Katie and Morris (EM from A – III)


From cheezburger.com

10:13pm CST, USA, Illinois, Springfield, Laketown Subdivision, 252 Circle Drive.


Katie was jolted awake  by the frantic scrabbling of claws embedding themselves in the screen section of the dining room’s sliding glass door.

“Wuzzit?” she slurred from the recliner.  She glowered myopically at the TV, the final scene from ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ flashing Meryl Streep’s ending, secretive smile behind the dusty glass of the set.  The music swelled in the glorious upswing that Hollywood movies were famous for ending with – the triumphant, jaunty music that says ‘Annnnd – now:  HAPPY ENDING!’ as the picture fades to black and credits roll.

Katie’s sleep-mussed mind didn’t recall any cats in the picture, and certainly no cats with claws determined to turn the rather expensive screen into a pile of metal shavings on the hard wood floor.  Unlike….

“MORRIS!” she shouted in the direction of the dining room, and the big orange tabby who was industriously working at widening the tiny holes.

“Mrrrrrow!” came the cheerful reply – along with renewed pinging as hooked claws snagged delicate metal mesh.

Katie growled as the recliner’s footrest dropped to the floor, along with bare feet.  “That screen cost a fortune to replace,” she grumbled as she levered her sizable bulk off the well-serviced furniture.  A snarled “Not again, furball,” accompanied the quick grab of the spray bottle sitting within arm’s reach on the coffee table.

Stomp, stomp, stomp.   The cat, sensing an imminent dousing, made a mad dash for safety between her chunky ankles.

Horrified, Katie shifted her weight awkwardly, to avoid stomping on her pet.

Duckwalked in a broken parody of a graceful pirouette as she attempted to regain her balance.

And danced as gracefully as a crushed bird across the darkened dining room.



Well…so much for the screen door…




Katie reached out and pushed Morris’ whiskered muzzle from her lips, completely disoriented to why she was laying outside on the deck in the middle of the night.

In the shorts and next-to-see-through UIS tee-shirt she slept in.

And why everything on her body throbbed in time with her heart.

Clarity reasserted itself, as she took stock of the twisted bed of mangled aluminum and torn wire mesh which was currently between her and the wooden slats of the back deck.  The screen door was, of course, ruined beyond repair.

“Oh, Morris!” she wailed, scooping up her personal orange menace and cuddling him close.  It wouldn’t do to have him vanish in the night!  “Why did you do this?”

A growl was her answer, as the lights and subtle background noise from the freeway cut off suddenly.  Followed by 10 extremely sharp claws digging into her forearms.


Morris bounded off into the now very-dark night.

“Damnit, cat!”

Katie disentangled herself from the ruined screen door, and trundled down the three steps to the cool, dewey grass of her back yard.

And into the leading edge of a maelstrom of orangy-red, black and sparkly particulate-matter storm.

She could feel the particles bouncing off her skin.  Her hair, whipping wildly in the swirling gale, grew heavier as more particles tangled within the auburn curls.  Her ears plugged up as the pressurized storm forced particulate matter up the canals to embed themselves in ear wax.

The worst part was the smell.  Particles wormed their way up her nose, imparting a dry, cloying, sickeningly-sweet, coppery tang – the smell of rotting sawdust, over-ripe fruit, laced with a hint of freshly-spilled blood.

All around her, the storm raged in fury, the howl of the wind blending with…crunching noises, the groaning of bending wood, the tinkle of glass, and … in the very background, almost too low to hear … what sounded like maniacal female laughter.

Katie stood in the grass, too terrified to move…too horrified to scream … too overwhelmed by the raw forces battering her about to stop the warm rush of fluid washing down her inner thighs as her bladder voided itself moments before she inadvertently lost control of her consciousness for the second time of the evening.

Morris, emerging from the blackness, curled up at her feet.

“Mrrrrrr-Wow!   Wow?  That’s new.”



10:16 pm CST, Illinois, Springfield, Laketown Subdivision, 252 Circle drive.  2.1 miles from UIS.

3 minutes later.  Precisely.

Email from the Apocalypse II


UIS Mascot – Orion the Hunter

10:03pm CST. USA, Illinois, Springfield, UIS Campus, Lincoln Residence Hall, 3rd floor.


“Hey guys, you GOTTA see this!”

“Holy Shit!  What’s that guy on???”

“Damn, man, that’s some twisted shit right there!”

“Dude, you GOTTA share that to my page!”

The email, Titled:  Greetings from the Apocalypse (wish you weren’t here), hit an approximate 4.6 billion email inboxes pretty much simultaneously.   Within seconds, it had been opened, read, discussed, and become the latest trend on Facebook.

Gene’s shout to his roommates, and the subsequent micro-conversation above, pretty much summed up how the email was received around the globe.

