Month of Apocalypse Day 5: The End Times

So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” – Matt 24:44

Hannah sipped her coffee while reading her newspaper. “Oh my!” She exclaimed.

“What is it, dearie?” Imogen asked as she joined Hannah at her table in the office lounge.

“Did you hear the news? Russia just declared war on Japan today.”

“Oh dear,” Imogen said. “Whatever for?”

“Apparently,” Hannah scrutinised the article, “tensions have been heating up over a territorial dispute. Some islands called the South Kuril Islands.”

“Why go to war over a couple of rocks? We’ll never bother to go to war with Malaysia over Pedra Branca.”

“They’re more than just a couple of rocks, Imogen! The islands are valuable because of the natural resources it holds. Rich fishing grounds, deposits of rare minerals…”

“Looks like I won’t be able to go Hokkaido for my vacation this year.”

“Jeez, Imogen!” Hannah cried. “You’ve got to be less apathetic about such things. The price of food like rice and wheat is rising because their crops have been devastated by bad weather, and price of fish is also rising due to overfishing and a booming population growth. Russia and Japan are probably fighting over the fish. You know how the price of cod is reaching new highs.”

“That’s because you buy sea-caught. I buy farm-raised, it’s much cheaper.”

“I don’t know what hormones are injected into farmed fish, I’m not going to risk it,” Hannah muttered and took another sip.

“You know,” she continued, “Sometimes I think we could be entering the end-times -”

“Oh, not your Christian baloney again,” Imogen rolled her eyes in exasperation.

“I mean, the signs seem to be manifesting themselves. Look!” Hannah took out her Bible and read from Matthew 24: “For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.”

“Wars and famines and earthquakes – they’ve been popping up in the news with alarming regularity!” said Hannah.

“And always have been,” Imogen pointed out. “in the 2000s, in the 2010s, the news always has news about starving children, earthquakes in Japan and tsunamis all over the place. Nothing has changed. Singapore still hasn’t experienced an earthquake before!”

“And don’t you feel UN Secretary-General Williamson’s campaign for a ‘New Dawn of Humanity’ sounds a bit like he’s claiming to want to save the world, like – ”

“Hannah, they’ve been predicting the Antichrist for centuries now! First it was Alexander the Great, then it was Napoleon, then it was Hitler, then it was Obama…it’s never been true. Christians have also been predicting the end of the world, but the day always passes and nothing happens! There’s this Christian guy, Harold Camping, who predicted the end of the world twice, and in 1994 and 2011, and nothing has happened. Six years on, both of us are sitting here, happy and well!”

“Imogen! Never knew you were also interested in these kinds of things!” Hannah said with surprise.

“He appeared on a`Top 5 Crackpots of the Decade’ list on Cracked.com,” Imogen defended herself. “Besides, you always talk about these types of things, so I’ve gotta do my homework. But you’ve been talking about these things more often lately. Has God been giving you some signs?” she jested.

“Not exactly. Just a general feeling I’m getting, when I read about news like this.” Hannah’s brow furrowed. “Of course, I won’t go around like that Camping guy, pretending to know when the world ends, after all,” Hannah read from her Bible again: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

Hannah felt a discomfort in her stomach. “Hold on to my coffee for me, Imogen. I’ve gotta go to the loo.” She got up and ran off.

Imogen looked at the news, then glanced at the Bible Hannah had left open on the table. She skimmed a few verses:

Immediately after the distress of those days
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.

“Grim stuff,” she said under her breath, and continued reading:

Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

“This is actually pretty interesting! For fantasy, maybe!” she snorted. Her attention wandered from the book. She realised Hannah wasn’t back yet. She felt Hannah’s cup; the coffee had grown cold. “Perhaps Hannah’s got a really bad stomach ache. I better go check on her.”

“Hannah!” Imogen walked into the ladies’ room. All the cubicles were unlocked except the cubicle at the far end. Imogen walked briskly towards it. “Hannah, are you alright?” she rapped on the door with her knuckles. No answer. “Hannah!” she knocked again.

She wasn’t getting a reply. Did she faint? “Hannah, are you in there!” she shouted. She peered underneath the cubicle door. No legs. Weird. “Hannah, are you playing with me?”

She walked out of the toilet. She grabbed the first man that walked by. “Bill? I need you to knock down a door in the ladies’. I think my friend may have passed out inside.”

They walked back in. Bill pulled himself up slightly over the door. “There’s no one in there!” he said.

“Are you sure? She told me she was going to the ladies’!”

“Maybe she went back to get something from her desk first.” Bill suggested.

“Perhaps.” Imogen’s voice wavered with uncertainty. She walked back to her table where the newspaper, Bible, and coffee lay.

She sat there for a few minutes, worried. Then Patsy, another co-worker, barged in.

“Did you see John?” she asked Imogen. “He told me to meet him in his office ten minutes ago, but he wasn’t there when I arrived. He isn’t responding to his phone either.”

“Didn’t see him, Patsy.” she replied.

“Not sure why people seem to be going missing this morning,” Patsy said. “I thought Bill may have come in here to grab a coffee. I’ll check outside.” She walked out of the lounge.

People going missing…

Realisation hit her. Imogen grabbed the Bible and read one of the verses she had just encountered.

Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

“Jesus.”

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2 thoughts on “Month of Apocalypse Day 5: The End Times

  1. Pingback: The Month of Apocalypse is Over | Wry Things

  2. LiLing

    wow, this hits home. haha. very Left Behind-ish i like. and good research done too with all the facts and real things brought in. the argument between Hannah and Imogen was very realistic cause it is what the general public would say and i don’t have much to criticise about this one :D I LIKE

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