Sermon. Short Story.

It’s comin’ you know. That great wave, the one that will cleanse earth of its sins. Now don’t give me that look. I know you don’t believe me, but that’s the beauty of the truth, it doesn’t require your belief, it just is. You may think you know better than me, you might scoff at what I tell you, but we’re on an unchangeable course, like god set cruise control and rolled outta the car. We’re just gonna keep going till we crash. Now I know I said it would be a wave, but that’s just poetics, see? It might not be a wave, I don’t imagine the ocean would cover everything up. Maybe if a bunch of tsunamis hit at once, but there’d be only so much water to go around and it would only go so far. No, I think it will be something else, something we can’t see. Maybe an EMP pulse, or disease.

Some people seem to think God gets off on sufferin’, that he requires it for some reason, but the truth is far worse. The truth is that God doesn’t give a shit. He’s gone, long, long gone. He was there once, but the seat is vacant, the blinds are down and no one is home. He set things in motion and went off, maybe he got bored, maybe that was the plan all along. Maybe he saw that no matter what he did we’d fuck up, so he decided that we deserved it. It doesn’t matter what his reasons were, all that matters is he’s gone. The end was preordained. Of course it was.

I told you not to make faces.

Use the brains in your head. Of course the end is preordained, everything has an end. You, me, the planet, the sun, the stars, the universe. Someday all of it will be gone. Something might be in its place, but the universe as it is today will be gone. We’re like a movie. Shit happens, stupid stuff that’s oh so very important in the moment but in the grand scheme of things none of it matters, the movie ends and it’s forgotten about.

Where was I?

Oh. Yes, disease and destruction. Sorry, the mind wanders a bit. I think the end will be full of suffering, not for the sick amusement of some pervert God, or because we deserve it, but because it will be the death throes of the human race. Very rarely is death peaceful, but bigger the beast, the worse it goes, a big, intelligent, but still dumb animal won’t take it. As it’s dying, it won’t just lie down peacefully and wait. No. It will rampage, and stomp and gore until it has nothin’ left. That will be our end. It won’t be dignified, it won’t be pretty and it won’t be pleasant. You mark my words, yessiree bob. Now, do I think it’s all going to happen soon? Yes. Of course I would think that though. People go around with expectations, supposin’ somethin’s gonna happen soon, course they do. People think they’re so important, why wouldn’t important shit happen to them? I think we’ve gotten too big for our boots. We’re damaging the planet. Now, before you start, no I ain’t no hippy. They can take a long walk off a short pier for all I care, Mother Earth and all that crap. But the fact is our home is in the shitter. We’re the star case on one of those reality TV shows where everythin’s fucked. It can only go on for so long before it’ll collapse. I don’t think Earth’ll fight back, shit, things have to be alive to fight back and earths deader than…well, deader than a rock. We’re tryna do stuff now, stuff we weren’t supposed to be doing, children playing with knives, all it takes is one slip, one cut and the finger gets infected and before you know it, the blood’s gone bad too. Someone out there’ll drop a knife. They have to. It’s statistics see? So many in the air at once, one is bound to drop sooner or later and my moneys on sooner. Not that anyone’d take that bet, why bother? by the time you win, money ain’t worth a liars word.

So I think disease, but it could be nuclear too, a few of those bombs, radiation sickness, warp the land. I can tell you don’t believe me, that you think it’s a load. You’re entitled to your beliefs like I’m entitled to mine and don’t start getting fidgety, I’m almost done. We all are….That’s a joke, see?

Get it?

Cos the worlds ending?

…Never mind. Wasn’t that good I suppose. It might take a while for everyone to move on, maybe the human race will continue on for a while longer, like the chicken that’s lost it’s head, don’t have enough sense to know it’s dead. A few pockets might linger, but we’ll be gone in the end. Betcha anything. Well, I would if I had anything to bet with.

I’ll be sad to see it go though. Don’t have much, but it don’t mean I want the world to end. You think I’m crazy, don’t you? Just some psycho babblin’ away. Well, maybe you’re right. They say the insane don’t know their mind’s gone on vacation. I don’t think mine has, still as sharp as I ever was. Still, it’s mighty kind of you. Mighty kind. I told you I was almost done and it wasn’t a word of a lie. I’ll wrap up my little sermon and you can toddle off on your way. Maybe you’ll have learned something, maybe not. Doesn’t matter I suppose. Facts are facts. Now everyone’ll die, but they won’t, see, they’ll go off in rockets…ha!

You’re face. Thought I took a bit of a turn there, didn’t ya?

No, once you’re dead, you’re dead. Kaput. The end. Game Over. Now this might sound sad, but it isn’t. Just remember to live while you can. Before the end comes. Make sure you don’t end up alone in a room, cowering in the silence wondrin’ where it all went wrong. No, you want to be with someone. That’s the best way to go. Made sure all my friends had a proper send off, none went alone. I made sure of it. Dropped everything and came running, barely made it in a few cases, but I made it none the less.

Don’t think I didn’t see that, thought you were bein’ sly?

Lookin’ at your watch eh?

No worries, I’m done anyway, off  you toddle, get back to your day, thanks for the coffee and thanks for listenin’, not many people are as kind. Don’t lose it. Don’t let them take it away, when the end comes and the world goes to shit, if you’re still around then, don’t let it take away your kindness. There’s not enough of it now, never mind when the shit hit’s the fan. Don’t worry about me. I’m safe as safe can be out here. Have a place to sleep and everythin’. Go on now, I’m fine. But…If you ever feel like it, I’m not saying ya hafta now, don’t get me wrong like, only if ya want, I’d appreciate it if you’d drop off a sandwich, maybe some water. See I don’t have much friends left these days. Not here, it’s not like it used to be. I’m not like some of them. I don’t want drugs or booze, no don’t touch the stuff, I’m mad enough without it, don’t ya think?


About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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