Ben Hsu

Flash Fiction · Modern Fantasy

Taken Away

“Hey, so…this may be a weird question, but I’ve got something about “The Rapture” all over my newsfeed this morning and I have no idea what’s going on. Do you know what they’re talking about?”

“Um…The Rapture occurred last night? Did you actually read any of those articles?”

“Yes! Well, kind of…I read one. The whole thing assumed I already knew what was going on. What do you mean “The Rapture”? Like, literally The Rapture?”

“Yes, second coming of Christ, all good Christians taken to Heaven, everyone else condemned to Hell, the works. How the hell did you miss this? It was literally on every channel, station, and livestream worldwide!”

“I dunno, I was running through the latest World of Warcraft content? I guess God didn’t bother to take over the WoW servers? Anyway, how do we know this isn’t a hoax? I mean, other than spamming my newsfeed with articles about The Rapture, I haven’t really noticed anything different.”

“Uh…well, for one thing God took over every piece of media…ALMOST every piece of media for the night. And there’s a confirmed forty-thousand people disappearing in a beam of light. People are expecting the number to go as high as fifty-thousand.”

“That’s it?”

“What do you mean “that’s it?” That’s fifty-thousand people disappearing over night!”

“Yeah, but…I mean. More people than that are murdered each year.”

“Fine, but that doesn’t suddenly make fifty-thousand people a small number. Wait, how do you even know that?”

“Bar trivia. And yes, fifty-thousand people is a large number of people, but if we’re talking about worldwide population, or hell, even just the number of people who identify as Christian, that’s not a lot of people. Like, less than 1% probably. And what about the whole ‘Hell on Earth, damnation of demons, and brimstone and fire, and whatnot?”

“Okay, first of all: They mentioned something about humans having made their own hell. Which I guess makes sense? More importantly, I think you’re being a bit heartless. Fifty-thousand people basically died last night and you’re just going on about statistics like they don’t even matter. I mean, if a serial killer murdered fifty-thousand people, or like…an industrial accident killed fifty-thousand people it’d be this horrible tragedy. You wouldn’t sit there going ‘oh it’s okay, those fifty-thousand people were less than 1% of the population.'”

“That’s my point exactly! MORE than fifty-thousand people are murdered every year, but no one bats an eye at it. Presumably these forty-thousand people, and let’s be clear: you said the current estimate is only forty-thousand people being taken by The Rapture, these forty-thousand people, unlike the seventy-six thousand people who are murdered every year, are confirmed to have everlasting life in an eternal paradise. So you’ll excuse me if I’m not the least bit broken up about it.”

“Mmmm, it kind of sounds like you’re just jealous of everyone who was Raptured.”

“Of course I’m jealous. Who wouldn’t be? But you’re still missing my point. The singular event that the major world religion prophesied would be the end of the world occurred last night and it’s somehow made less of an impact on us than…I dunno…the new iPhone release. I’d have thought there’d mass hysteria and complete chaos, at least some rioting in the streets.”

“Who says there isn’t? And I’m guessing the suicide rate is going to go through the roof in the next couple of years. It’s just…I dunno, we’re still alive, and we’ve still got jobs to do so…you know.”

“Yeah, I guess. Anybody we know get raptured?”

“Yeah actually, Sally in HR. Sam is already hunting for a replacement.”

“Sally? Smiling Sally? But she was an atheist.”

“Not a requirement apparently. Mostly God just seemed to care if you were a genuinely good person.”

“Damn, she was also so friendly and nice-Oh, I guess that makes sense.”

“Yup, and the worst part is she used to make the coffee in the mornings, so we’re going to have to find someone to do that.”

“Is that why the coffee tastes like shit today?


“Fuck, this really is Hell.”

Flash Fiction · Modern Fantasy

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