Aphelion Issue 235, Volume 22
December 2018
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Mormon Zombie Apocalypse!!!

by Bogdan Stevenson

Part I: Pyongyang in Crimson

Crimson fell the cherry blossoms in the springtime of 2042, the year of nuclear devastation and global death. In the brave glow of a single lamp-post, shining solitary surrounded by a city of darkness, petals whirled in a bloody riot. The west-wind strained the branches and stripped them bare, shedding red rain with every sough. Above this park of cherry blossoms loomed the People’s Palace, devoid of people save for one, who stood at the windows of the topmost chamber of the Red Tower, his downcast eyes watching the crimson flowers fall.

His flesh hung off him like an oversized garment. Once, he had been a large, powerful man, endowed with muscle and fortified in fat. Not anymore. Two decades of defeat, of anxiety, of starvation, had reduced him to a skeleton draped in folds of empty skin. Millions of his people had perished from hunger: the Great Leader had suffered as well.

Turning from the uncanny sight of the crimson cherry blossoms, Kim Jong Un the Third cast his eyes on the portraits hanging beside him. There were the likenesses of his father and his father’s father: Kim Jong Il the Second and Kim Il Sung the First. What would his illustrious forebears say to him, were they to behold their heir in such pitiable straits? What would they think of the countless corpses lining the streets of the capital, dotting the fields of the countryside? How would they have reacted to the destruction of the People’s Army, lost in the nuclear annihilation of China? Kim shook his head grimly, recalling the inexorable progress of the American Imperial Forces, ordered by Emperor Trump to purge China of her strength and subdue her populace. Bombs had fallen, nuclear holocaust ensued. When it was all over China was no more, and with her the valorous People’s Army of North Korea had passed away. And though the Hermit Kingdom escaped immediate invasion (Russia being the focus of the Americans’ next conquest), her people had suffered every possible privation, for they were completely cut off from the rest of the world (now ruled by the American Empire) and having lost most of their male workforce.

Leaving his private chamber atop the Red Tower, Kim descended the six hundred and sixty-six stairs which lead down into the bowels of the palace: into the Bunker of the Bomb. Most bunkers are built to protect against bombs; this one was built to protect one. There she sat, in a cradle of gold, a sleek, stout, crimson projectile containing a thousand compressed kilotons, gleaming fitful fury in the flickering light cast by the six furnaces set into the sides of the hexagonal bunker. The Red Revenge was her name.

Kim removed his shoes and went before the bomb to stand in awe, his gaunt arms upraised in reverence to the sole weapon he and his people possessed. The fires roared, belching heat and light and hate, swaying with torrents of red smoke the crimson draperies bedecking the bunker walls. The Third Great Leader placed both palms on his forehead, feeling with agony the inverted red star branded there, scorching him with the malice of a living coal. Then he uttered the incantation, those dire words fated to ruin a world empire. Ponderous slabs of granite groaned open overhead. The Red Revenge arose on a single slender ray of fire in slow solemnity and hung suspended for a glorious moment above the enrapt Leader’s face. Then she dashed up into the darkness of night, hell-bent on her mission of doom.

Part II: Salt Lake City in Sable

On the other side of the world, in the grey granite Temple of Salt Lake City, Brigham Smith, proud scion of the two uppermost bloodlines of the Mormon Elites who ruled the inner circle of Emperor Trump's administration, awaited with barely contained eagerness the culmination of his marriage to seventy-seven virgin brides. The day had been spent in tiresome ceremonies, liturgical invocations, hymenal tests, scriptural recitations, proofs of the groom's stamina and virility, and now with the setting of the sun had arrived at the prime moment in which he was to come into his own. For through his unprecedented mass marriage, Brigham Smith was to establish a new world religion, built on phallic splendor and nuclear annihilation, a religion that would be spread with the American Empire to the four corners of the globe, a religion of which he was to be the Supreme Prophet.

He was an older man but still strong. His had been a hard life, raised from birth on the steer ranches of Montana, sent as a teenager to wipe out entire Eastern European and African nations with the Delta Force Squadrons of the Massacre Army (a branch of the American Imperial Forces wholly dedicated to genocide), and tempered to steel as an adult on the Western Hemisphere, where he personally led a unit of elite fighters against liberals, intellectuals, artists, homosexuals, Mexicans, Muslims, and all races other than pure Anglo-Saxon stock. A life of unrelenting warfare, of ceaseless strife, had conditioned him into a fighting machine. He had passed through the crucible of violence and had emerged a refined killer, tall, lean, muscled, with chiseled jaw and cold grey eyes. His friends feared him; his enemies lost control of their bowels.

