Arts & Culture

Post-Corona Gothic: The World Flickers Out In Hysterical Laughter

Gothic is a genre of literature associated with steadily rising revulsion and subtle, creeping horror. Such are the times that ‘normalcy’ has become the ever-elusive light at the end of the tunnel. Read along for discomfiting auguries on the impending apocalypse.

You died on a Thursday; every day is a Thursday. Scalding Golden light washed over you, like entreaties of your undying faith in resurrection of ‘normalcy’. But the clock on your street sobbed midnight; it is always sobbing midnight. You paid no heed to this paradox of time and light: It made way more sense than the bleak blare of 2.6 million bodies incinerated into newspaper ink. 

When you died, the sky overhead was a uniform dome of blue, with nary a cloud or the Sun in sight. You paid no heed to their absence. Its edges were fraying, like tarp off a tent house, but you were too busy laughing to notice. You even dismissed the dark at the edges as rain clouds, and not the coding of your world under duress.

Your death was not so much a perishing of the body as it was a coming undone of the threads of your psyche. Slowly, and stealthily, everything stopped making sense: the brouhaha on Zoom calls, the time-warped day, the rising pile of memes mocking existence. All logic washed off the shores of your sentience, and soon you were little more than an empty shell walking.


It began, or rather ended, with laughter: a pun shared over Google Classroom, by a nameless, faceless colleague. Your hollow laughter rang out into the void, a desperate cry for help, and was echoed by the cackle of other estranged attendees. It pitched louder, and louder, a breathless lament eddying around the meeting ‘room’. Until, its senselessness prevailed. 


The ceaseless cacophony of the television set became a white noise against which your consciousness faded. Anchors hollering reckless unanchored your sanity, and an omniscient humming drowned out your sense of self. As your unhinged laughter flooded away the ethos and pathos of personhood, you became one of the first casualties of a raging epidemic of insanity.


Your laughter bellowed against the backdrop of a City up in flames, and the sobbing din of everyone else joined in. No one could decrypt the series of events that scorched them so; the light was still golden and the Sun still missing. A news anchor screamed from the cracked screen of a broken TV and tore off his hair. You clicked a picture (“One for the keepsakes!”).


WHO Chief graced the news after 2 months of hiding in his bunker. Sharing a Corona meme on his phone, he laughed himself to tears. Before he could officialize the outbreak of a pandemic of delirium, the camera was seemingly attacked by a formless entity. You were too busy editing the footage into a meme to fear the ‘thing’ that singlehandedly took down the camera crew.


You hide below the rubble of your college, slowly laughing yourself to death. It has been a long time since you forgot your name. Around you crash the mechanism of this simulated world. The light is still Golden, the sky still blue, and as predicted: you give little thought to the fraying at the edges. This is how it ends: in hysterical tears of insanity.

In essence, we never survived 2020. The sepulcher of reason and rationality chiseled out by 2020 drove us past the ends that justify the means.  the apocalypse of reason embodied by that year shrouded everything intrinsically human and rational about our world, and we are simply living in the steadily deteriorating aftermath of it. 

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Image Credits: Pinterest

Samya Verma

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