The Different Folks You’d Meet at the End of the World

I wake up to the sounds of an alarm. It isn’t my bedside alarm, I had long trashed that. It is a siren signaling the countdown to the end of the world, and I don’t mean that metaphorically.


“23:50:05” The Overhead Megaphone announces.

With that, I get up from my bed and do some light exercise. You don’t want to go extinct when you’re out of shape. When new intelligent life starts digging for fossils, I’ll have to be as presentable as possible.

The red hues of the flaming ball inching closer to the earth penetrate my curtains. I take a look out the window to peek at the weapon of mass destruction: a meteorite. 

Cliche. The dinosaurs are probably laughing in their graves. The large rock is a red eye in the centre of the sky, it looks stationary like another sun, but we all know better. It is hurling at us at a speed that’ll incinerate us the moment it hits, turning us all to stardust. 

Red, orange, and pink hues litter the sky. In a way, there is a strange beauty to it, the kind you’ll only find at the end of the world. Without the impending doom everywhere, it would have been a picturesque view. 

I step out of my house still in my PJs. I walk on the street which is more trash than road now. There are several groups of people I encounter. Those who haven’t sought shelter in God knows where.

I take out my phone and take a picture of the meteor despite the impending doom and start an X trend, I title it ‘The Different Folks You’d Meet at the End of the World—” I get hit by a man running to God knows where. He’s the first kind. Those who for reasons beyond me, think they can outrun or escape a freaking meteorite that large.

The second type is the lifeless ones: I look to my side and see a bunch of people lying on the sidewalks and heaps of trash.

There is still life to live,”  I whisper seeing the resignation in their eyes. However, I don’t blame them though. Their lives are ending, and there’s nothing they can do about it. Only wait, as death inches closer with his scythe in hand.

I turn around the corner and stop. A group of stark naked people is in front of me. Men and women arranged in a circle are on their knees, offering prayers to the meteorite while constantly whipping themselves. I’m taken aback by the bizarre scene. I manage to pick out some words in between their mumblings:

“Cleanse us from our sins”
“Rid us of all evil”
“Let your chosen be reborn from the ashes.”

“Hashtag The Crazy Ones,” I mutter as I tiptoe around them. I definitely don’t want to be near them when their new-found ‘god’ asks for a sacrifice.

I never thought a Granny’s sagging boobs and a man’s ‘Johnny’ would be one of the last things I see. The end of the world really opens your eyes.

I arrive in front of a supermarket or what used to be. It is in shambles. Shattered windows, busted walls. Several people pushing trolleys with goods in them: TVs, Food, Condoms–

Condoms, How do you even get it up with a giant eye looming over you? 

“The Horny” I type on my phone.

Unfazed, I stumble into the store. Fights break out here and there. People sprawled on the floor, some breathing. Others, not so much.

There are the next set of people you’ll meet at an apocalypse. To them the world’s end is heaven. When society is in upheaval, and rules don’t exist anymore, they thrive. Fortunately, I manage to get to an aisle without any mishaps. It has the one thing we’ll need. The only thing that should matter at the end of the world, and there is only one pack left. 

I drop the cash on the counter where the cash machine should have been and exit the store with a pack of beer in my hands.

I wonder if they still enjoy Guinness” 

Arriving in front of a house with a picket white fence, I scan the house. Like most buildings around, it seems abandoned, but if they remember our promise, it isn’t. I go around the back and knock on the door.

The short minute stretches, anxiety builds up in me. I wait for a while, but there was no reply. 

I should have known. There are other important things to do at the end of the world than remember an old promise with friends. Disheartened, I turn around to leave—

Splat. A water-filled balloon drenches me.

“Up here, you idiot.” Anita says from the roof. Smiling with her perfect white teeth. The gap between her front teeth is still as wide as ever. How I’ve missed them.

I climb a ladder attached to the wall.

“Pay up,” Collins says to Dave.

He turns to smile at me, “He thought you wouldn’t show up.”

“You do know that money is useless, right? But thank you for believing in me.” I smile as Dave gives him a wad of cash while murmuring something inaudible. 

“You’re finally here!”  Anita screams and jumps on me. She still smells like rain on damp earth. Anita still feels small and soft. Her petrichor scent lingers on me. She feels like home. I squeeze her, relishing the scent, hoping to implant this—her—into the deepest parts of my brain. Hoping this moment lingers somewhere, even after we are long gone.

“Hey, cut it out. We don’t have all day.” Selena pushes Anita off me and embraces me. 

“ You remembered,” She says like a 6-year-old seeing her favourite toy, and drags the beer out of my hand.