Smith ran a pale tongue over thin lips and caressed the yellow-brown seer-stone hanging in a golden necklace about his bull neck. He was going to savor this moment. For though his age was a ripe fifty-five, he had never tasted the delights of female flesh, having completely committed himself to the destruction of male flesh. Now, with all the enemies of the American Empire prostrated at the feet of the Imperial Forces, he could finally ascend to the position of Supreme Prophet to rule alongside Emperor Trump and partake in the delights of seventy-seven virgins. Seventy-six of those, all brunettes like his beloved mother, waited their turn in the cellars of the Temple. The seventy-seventh, a fair maid with hair of gold and eyes like flashing emeralds, was held in a gilded cage in the topmost tower of the Mormon Temple. Smith held the key, fashioned in the shape of a stalwart phallus, in a hand that would have trembled with desire had it not been mastered by an iron constitution. He approached the cage. The maiden bride cowered within, her fright making her seem younger than her actual youth. The madness of lust seized Smith. The key fit the lock, the door of the cage swung open, blood rushed from Smith's head into his loins as he stepped into the cushion-filled bower, he grabbed her by the neck and pinned her down... and at that fateful moment a blinding white light seared through the western windows of the chamber. The ground shook and the world reeled. The Red Revenge had struck. An Empire was no more.

He turned his face from the window which he had covered with sable drapes. He had no wish to behold what he had beheld countless times before: the stone cities of Europe wasted by falling bombs, the neon-lit metropolises of Asia extinguished in clouds of radiation, the sprawling slums of South American blasted by explosive force. City after city, nation after nation, continent after continent, he and his comrades had subdued and then stood back to watch as the Imperial Air Force tidied up after their slaughter, extermination followed by mass destruction. All had fallen to their might, all save one, apparently. And this was the one they could not afford to miss. Smith's dead eyes, burned lifeless by the sight of a hundred nuclear detonations, had never before witnessed such annihilative power unleashed. From that one blaze of blinding light he knew: the bomb that fell on the American Empire was no ordinary bomb. This was no holocaust. They had been hit by the ultimate weapon. This was apocalypse. Shrugging his shoulders in stoic resignation, he turned to the cowering girl and took his pleasure with sadistic delight, hour after hour, her screams echoing in his unhearing ears until a day (or was it two?) later he found that it was naught but a cold corpse that he was crushing in his arms. He cast her away like a used prophylactic and went to the window, flinging the drapes wide open on a dead world. The mountains were grey, the desert was ashen, the salt seas were gone. Salt Lake City had passed away, its proud skyscrapers leveled to dust, and all that remained was the granite Temple and the granite Brigham Smith.

Granite though he was, something in the petrified organ that served him for his heart softened as he stood there surveying the transformation of his homeland into a bomb-crater. He went to the ravaged remains of his bride. She lay in a heap by the bloodstained bed, her lithesome limbs askew, her golden hair entangled. He bore her up and carried her down through empty corridors and deserted meeting rooms to the cellars of the Temple. There the seventy-six virgin brides, all brunettes like his mother, stared in bewilderment, clutching their diaphanous nightgowns in hands of dismay. A low moan of fear arose. Smith paid them no heed but walked on, head held high like a satanic high priest bearing a human sacrifice, to where the great baptistry crouched on twelve golden bulls. In those sanctified waters he anointed her once immaculate form, now a mere damaged corpse. With quivering fingers, he washed the gore and tears and piss from her body; then, after a final fleeting kiss he let her go, watching dispassionately as she sunk to the bottom of the basin to rest beneath the pellucid liquid, her eyes wide open in eternal terror. "Let no one drink of these waters," he commanded sternly to the seventy-six virgin brides, all brunettes like his mother, "for they have been transmuted from sanctity unto monstrosity!" "But what shall we drink? What shall we eat?" inquired one bride, braver than the rest. "You shall eat and drink your excretion, but you shall not drink the Waters of Death." He left them, returning to his lofty station, brooding over the wasted miles of the fallen city.

They did not obey. Thirst drove them, dire need necessitated the transgression of their husband's law. They had been raised cowards, to do what had been told and to follow orders, especially orders given to them by white, older men. Nature, however, has her means and Time is pernicious to obedience. Moreover, they had already drunk of the waters of the baptismal basin, in the two days between the nuclear apocalypse and the anointing of the dead bride. They had drunk to ease their thirst even as the screams of the seventy-seventh virgin echoed down the granite halls of the Temple. They had drunk and they knew. The waters were life; their husband was death. So now they drank again, crowded all together around the basin, some standing on tiptoe to reach the rim, others kneeling on the heads of the golden bulls, all gazing down into those emerald eyes forever frozen in terror. And death, passing from the corpse into the waters, passed on from the waters into the seventy-six virgin brides, all brunettes like the mother of Brigham Smith.

