The Disaster

Written by Cory Wyatt

The inevitable finally happened. Everything that humanity feared since the Cold War

arms race had come to fruition. Red lights flashed and sirens blared in every major city as word

had spread that nukes had been launched by China. These warheads came as a retaliation towards

President Nugent’s “Stranglehold” policy, which had effectively declared war on every nation

that was not the US. All political experts and military strategists had been fired since the

President was inaugurated, so the exact timetable of our demise was questionable as nobody

knew how long it would take from launch to impact. All we could tell for sure was that our lives

as we knew it were over.

The streets of my town were in chaos. Traffic was gridlocked with people rushing to get

to loved ones, many abandoning their cars on the road once they realized that every street looked

like a parking lot. Perhaps they decided they didn’t want to die in traffic, or possibly they

assumed they could get where they were going quicker on foot. I heard many people in my

apartment building having sex, possibly expressing their love to one another for the last time. At

least one person in my building committed suicide by jumping. I saw this as he hurdled past my

window, having gone up to the roof and flung himself off. I don’t get that rationale. Just wait and

die with the rest of us, no use in getting out of here slightly earlier. Yes, everyone seemed to be

reacting to this devastating news in their own personal way. Being the cable news junkie that I

am, I figured the most satisfying way to spend the downfall of my life would be to spend it the

way I lived it. So I clicked on the television to see how each dumbass station covered the

downfall of humanity.

I decided to start out with the local ABC 7 Eyewitness News, a station that I had an

interesting past with. This was the station that my father used to watch back at home. Every day

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he would turn on the news and watch for hours at a time, even when they were covering the same

stories every hour. This led me to hating every on-air personality they trotted out, as I had to hear

the same tired stories over and over. Obviously, with the biggest breaking news in history

happening right now, they wouldn’t have that problem right now. I was shocked to find David

Muir of World News Tonight discussing how sad it was that a local grandmother would have to

die in this nuclear holocaust and miss her granddaughter’s graduation from middle school.

“Yes, it’s hard to hear about these bombs that are screaming over the ocean towards

America, but it’s even harder to hear that it’s happening to someone so close to us all. Up next,

we’ll have a reporter live from Louisville, Kentucky to tell us that while these nukes were not

made in America, these baseball bats are.”

“God, why is every event some sob story?” I thought to myself as I flipped away from

ABC, “Just give me the story, I don’t need it editorialized.”

My next station was CNN, who I was sure would be airing something about this

apocalypse. Their screen was filled with what looked like nuclear missiles flying with clouds

moving quickly behind them as a backdrop. “Wow, they have actual visuals on the missiles?” I

was actually impressed by their effort. “Technology is crazy!” As soon as I got that thought out

of my head, it cut back to Wolf Blitzer in studio, looking more haggard than ever.

“Well folks, I guess this is the end. The nukes are on their way, and there’s nothing we

can do to stop them. As you have seen, we are airing this dramatization of what we think these

nuclear missiles look like in the air as they fly over to our great country to end our lives. Now let

us return to this live feed of the dramatization, so people all over can tune in to get a good look at

what will doom us all.”

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“I guess CNN is going all out for the views in their last ever broadcast.” I quickly shifted

away, uncomfortable at the danger-baiting that they were using to bring in viewers.

“Ah, MSNBC, the typical liberal slant.” I felt comfortable in the hands of Lawrence

O’Donnell, who I would watch off and on when he came on after Rachel Maddow. His slightly

smug tone resonated with a person as smug as I was. “What do you have for me today, Larry?”

“Thank you, Rachel, for throwing it over to me so I could cover this incredible news

story. Nukes, coming to America. What can I say about all this except ‘I told you so!?’ I’ve been

telling you since the 2016 presidential election that a Republican president will lead to the end of

the world. I don’t care if it didn’t happen during President Trump, or should I say Mr. Orange, all

I care about is that I was right. We didn’t see nukes coming to America under Obama, that’s for

sure. We didn’t have them under Clinton. I was right. America is doomed, and Republicans

doomed it.”

“Alright, Larry, that might be a bit too smug for my liking,” I said, a bit conflicted with

my sudden disdain for something I once enjoyed, “maybe Fox News will have some interesting

slant for me, something to get me angry enough to lose my disappointment.”

Fox News poster-boy Sean Hannity was sitting behind his desk in a normal position, his

face reddened from yelling so much over the last twenty minutes. The headline beneath him read

“Barack Obama High School In Trouble?”

“BARACK OBAMA HIGH SCHOOL IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS IS

DEALING WITH SOME SERIOUS GANG RELATED CRIME ISSUES! DOES THIS

TARNISH THE NAME OF THE SO-CALLED FORMER PRESIDENT?!”

That was it. Nothing about the nukes. Nothing about current president Ted Nugent.

Nothing about the impending end of the nation it claimed to be in love with. Checking my

Facebook one last time, I saw an article posted by an old high school friend echoing Sean

Hannity’s points. The post had 18 likes and 30 comments, all of which were banal arguments

about Obama’s legacy. Realizing that people were still arguing on Facebook as nukes were

headed to destroy us all was the last straw. As I opened the window to my apartment and took a

step onto the frame I thought, “the guy who jumped from the roof earlier had the right idea.”