluminum awnings, each one dented or crushed by the odd hail.
Since I didn't see anyone choking, vomiting, or passing out, and since I was starting to sweat like a gorilla in a sauna, I decided to step out of my little Toyota, amazed the spheres had missed my car.
"You see what happened?" the old man asked, as if we were already involved in a conversation.
"Kind of. I saw a bunch of birds fly over that store then I heard the explosion."
The old man looked at me with a gaze that sent chills down my back. Without saying a word, and with the sun reflecting the yellow polka dots onto his bald head, his countenance screamed, something's wrong; very wrong.
"I'm going to check it out," I said, and the old man followed me. Out of instinct, we both avoided stepping on the yellow spots, and I could tell he was struggling to keep his open-backed slippers on and his loose, checkered boxer shorts up. No one seemed to care that this old man was walking around in faded drawers with a stained white tank-top T-shirt. It didn't really faze me, either, until remembering it now.
"Be careful, hon. Don't touch anything! Who knows what this crap is," his wife said in an accent that let me know she wasn't a native Staten Islander.
Behind Sal's Bagels & Deli, the remains of an Exxon truck emitted a blue flame and an unusually clear smoke. I saw yellow pigeon wings and heads scattered about the rear parking lot, then I took a step back as the truck split in half, sending its middle crashing to the ground with a deafening clang.
"Good thing that wasn't full," the old man said as if he'd experienced something similar at one point in his life. "This whole block would've been toast."
I hadn't thought of that. I wondered if the birds had caused the tanker to explode or if they were unfortunate enough to be passing by as it did; maybe the yellow spheres damaged it enough to cause a delayed reaction.
The old man was about to say something when the ground began to rumble. He took off back the way we came, screaming, "Earthquake!" as loud as he could.