Nothing But The Rain

Chapter Fifteen: It's The Magic Of America

By: Jondy Macmillan


-Stan-

"Kenny! Kenny, wake the fuck up, dude," my voice cracks in a way it hasn't since I was fourteen and had nothing but pretty girls and a certain, amazing guy on my mind. God, I don't even like Kenny, but the sight of him sprawled across the dirt like a broken doll is more than I can take right now.

Maybe it's because I know my own strings are cut now. I can't pretend to be a marionette anymore.

I already know how this is going to play out. The remaining Governors will be scattered, vulnerable. Easy to pick off. Kyle and his cell may have been the sole extremists in Park County that were visible, but no way were they the only ones.

Dissatisfaction with the New City Governors' policies is rampant; complaints filled up my inbox in the enforcement office. Back when I still had an inbox.

They were anonymous, of course. Being anything but anonymous was a quick way to an early grave. Maybe that can change now. Now that the regime's sure to fall.

Thanks to Kyle. Kyle, the person I…

Better not to think about it. Better not to reminisce, because then all I'll remember is the first time we made love, and how he's in pieces, now. It's like the ultimate rejection; having your lover die rather than stay alive, with you.

And the worst thing is, even if my prediction is right, even if random vigilantes decide to take down what's left of our dictatorship…nothing will change. A new set of kings and queens and villains will take the stupid vampire kids' place.

There's nothing left to hate and nothing left to save, other than myself. And I'm not even worth it.

Despair is a funny thing. The complete absence of hope; it kind of indicates that hope's not even a glimmer in the future. But I experience total, utter desolation for a moment; just one.

Then hope comes right back in and knocks me up the side of the head.

"Stan?"

I glance up towards the voice. Ike. I promised I'd take care of him.

"What happened?" he's biting his lip and looking so damned young. Even though he's not related to Kyle by blood, blood that's mixed with dirt and grime and probably dots my skin somewhere amongst all the zombie gristle, they look alike. Only a Broflovski could make the expression Ike's giving me right now, full of perfect clarity and love, and sadness too.

Kyle always worried that Ike was going to the dark side, but I never did. He dressed all in black and went to the youth rallies at city hall, but I've always known he's too damned smart to buy into that.

Hell, smarter than me.

He was just doing his teen rebellion thing; only there was no mom or dad to pay attention.

Big brother was too busy being a revolutionary.

Now big brother's pink spray. I'm probably breathing bits of him in right now, as the air begins to settle around me. I must be a sick fuck, because that just makes me want to breathe deeper.

"Hey," I say, and my voice sounds so tired.

"Is Kenny okay?" Ike asks, keeping his eyes decidedly away from the smoldering remains of the factory. I do the same. I can't bear to look quite yet.

"I don't know," I reply, honest as can be.

As if he hears me, somehow, Kenny's body shudders and shakes, wracked with coughs. He tries to sit up, his cerulean eyes blinking up at me.

He whispers Kyle's name.

I wince, shake my head. His face falls. Ike doesn't see.

I tell him, "I think you were dead for a little while there, dude."

Kenny frowns, shrugs; a jerky movement, "It happens."

"My brother was in there, wasn't he?" Ike points to the factory. I finally look at it, for real. I take in Kyle's masterpiece. I glimpse my second snatch of hope.

It's amazing. It's beautiful. It's terrifying.

I can see the sky.

"Yes."

For the first time in years, the wall gapes open, a scar in the landscape I've come to know as South Park, as home. I know this is what Kyle wanted; a direct line to the outside world.

"He did that?"

"He did."

I'm scared to get up, to walk over and peer out.

I do it anyway. There's nothing but sky and pastures, sun and grass. Of course. The next town over is miles away. It will be a walk to find out if there's a whole world waiting to greet us or if our quarantine served no purpose but our own. The infection could have spread. It could have.

The entire globe might be populated by crazed cannibals. By blowing up the wall, Kyle might have doomed us all.

Kenny and Ike come to stand beside me. We're teetering at the edge of a precipice.

I guess the future's like this for everyone.

Scary.

Indeterminable.

Exhilarating.

Kyle, what have you done?

Why couldn't you have let things be?

Even now that he's gone, I still think that way. I still wonder, what if?

I want to go back to being Stan and Kyle, not two monsters with different faces. We didn't deserve this. We didn't deserve any of this. We should have been together, forever. Now he's part of a worm buffet, and I'm probably going to get executed for treason, or eaten by a horde of hungry zombies from the outside, or…stand here deliberating like some kind of helpless child.

