Three Tales of Rapture

by E.E. King

#1 The Disappearance
(publishing December 26th)
#2 An Explanation
(publishing December 27th)
#3 The Rapture
(publishing December 28th)

#1 The Disappearance

The sun rose with a brilliant flash, for a single instance completely illuminating world and sky, before dimming back to a softer, more conventional dawn.

Mariana turned over in her bed, awakened by the absence beside her. Her arms made tiny windmills blindly searching for the body that should be there.

“Misty,” she called. There was no answering gallop of feet. No responding bark. No welcoming tongue.

Mariana bent and looked under the bed, even though it wasn’t like Misty to hide. She groggily pulled herself upright, conscious of the weight of her eyelids and staggered from room to room of her tiny two bedroom. There was no way Misty could have gotten out.

Mariana opened the front door.  Outside, despite the early hour, despite the quarantine, the sidewalks and streets were already full of people.

“Spot,” someone called.

“Midnight.” Someone else cried.

“Mogwai, where are you?”

“Have you seen Cuddles?’ Marianna’s neighbor, Bertha, asked.

“Rambo,” called the large, tattooed muscle man next door. “Come boy, Come now.” He whistled loudly.

All up and down the street, people were looking beneath cars, behind trash bins and under bushes. Searching around corners, in cul-de-sacs, and in shrubbery, calling for lost pets.   Marinna watched and listened, slowly becoming aware that beneath the sounds of people, below the airplanes and above the cars was a profound silence. No birds sang. No daredevil hummingbirds screeched from feeder to feeder.  No insects buzzed or bit. No gnats hovered. No mosquitoes whined.

She stood in the doorway, helpless as to where to look. She went inside. Made herself a cup of coffee and stared at her computer. Reports were flooding the internet. Posts washing in from all corners of the world. Videos broadcast up from monitors in the Mariana trench, the deepest place in sea or land and images beamed down from satellites.

All dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, snakes and chameleons had inexplicably vanished from homes, tanks, and cages. Even insignificant aquatic snails and feeder goldfish were missing. Waving plastic treasure chest lids flapped in unoccupied bowls.

Labs were empty of rats, mice and monkeys. Even lab beagles, specially bred to crave affection and love so desperately, they even adored the scientists who tortured them had vanished. How? Not only were the labs locked, these dogs, bred for faithfulness, would never have willingly fled the hands that cut them.

Stables were horseless. Feed lots were vacant. Zoos were empty. A woman who had leeches, was suddenly leech-less. A man suffering tapeworm was uninhabited.

The politicians had no answers. The scientist had no explanations, even the priests, imams and rabbis were wordless, silent as the air, earth and water had become.

Everything else worked. The internet. Memes. News.

Only food had changed because not only was the knacker’s yard vacant, all the freezers were empty of meat, fish and fowl. Slaughterhouses Hooks dangled bloodless. The butcher’s block was bare.

What had happened? How could she find answers? Where could she even begin to search? Mariana drank a full glass of whiskey and went to bed. 

It was hard to sleep with no furry comfort beside her. But eventually she sank into a realm of dreams so clear they seemed real. 

Misty floated in the clouds. He raced across the sky, chasing Spot, Midnight, Mogwai, Cuddles and all the other absent pets, missing cattle, experiments and butchered beasts made whole.

Over the rainbow bridge he ran, playing fetch with large shadowy figures that seemed made of light.

When she awoke, she understood. The Rapture had come and gone.


#2 An Explanation

Dear Humans,

I know you will be sending prayers our way. You may have noticed some disappearances lately; this letter is by way of an explanation.

You came up with the idea of rapture long before we realized that one species, among the many we’d created, was suicidal. Who could’ve imagined that any species would have such a disregard for life, in all its myriad forms, including its own, that it would destroy the planet that was its home?

We’d created a world that could and would evolve, each new leaf or branch creating its own pollinator. Every pond spanning new variations.  We’d never expected one species to become dominant, and if we had, humans are not the species we would’ve picked. You’re not the oldest species, nor the most competent.

Although we’ve tried to be impartial, we could not help but realize superiority and skill when it was apparent: the amazing eyesight of the mantis shrimp, the maneuverability of the hummingbird, the compassion of wolf and wombat, and most of all, the ability to turn sunlight into food, but we did not play favorites. We let things develop as they would, to our surprise and disappointment.

There were those who argued that we should’ve stepped in again. We could’ve sent a messenger, an Angel, a son of God, a daughter of the Goddess. But we tried that before. Although the Messiah was recognized, as soon as he’d been killed his message was perverted by mad men, would be saints and emperors.

At first, we thought to remove the problem, but you had worked quickly and done so much damage it hardly seemed fair to burden the innocents with cleaning up the mess.

One of our angels, Anthropogenic, first proposed the idea. I’ll never forget the look on God’s face when Anthropogenic described the rapture.

“When all the pure would be lifted up to God to join God and his son in heaven.”

It was a fierce undertaking. We had to prepare an empty but fertile planet. A half-filled sea, ready to be crammed with life.

We argued about the violence of chimps and ducks, about murders of crows and raping dolphins.  Some wanted only to take plants and fungi. Others desired herbivores, and many thought we should take everyone but the problem species.

Once again it was Anthropogenic who came up with a solution based on your history.

“The Christian rapture” Anthropogenic explained, “doesn’t take place all at once, first the dead rise, and then the pure.”

So, on the first day we rapture the dead, emptying slaughterhouse and freezer.

We noted an increase of prayer, but thankfully no burnt offerings. 

On the second day we too the purest: plants and fungi. On the third: prokaryotes, Bacteria, and virus’. On the third we took fish, birds, reptiles and most mammals.

We are watching the new planet with interest. Good Luck and God Bless.


#3 The Rapture

Priscilla sat next to her husband Hewn. The road on either side of them stretched ahead endless, flat and arid. They had a long drive before them. It was hundreds of miles, from their home in Lynchburg Tennessee to Salvation Oklahoma. There she and Hewn would join hands and hearts with 100,000 or more brethren under the big white tent. There they would raise their voices in prayer, giving thanks together, under the watchful eyes of God and Jesus.

The wind blew, dusting the trees and flowers grey. The land was colorless. Priscilla’s hands moved back and forth knitting a pair of blue wool booties for Hewn. He already had over twenty pair, but she liked to keep occupied.

“Idle hands are the devil’s playthings,” she muttered.

The view ahead was blocked by the doors of a huge semi. “Jesus bless this journey,” Priscilla, muttered. “Jesus bless the loneliness of the long-distance trucker and keep him company.”

Suddenly as if by supplication, the doors flew open. A dozen figures rose out of the truck, up, up, up, lighter than prayer, higher than the notes of Sister Jessie Fargo’s soprano solos.

“It’s the Rapture!” cried Priscilla, “Jesus take me too. Jesus don’t leave me here, poor miserable sinner though I am.”

She fumbled with the door handle, struggling to release her seat belt and unlock the door. The bodies soared above her disappearing like lost hope. It seemed forever before she managed to get the door open. She cast herself out. The pavement rose to meet her, harder than disbelief. She never knew that the truck ahead of her was a blow-up doll manufacturer who had forgotten to latch his door.


More of the 2024 FLASH SUITE Contest
What’s New at
home/ Bonafides

Facebooktwitterlinkedinrssby feather
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

One Response to “Three Tales of Rapture”

  1. RD Weaver Says:

    an interesting explanation, answers to questions few dare articulate. The first step in remediation and possible redemption is to admit, as stewards of all creation, humans suck at it.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to
Defenestrationism reality.

Read full projects from our
retro navigation panel, left,
or start with What’s New.