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End Times

by on August 10, 2014

“He… lied to me.”  Hadley couldn’t quite comprehend it. She sat there on the curbstone of a deserted street in a deserted planet, her eyes wide. “He promised. And he lied.”

“Well, duh,” Rain said.  The incarnation of Death had been pacing back and forth on the sidewalk; now, eyes blazing, she rounded upon Hadley. “You were expecting what, exactly? It was a giant snake, in hell. If he wasn’t the devil, he was darn close. And you just had to go and sign a contract with him, didn’t you? Now the whole universe is going to be destroyed in fiery bunny apocalypse and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.”

“Nothing we can do…” Hadley repeated blankly.

“We could have stopped it,” Rain went on.  “We had a chance there. But, no, you went and signed a deal that got us kicked out of hell, and now what? We’re back here on your stupid empty planet, about as much use to anyone as a bunch of circus monkeys, and-”

“Monkeys,” Hadley said.

“Yeah. You’re familiar with them, right? They sit around, eat bananas, do tricks, and occasionally fling-”

Marmosets,” Hadley cut in, and suddenly the sentient shade of mauve had lit up again, flaring brighter than Rain had ever seen. “The flying marmosets of Lassiter 35! Of course! Rain, you’re a genius!”

“Wait, what?”

***

The Coral hurtled through the hyperspace bypass, alarms shrilling as though the whole ship might disintegrate into streaking light any second. Jolene clung frantically to her console as stars whipped by on the viewscreen. She punched a command, and the screen shifted to a rear view. The bunnies spread across her field of vision in a blur of fluffy death. “They’ve gone to warp!” she gasped. “How did they get to warp speed?”

“Flopsian radiation,” Milroy Birnbaum said grimly. “Super unstable. They probably figured out how to control it enough for what they need to do. You don’t need stability much at the end of the world.”

“Good point. So… what’s the plan?”

“Easy. This particular hyperspace bypass isn’t completed yet. Still under construction. They’ve got a temporary exit wormhole near Lassiter 35. But being that it’s only temporary, it’s still a bit dicey. We could make it through, fine, but a whole crowd of bunnies powered by unstable Flopsian radiation? Not a chance.”

“Lassiter 35…” Jolene said. “I know that planet. I went there-”

“Summer vacation, yeah, right when the Julietian Rising broke out. You were on fighter duty.”

“And just how did you know that?”

“I’m a god, Jolene. Some omniscience comes with the territory. Like how I know that when you were flying those solo missions you were also practicing for Galactic Idol in the cockpit. You had “Phased Lines” stuck in my head for weeks. Thanks for that.”

Jolene flushed. “You tell anyone about that, and I swear…”

She didn’t have time to complete the threat. The Coral, with a last shuddering wrench, had just dropped out of hyperspace.

***

Hadley had commandeered a short-range star cruiser from her planet’s spaceport. Now she and Rain stood on a grassy plain on the surface of Lassiter 35. “I have,” Rain said, “a very bad feeling about this.”

“No sweat,” Hadley exulted. “All we have to do is release the marmosets.”

“And how do you propose doing that? I don’t see any marmosets around here, flying or otherwise.”

“They’re trapped in an inter-dimensional space pocket. Duh. So we need to release them with the Mystical Chant of Marmoset Releasing.”

Rain rolled her eyes. “And how does that go?”

Hadley closed her eyes and began impressively, “It’s based on an ancient Earth popular song. Ahem.  Oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’, oh my darrrrlin’ Clementine…”

“You have got to be kidding.”

***

Jolene sighed in relief. The Coral floated in orbit just above Lassiter 35. “Great. We’re here. The bunnies can’t follow us now, right, Milroy?”

He didn’t respond. Light bloomed in the darkness of space, and a torrent of fluffy bunnies poured out before them.

“Oops.”

“What do you mean, oops?”

“Oops, as in, I might’ve been wrong about the radiation.”

“You’re a minor deity!” Jolene exclaimed. “How can you be wrong?”

“You’d be surprised.”

“Wonderful.”

***

“You are lost and gone foreeever, dreadful sorry, Clementiiiine… ”

“Hadley. That song is not going to release the-”

*SKREEEEEEE*

“….marmosets?”

You can find Hadley’s previous adventures here. Thanks for reading!

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17 Comments
  1. I look forward to future installments!

  2. I adore this piece, how clever!

  3. Love it! Evil bunnies and flying marmosets now, too. What happens, I wonder, when they collide!?

    • The end of the universe, I imagine. I could be wrong. I guess we’ll know next week. 🙂

  4. Great dialogue and love your imagination.

  5. What at clever piece! Love how you incorporated the monkey theme! Nice work! TiV

  6. A completely outta the world story and yet the ancient earth song. whoa!

  7. Jennifer G. Knoblock permalink

    Lots of fun here, but my favorite part is the Mystical Chant of Marmoset Releasing.

  8. What a clever imagination you have. Great work!

  9. And so, Lassiter 35 is to become Armageddon?
    This is great stuff!

    • It’s not exactly the Biblical valley of Megiddo, but one could do worse for a world-ender…

  10. I really like the depth of characterisation in your stories – “You were also practising for Galactic Idol in the cockpit. You had “Phased Lines” stuck in my head for weeks. Thanks for that.” 🙂

  11. Clever how you worked the monkeys into this ongoing theme.

  12. I’m currently wiping coffee off my monitor. I spit it out when I read about Galactic Idol and Phased lines. Also, this line: “The bunnies spread across her field of vision in a blur of fluffy death.” I hope I go in a blur of fluffy death.

    • I can think of worse ways to go, that’s for sure. And I apologize about your monitor.

  13. Meg permalink

    Just when I think I couldn’t possibly love this story more…

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