"What do we do?" Ike queries, staring at the sun the way people always say not to, or you'll go blind.

I glance at Kenny, strangely comfortable with the knowledge that he probably wishes I were dead instead of Kyle. I kind of agree with him.

He nods, firm, resolute. A bird breaking free of a cage, stretching its wings for the first time in ages.

I tear my eyes from his, thinking maybe, just maybe, he's braver than I ever gave him credit for.

"We go out there. See if anyone's still alive. If everyone's still alive," I say, sounding stronger than I thought I could. My ears are ringing, and my eyes are squinting from all the residue still lingering in the air, but somehow, I feel okay.

I feel like maybe I can survive this.

Ike murmurs, "What about South Park?"

"Is there anything here left for you?"

"No…but…the house. What if they patch up the wall while we're gone. What if we're locked out of this place, forever?"

I hadn't thought of that.

"Would that be so horrible?"

Ike mulls it over. Kenny and I are already decided.

Slowly, the younger boy nods.

We climb out into the day. The world is terrifying. Beautiful. Awe-inspiring.

It's everything, and Kyle's the one who gave it back to us.


A/N: The End.

I want to thank you all for sticking with this- as you can see, the writing style is very vague and experimental for me. Personally, I think it kind of comes off as one of those annoying indie 'art' movies, where everything happens, but nothing really happens- your grasp on what's going on slips in and out. I like it, but I don't know if I'd ever write something similar again. I received a lot of helpful suggestions on structure and plot that I appreciated much-ly, and you guys all deserve big applause for reading this far.

Whether or not you liked the ending, I began this with the intention of killing Kyle off. The idea was inspired in my counterterrorism class after watching an Arabic movie called 'Paradise Now', which follows childhood friends on the day they plan on blowing some **** up. I was particularly intrigued with the reasoning behind why one man wanted to, then didn't want to, and then in the end, did it anyway. Despite all the reasons he wanted to help his movement, and all the reasons he had to live, when he decided to die, there was no solid reason at all. Which kind of reflects terrorist profiling (there is no solid definition of terrorism, and no solid method of profiling terrorists, at least not in the scholarly sense). With Kyle, I wanted to show how he pushed away everything he loved, even though he had reasons to live- Stan, Kenny, and Ike. It wasn't his hatred that won out, but his conviction that he was right, no matter what, which I think it a very Kyle thing to do. I'm not sure how well I succeeded, but there you go.

My concluding author notes are always freakishly long, so bear with me. First off- credit for all the chapter titles. For those of you who aren't familiar with my method; it's called being lazy. I go on iTunes shuffle; having nearly four thousand songs, over half of which I haven't even listened to; this is risky business. Some of the songs I don't like; some I love. I take my favorite lyric from each, and tada! Instant chapter title. So, credit goes to: Konstantine by Something Corporate, Just a Little Bit by 50 Cent, Times Like These by the Foo Fighters, You've Made Your Bed (So Sleep In It) by You Me At Six, Ballad for Dead Friends by Dashboard Prophets , Black Cadillacs by Modest Mouse, Where'd You Go by Fort Minor, Screenwriting an Apology by Hawthorne Heights, Closer by Ne-Yo, What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, Post Blue by Placebo, The Prayer by Josh Groban, Got Money by Lil Wayne ft. T-Pain, The Game Of Who Needs Who The Worst by Cursive, and A Match Made In Texas by Her Space Holiday.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone who reviewed/alerted/faved. I never would have finished this without so much encouragement! To all my alerters/favoriters (sorry guys, can't list you all!), a huge thanks. And a huger thanks to shannello, super manako sohma, natsu, stfoosa, Hot Monkey Brain, Miss Sketchbook, yayme2012, Hypothisos, Figure.10, Alpha Hydra, Tsukinori Kaze, Lady Azura, Hermaphrodite, jayjabee, CharitySaleChild, Incurable Spazz, Sam-Sam-Samedi, YouMustBeJoking, GalleyTrot, AuralRaven, , DarkxGash, , tazrr, DCLynneHaddock, Harry Lvr, PyschoticMidnight, SpookieBoo, Collamair, and all my anonymous reviewers for giving me unfailing support! Ily all. :) I'm proud of this thing, and I'm glad you guys all came along for the ride. Thank you!!!