by David Feaman
God spoke to me, told me everything will end today and it will be on CNN. Buildings will disintegrate. People will die. The very Earth under my feet will spit fires hotter than the hottest solar flares. It all ends today and CNN will televise it.
God’s hand worked a systematic pattern of disasters for the past week. An air-show disaster in Phoenix. 8 dead, 15 injured. A cruise-liner caught fire off the coast of Anchorage and sank into the freezing waters killing 24 and injuring more than a hundred. A bridge collapsed in Chicago and a dozen people died.
God told me to watch the disasters. People would die and I would believe. I had to believe in the hand of God to build the box. It had to be exact.
God designed the box. 1.86 feet high and wide exactly. Made of copper and silver rattlesnake-coiled inside a shell of balsam. In the coil, I jammed the “Harite”. That’s what God called the little black stone—Harite. Without the box, God said, I was just another sheep. Without the box nobody would care. Nothing would end. More people would have to die.
I don the aluminum foil tunic. Without the tunic the box would kill me. I believe. I’ve seen the hand of God snatch life right out of people’s bodies. I was there every time. Spirited to each disaster in God’s ship. Spirited away just before the dust settled. I believe.
I hear the cat-cautious footsteps in the stairwell. I was told they know. The FBI began to monitor my actions after the first disaster. I couldn’t let it faze me. I had to build the box. Through crowded streets I saw plain-clothed agents eating sandwiches, drinking coffees, sitting on park benches, pretending. Always pretending. God warned me that their hands should never touch the box. They will want it. They will shoot me with their automatic rifles and handguns to get it. They will pry it from my death-clutches to wield it.
They will try but they can’t stop God’s work.
As the footsteps pool around the door of my apartment and their shadows spill through the cracks of the floorboards, the box begins to hiss. God is here. God’s voice begins a slow rumble, a collecting thunder, rolling.
“Patrick Lansing!” A rapid thudding at the door. “This is the FBI! Open up!”
The voice in the box roars and crackles. “Initiate,” God’s voice says through the box. I hold the box over my head and its light and warmth feels like the sun has descended into the tiny apartment. When the door splits open and the rifles fire, the bullets hang frozen in the air. The electric tentacles of the box snap the men, through their armor and helmets, and their ashes float to the floor.
“Detonate,” the box says.
The box falls from my hands and dances on the floor. Blue sparks spit in the air around it. Waves of heat pulse through my body. I stagger to the open window and claw at the frame. The noise of the world is thick with whirring sirens and megaphones, helicopter blades and the distant din of human voices. They’re here. The news trucks.
The clock ticks down and the world will end.
I’m calm. I look into the sky at the aircraft that planted me at every disaster. The ship of God. I’ve never seen it from the outside before. It’s a C-130. It hangs in the air over me. God flies a C-130 cargo plane.
When the box clicks there is a moment of stillness, then only fire. The end is peace.