The end of the world

For years, ever since the near-fatal motorcycle accident, James had been having strange dreams. Dreams that always seemed to mean something, almost, but not quite, prophesying a major event looming on his life’s horizon.

James, along with his partner Alex, had spent countless waking hours, and hours of intensive library research, interpreting his vivid foretellings. They had gotten quite good at it, all in all, although, in every dream, there would be a few minor details either forgotten or misinterpreted.

The last few months, James has had the same dream, a horrible vision of the ending of the world. At least, that’s the interpretation James and Alex had come up with.

In the vision, James is wandering the streets, lost, looking for something unknown in a city totally foreign to him. It doesn’t even look real, this city, with its strange buildings of purple and orange, streets of fine silver sand, and ambient green light all around. But James always finds himself here, wandering, calling and crying for someone, or something. But every time, just when he spies what he’s looking for, the world ends.

Not with a huge, violent explosion. Not with a shudder and upthrusting earthquake. No, the world ends in a flash of brilliant puce light, silent and overwhelming. The light engulfs the city around James, then James himself. Then there’s only darkness, where James floats for a brief moment, bewildered at the alignment of stars, before he wakes up, stinking of sweat and fear.

Neither James nor Alex have yet determined when this ending of the world will take place. Neither one has mustered the courage to tell anyone else. They merely cling to each other, quaking with fear, each time they see a news report of another disaster in a world densely populated with staid, present-tensed people.

It wasn’t until the fatal plane crash that James realized his mistake. His world, for years, was Alex. The simple business trip, the last of his career, was to have taken Alex halfway across the country. But after the world ended, James floated, confused, angry, and bewildered by the nonsensical darkness around him.


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