Apocalypse and Sunshine

Cherry blossoms and a cool breeze under a mild sun. The hot dog vendor’s cart vents off steam from his product and makes stomachs growl. Birds chirp and old men sit on benches chatting the time away.

“He said no gods,” he wears a fedora and scratches at a mustard stain on his brown sweater vest missing the glob of onion on his trousers.

“I know,” says the other man who could be the twin of the first. Right down to the white orthotics and black cane. He didn’t eat a hotdog but holds a stale slightly gummed on pretzel in his palsied hand.

“Or monsters.”

“How dare you, but I know that also.”

“Only People.”

“I know.”

“So, what are we going to do? Things have already gone too far. We can’t just turn everything off and go home.”

“Be a people I guess. Can’t make the big guy mad.”

“How do you be a people?”

“Well, the way I see it we are the people of this bench.”

“What the hell does that even mean?”

“It means that if a census taker were to come right now and take the census of this bench we would be the people he would count.”

“Wouldn’t that census taker want to know particulars?”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know, like religion and skin color and education level?”

“I would tell them the truth.”

“What’s the truth?”

“I would give them my name.”

“Which is?”

“My name is Legion, for I am many.”

“Stop, it is beyond certain that the census taker would have heard that old line, you’ll give the game straight away with it.”

“And you would what? Give him our real names? And that wouldn’t give even more away? Just picture the news headlines, ]] have come to earth when will the malady mayhem begin? When will the seven trumpets blare?”

“Do you really think they have time to print another run of papers? Things are pretty much about to kick off any second.”

“I know. Just fantasying.”

“Look, I know you are disappointed they didn’t catch on any sooner. Whether you checked with me, or not, they certainly had enough clues. But here we are. Go ahead stand up on the bench and shout it out. Let everyone know what’s about to happen. It might make you feel better.”

“I wanted a war.”

“You get slaves.”

“I have had slaves, I wanted to lead a great army and ride a bloody path across the earth. This? This is too— “

“Easy, yah I get that. Look we didn’t pick each other, we got punched together by fate. And now we make due.”

“Speaking of due.”

“You’re right, lets’s get started.”


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