March 15, 2023
The Rapture Has Been Cancelled
I was on this train and had even bought new jeans. It was the rapture; if any occasion calls for new jeans, it’s that one!
The directions were vague, and I only knew my stop and not where to head after that. The ad had mentioned a forest nearby, and in the far distance, I saw one, so I began walking.
I was wearing loafers and felt silly.
Experiencing the rapture in loafers was sure to make me unique, but was it graceful enough? Did they uphold the needed gravitas during the rapture?
I passed houses with kids playing, a graveyard farther down the road with plenty of empty plots, and found a nice one under the shade of a tree. It felt like I could embrace death if I knew my remains would rest there, all lavished with a cool breeze in the shade.
Soon, the lack of civilization beckoned for attention through my soles as a pebble indicated I had gone from asphalt to gravel. I should have brought something and checked my pockets—I only got a power bar.
After a while, I reached the forest, left the road behind me, smacked the life out of some flies and headed as deep in as I could.
Soon, I was lost. Amidst my hope of being part of something bigger, I was still a sucky map reader. I just believed that my ever-failing gut feeling would guide me. But it didn’t, and I sat down on a fallen pine.
One hour later, a man in a hooded cape came walking toward me, and ten minutes later, he was there.
“I’m sorry, sir, but the rapture has been canceled.”
“Yes, unfortunately, we’ve run into some…hiccups, and now we’re unable to complete the last ritual, and it’s a bit of an important one, you know.”
“Okay, so what should I do?”
“Do you find your way back home again?”
“No, don’t think so.”
“Well, I guess you’ll die here, sitting on that tree, then?”
I nodded—it was true.
He began walking back, all sad and unhappy.
“Hey, wait! Maybe I can help?”
“Are you keen on sacrificing yourself for God and being burnt alive?”
“Not really, but let’s discuss it.”
He invited me to this clearing, and there were others, and they all greeted me, and some ate a banana for some reason.
“I’m not really up for that whole fire thing.”
“Oh, okay, well, that’s something that we might be able to adapt a bit then. Any suggestions?”
I took out my power bar and hoped that I’d been reckless with my purchase, and yes: it might contain traces of nuts.
“This will kill me!”
Some hours later, I was the centerpiece and stood atop this massive pile of wood, sticks, and twigs.
I took a bite.
And the rapture can go fuck itself; this was so much better.
Born in Sweden, JULIUS OLOFSSON works as a narrative designer in video games and writes anything from flash fiction and books to games and screenplays. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Flash Fiction Magazine, Roi Fainéant Press, Lavender Bones Magazine, Sage Cigarettes, The Heimat Review, Hidden Peak Press and elsewhere. He’s found on Twitter as @PaperBlurt and at www.juliusolofsson.com