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Agnostic Jihad
Sep 17, 2007

Old school? New school?
Shit, I didn't go to school.
In.

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Agnostic Jihad
Sep 17, 2007

Old school? New school?
Shit, I didn't go to school.
My God Is The Sun, 1231 words

The heat was now unbearable from the dull orange light that seared the bleached, arid wastes. As Cole watched, the skin on his arm began to singe, then heal: a tide that ebbed and flowed. An inhuman rictus crept onto his face, a parody of the smile it once was.

Soon, he thought.

--------

“If everyone could turn to Matthew, chapter 25, verse 31…”

Cole looked up at the man behind the pulpit and sighed. “Mom, I wanna go to Sunday school now! We’re gonna learn about Jonah and the big fish and Miss Kathy’s gonna be there and—“

“Young man, you will be quiet this instant,” She hissed, “You will listen to Pastor Williams’ sermon; I’ll not see my boy burning in Hell, do you understand?”

He settled in his seat and quieted at the reminder of brimstone and sulfur. A now-familiar existential terror overcame him.

“That’s a good boy.” She smiled at him, pleased. Since his father left, she was left to raise him to be a man, and a God-fearing man he would be.

Pastor Williams continued, seemingly oblivious to the scolding a few rows in front of him. “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ You see, God feels all of our suffering, and wants his children to alleviate it! He feels your cruelty, your indifference!

“Continue with verse 45...”

--------

The riots of the last two centuries had taken their toll on Washington, but somehow the Library of Congress remained relatively pristine. Cole strolled past a dilapidated security checkpoint, through archways and Roman-style columns, to a balcony overlooking the mezzanine.

“Good morning, and welcome to the Library. Is there anywhere you’d like to start?”

Startled, Cole turned around to see a mousy, plain woman standing behind him, her pink gummy smile starkly contrasting with her ratty, grey clothing.

He smiled and responded, “I heard there’s a pretty good collection of biographies here.”

--------

To Cole’s surprise, the mouse stubbornly continued to screech with pain.

He turned to his assistant and wonderingly asked how long it had been in the chamber.

“Twelve hours, doc. Twelve hours in a 90% methylhexadrine atmosphere.”

“Nothing should be able to survive that long breathing poison.”

“Well, thanks to you, Mister Squeaks here is.”

The two men shared a few moments of amazed silence.

“How much longer do you want to keep him in for?”

Cole stared into the pale yellow fog of the Plexiglas cage and said “I think the little guy has had enough, don’t you?”

--------

“Don’t you understand, mother, I did it for you!”

The harsh fluorescent light emphasized her pallor as she clung to life. He could see almost no connection between this frail old bat in the hospital bed and the vital young woman of his childhood memories. Her rheumy eyes turned from the television to his face.

“Cole, why would you deny my eternal fellowship with the Lord? Would you be so cruel?”

His tear-stained face twisted with frustration. “Fellowship with the Lord? Really?! You’re the last one left, Mom! There’s one nurse left on staff, and she’s just waiting for you to die or wake up! Why can’t you let go of your bullshit? I’m real, Mom, why can’t you fellowship with me? You pray to Jesus for eternal life when I’m here giving you the real thing!”

She blinked slowly and said “I’m sure you’ll understand when you’re older. God knows you have time to think about it.”

He stood and through sobbing breaths said, “I can’t watch this. I can’t…”

She took her final breath as the last rays of daylight crept through the curtains.

--------

With the Library finished, he walked out, at a loss for what to do next. He pushed and elbowed his way through the impossibly thick crowds of the city.

Ahead of him, he saw an empty circle in the crowd, and as he approached it, a woman wailed in agony. Forcing his way to the edge of it, he saw the source of the scream; she was laying on her back with blood and filth streaming from between her legs.

He watched, astounded, as a newborn girl emerged. Her mother, breathing heavily, stood up and melted into the endless stream of humanity on the street, which closed around the baby.

Horrified, he searched among the forest of legs for the little girl, but her cries were silenced by the constant trampling.

As the shock of what he had just seen wore off, he realized it was happening all around him. As he walked through the remains of Virginia, the constant horde of people began to lose its density until he could see children emerge from the tangle of limbs that had engulfed them.

--------

He stopped at the seaside cliff and paused to let the sun pass by, once, twice, three times. A coil of nylon cord looped over his shoulder, he drank in the view around him. With luck, this will be the last thing I see for a while.

His thoughts drifted back to the children born from the hordes. If they could escape consciousness through constant injury, maybe he could, too.

With the noose tied and the rope secured, he walked to the edge. Goodbye.

Snap.

--------

He awoke, drowning, with sharp pains coming and going all over his body.

As he looked on, a huge mouth engulfed his thigh, rows of teeth tearing at his flesh. He watched as his leg disappeared down the shark’s throat, and regrew almost instantly. Its hunger was never quite sated, and it chewed on him for days. As he struggled, the shark’s resolve to consume him strengthened, until his body was forced down its gullet.

Then, for a while, blackness.

--------

The beach stretched as far as Cole could see in either direction, along with a tangle of people. He sighed and stood up. He could make out occasional scraps of clothing in the sea of brown and pink around him, but his nakedness was unremarkable.

Cole weighed his options as the moon passed through its phases. Of the two choices available, he eventually settled on wandering. Seasons passed as he walked, and he realized that he could never escape the horde. They covered everything like rot on a corpse.

I should have sterilized the bastards.

He looked down and saw a current of muddy water at his feet. Inching forward, it got deeper and deeper, until it was up to his waist. Satisfied, he stopped and waited. As he did, the crowd on either side of him get taller and taller, until they were standing on cliffs. The canyon continued to rise.

--------

The sun had turned a deep crimson in its old age. It now filled the sky from horizon to horizon, a looming and terrible sign that everything must die.
Flurries of fire began to form in the air. This was it, Cole thought. The final torment before the bliss of atomization.

Cole laughed his final laugh before the atmosphere ignited.

Everything must die.

The sun approached inexorably over the final few eons, until all it took was a jump to escape the Earth’s gravity.

As he floated into the sun, he felt his skin sear off. Scarlet fire tore at his muscles, but he continued to heal and continued to burn. Forever.

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