page contents

From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
Allie Marini
Writer of the Month

"From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea" - This piece has gotten a lot of legwork, having been published in Static Movement Press's Modern Lovecraft Anthology, Danse Macabre's AnthologE Monsters of the Rue MacabreXxx Zombieboy xxX's collection TentaclesCarpe Nocturne Magazine, and Danse Macabremagazine. 

It’s the end of the world as we know it. Delphine knows it. The radio is an ocean of static. When the blackout started, there had been an orchestra of insanity on the roads—car crashes, smoking and belching out clouds of oil and fire. Now, nothing. Police cars, ambulances: wrecked, deserted. They are scared out of their civic responsibilities with the nauseous wave of fear that drove the others like army ants, racing towards or away from something on the squirming roadsnakes of asphalt. After 36 hours, the roads cleared, and then emptied. They had pulled off on roadsides, knocked on the doors of strangers, broken into abandoned motels, found their families, or turned around. The desperation to escape liquefied, boiled, became steam, cooled and reformed as resignation or fear: mothers made fruit punch sweetened with cyanide, sat down with their families for one last meal of grilled cheese and tomato soup; women who thought they’d surely be married by now drew hot baths and broke their Daisy razors apart: down the street and not across it. Men walked into pawn shops, mostly deserted, but if not, assisted by other men who actually knew how to help them. Those men would hold out until they couldn’t any more. Then, and only then, would they go back around the side of the house to the shed and sit down at the workbench. As it turns out, they are the brave ones. The rest of them huddle in storm cellars, panic rooms or apocalypse bunkers, waiting for a bomb to drop, fire to rain down from the skies, or some sign to confirm what they all know in the deepest, sickest part of their gutless hearts: this is how the world ends.  

Delphine left the Atchafalaya Basin thirty hours ago. No one has slept since the blackout, no one has needed to. The greasy sheen swept down like a veil over them. Escape, then resignation; the brave ones finishing out their business to avoid whatever comes next. clustered in places designed to protect them from the worst, suspecting the monster was already in the room with them and that nothing could keep them safe anymore. Because it was. Nothing could. Delphine had already read the end of the book. Once she knew that the roads were empty, she started driving. There were other drivers, of course, but only a few. They were all driving west, on their own schedules. The dead has waited, dreaming. It is waking up now. 

Stars flare in the sky, and then drop from sight, every burst sending more whispers of darkness into the aether of the atmosphere. The horizon has been a dawnless void for three days. A study in emerald, a miasma of deep green and black, swarming up hiveminded and stifling like the anxious paranoia the sunless skies and disappearing stars brought with it. Delphine’s grandmother had sung her lullabies in a native tongue, nearly forgotten; not the usual bayou dialect, nor anything like it, but familiar to some swamp families like her own. They, perhaps, had packed up sooner than she, or later, maybe, ahead of her or behind, driving towards the ocean that would be brackish and on fire with tsunami crests by the time they arrived. Cool air, welcoming like strong hands to a willing victim, a breath of nights, lost sparks of sky. She rolls her tongue over the abyss of the language, unexplained couplets forming songs passed down over time, prayers to the depths consecrated in goat’s blood, snake heads, swamp waters, hurricanes, the hissing songs of alligators and broken levees. They have waited patiently for this. 

Brownout, blackout, nothingness. Food spoils in the contained environs of sealed refrigerators, like unpowered coffins for sustenance. No one eats, no one sleeps, no one fucks, no one cries anymore. They wait. There is only fear, like a fever, a building pressure inside. They are falling without a chute or an altimeter: the ground is rushing up towards them so quickly it is almost as though they are standing still. There is less comfort for those who have been smart enough to store batteries, or buy generators: every television and radio station broadcasts only static. The internet has been swallowed and buried; it is Po, nothingness, a chaotic void without form or motion; air, light or heat. There is a moving face on the waters, but it is not the God you think that it is. The monad, the beginning and end of all things, he waits under the Avalon, bodiless and many-bodied; all-bodied. Delphine, like the others who remember the lullabies, is driving towards the Los Angeles breakwater. There will be boats and dories waiting. They have been waiting and preparing. From La Paz to The Port of Vancouver, the coasts will quiver and rumble; the tectonic plates shifting, earthquakes: the tossing and turning of the sleeping dead beneath. 

It wakes. 

Delphine will be there, she will navigate the twenty-two miles across the surging of the ocean to land on the shores of the Channel Island. The sewage and pollution of the beach, full of poisons and slime, century-old clay and the rust of metal pipes: this is why they could never clean it, the beast beneath the crust of the sands. State health standards mean nothing now, the filth of the water will be lost in the swirl of blackness and cavernous jade, yawning toothy and soundless as it is restored to the way it was in the time before there were gods: nothingness, void, chaos. Tohu wa bohu; ex nihilo. Look towards the heaven, the light will be gone.  

The magnitude of this shadow, chaos, has always existed. The raw, undivided mass of fear, like a fog, settles down and they breathe it in. She stands on a cliff, sings the lullaby of a long-forgotten tongue. From the edge of the deep green sea: This is how the world ends. 

Allie Marini holds degrees from Antioch University of Los Angeles & New College of Florida, meaning she can explain deconstructionism, but cannot perform simple math. Her work has been a finalist for Best of the Net & nominated for the Pushcart Prize, not that those distinctions mean anything. She co-edits for Lucky Bastard Press [currently on hiatus] with her man, performance poet Brennan DeFrisco. She has previously served on the masthead for Zoetic Press, NonBinary Review, Unbound Octavo, Lunch Ticket, Spry Literary Journal, The Weekenders Magazine, Mojave River Review & Press, & The Bookshelf Bombshells. Allie is the author of You Might Curse Before You Bless (ELJ Publications), Unmade & Other Poems (Beautysleep Press),  wingless, scorched & beautiful (Imaginary Friend Press), Before Fire (ELJ Publications), This Is How It Ends (Bitterzoet), Pictures From The Center Of The Universe (Paper Nautilus, winner of the Vella Prize), Cliffdiving (Nomadic Press), And When She Tasted of Knowledge (Nomadic Press), Southern Cryptozoology: A Field Guide To Beasts Of The Southern Wild (Hyacinth Girl Press), Here Comes Hell {dancing girl press}, Heart Radicals, a collaborative collection with Les Kay, Janeen Pergrin Rastall & Sandra Marchetti (ELJ Publications) & Exquisite Duet, a collaborative collection co-authored with Brennan DeFrisco (Hermeneutic Chaos Press). Allie rarely sleeps, & her mother has hypothesized that she is actually a robot fueled by Diet Coke & Sri Racha. She does not Facebook, but she would love to see your pictures on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter: @kiddeternity.