The End of the World: Monday’s Voice

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Day One of Voice Week! Remember, InMon is postponed till next week.

Meanwhile, here’s my first voice. I’m going with the prompt “the end of the world,” and experimenting a little more with perspectives (not just tone and word choice) this year.

Lemme know whatcha think!

Voice Week 2014 Monday

Didn’t think it would end this way. No panic. No screaming. Just a kind of fizzling out. They tried coming up with a plan for awhile, but I mean, what could we do? Move to another sun? Find another two nonillion killograms of gas to burn? So we sit, shiver, look at the stars up there, mocking us. Zillions of ‘em, we never even saw before, coming out, waving just to show us what we’re missing. All that light, but no heat. Kind of a metaphor for human history, right? Always wishing for what we never could reach. Like the universe just saying, Whatever.

What does this voice tell you about the character?

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  1. The words ‘cynical’ and ‘jaded’ are uppermost in my mind; maybe with a hint of the depressive thrown in.

  2. This gives me a chill similar to the chill I get from a passage from C. S. Lewis’s “Weight of Glory”

    “Beauty has smiled, but not to welcome us; her face was turned in our direction, but not to see us. We have not been accepted, welcomed, or taken into the dance. We may go when we please, we may stay if we can: ‘Nobody marks us.'”

    The reminder of insignificance: dreadful, powerful, and a necessary counter to the hubris of mankind. That makes it simultaneously horrifying and, oddly enough, comforting. Or is it just me that finds it so?

    • That’s weird; the passage seems familiar, but I don’t think I’ve read Weight of Glory.

      Yeah, I think, to a point, it’s comforting to remember that we aren’t the end-all, be-all. But it can simultaneously be hard to accept that the universe doesn’t revolve around us.

  3. I’m not sure. The first time I read it I thought of an older person who’s had more time to become jaded with life, but after I reread it, I thought more of a teenager who was surprised life isn’t like it is in the movies. Either way it’s very effective to think the end of the world is going to be a quiet affair with nothing left to mark that we were ever here.

  4. As to the character… it’s a voice I identify with. I have a nihilistic streak, and if I lost my faith, this voice sounds like what I would say in such a circumstance. I instantly had sympathy with this character. The voice sounds, to me, pointed, bitter, hopeless, but in a half-amused way, appreciating the beauty and irony almost like an outside observer, but very aware of what is coming.
    I get no impression of gender, or social position, other than assuming a fairly educated person (though not “academic”). I also think it’s a young man/woman, 20-something, maybe?

    • Woohoo! I’m glad I’ve managed to create someone sympathetic. And yeah, was definitely trying for some wry qualities in this character. You’re right on the money for educated but not academic. I imagined a guy in his 20s or 30s.

  5. A definite “whatever”, “pessimistic” attitude. I can’t wait to see what else pops out

  6. I love the acceptance and sense of boredom in this voice, Steph. There’s no drama in spite of the dramatic subject – cleverly done so we’re still emotionally involved even though the character seemingly isn’t! I’m sure they are really.

    I found it hard to place the character – couldn’t decide male or female, young or old, etc, but their personality is plain as day. Day when there still is a sun, that is 😉

    Thanks for hosting, as ever. I’m looking forward to this week!

  7. Really strong voice. I love it!

    This character is obviously very resigned. Perhaps he was never a very passionate person to begin with. Yes, “he”; I definitely picture this one as a male.

    I like what Jen said about there being no drama in spite of the dramatic subject. Very well done!

    • Ah, you’re right! I pictured a “he” when I wrote this one.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Not that it is necessarily so with this character, but it might be useful to someone as a characterization observation: it is often passionate people that reach such a level of resignation. 🙂

      • Once they are jaded and beaten down by life?

        • It doesn’t even take that much. The more passionate the person, the more sensitive, and the more sensitive, the more the world in general just HURTS.
          When faced with that level of pain, a passionate person is likely to go to extremes, like cynical and bitter resignation. A less passionate person, I think, would be more accepting than resigned, saying “it can’t be helped, so it must be accepted.”

          Does that make sense? What are alternatives? I admit a strong bias, because I am a recovering cynic, and my father and brother both show that mix of passion, sensitivity, and defensive cynicism.

  8. No sun, means it’s the end. But this person doesn’t seem too worried. I wonder where it’s going?
    Nice one Stephanie.

  9. A splendid voice! Apathetic, jaded, and world-weary, but also an excellent narrator to have set the scene. Looking forward to more!

  10. I love this concept! I also love the voice and what it brings to this concept. Obviously this person is very mentally prepared for her/his impending doom. Can’t wait to see how other people are handling it.


    That aside, awesome job! Lots of fun to read, I really like the stream-of-consciousness. Can’t wait till tomorrow!

  12. The character comes across as totally resigned to their fate, and I get the feeling it isn’t just the universe that’s saying ‘whatever’ but the character as well.

  13. I hear defeat and resignation. There is nothing that can be done, so why get worked up about it. Sad, but also realistic about the future.

  14. The character sounds exhausted and jaded and passively angry… almost on the verge of giving up…
    It was a pleasure reading your piece. Looking forward to day 2!

  15. Some one who has completely lost faith and is a sceptic. Really believable and enjoyable to read. 🙂

  16. I am sure I could not be this calm or resigned to the fact the world was ending. Perhaps if life did not have a high quality to begin with a person might become indifferent but otherwise it would be hard.

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