this story starts at the end. not in a philosophical metaphorical sense of begining at an end, or the end being the last point in the timescale only the story has more impact if told backwards, those stories are best told by people with the capacity to pull it off. this story, instead, starts at the end of rationality. our hero is a simple man, no more special than you or i, no more aware of his position or place in life than the average man. the fact is, our hero is a nobody. he has never been placed in a situation whereby his cowardace could be observed, nor his temper angered or patience broken. victor, is a gentle natured man.

he kept a diary of what happened to him. we found it amongst the rubble, it's a compelling read, if somewhat longwinded:

My story is a sad one, I write it among rubble and disease with no hope in store and no future to look forward to. I write this in vain, in the hope that someone hears my story, understands my torment and appreciates what it takes to finally break down the soul and morality of a man in pain.
My name is Victor. I live in London and my history is irrelevant. Least to say I was an optimistic man, in love, secure in my job, happy with my family and content with my living situations.
We met 6 years ago while at the museum of natural history. Amongst the collection of crystals and mineral rocks we stumbled upon each other. What first caught me about her were her eyes, deep set and rich green, huge emeralds among the displays of amber and quartz. When our eyes first met we both looked away in a bashful manner, realizing she seemed as taken aback as I had been it took me no great courage to approach her. Gazing at bismuth I spoke to her, remarking how amazing the structure and pattern of the rock can be, like tiny forts and castles of never ending inner walls, up mountains of oil and labyrinths of corridors. She immediately saw through me and asked if wanted a drink. I would have drunk the world there and then if she’d asked me to.
It was a mere 4 months before we moved in together, into an apartment near Highgate. She chose the furniture and I paid for it. The only room I demanded custody of was the study, it needed to be like my fathers otherwise I couldn’t work. I write and illustrate children’s books. I have been published in 6 countries in 4 different languages, it’s not the most glamorous or credible jobs but it pays the bills, puts a roof over our heads and stops us from going hungry. My best seller was a story of a young puppy looking for his mother, who he believed lived in the sea. I hate to spoil the ending but the starfish tells him where his mother really is. Drawing is my real passion, I always draw the illustrations before completing some simple story to go around the images.
My soon to be wife was a teacher, she taught the very young, she taught the bare essentials to any childs life. The alphabet, the colours, the shapes, the names of tastes and the description of feelings. The things that get engrained in peoples lives forever and the things that are more important than you might have previously thought.

it goes on like this, pages and pages of lovelorn tripe and memories, as if memories where all that make life worth living. some pages are torn, some burnt and other illegable, others are just too boring to care about. we read his story though, we heard his tales, we only recount it to you now because it serves as a wonderful reminder, the past is past and nothing but a memory. while we are busy forging new memories the old ones get pushed aside. without the written words of our friend victor, he would have never had existed. i have my own memories, of course, of what happened and i only wish mine had been as mild as victors. my memories haunt me, scar and torment me, prevent me from sleeping and destroy any hope of a day devoid of desperation.
i saw a child when i ran, dirty and burnt, cowering in the doorway of a shop front. his eyes wide and bright like supernovae of purity. amongst the chaos the child was at peace, his head to one side as he watched the panic with interest.

it struck me that of all the people i'd rather be now, i'd rather be a child, unbeknowing of what pain can be, of what loss can feel like, not knowing the dread of losing a loved one, my second half.

the child had his hand outstretched, feeling for the rain.

if i stopped to save the child i'd be next, the stampede continued forwards and to fight it would be my end. i tell myself this every night as i try to sleep, as i wake from my nightmares, and as i think about that night. the eyes of the child burnt into the back of my skull, my punishment for surival.

the rain was red that night, there was no cloud in the sky.

Latitude = 29.2576, Longitude = 88.9178
Lat = 29 degrees, 15.5 minutes North
Long = 88 degrees, 55.1 minutes East


for all that's lost and torn from life
may there always be the chance of hope
a second reckoning that settles old scores
or a crushing blow that ends all purpose




i dare not think of her now. whether she's alive or if she met her end. to think she could have been one of bodies we scrambeled over, one of the scorched bodies screaming for help streching for my hand, it makes me ill.

i remember the first time we met, like a vision of purity she walked into my heart. i knew before speaking that she was the one. with eyes that hid the passion of sunsets and a soul more beautiful than paradise. i think i saw her burning.

i think i saw her burning! torn off at the waist, crawling through the ash, her clothes burnt away and her flesh ablaze. her face was a fleshwound, her jaw and skull shining through the red curtains of what remained like pearls among giblets. it was her eyes that i recognised. although in pain, strained like i'd never seen them before, they still had her spirit, they were still hers.

it was then that the blast threw us and i saw the manhole, i coudln't stop to think, i'd be dead, i abandoned her, i failed her, i'd killed her.


i wish i knew what was happening.



"...like dew drops on a rose, like carrions on fire, these dreams haunt my open mind, shater my responses. void of all emotion i stumble, in the dark through waves of loss, on tides of remorse and shores of open silence. scatter these bones on pebbled beaches, ancient waters will hide them now."

-Anon, found scratched into wooden door in Moorgate

The story, or it's beginning

the sky is on fire and we live beneath it. it burns the day and turns night to ash. our lives have been raped and our souls taken from us, what we once called home is now nothing but a broken horizon.


this night is on fire. these stars flaming torsos. sparks of fire grew from the darkness and lit the horror that surrounded us.

in corridors and alleyways we fought for our lives, with nobody chasing us and nobody to defend ourselves from all we could do was run. people burst into flames beside us while others were ripped in two like ragdolls in the jaws of rabid dogs. stop to save the child and you could be next. the walls that fenced us crumbled to dust, cracked masonry fell before us as we hurdled the corpses of the unfortunate.

we came to the end of the alley and into a vast clearing, we were stopped in our tracks by the scene in front of us. flashes of lightning lit our path and the hundreds of people in front of us being torn apart. limbs flew through the air and blood rained upon us. panicked and pained faces stretched out for help, flicker, the ground soaked in blood and scorched by fire, buildings collapsed and foundations became unstable, flicker. which way to run nobody knew, to fight through this crowd would be sure death, to return to the alleyway would be suicide. an explosion to our right threw us to the ground and lit the way to our salvation.

a manhole, 20 feet ahead and large enough to fall through. what lies beneath could be no worse than what was out here, so we crawled through the ash and rubble towards it.

streams and rivers of blood poured down and into the dark below. we couldn't see or hear how deep it was but we didn't care. a short drop into knee deep sewage and all we had to fear was what the darkness could throw at us.

when I woke, the others had past out beside me, a faint glow from an opening ahead revealed what we had been lying in. what wasn't shit was blood, and what was blood was as thick as the shit it surrounded.

the hole we had escaped down was quiet, only the wind and the steady waterfall from the streets above made any noise.

the sky was grey, the light was dim, what time it was I had no idea, how long we'd passed it I cannot tell. I crawled from the hole to a sight beyond comprehension. the corpses of a thousand people lay beneath me, what the rats hadn't got to the crows were picking off. in the dim light it was hard to distinguish limb from twisted metal as buildings lay in pieces, their iron framed structures twisted and warped, reaching toward the sky like fingers grasping for air. fires still raged in the distance, great towering stacks of grey smoke scattered on the horizon. the
world was still, but the world was dead.

I fell to my knees and wept. the fright and the adrenalin finally leaving my body to cower and collapse. I fought for breath as my heart imploded and my head squeezed my brain. I lay on my side, curled into a ball, and wept.

this is our story, these are our experiences in the world as it is now. after that night, the apocalypse, Armageddon or whatever you want to call it.

This, is Titus.