Nick Cole has proven himself time and again to be able to take what appears to be the usual bit of pop culture fare and turn it into a story with depth that leaves a lasting impression. Yes, Virginia, there are zombies in this story and no, such does not make up my usual reading diet. But, like he did in Soda Pop Warrior, Cole offers the reader something beyond the expected and delivers what can only be termed a punch in the gut with the best kind of surprise endings – one I should have seen coming but could only appreciate when it came along on the last page.
Written words can be beautiful, even when the things you’re describing are sometimes horrible.
The End of the World as We Knew It uses the device of a historical reconstruction told in three parts by people separated by decades both during and long after a pandemic that decimated the world. While there are a few intense depictions of what it might be like should such an event occur, the most moving part of the story come as one man is driven by his enduring passion to find the one love of his life.
Both parties in that equation must bear regrets that far outweighs the reality of a world gone mad. She has allowed fear and alcohol to drive her into the arms of another man – one time but one time too many as far as she is concerned. He carries the burden of four shames that make themselves known over the course of the entire story arc. Separated by thousands of mile and insurmountable obstacles, finding each other is all but a lost cause. Or is it?
To say Cole is creative in his method of storytelling is an understatement. Taking everything from recovered smartphone voice memos to a recovered journal to the ramblings of a demented old man, he leads the reader to piece together one cohesive story of madness and enduring love. Hopelessness and hope. Despair and redemption. A redemption that leads the protagonist in this story to say:
I realize now that words have weight. All words. All words carry a weight that must be shouldered through a lifetime of memory. The Point of Departure. Only at the end do I understand words now. Their meaning. Their weight. Their cost.
Nick Cole is a working actor living in Southern California. When he is not auditioning for commercials, going out for sitcoms or being shot, kicked, stabbed or beaten by the students of various film schools for their projects, he can often be found as a guard for King Phillip the Second of Spain in the Opera Don Carlo at Los Angeles Opera or some similar role. Nick Cole has been writing for most of his life and acting in Hollywood after serving in the U.S. Army.