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An Inventory at the End of the World

By Joyce Chong From Issue No. 1

Part One

Please select all of the following that apply:

The ground is restless. It cracks and crumbles and shifts. Violently.

 The skyscrapers chip off pieces of the sky, a cloud lands in your mug and you watch as it bounces, begins to float away again, tea-stained and soggy.

 Everything is very, very quiet. Even as the mountains begin to shudder and shed their snowy shawls.

 You are alive to watch the end of the world. You watch from your porch as the sun begins to stammer, the earth grows nervous and taut.

 You are asleep when the world begins to end. You never wake up to see it.

Part Two

Please select only one of the following pairs:

A.  The fear set in like a slow boil. By the time you could feel the heat rising, it was too late.


B.  The fear set in like a rapid trembling. The cities shivered with panic and all was chaos before the sun finally flickered out like a burnt lightbulb.

A.  You notice there are seams from the last time the world ended and everyone had to stitch the place back together. They come unravelled, slicing into the mountains and the pine trees.


B.  The world cracks open like a gumball, clear and ragged and irreparable. Lava seeps from the gashes in the earth like a thick, slow tongue, hungry for metal and flesh and anything flammable.

A.  The birds have gone. The skies are clear and the birds have flown so high into the sky, you cannot see them any longer.


B.  The birds have fallen into anarchy. They swarm homes, trying to hide in cupboards and shelves, nesting in the nooks and crannies of suburban architecture.

A.  You are alone at the end of the world.


B.  It’s only you and your dog at the end of the world, but he ran away into the forest when the earthquake began. You are alone at the end of the world.

Part Three

Please select the appropriate answer for each question:

A. You are not dreaming. Y / N

B. There is a lava pool in your front yard. Y / N

C. Your house is burning. Y / N

D. The trees are burning. Y / N

E. The sun is dimming. Y / N

F. The ocean gurgles like a hungry, restless stomach. Y / N

G. Everything is gone. Y / N

H. Everything is ashes and dust and ruins in transition. Y / N

I. You sit down and wait for the end of the world. Y / N

J. The ocean comes to your door, thrashing against the bricks. Y / N

K. The ocean swallows you. Y / N

L. You decide to jump into the water. Y / N

M. The ocean pulls you in, holds you tight, wracked with violent waves. Y / N

N. The ocean is warm with volcanic ash and geological outburst. Y / N

O. You fall asleep, lulled by the waves, watching as the sun shuts down. Y / N

Part Four

On a scale of one to ten, where one is poor and ten is excellent, please rate your experience with the end of the world. Please only circle one.

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About Joyce Chong More From Issue No. 1