Gene shared the post, offering his own two cents in the field Facebook offered for the pithy responses its usership lived for:

“LOL, guys!  This guy seriously trippin bawls.  He seein things inna sky!  share, man, FUCKIN share!”

Gene turned up his stereo.  His bedroom walls started to vibrate.

Beez in the trap, beez, beez in the trap…

The single window in Gene’s room shook – the loose storm window rattling against the more solidly-affixed piece of glass.

“Clunk, clunk, clunk…”

“Damn wind…” Gene growled, popping the top of his third beer of the evening. “Cheap-ass dorm rooms.  Mother-fuckers don’t never fix nuttin!”   He turned up the stereo even more to compensate for the banging.

Beez in the trap…Beez, beez in the trap…

“LOL, man!” came the first response on Facebook.

Followed closely by ‘GTFO!’


Quickly Gene posted one of his favorite memes.


As the ‘likes’ piled up around his post, the first crack appeared in Gene’s wall, creeping along the drywall in time with the now violently-banging storm window.

“Shits legit.” The Dragon posted in his thread.

Gene scowled at his computer screen.  “Yer not one of my friends, shithead,” he mumbled, moving the mouse toward the delete button.

He never reached it.

Gene’s entire room lurched to the north.  His school textbooks scattered across the floor.   His “prized collectible” glass pipe (a genuine replica of the pipe Gandalf was smoking in The Lord of the Rings, only 1000 ever produced!) flew from its genuine black ash display base on his desk, rocketing into his beverage.

The can tipped, spilling a near-full beer all over Gene’s Razer DeathStalker Ultimate! keyboard, inundating Gene’s lap with a mixture of soaked keyboard, cold MGD and glass slivers.

His wireless mouse flew in the opposite direction, leaving a fair-sized dent in the drywall and plastic pieces of the housing to bounce around Gene’s desk.



As final words go…these are mediocre at best…

The outer wall, Gene’s rattling bedroom window, and the Orion the Hunter poster valiantly holding on by a single strip of yellowed tape, dissolved in a shower of glass shards, twisted metal, shredded drywall, and powdered brick as the maelstrom touched the dorm building, eagerly consuming masonry, carpeting, wooden support beams, furniture, and residents.



At 10:13pm, CST, the campus of University of Illinois, Springfield, was completely destroyed by a strange and unnatural storm of intense electrical and turbulent wind energy.  Experts are calling it the ‘worst tornado disaster of all time in the midwest region,’ and are urging residents to stay off the streets and indoors for their own safety.  Stay tuned to WKRX Channel 9 as we stay on top of the latest developments of this bizarre storm.

10 minutes – Precisely.





Email from the Apocalypse (wish I weren’t here)


Welcome to the Birth of the End-of-All-Dreams.  I shall be your tour guide.

Your story teller.

Your lesson planner and teacher.

I am pleased to announce the new life which has just been thrust upon you- the journey in which you will, quite outside your own free will, be embarking in mere moments.

You still have free will, I assure you … but your options have narrowed to two selections:  survive, or die.

It’s time to choose one of these options.  I suggest you choose wisely.


If you are reading this than you, like the majority of your population, live more or less comfortably – within your safely enclosed bubble within your enormous apartment building,  windows firmly shuttered and doors securely locked against untoward (and potentially unsettling) outside influences.  You venture outside this little bubble two or three times a day for work and food, head hung low and back hunched slightly to avoid those before-mentioned outside influences.  The rest of your life is trusted to your electronic gizmos to artificially attach you to the rest of the world.  At this point, I’m willing to bet you’ve completely forgotten what the sky is supposed to look like.

So you’ve undoubtedly not noticed the unusual weather patterns going on right outside your walls.

Put down your phone, and open those curtains now.

16195713738_5be17f622eTrust me.  I don’t care that your weather app says its a beautiful day, that your news app is reporting all is serene, your social apps are showing you the latest one-line diversion or amusing argument, or that your job app says your 12 o’clock deadline is 15 minutes away.


Your life deadline is due in 10.  Go look out your window.

No, you’re not going mad.  The sky has never been that exact shade of muddy-reddish-orange-black before, has never held that sparkling particulate matter before, and has never rolled toward the city in that solid a mass before.

And you’ve always been able to see through the atmosphere before, to view as much of the horizon as your surroundings would allow.

Scared yet?  You should be.

That solid/moving particulate mass is going to eat your apartment.  It’s going to eat your building.  It’s going to eat the neighboring buildings, too.  In fact, that mass is going to eat everything Mankind has constructed as a means to separate itself from the rest of the natural world.  Any individual caught in this feeding frenzy will be…

Well, let’s just say Humanity has the numbers to spare…

The choice is yours, now.  Abandon your constructs, or become a corpse.

Choose wisely.