THE WAY IT WENT DOWN: END OF THE WORLD OF THE END
The parties started sometime in the last five years, though it's hard to remember when I first heard about them. Small at first. Mini-Burning Mans, sprouting up like weeds at the edges of towns and cities. People drunk and drinking and later fucking, and then shooting. And then the police.
Later, the army.
People would just up and leave their lives. Some went to see what it was like, and didn't come back. You got sucked in, somehow, though no one ever talked about it. The media never let on something strange was at work. It was just another stupid fad; like hippies, like legal pot, like raves.
Then one day you woke up and they were a thing. Revels. On the news. Police blotters. SWAT team plans. Riot police moving in and spraying down 10,000 people outside of Akron Ohio with tear gas and rubber bullets. The count topped 2,136 dead by the time they stopped doing the news. No one cared. It was over, somehow. There was no struggle. The world abandoned itself.
They stopped everything, the revels. It just took some time. It needed to get up to speed.
The strange thing was that the revels weren't about young people. The young people, for the most part, stayed away. It was the old people. Sometimes the really old people. Out there in the dark around a bonfire, nearly naked holding a .38 pistol and calling someone a motherfucker.
I was there. I saw one up close.
We had to pass through it to get here, to get north and away. Boston burned, and by that point, I had shot someone, but law was no longer my main concern. We drifted through the party that ate up I-93. Cars on fire. People walking around, drunk, stumbling. Shooting. I saw two men in their fifties with beer guts, struggle and grunt on the ground; and I couldn't tell if they were fighting or fucking, in the dark.
I lost my group there, as the crowd closed in. We had quit Manhattan University seven days before, and marched north, to make it to my family's summer house in Vermont.
My dad called me nine days before, and shot my mom, and then himself, on the phone, while I listened. Did I say that already? Am I repeating myself? I'm sorry.
The old woman grabbed me, and pulled me close to the fire, and I almost fell in. It stank of plastic and ruin, the burning car, and I stumbled at its edge before catching my balance. She smiled at me, and her teeth glowed green-blue in the light. The debris in the fire clicked and clacked at my feet and kicked up sparks as I wobbled forward.
They were bones. Human bones. Children's bones. Black and ash covered, in the fire. Oh, I ran. I ran away. I didn't look back.
And here I am, now, at the end of the world. A revel for all time. One last rager before the party's over, forever. Stay with me? There's a fire.