Horses Not Included, by H.L. Fullerton

End the world in six fun, simple steps with Do It Yourself Apocalypse*.

You will need:
• four horses
• a crown
• a scale (preferably digital with easy-to-read LED display and weight converter)
• a letter opener, and
• seven angry angels or a brass band. TIP: Anything guaranteed to wake the dead may be substituted, but it’s best if the substitute can run faster than a mob.

Step 1. Choose your Conquest, War, Famine and Death. Riders optional. Lead horse wears crown, second gets letter opener, third totes scale, final carries two riders. This may sound unfair for Horse No. 4 if you’re using horsemen, but with Death being skin and bones, the added weight of Hell tagging along actually evens things out. TIP: Use scale to weigh riders before assigning roles. They’ll grumble, but your horses will thank you.

Step 2. Cue music. We recommend something jaunty that horses can canter to. But not Great Balls of Fire. Horses do not like Jerry Lee Lewis.

Step 3. Release horses into the world one at a time. Recommended order is white, red, black and pale, but since we’ve been assured that the Lord is colorblind, it doesn’t really matter (as long as they’re real horses and not ponies, mules or zebras: if God liked zebras, he wouldn’t have made them so tasty to lions).

Step 4. Let the complaining commence. TIP: In-laws and small children are extremely handy at this stage. Barring that, actual martyrs whining about their unjust deaths will do.

Step 5. Stand on nearest fault line and jump seven times. Not six, not eight, exactly seven. Remember, God is counting and he prefers prime numbers. If earthquake doesn’t immediately commence, spin in circle seven times while clicking heels together to jumpstart tornado.

Step 6. Crochet blanket big enough to blot out sun OR close all blinds and sit in the dark wearing rose-colored glasses. These will help the moon appear covered in blood. Wailing and gnashing of teeth would be appropriate at this stage, but do not rend garments. As the sign on Heaven’s gate says: No shirt, no shoes, no salvation.

*Please use responsibly. Horses not included.

H.L. Fullerton writes fiction—mostly speculative, occasionally about apocalypses—which is sometimes published in places like Buzzy, Penumbra, and Flash Fiction Online.

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