"How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow!" Unbidden flowed the lament from Smith's mouth. He was not much given to sentiment, but the sight that stretched before him as he gazed far out across the freshly harrowed wastelands of Utah was one to shake the sternest soul. All life was fled, and the shadow of death lay heavy upon all. There were no ruins: there was only dust, a sable dust as dense as despair. Clouds of soot drifted low over the desolation, weeping ashes that drifted in phantasms on a weak wind. A stake had been driven into the heart of America: at the ascendance of the United States to the American Empire, the newly proclaimed Emperor had transferred the seat of power from Washington to Salt Lake City, an area full of noble white folks and low in minority populations. The Red Revenge had taken out the head of the beast, and if it was strong enough to reduce the mightiest metropolis of the world (her skyscrapers had dwarfed those of Tokyo) not to rubble but to dust, then it must have spread ruin over the entire American Heartland. Something broke inside Smith, and without thinking or feeling he unholstered his revolver and placed its barrel into his mouth. He closed his eyes and tightened his finger on the trigger.

A soft snarl pulled him back to reality, drawing him from the edge of the abyss. Spinning round he found the room full of undead brides. They charged, swift and nimble with the agility of death, their clawing hands outstretched, their once innocuous blue eyes morphed into black mica blazing with malice. Brunettes they were no more: their living death had transformed them all into raven-haired Ligeias. Smith hurled himself at them headlong, arm outstretched with roaring revolver. They were fast; he was faster. Twenty-two times the revolver spoke, up close against a shattering skull, and twenty-two corpse-brides lay slain. There was no time for rest. He could hear the others in the corridors, mounting the stairs. That suited him just fine. Running he took the first spiral stairway, dodging arms and diving into the mayhem. He picked them off as he descended, always aiming at the head and always hitting his mark. Killer instinct mode. They fell away before him lifeless like toy zombies. Through the corridors he rampaged, discharging a hail of bullets from his inexhaustible revolver, leaving behind him heaps of twice-dead brides. As he killed, he counted. Thirty-three plus twenty-two made fifty-five. Twenty-one remained; these he sought in the cellar.

In the bowels of the Temple an unhallowed sight met his steel eyes. The brides had eviscerated themselves, gnawing open each other's bellies and digging out handfuls of guts and organs which they had heaped into a mass of gore before the baptismal basin. Fallen and slumped over their hollow torsos, the brides chanted a blasphemous incantation in an unknown tongue of eldritch tone. Swelling with each uttered phrase, the mass of gore grew, gaining in bulk and girth, sprouting tentacles that tapered into tusks and crowned with rows of horns glistening with venom. From the abomination a miasma of evil emanated; swirling mists of purple and sable filled the cellar, choking the curses in Smith's throat. He sent the bride-witches to hell in a blizzard of bullets. The abomination continued to increase, frothing green poison from various pores and bulging its membranous hide as if it held the inchoate fury of unborn demons. With grim determination Smith fired, bullet after bullet, into the mounting mass. It absorbed the bullets, it absorbed the hatred, and it grew on. The revolver burned in Smith's hand, forcing him to drop it. A tentacle twined around his leg and began to creep towards his groin. For the first time in his life, he panicked. Desperation, that abject emotion he had so despised in his vanquished foes, drove him to an irrational act. Seizing the seer-stone that hung about his bull neck, he snapped it off and pitched it at the abomination. The relic struck, and the mass exploded in a storm of gore, drenching Smith and the cellar in unimaginable filth. He fell to his knees and retched, mingling vomit with blood. For some time he knelt there, dazed and sickened, in a pool of excretion, while the slime slipped down the walls and dripped off the vaulted ceiling. Eventually his Anglo-Saxon strength returned, and he was able to stand and stagger over to the baptistry. In his numbed mind there was some thought of cleansing. He gripped the horns of a golden bull, still profoundly shaken by the horror he had undergone. His grey head was bowed as if in prayer.

Thus, it was that Brigham Smith, Supreme Prophet of the American Empire and paramount masculine conqueror of the globe, failed to see his doom rise from the Waters of Death. Like a reptile, soundless and swift, the seventy-seventh bride emerged, with murder in her coal black eyes. With cruel claws she clenched his shoulders, sinking her razor fangs through his skull to feast upon his brain. Sable death engulfed him.


2017 Bodgan Stevenson

Bio: My name is Jonathan Stefanovic and I hail from the Walla Wallaean Vale of the Pacific Northwest. I like to read Ursula Le Guin, listen to OM, and observe cloud formations. I am blessed to be unemployed.

E-mail: Bogdan Stevenson

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