TALES FROM THE VOLCANO: The One Second Apocalypse [PART 1]

5-a-young-japanese-woman-in-an-open-air-hot-onsen-bath-in-the-snowfield

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To all…

the best year ever.

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living tiki personal note: Much apologies for holiday delay. My vehicle died beyond affordable repair and it’s taking me an hour and a half bus time getting anywhere [So, apologies as well for breaking this post into two parts.] One last bit of crap from 2012. Actually the very last thing was a tie between my home phone dying too and my kitchen sink pipe breaking off with rust when I was attempting to fix a clog. Vaya con Dios, 2012.

age of volcanoes post note: Did you know creative writing is hard? Yep, sorta found that out. But this fictional tale is yet another attempt by yours’ truly to conceptualize, comprehend and overstand this reality happening around me. Hopefully you can take something from it as well. This story originally starred the character named Garth, but I felt I could do a better job of describing “the one second apocalypse” by making myself the protagonist. Consider yourselves lucky – I originally was a supporting character with three women in a hot tub. It could happen.


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The One Second Apocalypse

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The knock at my door startled me.

Hearing Garth’s combat boots clamor up the steps to my apartment, it was predictably the next action he would take, yet I just didn’t expect it to be so loud and abrupt.

“I’m in the back yard!” I called out. “Keep the gate shut!”

Garth was my downstairs neighbor and a truck driver whom I’d only see sporadically. He was the type of guy who had his wallet on a chain, a belt buckle displaying his philosophy, and a new girlfriend watching his place every time he was out on a run who would hit on me by bending over and asking if I thought her jeans were too tight. The last one was Heather. She stole my barbeque grill.

Garth was able to hear me from my balcony, but not see, so loud thumping against wood told me he was again on his way. The gate unlatched and within seconds he rounded the corner of our duplex only to stop in his tracks.

“Whoa, dude… what the hell? You got a hot tub and…. you’re naked?,” he said as if I’d gone mad.

“Hey, I’m not alone,” I replied defensively and motioned to the woman in the tub beside me. “Haruka meet Garth. Garth meet Haruka.”

“Konichiwa,” Haruka greeted with a smile and slight bow of her head. She reflexively covered herself, pulling close a floating wooden bucket we were using for our drinks.

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5 images

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“I met Haruka almost a week ago at that new Japanese restaurant which opened up on 5th. She was four months into some internship with a Japanese company out here, but because of Fukushima related problems she’s now unemployed and has to return home soon. I’m just trying to make her last week in America memorable. Tub rental set me back a bit, but it’s an excellent way to start the new year and is most definitely worth it,” I emphasized by clandestinely pointing to Haruka behind her back. “Sake?”

OK… but why are you naked? It’s freakin’ cold out today!” Garth replied as he slowly backed away – I assumed more due to me than out of manners for Haruka.

“Duh… it’s the way we hot tub here in America,” I stated matter of fact.

“What are you talking about? I don’t think anyon-“

Ahem! Don’t you know? Like Japan, it’s our custom too,” I interjected while resuming my pointing to Haruka. I turned and spoke to her for reaffirmation. “It’s our custom too.”

“No it’s not,” She stated, smiling.

“Uh…. um….” I was horrible at recovery. “You mean to tell me that everyone I’ve ever hot tubbed with has lied to me? This is an outrage! An embarrassing and hopefully forgettable outrage!”

“Ha, ha… busted!” Garth laughed.

Haruka giggled while covering her mouth with a delicate hand. “It’s OK, I know you try to fool me – I thought it cute. I not bring bathing clothes anyway. Japan Onsen public baths are no clothes, yes, but men and women are separate.  Americans are too obsessed with nudity, but I appreciate your effort. Not many men bold being naked in chilly weather.”

“Oh man, tiki, I think you just got busted and burned! I like this girl.”

I was becoming annoyed. “Garth, why are you ruining my afternoon?”

“Are you serious, dude? Have you not been feeling the earthquakes all morning?” he worriedly retorted.

“Sure… it’s just an earthquake swarm…. hardly enough to slosh water out of the tub.” As if on cue, the ground began to shake enough to rattle the nearby windows. After a few seconds it was over, and yet another contest began between the neighborhood dogs and car alarms as to who could bark the loudest.

“See? See?” Garth stated excitedly. “This is just the beginning. The Mayans were off by a couple of weeks…. the apocalypse is going down now!”

“Wait, what? The apocalypse? Are you kidding? We live next to grand central fault line, man. This is atypical, yes, but normal. And better a bunch of little ones than one great big one. I wouldn’t call it the apocalypse, though.”

