Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Outlandish (05/19/11)
TITLE: Its The End Of The World As We Know It....
By sandra hoolihan
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The newscast repeated itself with news of the end of the world. “You may have heard that today, May 21, is Judgment Day. Also known as the Rapture. Also known as the End Of The World.” Gail said with her deep chain-smoker's voice.
It wasn’t until I heard the third sentence that my thoughts moved from Erika Kane. I was standing over my bed. I folded laundry reveling in the fact that if the end of days was truly upon us, I could proudly say I was doing something so domestically productive when I heard the news. I always hated the questions of “Where were you when the Challenger blew up?” (in the principals office getting detention) or “What were you doing when 9/11 happened?” (stuck in traffic - I decided not to listen to the radio that day so I arrived to work unaware and tactlessly chipper) I became giddy. I imagined that when the question of “Where were you when the Rapture occurred?” I could say folding laundry, secretly proud of the fact that everyone in my family would have clean underwear on Judgement Day.
Gail interviewed a couple people convinced that The End of All Being was upon us who had quit their jobs and sold all their possessions. It reminded me of our family’s all too recent Y2K experience and the tubs of peanut butter and mountains of rice we have stockpiled in the pantry. My kids still seem inconvenienced at having to use dry milk in their morning cereal, but am I wrong for wanting to use up our reserves before the due date catches up to us?
An atheist group has listed an “After the Rapture Pet Service” on Craigslist, Gail further reported in her husky tone. The going rate is $50 for a small dog. My black labrador, Darth Vader, curled up the corner of my room looked at me knowingly as I refused to pick up a pencil and write down the number. I did, however, scribble the number of a gentleman offering free dryer vent cleaning with a full duct cleaning for anyone who survives the rapture. I was rabid with pleasure over being on the verge of winning a contest I never even knew I had entered. The dog exhaled loudly seemingly unamused.
“What’s new?” my husband asked carrying a USA today newspaper while headed toward the john.
Still giddy at the prospect of a free dryer vent cleaning, I told him the news, “Apparently today is the end of the world. We have until dinnertime.”
“Ummh,” he grunted picking something out of his teeth with his tongue.
In a voice unnaturally low for a woman her age, Gail had noted that the newspaper ran a full page ad explaining the details so I didn’t bother giving him further explanation. He would get to that page in due time.
Gail’s baritone blared with news of nationwide “I Survived the Rapture Parties” across the country. I fingered a new blouse I was about to fold, but remembered that tonight was my evening to run my meals-on-wheels route. My disappointment of missing the festivities turned to hope when I heard Gail wrap up the coverage by stating, “The Mayans have predicted that December 12, 2012 will be the end of the world. So if you miss tonight’s parties you will still have another opportunity in a year and a half.”
Perfect, I thought. I have time after all.
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