"The Last Day of Existence"
by Erica Satifka
This is the story of what happened on the last day of existence.
The last day of existence started out like any other day. Some people were burning precious limited national resources in an attempt to get to work on time. Others were voraciously exercising their lower muscular regions in an attempt to save economic or environmental resources. Still others just stayed home.
None of them knew it was the last day of existence.
At work, people bagged groceries, made important phone calls, groomed dogs, baked cookies, siphoned shit, fucked for cash, and tailored suits.
They did other stuff besides that, too, the above is just a sample.
People did all this stuff, this stuff they had done all their lives, on the last day of existence.
Then they went home to their families, and ate food, and drank both alcoholic and non-alcoholic substances, and they played games and watched television and just generally had a grand old time.
The last day of existence was no exception to this rule. It was even somewhat happier than usual, as the last day of existence was on a Friday, the day that for roughly 7% of the world’s people means the last working day before the relative luxuriousness of the weekend.
There were, of course, people that had to work during the weekend, but they don’t count.
Most people really liked existence, even if they didn’t think about it much. But there were exceptions.
On the last day of existence, a man cornered a woman in a dark alley. He was looking to resolve his sexual frustrations. She was not reciprocating his demands. But he resolved his sexual frustrations anyway. Afterwards, the woman wished, silently, to herself, that today would be the last day of existence.
Exactly 1,738 miles away, a boy was wishing the same thing after getting an F on a mathematics test.
Unbeknownst to him, his sister was in the next room, also wishing that it would be the last day of existence. She had gotten romantically rejected by a teenaged lover, you see, and so great was her misery that she saw no reason for herself, or anybody else, to exist.
None of these people actually caused the last day of existence, of course. The last day of existence isn’t something that any one person, or even a lot of people, could cause. It’s a natural event, and one that nobody would even really want to cause.
It’s really painful, more than you’d think.
There were people who thought they saw the last day of existence coming. Such people believed that they could foretell the future in crystal balls and tea leaves and the lines of people’s palms.
They’re idiots, of course, because nobody can detect the last day of existence. People had been foretelling the last day of existence for as long as existence had existed, and when it finally came it hit them like a ton of bricks.
Actually, going through the final moments of the last day of existence feels a lot like getting hit with a ton of bricks, with large metal spikes scattered throughout.
And on the last day of existence, same as any other day of the year, there was injustice and hatred and cruelty. I don’t think there would have been quite so much injustice and hatred and cruelty if people knew it was the last day of existence. But then again, there was no way to warn them. And who knows, they probably would have panicked and started rioting and looting in the streets, and caused one another a lot more pain than usual. It’s best that it happened like it did, really.
Then again, maybe everyone, upon hearing that it was the last day of existence, would have just chosen to glide through the course of their lives like they always had. After all, it’s not like rioting and looting would have had any eventual effect, or anything, and most human beings have common sense enough not to do something so pointless.
But this is the story of what happened on the last day of existence, not what might have happened. Enough with the hypothetical tangentals, then.
People were doing a lot of various things in the final moments of the last day of existence.
Some people were asleep when the last day of existence drew to a close. Still others were working, or making love or giving birth or staying up and watching TV. The ones who were sleeping got it easiest, I think. They felt the least pain out of anyone, even though they still felt it.
In case you were wondering, the last day of existence ended at exactly 9:48:35 p.m., eastern standard time. So not that many people got it easy, in the Western Hemisphere anyway.
Nobody felt the physical effects of the last day of existence before anybody else. Everyone felt them at the same time (the last day of existence was nothing if not democratic), and for about 2.5 seconds the noise coming from Earth was the loudest it had ever been.
Then existence ended.