by Rod Drake

Hard times had fallen on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but then no one stays on top forever and in today’s world, you’re old news before the headlines are running on the crawler of CNN. So they tried to adapt as best they could, given their abilities, limitations and lack of familiarity with the 21st Century. Pestilence decided he could be useful at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and happily worked in a lab coat to find a cure essentially for himself. War, well, he could always find himself a battle to join, but the automated, distance technology of modern warfare pretty much took the fun, the visceral aspect, out of it for him, so he chose to be a field surgeon and confront the gore directly like in the good old days. Famine was confused; the women most admired by society looked as though he had already starved them, and others either praised his name in one failed diet attempt after another or were so obese he was completely unknown to them; thus he started a California health club chain, enjoying great success as tv spokesman “Mr. Slim.” Death, naturally, was so shocked at his casual worship by angry heavy metal bands, black-eyed goth teenagers, climbing suicide rates and overdose deaths that he got out of the death game altogether, creating a 24-hour suicide hotline and spending his free time auditioning “sunshine and smiles” pop groups, hoping to turn the tide, since that was what the Four Horsemen were created to do, even if they now had to turn it in the opposite direction.


Rod Drake, author of Hocus Pocus, writes to live, lives to write, so the relationship works out well. Check out Rod's longer stories in Flashes of Speculation, Fictional Musings, Flash Flooding, Flash Forward and MicroHorror.