Oct 13, 2023, 06:24AM

Escape from Old Hell, Old Hell

A place so vile they named it twice. 

Img 1104.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

It was once the crown jewel of cities. A beacon of freedom and democracy by the sea. Now a cracked shell of its former glory. A rusty, crumbling husk. A place so vile they named it twice. Old Hell, Old Hell. A place where nobody sleeps but everyone wishes they could. It seems like forever since the nuclear holocaust tore us apart. But as events go in real time, which no longer exists, it’s only about three years by vintage clock time. It happened so fast—just like they said it would. The brightest flashes are like nothing you’ve ever seen before and will never witness again. In the aftermath, the hurricane-force winds knocked down anything left standing. After that, the dust clouds settled, giving off radioactive debris and a sickly greenish-uranium glow. Then silence after the screams and firestorms finally dissipated. It was only seen by those who were miles away from the blasts. They’re down with radiation sickness. Too many survivors resemble lepers and zombies—that Toxic Avenger look, or much worse.

A lot of people were in PTSD shell shock, comparing it to a Hollywood movie with unbelievably realistic sets. They felt like unfortunate actors starring in their own version of the apocalypse. Many believed it was a smoke-and-mirrors false flag of computer-generated graphics. Another convincing simulation. It couldn’t possibly be real or true, much less extremely painful. This could never happen here. Crowds of victims were happy and sad, laughing and crying at the same time. Suspended in a denial of disbelief that they survived. But the new reality of that wacko sentimental stuff didn’t last very long. It only took a few weeks for the unquenchable thirst and never-ending hunger to set in. Thousands hunkered down in subways in cities around the world before the Big Bang hit.

Others found abandoned fallout shelters from the 20th-century Cold War, and even more hunkered down in basements wherever they could. Some found caves to cower in until it was all clear. It was beyond reckoning to think the worst was over. It was a deadly heartache of never-ending, excruciating pain and suffering in a man-made hell. Old Hell, Old Hell. It wasn’t a city any longer, yet still, the majority of survivors wanted to be there because they believed in their fevered hallucinations that not only could they exist in this apocalyptic nightmare but thrive. Using American ingenuity, somehow, they could be alive again, make it great again. It was always a dog-eat-dog world. Now it was eating a dog, cat, rat, or even human flesh if it wasn’t too radioactive. People ate anything that moved, crawled, limped, slithered, or scooted on its haunches. Water supplies dwindled, and people began hoarding and drinking soda, beer, booze, blood, and their own filtered urine.

Nothing mattered anymore. It was pointless to make sense of it all because it was gone forever. Blown away by that stinking wind. A constant stench, not only of death but of piss, shit and roasting cadavers. It wasn’t a great time to be alive. There was no longer any sun. It was an endless gray sky with a puke-green smudge where the moon used to be and a black hole where the sun was. The stars and planets were permanently blotted out, erasing the cosmic background of a spent universe.

There’s no factory reset button on this defective device. It’s a movie you can’t watch about escaping from New York after the fall of civilization. A permanent nighttime nuclear winter. There’s no anti-hero named Snake. The taxi driver going over the Williamsburg Bridge is either movie star Ernest Borgnine or New York Dolls singer David Johansen. That was likely an escape from LA. Surf the scum wave or die. Wash all the shit and garbage away. Bulldoze those corpses into the fire pit. The air smells of stinky pussy.

It was Russia; no, it was North Korea; maybe China too. In reality, if there’s such a monster, it's always us. Filled with all the privilege, entitlement, and self-loathing one could possibly muster. It was always us. Let’s wait it out and see if we wake up saying it was only a dream or just a bad movie. Boom! Boom! Out go the lights.


Register or Login to leave a comment