THE DAY BEFORE THE END OF DAYS
I knew the time was coming. But did I listen? Noooo! One afternoon, I drag myself home, exhausted, after giving my last final, posting grades, and returning room keys.
My husband, Jeff, greets me at the door.
“Hey, babe. How’d it go?”
I yawn like a mama hippo. “It went. Now I’m going to sleep. Maybe forever.”
Well, you and I both know I don’t mean “FOREVER-forever.” Just until noon.
Truth is, I have no idea why I woke up so early. All I know is that I don’t hear our dog or any other dogs barking, outside. Nor do I hear the rumble of normal traffic — garbage trucks, delivery vans, even hot-rods – on our street.
I reach for my iPhone to get the time, but nothing shows on the screen. No time, no new email or Facebook posts. Nothing. The world has frozen on its axis.
“Stupid iPhone,” I mumble, tossing it back on top of my Kindle and iPad mini on the nightstand. “Might as well get up, anyway.”
I swing my legs around to stand up and go to the bathroom. As I wash my hands, I can’t help smirking, “Well, at least some things are still normal.”
Now, here is the part where Jeff usually pokes his head through the door and hands me a mug of coffee. Only, not this morning. Wondering where he is, I jump into shorts, a t-shirt, and sneakers and wander into our small office, expecting to find him at his computer.
“Hey, hon, did you …..?”
My heart stops. In puddles on the floor are his black, v-necked shirt – the one he always looks so James Dean-ish in, along with his blue jeans, mocassins.
Even his underwear.
“Hey, babe, what’s going on?” I ask, on my way downstairs to the kitchen. Before I open the patio door, I pour two cups of kibble for Russet, our five-year-old Spitz-Shepherd mix. She must be starving, by now.
Am I ever shocked when I walk out on the patio! Lying on the concrete, beside the glider, is her collar with its tags. Could she have slipped under the fence?
Back in the house, I grab the remote and hit the “on” button. Certainly this – whatever “this” is — will turn up on the morning news. But after I flip from one channel to another, all I get are error messages from our cable company.
Now frantic, I call my sons. Certainly, in Virginia and Stockholm, Sweden, they are totally unaffected. In fact, they’re probably arriving at work or sitting down to dinner on the other side of the globe. Still, all I get are their voicemails.
Settle down, Kim. You’re going to be okay.
I sit down to think things through, but nothing I come up with is good. In spite of my Christian upbringing, I’ve always turned a deaf ear when people talk about the Rapture. I cannot even wrap my mind around it.
Not until now.
Now, it seems everyone around me – even our dog – has been gathered up in the clouds. I stand out, arms outstretched, and await my turn.
In the distance, I hear the desperate revving of an engine seconds before the clouds part and a thunderous voice booms, “Come out!”
VERSION 2 (left on t