Writing prompt: Write a comedy about the end of the world in 666 words.
Either something was wrong with his vehicle or someone had hacked into the satellite signals of every available radio station. The car was brand new. Simon figured it was the latter. When he started the car that morning nothing seemed amiss. Then, his custom package surround sound speakers attacked him with the surprisingly chipper but wholly unwelcome sound of R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).” He quickly changed the station. Same song, different verse.
“What the hell?” Simon said out loud before changing the channel again. LEONARD BERNSTEIN. Michael Stipe screamed at him.
Simon looked around to see if he was being watched. Maybe this was some sort of practical joke. He didn’t see anyone. Though, he knew he wouldn’t. None of his friends had a sense of humor. One more channel change. Same result. He pressed his finger against the minus button on the steering wheel controls. The music remained offensively loud. He tried the dashboard controls. Same result. He plugged in his phone and searched through his podcasts. He pressed play. “And Lenny Bruce is not afraid…” Whatever. Simon thought, resigning himself to forgoing his usual assault of terrible, awful, sad, depressing news.
Simon sighed, put the car in reverse, backed into his street. He had already spent entirely too much time in his driveway. He was going to be late for work.
Simon commuted two hours to work, and two hours home, every day. He had done so without fail for 786 days. His own personal record. The podcasts and news programs he listened to during his commute had changed his entire world view. He was becoming a better man. He bought a Tesla, stopped eating meat, started doing yoga. He recycled with a vengeance and composted with vim and vigor. He stopped using plastic straws, gave his friends judgmental looks when any of them didn’t follow suit. He had decided he was done being part of the problem, he was going to be the solution.
Somewhere around the twelfth rotation of this end of the world song, Simon began daydreaming about what it would be like to drive off a cliff and secretly longed for a painful death. Somewhere around the 54th the delirium set in. He was highly interested in throwing a birthday party for Lenny Bruce, with cheesecake and jellybeans. He didn’t even know who Lenny Bruce was. It was during the 104th rendition when Simon realized something strange was afoot. Well. Stranger than his morning had already been.
Because of his commute, the sky was always dark when Simon left his house. Over the course of his time on the road he’d watch the sun come up over distant mountains and revel at the beauty of the sunrise in all its red, orange and yellow glory. It was with a great amount of sadness, wonder, and disappointment that Simon realized the sun was not rising on this day. The sky was decidedly turning a strange and ominous shade of puke green.
Simon slammed on the brakes as he approached a sea of cars that had stopped to look up at the sky and marvel at its wild color. He stuck his head out the window and realized the sky was not what they were looking at. It was what was in the sky that had their attention.
Though he did not believe in aliens, Simon was certain the monstrous thing in the sky that had blocked out the sun and turned it into the color of pea soup was not of this world. People were getting out of their cars and staring up at it, whispering to each other.
Simon hadn’t realized every car in front of and behind him had also been playing the same song, until everything went quiet. The last thing he heard was a strange voice.
“I think I’m supposed to say something like ‘we come in peace’ but I don’t want to lie to you.”