FICTION: Riding Out the Apocalypse With Your Mother

April 2, 2078

Dear Arty,

Hope this hits like dick-kick to your geodes. Spring Fest ‘78 was a hot load—it almost would’ve been worth you living. The birds, the bees, the flowers. Everything croaked. You did too, to get technical. So I get stuck riding out the Apocalypse with your mother and that shleper Dansani. She’s a real goddamn rocket scientist, let me tell you. She kvetched all during “Remembrance Time” and the local head of Audubon Club chucked her in the retention bog, where Dansani sank mouth-first. But that’s just the buttercream. The big Nature Simulation was a total shitshow. Our tape technician, Toby Janowitz, bunged up the sequence, so everybody heard cicadas when they were looking at rubber frogs, which from a pedagogical standpoint was rather distressing. Everyone was ready to pack it in after that. So I go out to the parking lot—you wouldn’t believe the looks I get, driving the SUV with the air con. I mean, Christburglar, what’s the harm?—and some avian skeeve tags the windshield. There’s like two goddamn birds left in the universe, and one of them lays a steaming forty-five on our truck.

Do you think if we’d had kids, you’d still have done it?

It was probably for the best that we didn’t. Little Toby Janowitz grew up, but grew up bad. He chased the big bikkies, then still had to move back home during the Apocalypse.

Your whole carbon-hose scene in the garage (especially during environmental collapse, Arty) was the big double whammy. Mrs. Johansen gives me murder-face everytime I see her in the Mondo Mart.


P.S. I hope you’re still living in the world where we met.

For both of us, please, don’t wake up.

Mike Itaya lives in southern Alabama, where he works in a library. His work appears or is forthcoming in Oracle Fine Arts Review, The Airgonaut, Bending Genres, and decomP Magazine.

Image: Apocalyptic Landscape, Otto Gustav Carlsund, 1933

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