Tristan and the Apocalypse 7

By Asa Montreaux, by Andrew James

The next day I stayed in bed. It was tough to feel bad about what happened. In that moment I was so upset about her death that I wasn’t caring where I was, I was only vaguely aware of my safety. In the future I thought I would have to find a way to face the tragedy with more wisdom, say to myself that people die sometimes. And yet I had stumbled into something that brought her back alive. I kept thinking that eventually I had got brought into the present, and I realized they’d been trying to do that all along, maybe more so than just winning the election.

The next day, I felt to hell with it with recovery, and I went downstairs and ate breakfast, mingled in the social room. I did all this gingerly, though, mind you.

Daphne came down shortly after me. She had a different look to her. Her eyes were more vacant. She was more composed, while being more shaken. When she spoke with me she was more commiserate than she had been ever before. I sat with her for a while, and I reassured her that she really was recovered, and that maybe she wasn’t that close to death. I told her I hadn’t accepted it, and that’s why I had left the hospital to go outside. I thought of curing you, I said, and that was why I payed attention to my vitals. I was feeling so depressed though, I said. Otherwise I wouldn’t have. It seemed everything would end then.

That’s what I came to feel. Everything would be destroyed, and we came to save what we could save, and that’s what would be left. With a tremendous humility the things we ignore become the things important to us again.

The people around me had become so much more alive to me than before. The memories in our past felt so small in size compared to the great vastness of the one’s now. In the destruction of so many lives, I saw the sanctity of each of my friends lives. I wanted to be a more compassionate human being. I thought if I could help one person, sometimes it could help a great number of people.

While I was still feeling so gingerly I went back to my book. Now I had some things from my life that would contribute more wholly to my book. It felt good to write about them. That’s the part at which they weren’t secrets anymore.

It was almost done. I thought about what to release it into. The world was so different now. I felt I could release it and become a writer, it didn’t seem likely anyone was set up to pay me to do it. And as of now, no one was paying any fees for anything. Everything was a ration or a privilege. I would fulfill my purpose as a writer and an intellectual. That’s what I said to myself. For several days I wrote. I told everyone I was just recovering. Many novels happens when we are not well.

Or when we say say so. Sometimes when I stared at the screen nothing would happen. And that was frustrating. It wasn’t very often it felt like it wrote itself. It has its own logic, but every page came from no place that existed. I tried not to delete the things I wrote. But I wanted every word to be so perfect. At night I tried to write until my eyes were red, and I couldn’t keep them open, then I went over to my bed and fell asleep. If I had the energy I would undress. I felt very far away, regardless of who was downstairs, on the other floors. I felt like I was in a cabin in the woods somewhere.

It was almost done. Maisie knew I had been writing again. But she didn’t ask me about it at any point. It was all I thought about, writing it or being stuck writing it.

I started thinking it wouldn’t be better to show the page with her. It was more political now. I was more internally focused in my person but I realized my writing had become so much less personal.                                                 

The next few weeks moved quickly. The congressman was busy visiting people expressing condolences about the disease, promising support. The other half of the time, he was trying to rebuild communities, trying to establish the currency, trying to use what we had experienced to organize the city on a better level.  We were the afterworld, we were a political dream.

News of Terrie came shortly. He was apprehended in Northern Ontario and was placed in a high security holding, where he would remain indefinitely. The leadership of the country was still firmly in our hands, and his evil side would lay dormant for now. I thought of his face as he was standing above me, before he killed me, before Allister saved my life, somewhat childishly, not knowing I had passed, playing god without thinking about it.

As long as we knew were he was he wouldn’t come after me again. My Dad wasn’t a police officer but he would make sure there were some to keep me safe. He would know when I have to be careful.

He had been working on something as well. When my novel was finished I wanted him to read a finished product right away. I was nostalgic for a world of dreams that had passed away. The novel was dead now. There would be information released into the world, not as a commercial product, but as a vital necessity. I went down to his room where he was at his desk, and he said, I’m done, he said. You can come and see.

What you have been working on all this time.

Yes, he said.

It was a city. A small city. It was enclosed, as if in a great dome, with high walls, and covered pathways all about, it was shaped round instead of square, there was green space everywhere, there was a pavilion at the centre.

It’s an enlightened city, I said. It’s a green city.

Yes. It will be like a village, self-sustainable, though running at an efficiency like a large city. But it won’t ever be a large city again. Or a polluted city.

What had the congressman said?

He’s only looked once. I showed him an early print. This one is much more sophisticated. But he has agreed more or less. This is the only way. He knows that there will be no climate compromises that we can make now.

It seems that you may be the architect of a whole new society. The most important one ever. It’s because you’re my Dad. 

Yes, he said. Some dream. A futuristic and a sad design. An unfortunate design.

Will it save the world?

With this and the new government? Maybe. I’m not sure.

Do we need something else?

Yes. He said. I’m not sure if we have the ethos to get through this yet. No one has processed this. We need art at times like this, to do it for us.

If only I were an aspiring writer. Haha. Maybe I’m too young.

You? You are young. But that’s good. You’ll have remembered everything.


We recovered from things in our own way. Maisie was slinking into a depression again. I felt worried that maybe it had been present along. It was so apparent against the hope of a new government, and a cure for the illness we had a feeling would come over us.

Zombies out of the way, things were improving. I didn’t know if I could cheer Maisie up. I couldn’t make it all go away right away. There was tragedy I could but see. I knew as much as that I would be there for her quietly, presently, as much as one could.

Eventually I showed my Dad as well what I had written. He agreed it was important. He wasn’t really worried about an ethos right now. It would come for more than one place, he said.

I hope it will make a difference. Maybe everyone we’ll read it.

You know what. They just might. What we need is a good story. You and Maisie are so lovely.

How long is the city going to take?

Three years. A lot will be finished in the first year, given the necessity of it though. That’s obvious, that it’s necessary.

It’s going to be interesting. People have been wanting a change. Just not like this.

It will be more work for everyone. But I think there read for it.

We all have a great potential. But sometimes it is only to work harder at these easy things.



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