So I was looking through my “642 Things to Write About” book that my dear friend Maddy bought for me, and I stumbled upon some big inspiration after looking at this prompt, “write a recipe for disaster.” I decided to write it from the point of view of the main character of a post-apocalyptic story that I have in the works, and I think it turned out well as a bit of a teaser for the story as a whole. It was a surprising lesson in all writing being progress, and how writing exercises that might not seem helpful at first can really inspire something amazing. I hope you all enjoy it!
I used to wonder how disaster could be created before disaster happened to us in the form of an apocalypse. I thought maybe it could be born, but that would make disaster out to be so pure, as if it was some blank slate that couldn’t be blamed. Then I wondered if it was manufactured, which seemed to make more sense, though people don’t always make shit with the intention of it becoming a disaster. After we ended up where we are now, I imagine it as a giant pot with a bunch of power-hungry, dumbass humans stirring its ingredients while following the wrong recipe. There could be no other explanation for how our current disaster was created, and I bet our sick, sad excuse for a “president” was the one that provided that recipe.
Place the country over high heat, and start to incorporate the 321 million unsuspecting citizens into the pot. They’ll most likely be crying about it, but that’s okay, because the salt of their tears will make the results much, much tastier. Sear on all sides; make sure they’re a little crispy on the outside with their insides still raw. Stick them in the “Fear” oven until their brains evaporate, and they become unaware of just how baked they really are. There’s a possibility that not all of them will cook through, because the “oven” is a faulty piece of shit, but you might be starving for these results and you just can’t wait, so you can decide when the cooking process ends. Remove from the oven, watch the medium-rare survivors wrestle their way out of the frying pan and into the world, and do your best not to get your guts ripped out. Enjoy.
And there you have it; that’s the recipe for this fucked-up world that we’re in. There are mindless crazies at every turn, survivors who won’t talk to you unless they’re pointing a gun at your head, and concerned animals that won’t even approach you because they’re expecting a knife to come out of your back pocket. The only thing they all have in common is that they all wish they were dead, but they’re all too damn scared to make that wish come true.
In some ways, it’s just like the way it was before everyone lost their minds. You fend for yourself and the ones you love, and if your supply of loved ones is empty, the chances of you getting ground up, cooked, chewed, and spit out grow more than the amount of fear that exists in this damned country. Without a loved one covering your ass, it’ll get seared and thrown into that oven and reduce your body, mind, and identity all down to a dark piece of meaningless, moldable crud. It’s terrifying how your goals can go from “get your masters in Creative Writing” to “avoid becoming the shit you scrape off the bottom of a pan” overnight.
They wanted control over us, and maybe over every single one of the seven billion people in the world, but as long as I had Ethan, it was their control that shrivel up and die in front of us.
Other than my girlfriend who fell to this disaster, and maybe my little brother, whose survival I’d pray for if we had deities that would actually prevent this kind of suffering, Ethan is the only one I’d want with me in the apocalypse. We’d be the Asian lesbian and the Black gay man against a world full of fearful, medium-rare sheep. It’s the video game story that no straight white man would ever write, and if they did, they’d most likely kill us off for shock value. They probably don’t think think the two of us could fight hoards of slobbering, deranged filth with assault rifles, spewing offensive nonsense out of fear, as if we didn’t deal with that on all the days before the world went to shit.
Well, you know what, fear-mongered America? We’re the ones writing the story, this time. We’re more acquainted with fear than you’ll ever give us credit for, so your half-baked fear-zombies might as well just be the bigots we already dealt with on a day-to-day basis. We’re making it out alive, whether you want us to or not, so stay the fuck out of our way.