“Dude, it’s not just happening here, it’s everywhere!”

“What do you mean, everywhere?”

“Haven’t you been listening to the news either? Everybody is having these earthquake swarms: Us, Japan, Europe, India… it’s the whole fucking planet!” he exclaimed with arms outspread.

The ground shook again, but stronger, changing Haruka’s demeanor to concern. I needed to diffuse the situation quickly or else my possible expectations for the evening would change from soft and warm Japanese hospitality to a panicked flight for survival. Mother nature wasn’t helping either. “Garth, we’ve both been sort of isolated for an hour” – I motioned towards a CD playing at a soothing volume – “but trust me, this is not the end of the world. OK, maybe there’s something geologically weird and unknown happening, but again, it’s not the end of the world. It sounds like the media’s trying to…” The ground trembled again. “Oh, come on!”

“That’s it, I’m outta here!” Garth declared. “Just got done loading what I need with my motorcycle and I’m heading out to this survival place a friend of mine has in the desert. Checking to see if you wanna come.”  

“What, in your rig?”

“Yeah. Or follow.”

“This is crazy, man. I don’t think I’m in any position to make a split second decision like this.”

“That’s why we’ve got to go now, before everybody else realizes what’s really happening and all the outbound freeways get clogged.”

I turned to Haruka. “I don’t know what is going on, but you’re at a loss being in a foreign country. Anything you need or want to do, I’ll do my best to help you out.”

“What about you? What you want to do?” she asked.

“I’m not sure. I thought all these 2012 apocalypse predictions were nonsense, and figured I would handle any local catastrophe as it came.  If the world’s going to end, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing right now. Really.” I touched the length of her arm. “Plus I really want to get the most out of this rental.”

Haruka was silent for a moment. “I… can’t think what to do. This is too sudden, no time for plan. No use for panic. I can only stay here and enjoy time, so I will do that. If earthquake gets worse, then I recommend we dry ourselves off and find safety.”

“I like this girl,” I stated. “I guess we’re staying.”

Garth felt his preparedness was being slighted. “Suit yourselves,” he replied. “You’ve got my cell, so I guess you can always call…. that is, if you’re still able to. Good luck.” He turned and went back out the side gate. Moments later his truck’s motor fired up and then faded away into the distance.

I and Haruka looked at each other in silence for a few seconds. A sudden blaring cartoon melody made us both jolt. “Sorry… my cell,” she said smiling while reaching for it on the small table just outside the tub. She looked at the screen. “It’s my parents.”

I couldn’t understand what she was saying, but I could at least understand the tone of Haruka’s voice given the situation. Her parents were checking to see if she was alright, and she was reassuring them as best as possible. It must have been near midnight in Japan, so obviously Garth was correct when he said this weirdness was happening everywhere. Haruka added confirmation after finishing the call: “They are having many small quakes in Hokkaido too. It woke them up. Their cat Yoshi is behaving crazy.”

“Are you OK? What do you want to do?” I inquired.

“Let’s finish sake and then we go inside and worry,” she answered.

“Sounds like a good plan to me.”

Forty minutes went by in four. One would think that hot tub plus alcohol plus nudity plus the end of the world equals I should have sprung for the damage insurance on the tub, but it doesn’t.

It equals shared contemplation.

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5 monkey snow

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Another quake began. I instantly noticed that the dogs in my neighborhood had turned silent. As I focused on discerning any barking at all, the tremor became stronger and continued longer than previously. Haruka was astute to the change as well, looking ready to conclude this part of our afternoon. Her expression became somber when the quake still hadn’t ended after a minute, and instead was increasing in magnitude.

“OK, this… has me concerned,” I remarked. This quake was notably different from the others. The sensation wasn’t a rocking motion as before but rather a rapid vibration, like driving on a freeway completely paved with marbles. The water in the tub reacted with the appearance of being disrupted by a rainstorm instead of the typical sloshing back and forth.

“Yep, I think it’s time to at least get dry and put some clothes on,” I said, making an attempt to get out. Another increase in the vibration of the quake caused me to lose my footing and I splashed down back into the tub. “Jesus! It’s getting worse!” Haruka looked at me and moved quickly to embrace me in a bear-hug. She was terrified. I couldn’t remove her from me even if I wanted to. Feeling responsible for her predicament I blurted out an apology. The worsening vibration made it comical.

“II’mm sssorryyyy, II tthinkkk II ssseerrriiiousssslllyyy uuunddderressstttimmmattteddd tthhee apppocccalypppsssse,” I chattered. She whispered something Japanese in my ear, kissed me, and then it hit us – the loudest thunderclap I had ever heard or felt. It was as if the Creator had fashioned a pair of giant hands and clapped them right next to our planet.

