We humans pride ourselves on being social creatures of moral thought. We thoroughly believe that we are superior compared to every other animal on the planet because we are able to perform action only based on morals. Charitable donations, helping the environment around us and simple acts of kindness present a portrait that we concern ourselves with the existence of others. And with that, we think ourselves better than creatures.
But we’re not superior. The Un-rapture proved that.
Expanding from what I’ve already said: we, as humans, only see the kindness others give on the outside. Whereas on the inside, they could harbour unspeakable thoughts and ideas that would no sooner make any normal person be sick to their stomach.
Imagine if you were simply walking down a street on a bright, azure day. Surely there is no evil or terror capable of hiding in daylight. But imagine how many people passed you and though about attacking you? Violating you? Imagine how many people thought, just for a moment, about killing you? Or your family? Or anyone you’ve ever loved?
The terrifying thing is that you would never truly know. Their sadistic notions are well hidden beneath a trusting smile. You are surrounded by pure evil without even knowing it.
So then, given the chance, would you get rid of this evil?
The Un-Rapture did.
It has been the belief that in the second coming of Jesus Christ, the good and righteous shall be taken from their human earth and introduced to the kingdom of heaven. Into Paradise. The wicked and evil-minded shall stay on earth to rot.
I think it might’ve been August when the end of the world was starting.
That’s definitely what it looked like. The aftermath of failed global-warming prevention enveloped us. Our own mistakes as carers of this fragile world swallowed us in eternal hell. The floods destroyed our homes, the earthquakes destroyed the cities.
The government tried so desperately to regain some control, but the relentless riots crippled any service.
Thieves and criminals made good their surroundings by stealing, breaking, smashing and killing whatever they could. When one doesn’t believe in righteous judgement, what has one to fear?
I did fear though. Being a devoted Christian for as long as I could remember, I hid with the others who feared. We took refuge in the only place we could think of at a time like this: a church. The walls of stone soaked with belief were the only protection we needed.
They were many, I imagine. Families, shaken with an intense dread of uncertainty, crouched and holding one another in an unbreakable bond. I was alone there, but I know that with my faith as a child of the Lord, I would be welcomed into his graces. I had to be.
From beyond the stain-glass windows, we could see that the sky had turned red. A deep ebony crimson that spread far beyond any horizon.
It flowed through the windows and bathed everything in darkened blood. That’s what made us freeze. My crucifix was held so tightly, my knuckles were turned white with the strain. But I didn’t feel anything but horror.
Eventually, we heard muffled noises coming from outside; similar to the sound a ball makes when you drop it on a carpet. A brief, but strong noise that quickly echoed into thousands more.
Some were louder than others and some sounded deeper. It was about ten minutes of this when I finally opened the great arched door. Nobody stopped me; I think they wanted to know too.
What I saw stopped my heart and laced my very muscles with poison that kept me standing, no matter my urge to turn away.
I saw the town I lived in obliterated by meteorites raining from the scarlet clouds. I saw the molten rocks followed by a tail of fire as they found their destination, shattering and detonating a fierce shock-wave that rippled through the earth. The sky was swarmed with them.
This was the end of this world, and our God had left us.
I considered closing the door as the sight practically left me blind to hope. But as soon as I was about to, I saw a group of young males sprinting up the hill towards the church. They were definitely bandits; I knew they were. Why else would they be there?
Then a notion struck me. If those men were criminals, how could I let them in the church? Would it be possible that these men would try and attack us? Attack the defenceless?
As a Christian, I couldn’t let those men succumb to the horror outside but would I be signing the death warrant of everyone inside by letting them in?
As I battled over my own morality, I noticed something utterly peculiar: despite that there were countless meteorites crashing to the ground and wiping out everything in their path, I saw that these men weren’t even being touched.
There were about fifteen of them at least, so there must’ve been one casualty. But there wasn’t. The rocks completely missed them; hitting close, but never enough to actually maim.
This amazement caused me to keep the doors open until they reached the church. Hurriedly getting in, they were shaken and constantly thanking me for saving them, surely unaware of their miracle chance of survival. Still pondering, I stared at the sky and thought about the end of days.
“There has to be a Rapture”, I said aloud. Too hypnotised to care if anyone was listening.
“A what?” asked one of the men beside me. He was deeply panting in between his words due to the sprinting.
I turned to him. He mightn’t been too young to be called a man; perhaps twenty years old or so. Despite his attire of a leather jacket and boots, he bared a face of absolute terror; an emotion that was definitely new to him. I couldn’t imagine the eternal agony this boy would know once the Rapture began. He would stay to face this destruction alone, but I knew that was to be done.
I suddenly noticed that the sky had ceased its onslaught. There was a tranquil silence that erupted throughout the land as the clouds overhead turned back to their natural white consistency. They were joined with their canvass that had been altered back to a crystal clear blue.
At once this astonished all who witnessed it. Of course such a thing wasn’t even scientifically possible, but deep within my heart, I knew this was the Lord’s work. Our prayers had been answered and we, as his loyal children, had been saved.
Slowly but gradually, we walked out of the church to see the new conditions the strike had created. Amazingly, I saw not one scratch on the stone that had guarded us. Not a single singe upon our shelter of faith.
The same could not be said for the town.
There was nothing left save for a few small mounds of brick and glass. Houses and buildings lay like the remains of crushed sandcastles; a once reflection of life erased from sight as though it had never been there.
I knew that this was what the damned had to remain with: a wasteland with no means to survive while the rest of us were rewarded for our innocent lives filled with nothing but determined interest for our fellow neighbour.
