My favorite is probably the Sunrise Apocalypse. It’s sort of a three-way, right? Because first you got the meteors hitting the planet, and the monsoons of dust blotted out the sky. That killed off the sauropods, as best we can tell, by killing off all the above-ground plants. Then the underground plants poked up and allegedly took over the planet, but that’s probably a crock, right? Because they starved to death next, without the sunshine. Though it is funny to imagine a bunch of giant vine-monsters busting through the crust thinking its their time to rule, and wilting a week later.
So you knock off most of the sauropods, and most of the giant plants. That left the mammals in control, which is when vampirism really took off. The World of Night, where rats and fanged birds carried the plague across the entire continent. Tribes of infected centaurs and humans laid waste to any straggling healthy civilizations.
It was vampirism like the world has never known since. There were so many that they were forced to hold each other back and let blooded critters breed. They farmed people, region by region. The imps and centaurs still live where vampires stuck them, claiming ancestral birthright, even though that birthright was a nightmarish pen. The wars of that period were of impatient vampires against cultured ones, killing each other over the expiration dates of mammals. And then there was the apex predator.
There’s the legend – the awesome legend – of the infected tyrannosaur rampaging the south coast. It never spread the disease because it just ate anything it came across – centaurs, dorads, anything. Your people hid in a cave? Then a bat flutters in, and before you realize it, the bat turns into a vampire tyrannosaur and he’s eaten your entire tribe. I love that people believe it’s still skulking in the volcanoes of the south. I don’t even care if it’s real. Who doesn’t want to believe in a vampire tyrannosaur, blending in with lava mist or drinking sharks at the bottom of the sea?
If it’s still swimming around, it’s all that survived. Because under the torrents of dust, they were unbeatable kings and queens, spreading their disease at will and treating the planet as a buffet. Then the planet closed for business by clearing the atmosphere. It was the first morning in nine hundred years. The sun crawled across this continent, frying skinny-dipping biters, their ranchers and warlords, ones fleeing in the forms of bats or wolves, though still more standing slack-jawed in awe. They’d thought the sun was a fairytale.
Funny that they all turned to fairy dust. I hear faeries eat vampire bones, and pay handsomely if you can find some.
Hands-down, the best apocalypse. It was just a sunrise. A little twinkling of a nearby star, checking to see how we were doing and eradicating most of the undead in existence. If only it was that easy to get rid of tentacle monsters.