The Doomsday Choir

Image source: NASA

You might say it began when she was a kid. She had this recurrent nightmare. Heavy weight pressed down on her, stealing her breath.  Deep purple darkness crept ever closer, eclipsing everything but the sound of her heart -- dum-dum-dum-dum, dum-dum-dum-dum… -- until finally she woke, screaming.

“Stop burying your head,” her father said. “You’re not an ostrich, you know.”

She tried, but even when she was awake, they were always there:  shifting images flying around in her head, then moving in on a moonless night to suffocate her. 


This would be the middle of the story, if she were willing to tell it. Like some guy used to say, inquiring minds want to know. 

But there’s no need, really, because they already know. And she knows they know. 

And if not, well, sorry. Just consider this a do-it-yourself, fill-in-blanks story.


The end comes silently and without flourish. 

It’s disappointing, really. Shouldn’t an apocalypse be heralded with crashing drums, wailing trumpets, and weeping violins? You know, a soundtrack like Ride of the Valkyries or something?

There’s just that damned choir floating around her, all chanting in such tight harmony, it sounds like one voice.

dum-dum-dum-dum, dum-dum-dum-dum…

They’ve been going on like that for months, shades circling like waiting vultures, always chanting, an ever-present portent of doom.

Perhaps if they’d just raised their voices, sung out honestly and with gusto, instead of that ridiculous muttered chanting, she might have paid attention. Or maybe not, since burying her head seems to be her way. 

It makes no difference now. She hasn’t listened to the warning, such as it was, and so she barely notices as things get darker and the heavy weight of the inevitability slips over her, blocking the light.

And then, fade to black, over and out, gone without a whimper, not even a lonely prophet walking off into the mist, whistling The High and the Mighty. It's just the end, delivered without fanfare .

dum-dum-dum-dum, dum-dum-dumb-DUMB.


The End

Written for the Tenth Daughter of Memory.


  1. well that would certainly be a disappointment....kinda like a movie that just suddenly ends and you are like WTF....dum dum dum dum....

  2. Maybe that's how it will end - unexpectedly. I interpret this as being about the damage we are doing to the world. All those naysayers who deride climate change won't do anything until something catastrophic happens and it is too late. One day they will wake up and everything will be different and there will be no fanfare to announce it. A sobering piece.

  3. “Stop burying your head,” her father said. “You’re not an ostrich, you know.”

    I very much liked that bit

  4. Nice. To my recollection, you don't do "tonal/snippet" very often, but maybe you should.

  5. Well, at least it seems she got a very long warring. -J

  6. Short and sweet but all the resonance in the world. A lot of me in this regarding not heeding warnings. Then sometimes ignorance is biss

  7. Or BLISS even. Sorry, sticky 'L' key

  8. hmm, difficult muse and i think you tackled it in a completely poetical and bleak way. i can relate.

  9. I love the fill-in-the-blank middle and the end without fanfare. The tone was perfectly done with muse intact, and all.


Thoughts? I would love to hear from you.