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I must have been knocked unconscious – I awoke to blackness. Not total, as I started to discern bright white lights all around me. Some close, others very far away, so there was depth to my darkened perspective which gave the impression of floating in space surrounded by stars. What happened? I wondered as I gazed around. Had I been blinded? 

Remembering I was in a tub of water, I attempted to detect any sensation of feeling but couldn’t. Neither wet nor dry, hot nor cold. My hot tub had been turned into a sensory deprivation tank. Had I been paralyzed as well? Where’s Haruka? What the hell is going on?

At that moment I began to hear a multitude of people screaming. Not all at once, yet the cries quickly rose to a deafening cacophony. I reached to cover my ears with my hands, and to my horror realized I no longer possessed either – or any body to speak of. Was I dead?

Billions were screaming in fear. Another second and I would be joining them….

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To be concluded….

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~ by the living tiki on January 8, 2013.

12 Responses to “TALES FROM THE VOLCANO: The One Second Apocalypse [PART 1]”

  1. What the f*ck is this?? How will this have any bearing or relevance to the fact that we as Americans are on the verge of losing our second amendment rights, when already we’ve lost our privacy and freedom of speech?? You have the opportunity to unite and gather readers into effective causes and instead you choose to write about sake and fictional g/fa?? Jesus Christ dude! Man the f up!

    • You sound a lot like Garth.

      Garth was real. So was Heather. So was Haruka, except that her name was Yayoi and what could have been.

      What is mostly fictional about this tale is a way of viewing this reality through an event which I have never heard conceptualized before, only hinted at (translation: a cool original plot point – MINE). That is my solution, not my cause: To influence the way people perceive our shared reality. I find it’s easier to change them from the inside out.

      You know another cool original plot point in a fictional tale with fictional g/fa? The Matrix (although since it was written by two bitch-boys who stole the story there’s not so much g/fa. What is that anyway… girlfriend ass?) Wouldn’t you say this fictional tale called The Matrix was VERY INFLUENTIAL in getting people to rally around conspiratorial causes?

      You have no rights. You never did. They’re called privileges.

      F*ck, man. Have some sake.

      Oh…. and happy new year.

      [Note: Yes, I edited my own reply – decided to make it a little less angry. Just hated getting a “this sucks” comment as my first for 2013. Yet my ire may have been warranted: See my comment to Slavenstein.]

  2. We have no rights, we never did. There are only “agreements” made by the parties. If 2 people were stranded on a desert island who would they claim their rights from? The heavens above? It’s agreements between humans and until we realize this we wont be progressing very far on the road to responsibility. I loved the story it took me to my imagination straight away, I saw everything you described down to the minutest detail of Haruka’s delicate hand covering her smile.. If that doesn’t unite people on an intimate, unseen lever I don’t know what does. Thanks for the story.

    • Thanks!

      You provided an even better definition: “agreements” – damn, I’ve got a smart readership. Any injustice in humanity (any imbalance) we are all agreeing to (all consenting too).

      Hope you enjoy part 2.

  3. Hello, LT. Long time viewer, first time responder. Me and my girlfriend have been following your blog for a few months now and I have donated what I could, nothing much but just a little bit here and there. We were interested in the Atlantean series and what your take was on the ancient civilizations that preceded ours. Your blog post on how the process of WILL connects to the Green Lantern was very intriguing. But as I’m trying to grow and expand my spiritual consciousness, I am also trying to find realistic goals and actions to implement in the current state of our universe. We’re both Americans, so American issues are what presses us the most. I think where the first poster is coming from, despite the alarmingly rude way in expressing himself, was that these recent posts do not lead us to a concrete resolution concerning what steps should be taken to raise awareness among the youth and the elderly concerning the situation we’ve been placed in as of today.

    I’m not saying that I do not agree with the premise of these personal anecdotal articles, but I must question if the message is not coming through clearly because of this? The Japanese women and the Sake detract from the real problems of poverty, homelessness, immigration, and the growing expanse of federal powers that must be held in check by the unanimous representation of the people, the governed. I see a lot of potential in this blog, and it is a shame that mediocre story telling is detracting from what is going on all around us. We’re your blog followers, and you can show us realistic examples to spread the message and combat the hijacking of the truth movement by Alex Jones. Because unless this is countered, then our future will continue to look bleak and hopeless.

    • Interesting. It’s like I’ve gotten officially “noticed.” Either that, or there’s just something about this story….

