“All Star,” by Luka Watts

Aug 20th, 2017 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

The only thing to have survived the apocalypse is a recording of All Star by Smash Mouth. And language and grammar, because the man transcribing my story couldn’t be bothered to think of new grammatical and linguistic rules for a story he isn’t interested in. I imagine he listened to All Star and figured out the old ones or something. It upset me to hear he wasn’t interested in my story, because I think it’s quite good.

I was handing out a panini—paninis were the only other thing to survive the apocalypse- to a customer but she wouldn’t give me the full payment. She was supposed to say hey now, you’re an all star but she thought the panini was partially alive so she should be refunded the star. You can imagine the surprise of someone expecting to hear hey now, you’re an all star but instead hearing hey now, you’re an all. I was truly shocked. I said to myself Macaulay, you cannot settle for this. And then I said it to her. She said I’m not called Macaulay. I said fair point, and then how can you expect someone to feel like they’ve been rewarded for their services without being told they’re an all star? I don’t just sit in random fields offering paninis to whoever happens to pass by out of the goodness of my heart, I do it to be told I’m an all star. I need the harmonization such positive affirmations bring to my soul. Without All Star I cannot connect to a world that once was. My heaving hordes of other customers comply so why can’t you? She said only shooting stars break the mould. I screamed you can’t use Smash Mouth to justify this disgraceful behaviour with every air of my being. She ran.

I chased after her through boggy marshes and along rubbly roads and in other stereotypical post-apocalyptic landscapes. I was faster and would have caught her quickly but I tripped over the abstract concept of childhood and cut my knee when I fell. Blood was everywhere. By the time I had recovered enough to stand up she had disappeared into the fog. I stood up and carried on running in the first direction I could think of, which was vertically, but it was no use. She had disappeared. I whispered all I wanted was for you to say hey now, you’re an all star but she didn’t reply, which was probably because she wasn’t there.

Then in an incredibly convenient plot twist I saw her again. I ran up to her and begged her to tell me I’m an all star. She said no, that would not be the appropriate payment bearing in mind the quality of the panini you offered me. I hit her over the entire body with a massive rock. Then I hit her with an even bigger rock, but this rock was made of justice. Which is to say she died instantly.

I asked the storyteller why did you say you weren’t interested in my story? He said I didn’t say I wasn’t interested, I said I wasn’t impressed. I said why? He said well first you don’t live in a post-apocalyptic world where all currency has been replaced by quotations from All Star by Smash Mouth, you live with your mother in a semi-detached house in the outskirts of South London. Secondly the person you killed wasn’t a grill- sorry, predictive text, it wasn’t a girl you killed, it was Steve Harwell, the singer from Smash Mouth. Our intelligence has told us you travelled to his home in California and begged him to sing All Star to you. He refused because he gets that shit all the time from the legions of obsessive Smash Mouth fans and he just wants to get on with his day without being hassled, it’s his mother-in-law’s birthday tomorrow and he hasn’t got her a card yet so he needs to find something on funkypigeon.com, which he can’t do if he’s being harassed by strangers. Then you attacked him with a chainsaw and decapitated him. I said d’you want to go for a drink? He said you what mate? I said you are the most beautiful being I have ever encountered. We could be the greatest pairing since towels and aubergine. He said I think we’re gonna have to keep you in the cells overnight and refuse you bail.


Luka Watts is a student from England. He is sunburnt. He thinks he contains multitudes, but isn’t entirely sure what multitudes are. He hasn’t wet himself since he was ten. He tells his mother he shouldn’t have to get a job because he is a creative person and can’t be constrained by society’s boxes. He is nineteen years old and lives in a small town called Falmouth, where he eats pasta and feels what he needs to. He has work in WiTH and Zoo Zine.

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