“I’m surprised you’re still alive,”  Dave said, over Enjoy the Ride playing from his speaker. 

“If the world wasn’t ending today, you probably would have died before me, block boy.” I give him a slight jab. He pats my shoulder and scoots over.

“It’s really good to see all of you.” Anita says, but her eyes rest on mine. I notice eye bags. Knowing her, she probably spent the night crying. She looks away before I have the chance to comment on them.

“Wassup Wassup,” Tobs is the last to arrive and embraces each of us. She sits and now our circle is complete.

“Why aren’t you spending the last moments with your beloved? Don’t tell me you broke up?” Selina elbows C. He scratches the back of his head and gives his infamous toothy grin. “She’s back in her hometown, spending her final moments with her family. As much as I want to be with her. I don’t want to interfere with that. Besides, We made a promise to watch the world’s end together.”

“What if we are the ones who jinxed the world?” Selina laughs maniacally. She tries to hide it, but I can see her shoulders quiver a little. Collins places his hand on her shoulder. 

“I am very sure a promise we made before we all went to college isn’t what hurled that meteor to the earth.” He rubs her shoulders but her face remains sunken.

“Besides, there’s no better place to die than with you guys,” Collins says with the toothiest grin he can muster, and we all cringe. Selina passes beers and hotdogs to us and silence ensues. As much as they try to hide it, I can see that the world’s end weighs heavy on them. On all of us.

“But why does the world have to end now? I haven’t found love yet. Am I really going die single?” I scream. 

“Even if the world wasn’t ending, I would not have found love,” Selina joins in on my lamentation.

“Maybe the world is ending because you found love” Dave chimes in, and we all laugh. Selina tries to punch him, but he catches her hand. He lays her hand on the floor but doesn’t let go. She struggles a bit, then stops.

“So it’s only Collins that found love among us?” Dave says probably to divert our attention from his hand now interlocked with Selina’s. Tobs and I lock eyes and we share knowing looks.

“As a matter of fact, I’m not single.” Anita counters, we all turn to stare at her and silence ensues again before it is replaced by laughter. 

“You’ve been ‘matterly-of-factly-not-single’ since we’ve known you, so when are we going to meet this your man?” Tobs mocks her.

I laugh too but it doesn’t reach my eyes. Anita seems to notice it. This time it is my silence that ensues amidst their laughter. Collins notices the turmoil within me. He eyes the meteor in the sky before returning his eyes to me and then shrugs his shoulders. “It’s the end of the world, ” his eyes say.

I wait till the laughter dies down. “Would it have been different if I didn’t say how I felt?” I stare into space, wondering if there is an invisible hand pushing the meteor towards us to end my life because of all the bad decisions I have made.

Silence makes its return. The roof gets hotter, as our end inches closer by the minute. I meet her gaze, and we all await an answer. 

“ We haven’t gotten to that part of the day yet,” Anita says and avoids all our gazes.

 “We still have a bunch of things to do.” She brings out an old notebook. It’s a bucket list we made years ago.

 I smile and shake my head. I knew she’d avoid the question. She has always been running. From me, from us, from what could have been. We take turns marking things off a bucket list. We dance and sing, the boys pee off the rooftop, we all scream at the top of our lungs, and finally, we watch a movie.

As the credit scenes roll in, our backs are on the floor, staring at the meteor. It is so close that we can almost touch it, but we feel its anger as we sweat. 

“So, this is it,” Dave says

“Yep,” Selina replies with a chuckle. It’s her maniac laugh. We all know it is the way she screams.

“At least, it wasn’t a virus that took us out,” Collins says.

“Or Zombies,” Tobs adds

“I’d have taken those chances,” I say

“You’d be dead in a day.” Anita pokes me as she tries to hide her sobs. I hold her hand, and she squeezes tight. 

We all hold hands now as the Overhead Megaphone announces that we’ll be dead in 30 minutes.





I’ll always love you guys.” I break the silence. “Even if you were all worms, I’d still love you guys.” Tears gather in my eyes.

“Brother, Ewwww”

“That’s gay.”

“What use is your love?”


And then darkness takes us. But in the briefest moment before it consumes us, I hear Anita say “It would.” Or perhaps it was the end playing tricks on me.


Dear reader, if the world was ending, how would you spend it? Leave your answers in the comment section. Don’t forget to like and share with others. To read more stories like this, click on this link.

1 reply on “The Different Folks You’d Meet at the End of the World”

  • I’ll break my bank and eat a lot of food and snacks 🫠
    And I’ll be happy to forget about studying physics 😌

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