Rhoads Brazos’s story “… and now He erases” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 15 January 2016.
With “and now He erases . . .” I was striving for the ultimate apocalypse, one in which the whole world quite literally crumbles away. It turned out to be a rather bittersweet tale, though still amusing in small parts. The aforementioned “He” is never named, and his demise isn’t explained. The main character, clearly Evel Knievel, isn’t given a proper name either. In a person’s final moments, names aren’t of that much importance. It’s what each person represents in another’s life that carries weight.
I’ve always wanted to get Evel into a story. All of that swagger and recklessness impossible to contain, it’s rolled up in a character who simply can’t be forgotten, and he knows it. As the world disintegrates, he realizes what his presence means, and sees it all as one last contest. He’s already sized up the competition and found them lacking. I thought it was something that Evel would do (if in such a fantastic situation) and, in all of this, really strove to make him as sympathetic a character as possible. He’s impossibly vain, but in many ways he deserves that honor. This one figure makes so much of an impression on another life, that he changes its entire course.
It’s difficult to say how much of this story is autobiographical. Sometimes an author can divulge too much. I was definitely hounded by that accursed wolf until an age I will not admit to. I saw it on TV at the age of three and distinctly remember hiding behind the couch when it came on. (Thank you, PBS!) As mentioned in the story, aggression was the key to escape. And Knievel was a character from my formative years. I used to have the motorcycle toy of him on his bike and still remember cranking the guy up to dangerous speeds on his red ramp launchpad. Like any kid from the 80s, I did more than my share of plywood ramp jumps on a Huffy. Maybe on my last day, that sense of courage will be my own final thought, but as I hope I’ve shown here, there are other choices.
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