The Last Day of Life on Earth
On the last day of life on earth, a little boy asked his mother for a drink of water, and she smiled and kissed him on the forehead.
In Chicago a bartender walked outside and stared at the sun for a minute. It didn’t look like rain.
A 14-year old girl raced her mom’s Ford Mustang as fast as she could down the hot center of a two lane blacktop heading toward a reservoir.
A man named John couldn’t remember what his friend Bill asked about years ago in the last moments of his life. He knew it was something about the Sierras and a trip they took when they were in college, but he couldn’t remember.
A truck driver pulled over to the side of the road. He had to pee and it was another 40 miles to Davenport, Iowa.
A new bride turned to the last page of her novel to see how many pages she had left. 434.
The TV set went blank, and a fellow named Jim was really annoyed and reached for his remote.
A priest missed the lentil soup his mother used to make. She used mushrooms that came all the way from Poland.
A single guy named Fred opened up his refrigerator and wondered what his last meal would be. He didn’t see any beans and wondered too if it was too late to buy some.
Outside of Gretna, Virginia, a part-time farmer and preacher named Charles dropped to his knees in the field and started praying. He had joy and fear in his heart.
The sky in the east was starting to cloud up just like it did the day before.
A writer wrote a sentence about God and then he wrote another about the devil. Finished, he read them aloud in wonder. He had never written about either before.
A marmalade colored cat ran across the street for no apparent reason. A man sitting at his study window watched the cat and wondered why he did it.
Another man repeatedly smashed the wall in his living room with a hammer. At last there was an opening wide enough and tall enough for him to pass through.
The radio was on in a house where a father blindfolded his wife and two daughters and shot them before killing himself. The radio was playing an old Bruce Springsteen song, something about being on fire.
The star of the most popular show on TV sat alone in her bathroom drinking a sloe gin fizz. She wished her partner was home. She wanted to make love.
A woman finally sat down at the kitchen table. She had been running around for hours getting this meal ready for her husband and now it was done.
In the apartment next door, the phone wouldn’t stop ringing.
Sheila had been stuck in traffic since lunchtime. Hungry, she wished she had something in the car, even a cracker would do. She put her thumb in her mouth and licked the salt off it.
A boy named Larry played a game he loved on his iPad. His mom was yelling at his dad in the other room, and he didn’t want to listen. He looked around for his ear buds.
Chari sat in the bathtub. The bubbles had gone flat and the water was starting to cool, but she didn’t care.
Frank wondered what tomorrow would be like. He liked this life even with all the bullshit his job put him through. He couldn’t imagine a better way of living.
In the sky above Wichita, Kansas, an old man in a giant balloon drifted east toward the clouds coming toward him.
My story originally appeared in the Atticus Review: https://atticusreview.org/the-last-day-of-life-on-earth/