Two days before the apocalypse Megan still did not know what she was going to wear. Mark was furious with her. She had had at least two years and four months to plan. He would be wearing his grey pinstriped white button down underneath his navy blue blazer with black pants. He admits it had taken him a day or two to decide whether or not he needed a tie. But he bore down and made the decision. Now he would be immaculate on the day of the apocalypse standing next to a wife that would not look like she deserved him. Mark did not take for granted Megan’s natural beauty. That, after all, was the main reason he fell in love with her in the first place. She had this sort of 50’s glamour about her. He often daydreamed about her on a balcony in all black smoking out of one of those long cigarette holders; or in a scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. But even that amount of latent elegance wasn’t going to suffice for something this black tie. He had been working so diligently for so long and he refused to be upstaged.
Tim and Martha hadn’t even really considered their attire for the apocalypse; they figured church ware would bee good enough. After all they just wanted to be comfortable. There was no use being burned alive in good clothes. They put that issue to bed early on. Instead they spent their time trying to catch up on old TV. The lack of calm in their family just days before the “Big Show” had begun pressing down on Martha’s nerves. Martha couldn’t believe how much Project Runway she had let accumulate on the hard drive of her TiVo dvr. The little red light was blinking to warn her of the approaching full capacity. For that second it felt like doom was everywhere. Bob tried to convince her that an almost full dvr was something easily enough remedied. But Martha couldn’t shake the feeling of catastrophe. She went on watching and then deleting episodes for a day straight. Bob stood behind her and rubbed her back.
When Anita was reminded of the apocalypse she was in the produce aisle of the supermarket. The Food Market general manager buzzed onto the intercom and announced a pre-apocalypse sale. For the next two days most of the items in the store would be at least 70% off. She bought nine pounds of fresh fruit for a total of three dollars. The timing was perfect. Anita had promised herself to commit to her health at least once before the end of the world and here was her chance. She was careful not to bruise anything when loading it all into the grocery basket fold of her beat up old jeep. She would eat nothing but fruit for as long as she could manage. She also seriously considered bathing herself in grape juice, but was startled by the thought of herself as a human raisin. Instead she did some yoga. Anita couldn’t help but feel like she was in the right place at the right time. She didn’t usually get this lucky. The apocalypse seemed to be changing things around for her.
The McMillan’s are a family of 7. Needless to say they ran a household that would take a lot of preparation for the apocalypse. There were haircuts to be gotten, laundry and dry cleaning to be done. There were four fresh shirts and three spring dresses that need to be pressed. The family was in frenzy. Tillie McMillan just wanted to know if there would be cell phone service at the apocalypse. Otherwise she felt she would be completely bored and forced to spend time with her family. She did not understand why the entire nature of things needed to be changed during the apocalypse. Her tumblr was not nearly up to the standard both her and her followers had begun holding it to. She had so many untagged pictures of friends who would be furious with her for being so selfish with her time. She prided herself however, on her level of maturity. Even in the face of the apocalypse, her priorities were in order.
The next two days most of the city was in motion. The priest had to have the white in his color bleached and his robed steamed. He had barely found time to get away with all the wayward souls flooding to his confessional. The baker began eating bits of his own bread. He wanted to perfect his recipes to serve at the apocalypse. He had a reputation to protect.
But on the day of the apocalypse, none of them were ready. Mark spilled wine on his shirt and felt so depleted that he resorted to wearing sweatpants. Megan put on too much make-up the day of the apocalypse. She wasn’t sure what was appropriate. Mark was impatient. He commented that she looked ridiculous. When she told him she was just nervous he responded that they’d known the apocalypse was coming and that she had no reason to be so dramatic. Tim and Martha were plastered in front of their television watching the Chopped season finale. They were not aware that the apocalypse was an all day affair and made no special effort to attend. Anita made herself a smoothie before heading out to the apocalypse. Mango-Strawberry. She felt refreshed. Tillie took pictures of the apocalypse, they were graphic even before any photoshopping, but she couldn’t send them anywhere. As the world was ending, there was no Wi-Fi.
Nina Austin, Age 17, Grade 12, Berkeley Carroll School, Silver Key