The Horsemen of the Apocalypse
The Four Horsemen of the 21st Century Apocalypse, by Penny Byrne
By Antonieta Janeiro
The approach of the first winter of the first decade of this century was already anticipating something scary.
Portugal, a country where generally no major disasters happen, lived in a stifling heat that lasted throughout early December, plunging everything and everyone in a sticky humidity.
This was followed by an earthquake, and immediately we fell into a sudden chill announcing Christmas.
Almost immediately at the same time came the deluge __ days and nights of continuous water, of overflowed rivers and streams, of life and property that were lost, without, at least, the thermometers daring to rise.
Then came the wind blowing in gusts.
Cold, rain, rough seas, strong winds, were the constant in a Christmas that did not even allow a fire to be lit.
The houses were ripped of their roofs, old centenary trees were pull up by the roots, mudslides rose alarmingly, the days were spent at home looking at the clouds through the windows and listening to the continuous howling wind upon nature.
Our West was swept by a tornado some say, by a typhoon say others; and the Algarve almost disappeared in the mud, torn between a tempestuous Ocean and the muddied lands that ran furiously down the mountains, dragging in the gush all that barred the surge: the trees that had been uprooted by the wind, the paths and tools, the sandy beaches that climbed the mountain, amalgamating all in a tangle of palm branches, almond tree limbs, olive tree roots, pieces of boats and fishing nets, now forming islands, now peninsulas, mixing fresh water with salt water, the Earth always battered by storms, winds, cold and darkness.
Our highlands were to bride, as usual in this season, but this Winter with the lurking danger of landslides, road cuts, several accidents.
It was in this chaos that we entered in the New Year and the first decade.
The cold, rain and wind stayed and threatened to worsen.
The news of this global village that our world has become, told us of the fury with which the gods punished men: at one side fires, floods on the other; on one side torrid heat, at the other polar chill.
The Horsemen began equipping their mounts for the Apocalypse.
The War had already spilled blood in the Earth.
Hunger was already raging among the people.
And suddenly, the bowels of the Planet shook and poured over the ground. Vacation havens disappeared from maps, swept by earthquakes in chain.
Waters of jade, coral hills vanished; missing and disintegrated the thousands of human beings __ it is the Horseman of Death that starts to reap Life.
Many thousands of orphans are now wandering through the planet, among dead bodies, their eyes empty, wounded and barefooted, trying to understand the chaos around them, delivered to their fate.
They are waited by the Horseman of Plague.
And before our still dazed minds, arrive to Portugal two heralds of the four Horsemen. __ A British couple who, nearly three years ago lost a child in Portugal with the same indifference with which they could have lost the car keys, or the beach towel or even, a pack of cigarettes...
They simply lost it. There is no other explanation.
Left were three children under three years, night after night alone in a hotel room with the door on the latch, while her parents dined and had a good time with friends.
And so, one night, one of the three children disappeared from the Earth. Disappeared, like the children of Haiti have disappeared and woken, one day, on another planet.
The couple said that the blame is all ours; we have no laws nor police; that we are a retard people; that we do not know how to care for that which belongs to others.
And so, when the crisis began to knock at their door they decided to return to the retard country, in the tip end of the world.
They accused the policeman in charge of investigating what they had lost; they accused him of slandering them and of tarnishing their name.
They ordered his wage to be frozen and to seize a book he had published.
And demanded that all copies of the book were burned.
And demanded that he paid a fortune every time their unpolluted names are mentioned.
All these demands on behalf of the grief caused by the disappearance of the child they had lost__ the daughter that they were unable to keep!
And, while Portugal is restoring its wounds, and more are being opened throughout the world, the couple decided to celebrate the 1000 days of the disappearance of the child.
Celebrate how? Raising funds for orphans in Haiti? Adopting one of them to appease their consciences?
The inconsolable couple decided to celebrate the loss of their daughter organizing a festive banquet in the most expensive and finest London restaurant!
Attending the show and the banquet will be the richest, the most famous, and the most important families of the Four Corners of the World, like in fairy tales. Only by invitation.
The benefits accrue, they say, for a «Fund» designed to find the daughter they’ve abandoned around...
What is absolutely certain is that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse will be there, even without invitation, attending the Feast!