Welcome to the Dark Carnival


The end times are upon us. I know not how it began; I was busy working on that really difficult homework assignment, you know, for that one class you’re in. By the time I emerged from the library, it was already over. I didn’t realize what had happened at first. I could see students hoarding timber and wearing protective headgear, but I had no idea why. Then I found out CMU had canceled classes, which could only mean that the world had ended. Since the end of the world meant no more Game of Thrones, I decided the best use of my time was to chronicle these dark days for those who come after.

It was strange to see how quickly civilization fell after the disaster. Students gorged themselves on sugary snacks and fried foods, no doubt to store up calories for the incoming famine. The nights were filled with loud noises and bright lights, most likely to ward off the nocturnal predators of this apocalyptic wasteland. I could hear laughter everywhere I went, but it was a desperate, hollow sort, the result of fending off a slow descent into madness.

Eventually, a primitive sort of order arose from the chaos, a reversion back to the hunter-gather days of old. Many of the survivors had banded together into tribal units of ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ that identified themselves with letters from some far-off land. With their gathered timber, they built makeshift huts for shelter. Those the tribes had rejected were forced to wander from hut to hut, performing menial tasks inside in exchange for what little aid could be provided.

There were many who tried to escape, but with little success. The only vehicles they could make were small, only big enough to hold a single person. Gasoline was scarce, so each vehicle needed to be pushed by a team of five. There was a grand sendoff one morning, where the tribes gathered to send their chosen champions down a series of hills, praying the incline would be enough to launch their hopes out of this desolate wasteland. Their efforts, of course, were fruitless.

And yet, one day I awoke to see the survivors had left, the huts been dismantled, and the parking lot was as empty as it had been before. To this day, I know not what caused their disappearance. Perhaps the tribes waged war in the night until there was nothing left. Perhaps they found their crops would not grow in asphalt and starved in the middle of Pittsburgh’s third annual winter. Or maybe classes just started up again. Who can say, really?

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