"Shot me Ben?", said Fergal. "Aw you wouldn't do that now would you?"
Fergal was Irish, well he would be with a name like you might think. Yes he was indeed genuine Irish all the way from Ireland. About two weeks before it happened Fergal had arrived in the States to visit his cousin.
Back home he was a member of the Gardai, the civil police force in Ireland. Although they were not armed as a general rule most of the Guards had some weapons training. Fergal was 42 and still single. His Mam still had hopes of him becoming a priest although she knew in her heart of hearts this was not likely to happen.
He had been on his way to the airport to go home when the skies darkened and a tremendous wind arose. "Jaysus! Must be one of those hurricane things." he said out loud to himself. "Yes that's what it is."
Despite his Irishness, and the hopes of his mother, Fergal was not a religious man. He was however a very fair and tolerant man, sometimes more than he should be.
The wind was getting stronger and the air was moaning, or that was what it seemed like. Back home, he thought, they would call this the Banshee, the spirit often associated with imminent death. Of course Fergal did not believe any of that nonsense. The man in front of him fell to his knees as if giving up against the pressure of the wind. He raised his arms above his head and began swaying and moaning. All around him people were doing the same as if possessed. He realised as the sound of the people grew in a crescendo that they were praising the Lord and calling for Jesus to save them.
Fergal tapped the man in front. "What are ye up to?" he said. The man continued to moan his prayers and supplications to Jesus. "Daft bastard!" said Fergal. This whole crowd seemed gripped with some religious fervour, some unseen force controlling them in unison. Christians, thought Fergal, Christians being daft and believing in rubbish. 'Tis a storm so it is. That's all, so what is with this praying? He was struggling against the wind now.
A woman raced past him in the opposite direction, going with the wind. "It is the Rapture" she was screaming. "It is the Rapture."
The air pressure was dropping rapidly. Fergal could feel the effects and recognised them having flown open cockpit gliders to great heights. People were dropping, unable to cope with the conditions. They were gasping for breath. Fergal collapsed and blacked out.
When he came round he could see in the distance a massive deep black sky; a sort of whirling solid black mass such as he had never seen before. All around him were bodies. The cyanosed lips told the tale. Lack of oxygen had killed these people. He was lucky probably because of his years of breathing training as a singer and experience as a pilot pursuing his favourite hobby. The black mass was moving off. Two other people in the immediate area were also up on their feet. They made their way in the general direction of the city, but Fergal was nonplussed. These two seemed convinced that all the people round them had been taken to Heaven in the Rapture, or that at least their souls had, and that they must be so very wicked to have been left. Fundamentalist Christians he realised. He decided to leave then to their own devices. No time for that he thought.
The problem was what to do now? He could see in the distance that the airport was a non starter. Plumes of black smoke rose up where aircraft had been tossed about like leaves and were destroyed. With all the carnage around him he decided to head westwards to try and get out of the swathe of what he took to be the path of a massive hurricane. Food was not a problem, at least not at present, and one or two people joined him as he travelled. They were convinced this was the Judgement Day, but Fergal said nothing.
Nothing but a bit o' wind Fergal said when asked. These people who had gathered round him seemed shocked at this lack of belief.
And so they travelled west, each with their own agenda and thoughts.
"By the way Ben. You know that ugly dog of yours? Just how ugly was it? There was a real pug ugly dog hanging round the bins on the other side of that village we just passed."
edit on 3/9/2011 by PuterMan because: (no reason given)