They End With Horses

Everyone wanted to watch through hushed windows, through closed blinds; wanted a glance at that thing rolling down the street before it was dusty artefact of history and importance – but not too much of a look. The future of the parade. And the last one, probably. Millions of people watching, cheering, drinking. More, less. Both. None of it on the television. The thing you couldn’t see, but had to. The end.

Nothing changed, but everything was different.

There Was No News. There was no word on the television, or in newspapers and magazines. Nothing on the internet. Not a word. Political figures did not calm the populace; they did not even mention the invasion. It was as if everything were completely ordinary, as ordinary strange as it ever was.

If not for Amaia, come to me in a dream, I wouldn’t have known.

What does the end of written history look like?

I went in to work, the last day. I didn’t have to, but there was no reason to do anything different. It could have been different, but it wasn’t.

The horses rode down the streets.

From the bottom of the ocean, they weren’t horses, but what could you call them? They were things we didn’t have a word for, because no one talked about them. They were giant, hulking things, wretched and stinking, gray, coarse. That day you could feel the monotonous pounding of their hooves on the streets. A noise you knew would never end.

I made it to work because I saw none.

Looking up and out, we’d either expected invasions from the stars, or not at all. Mostly, not at all. But “invasion” gives the wrong connotation. Friend, this is the beginning.

Amaia told me. She told everyone.