      Considering I’ve only had one (awesome) reader donate more than once, your comment came immediately into doubt [strike one]. Then you echoed Trollstoy’s comment (another Jewish-reference commentary name…hmmm) thinking I’m actually some leader (or can be) of some truth movement thing… huh? [strike two]. But first, you started out with the opening line of 67% of all letters sent to Penthouse Forum: “Me and my girlfriend…..” (I’m assuming you’re female based on your address and that I don’t think I have a big ‘couples’ readership). If you’ve really read any of my blog, you would know that when my penis responds quicker than my brain, I’m probably being worked [strike three].

      Mediocre? Damn, I thought I was at least slightly sub-par. I’ll say one thing though – Your comment was extremely well written. You should be a speech writer.

      You don’t “counter” Alex Jones. You stop listening to him. You counter evil by ending your consent to it and giving it power.

      So what are you and your girlfriend wearing right now?

  4. My first reaction was, Jesus tiki this better have a good ending.
    And now I really want to know ” a way of viewing this reality through an event which I have never heard conceptualized before, only hinted at”.

    Yup, the other posts are easier to grasp, but this could prove very interesting.

    • Hope I don’t disappoint… the delay of part 2 is more due to time factors than melodrama, but it did allow me to think of adding something to make it even more interesting.

      I wanted to do this because it’ll be a good way for me to (remember to) view reality when I get a bit too involved with the daily artificial “drama” of it all.

  5. At the risk of sounding like a toilet-wall tile slogan:
    Love and creativity are the most important ‘things’ to counter ‘the evil ones’.
    Political activism, reforming ‘society’, trying to change the institutions, all of that is secondary if it can even work in the first place. I wrote half an essay on that before but that’s not relevant right now.
    I found this piece very enjoyable and i think it shows tiki’s ability at creative writing on itself. This is partially directed at you slavenstein.
    If you truly ‘believe’ in a world of mind over matter, the patsy’s on TV are just a sideshow. The puppets in government are a sideshow. Dont mistake me for a new agey ‘love & light’ chanter, but the multi-layered and non-material nature of our world can not be denied anymore, in fact its getting into lamestream science with no turning back. If you LET Jones’ ranting influence your world view, it will influence YOUR WORLD.

    To get back to my toilet-tile theme for a moment: a person’s actions are most clearly defined by their apparent willpower or intent attributed to it.

    Lest us not judge, but.. maybe we should sometimes?
    Look who is inclined towards creating and making others happy.
    Look who is inclined towards controlling/ destroying and making themselves happy.

    That usually tells you all you need to know.

  6. @Trollstoy

    You sound as if you just turned off the television and came straight to the age of volcanoes for salvation. Damnit man! Then you got the nerve to say, man the fuck up on the tail end of a Jesus Christ. Could you be any more self serving (or American) than dictating what Tiki NEEDS to do. How about you get your head out of your ass Rose Bud and catch the hell on up.

    Hey Tiki,

    “People” follow the news of the world and then look to others to see how they are interpereting what is happening. You are a detective of a higher level, and it resonates. I appreciate every angle that you approach this “freakshow” from and the effort that goes into it. Rude boy above is merely frustrated that you are not spoon feeding him, and regretfully, there are too many Trollstoy’s out there who need others to think for them. Can’t stay mad at em’ long though, it’s counterproductive and they may never recover from a real talkin’ to. They’re too sensitive.

    Love your work!

  7. What iamlonefrog so eloquently said…

    keep creating my friend…

    😉

  8. Tiki,

    A note on any comments above: It’s your paper, write what you will =P. Happy New Year, may the lucky number 13 bring everybody good luck this coming year (everybody not connected to the Rulers, of course, bad luck to them!).

    Is it too weird to say: “I love you?” Because of your post on the Lanterns, I was introduced to a website where cosplay is the rule; I had no idea about cosplay until a couple months ago and was intrigued, mainly because the girl dressed up like Firiona Vie from EverQuest (I know, big geek stuff), which equated to “gorgeous” in my mind.

    It was your post on the Violet Lanterns that led me to an Internet image search & voila! I found this beautiful girl named Kat doing a shoot as Harley Quinn, the most beautiful badgirl in the DC universe.

    I think I’ve said it before, I love the boob posts you had earlier =). And, the…uhm…information, too, I guess, but cosplay boobs, yes!

    Seriously, great job on the story. I’ll look for the donation button and you can have a six pack on me this weekend, or one good 750ml beer (I suggest Avery Ale’s Salvation); but, if you don’t like ale/beer, then a bottle of wine or a ton of your favorite soda…or bottled water, or candy… you get the idea =).

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