By Barry Pomeroy
This is probably the very first thing that I remember about the end.
In the last days of the gorilla wars, a group of about twenty of us,
some of us wounded were crowded together on the top floor, perhaps
three stories from the ground of a building that seemed like a church.
Through the huge wall windows that were on three sides of the room,
wall windows like the ones in the sub cafeteria, we could see the
trees outside and the windows themselves crawling with apes, most of
them—Planet of the Apes—style gorillas.
You cannot imagine how grim, how desperate I felt. We didn't have a
hope in hell, twenty of us and some wounded, and perhaps five hundred
of them. I pulled out my Opinel knife, opened it and locked the blade,
all with a sense of futility.
The windows began to smash and the next impression I had (for so often
the impressions of real fighting is unlike that imagined), is hurried
chaotic and meaningless. I stuck my knife into the chest of a gorilla
which had come too close. But the blade of my knife was not made for
fighting, was made more for slicing fresh French bread, broke off
inside of the beast. I was left without a weapon in an already doomed
I may have blacked out for a time or even wiped some events from my
mind but my next memory is of a queue. All of the humans were lining
up to be routed to god knows where. Near the beginning of the line I
remember imagining that we were probably to be sent to work camps of a
kind, for the apes were being very specific with our paperwork, a kind
of attention we would hardly warrant if we were to be put to death.
I remember the sense of personal desolation standing there with
knowledge or feeling for the doom that was sure now to overtake us,
with my girlfriend by my side. I remember looking at her and thinking
that as suited as I am to these desperate times, as much as I could
handle our horrendous future, I would rather that she was anywhere but
here with me.
How could anyone who had lived a normal life be able to cope with what
lies ahead? I was thinking to myself, it is so tough now, times have
gotten tight, and will screw themselves still tighter. Life will get
more and more difficult and unpredictable and then death. The people
around me seemed as complacent as if they were in an uncomfortable
situation in their ordinary lives, and I remember thinking, I wish you
weren't here, you don't know what lies ahead.