Excerpt for Music for the Apocalypse by , available in its entirety at Smashwords









Music for the Apocalypse

By Emily Weber



Homer plunked the moon-shaped object into the ancient music playing device. He held his breath unconsciously as his armored finger hovered over the button labeled with a small right-facing triangle. He glanced at his pet firg, “this may be it my friend.”

The firg, whom he’d named Coda brushed by his leg. It didn’t understand what he was saying of course, but it felt Homer’s excitement. Homer hit the button and sound emitted briefly from the music player. A tune began to play, but then there was a hard scratch and it stopped.

Homer inhaled sharply and disappointedly. Coda felt his irritation and whimpered, coiling its plump, red, hairless, warm body about his shins.

Homer looked down at his pet sadly through the window of his protective helmet. “Another dud. But it’s okay, Coda. We’ll find it eventually.” He took the flat, circular object out of the playing device carefully. It was an ancient device—thousands of years old, and it had to be handled with utmost care. It was silver-colored, round, and labeled with the unreadable symbols of the ancients: “CD PLAYER”. There weren’t many left in existence and Homer was the proud owner of one.

He placed the flat, circular shaped object (which his race referred to as a music moons) back into its damaged, square case. Even though it didn’t play, it was still an artifact and there was always the chance someone in the world might be able to repair it. He then placed it on the shelf he now stood by—it was covered in music moons he’d collected during his travels.

A howling arose from outside Homer’s quaint hideout. Night was falling and the beasts were prowling. Coda’s back arched anxiously. “Relax.” Homer said, picking the firg up off the floor. “They can’t get in here.” He then made his way to his bed, getting ready to settle down for the night.

He considered taking off his helmet, but thought better of it when he saw the radiation detector sitting on his nightstand. The needle was swinging slightly, indicating poison in the air; it was almost time to leave the area again. Luckily, Homer had many hideouts dotting the overgrown countryside, and he rotated through them as the radiation ebbed and flowed throughout the year.

Homer lay down, and turned his collar up to the cold and damp. Coda curled up in a ball next to him. The little firg relaxed when its master did, ignoring the grunting and sniffing of the beasts outside—it was merely white noise to them, and actually tended to help them sleep.

***

The next morning, Homer packed up his music moons, and began heading east toward his favorite hideout—one in the mountains. At this time of year it would be poison-free, the weather would be nice, and what’s more: the path that lead to the mountain hideout held many ancient ruins in which he could search for more music moons.

Homer enjoyed walking. Sometimes in the morning his knees would hurt, but movement always helped them feel better. As he and his firg strutted through the grassy plains, he listened to a music moon in his ancient device. He had a favorite band he particularly enjoyed and whose music moons he was always on special look out for. He couldn’t read ancient human and so didn’t know what they were called; he only recognized them by symbol and by the sound of their voices.

He was deep in thought about this particular band as they traveled. He was very disappointed by the broken music moon he’d tried in the device last night because it was marked by the symbol of this band. And it was from a case he’d never seen before. What magic was on that music moon? Would he ever get to hear it?


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