The children of evil would stay: those who have committed crime, those who had performed insidious acts and those who had even considered performing such acts would be judged. Within me, I thought it would leave only a handful of us left. The only ones to be completely good throughout our existence.
Instantly, there was a bright, blinding light that drowed my vision. There were cries all around me, so I knew that other saw it too. This was it, this was the Rapture. We would be given the kingdom of heaven.
I felt enveloped by rushing air, as though I were travelling at tremendous speed through wind, before my feet left the ground they were standing on and started floating. I was travelling to my new home, to my paradise.
There was no way of knowing how long this happened for, but I assumed I was travelling at the speed of light itself to reach this final destination. My mind was clouded, making it almost impossible to conceive anything more than a dazzling array of pictures.
I thought of myself stepping on a road of clouds, hand in hand with the Lord and his son. I thought of seeing my late parents, grandparents and members of my family who I had never seen before gathered together in ever-lasting peace. I thought of enlightenment, I thought of every question answered. This was my Rapture.
It ended gradually, like a car running out of petrol before it stops completely. I found solid ground underneath me and stood up. My vision returned, although it took me a considerable amount of time to realise that I had.
I couldn’t tell scale of the void, because there was no distance. There was no surface, no floor. No buildings, no flora, no gates of gold. There was nothing but white. Everything, and indeed everywhere, was white.
Holding my hands in front of me, I stumbled across an unfathomable distance. Was this heaven? Was this to be my eternity? The sight of my location was like a thick fog that shrouded as far as my vision would see and left me with nothing but a strange concoction of anxiety and disappointment. Surely this couldn’t be paradise; it was nothing.
Nothing except for the humanoid shadow that now stood in front of me.
I stopped walking and stared at it. It didn’t seem too tall; in fact, it was shorter then me by a few inches. There was no detail to its form at all; only a dark entity the resembled a human.
I was relived, but cautious. Thank God there was another here, but what accompanied me? Perhaps this was an angel, or a guide sent to take me into heaven. Perhaps this was even Christ himself. It couldn’t be a threat nonetheless, there were no threats here.
The form moved forward cautiously, as if it was thinking the same thing. I saw that it bared no wings or ethereal halo. With every step it took, I saw more and more of its clothing and face. The familiar attire of a leather jacket and boots. It was the boy, still with a face contorted from fear.
I couldn’t move. Still staring at him, my mind was riddled with new horrifying questions. Why was this boy here? He was a bandit, a criminal. Would it be possible that I had misjudged him? Maybe he was innocent and it was nothing more than a coincidence that he was dressed the way he was.
I turned away and began to run, run with all of my strength into the fog. I needed answers, I needed to see the angels. They would tell me. For God’s sake, they had to be here! I am a child of the Lord!
As I sprinted, without even knowing how fast I was going, I began to see more shapes. More humanoid forms of shadow. As they grew closer, they would be defined more clearer. I passed a confused man in a suit whom I recalled to be a politician. He reached out a hand as if to beckon help, but I didn’t stop until he was invisible behind the impenetrable wall of white.
I remembered that man’s face in the news; he had been guilty of taken briberies from different sources, but his power kept him free from judgement. That man was contaminated with the sin of greed, a puppet to currency. How, by merciful God, was he here?
There was also a woman, middle aged and frightened, with her hair hanging in tangled strands. I instantly recognised her as a resident of my neighbour hood, a married woman who had cheated on her husband. After confessing, she left him with their two children.
The story was very much the talk of the town and I would be lying if I said I didn’t look down upon her with disgust. She couldn’t be here, she mustn’t be here! There had to be a mistake, I needed to talk to someone of power, anyone in power!
And then I saw them, a crowd of the figures. A whole swarm scattered in the same area. The very sight made my heart rise up in my own throat and robbed me of breath, I could do nothing but stagger like a new-born deer at what drained me of hope.
A crowd of men and women in prison uniforms.
I feel to my knees and screamed, but it was a silent scream that existed only in my own head. Please, Oh merciful God in heaven, why am I here? This place is a purgatory for the damned, but I am one of your righteous children. Please Lord, answer me!
And I got my answer. It was buried there, under so much determination to keep it hidden, but it was there. I saw myself in memory peering through the blinds of my kitchen window. I wanted to make sure no-one could see me looking. I was concealed from view, from judgement.
The little blonde girl played outside the garden of her house, just opposite from mine. Her hair, like ripe harvest wheat, danced in the breeze in two delicate pigtails. She was pure, an innocent spirit in a vile world, and I revelled in my imagination.
I thought, wondered and delighted in ideas of what I would do to her: to feel her soft, unsullied flesh under me and to hear her muffled cries as I would take her. The pleasure I gained from that thought filled my world and it was all mine, conceived within me so that no-one else could ever know.
But that is all they were, thoughts! Harmless notions and nothing more; I could never have done anything like that in real life, the Lord knows that…doesn’t he?
It isn’t my fault; they were only thoughts. I am only a mere mortal and the Devil is much stronger. He is the one who planted the filthy seed that grew into my damnation, it is his doing! Not mine! I am an innocent, my God knows that!
My God won’t let me suffer.
I lay here on the blank, shapeless ground and wait for him. Soon it will be known that this was just a terrible mistake and I will be return to earth with the remaining population, ready to live pure, honorable lives. I just have to wait. The damned wander by me, some notice and try to talk but I don’t talk back. I can’t be contaminated by their sin. I must stay faithful to the light.
This is the Un-Rapture. And I am one with it.