The Second Rider

Posted: January 7, 2011 in End of Times, Fiction

You’re not gonna believe me, but I saw him. I saw War himself. How’d I live? Well I didn’t exactly go ask for an autograph. It went like this…

It was evening, so we had been hiking into the sun for a bit. Progress was a lot slower than I hoped it’d be but we had to skirt a National Guard emplacement. See, people were still thinking that we could fight off the end of the world. They were about a platoon strong, come complete with all manner of heavy armor and a couple of choppers for good measure. The damn fools were dug in and waiting for something, but we four had no interest in anything they thought they’d need so much firepower to handle.

Me and my buddies had just crested one of the foothills of the Rockies, and we stopped for water. Wil was standing on a big rock with his spyglass, and he started swearing up some pretty colorful language. That boy has a way with words, I tell you. Anyway, I hopped on up there and grabbed the looking glass to have myself a scry. Down in the flats, there was some kind of firefight. That armor had all driven out and formed a sort of crescent, bubbled inward so as to flank whatever came up. Soon enough, we started hearing the reports of all that cannon I saw being shot off.

Wil had one nice piece of optics, I gotta say. I turned the magnification way up, and coming through the fire and smoke was what looked like a man on a horse. The horse seemed about the same size as one of them Abrams tanks and was red like a fresh weld, and the rider fit on that. That’s a pretty big guy, I gotta say. Anyway, he’s wearing some kind of pretty gothic plate armor and has the kind of sword you’d expect Conan the Barbarian to be packing strapped across his back.

Wil tried to grab back his spyglass, but I shooed him off. I had to see this. The rider raised this horn to his mouth, and it sounded like rolling thunder. From behind him, these huge canine looking monsters come charging out, and lay into the skirmish line of armor. I could see them tearing the plating off of the USA’s greatest war machines. The choppers in the air were firing rockets down into the mess, and the hounds were blowing apart, but there were too god-damned many of them. Eventually, two pair of them hopped on each of the birds and turned ’em into a tangle of spare parts in the dirt. A sight like that’ll turn your knees rubbery. I lowered the glass, and handed it back to Wil.

Johnny asked me what I saw, but I think he could read it on my face. I told my friends that maybe our water break was over and we damn well better get moving.

I ain’t proud that we didn’t stand and fight, but I ain’t ashamed either. What exactly were we gonna do with hunting rifles that a damn tank can’t do?

-From a conversation with Anders Johnson

So I’m not sure I like the name Anders Johnson, but I do like the character. I also had a pretty funny idea relating to how the whole thing really started. That ought to help me keep writing, at least for a little while. I’ll probably alternate between updates on real life and these snapshots (for that is how I’ve come to think of them) of the end of the world.

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