Fable, With Apocalypse


IN THE MIDDLE OF A flat grey wasteland, under a grey streaky sky, a handful of figures warmed themselves at a snapping fire.

“Hey! What are you doing?”

One of the figures had turned to stare across the waste — a vast landscape of broken dryers and tumbledown swingsets, with here and there half a gas station or bowling alley.

“Don’t do that.”

He takes the gaping figure and turns him tenderly toward the flames to warm his hands again.


“It’s why I’m here. And that” — a sweeping arm — “is why that’s there. The wasteland is only for wasting you.”

“Thanks again.”

“Don’t mention it. Just keep your hands warm. Even when you’re the last one here.”

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4 Responses to Fable, With Apocalypse

  1. Alana on 2011.09.13 at 2319

    Wow. I hope we’re never in that place. Really touching, Neal!

    • Neal Ross Attinson on 2011.09.14 at 1241

      Thank you! This was another of those reverie stories, like For Franz Kafka, where I closed my eyes and started seeing images. Then I wrote them down verbatim. I hope the trend continues!

  2. Gabriele Caswell on 2011.09.04 at 1116

    Love this……..

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