The hordes hit Denver three days before I was scheduled for liftoff. I was there. Home with my family, eating chocolate chip waffles. The first wave struck late that morning. Wild pigs with mammoth tusks and armor plating. The ground shook. The South Platte sewage flowed backward. Then the rest of the Megafauns streamed out of the mountains, as if they’d been hiding there for centuries, breeding, tripling in size. So thirsty and fast. The winged kind broke into the top floor of the CenturyLink Tower. Fifty-point elks and shaggy aardvarks nested in INVESCO Field. Horned bears with snouts shaped like ice cream scoops covered the suburbs in blood and fur. They came for my family—wife, daughter, younger daughter, youngest daughter, our fox terrier Ralph, me—but we hid in the basement. I thought we’d be fine with a barricaded door. Before dark, I went upstairs for food with Ralph on my heels. Only, he bolted through the doggy door. I found myself chasing him down the street, imagining my daughters’ streaming faces if I had to tell them I lost Ralphie. A block down, heavy grunts sounded from someone’s garage. I had to run home empty-handed. But when I came back down into the basement, arms full of consolation Fruit Roll-ups and Zebra Cakes and no dog, all I came back to was this big hole. Taken, and not even with a loud crashing I could replay in my head. Just nothing nowhere forever.
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