Don't Fear The Reaper

Don't Fear The Reaper by Lex Sinclair

Book: Don't Fear The Reaper by Lex Sinclair Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lex Sinclair
in
diameter when it enters the Earth’s atmosphere in twenty-one days’ time. The
effects cataclysmic. However, meteorologists and scientists are in agreement
that life on planet Earth will not become extinct.
     
    *
     
    Crestfallen
by the global news of pending disaster, Rev Perkins folded the newspaper and
left the One Stop convenience store in a daze. The ambience in the queue where
townsfolk usually made pleasant chat (the weather, sport, etc.) was filled with
melancholy so profound the store’s walls seemed to close in on him.
    The Christmas tinsel and colourful bulbs that came on in the evening
snaking around the lampposts caused a pang of sorrow in his chest. This time of
year was supposed to be about the Lord Jesus. A time of celebration and for
families and friends who hadn’t seen each other all year round due to working
commitments to gather around in front of a hearty fireplace and rejoice. Children
would wake early with fervour and excitement at what gifts lay under the tree
bestowed to them as did the three wise men in the biblical yarn.
    The card shop across the road in front of the pelican crossing should’ve
been bustling with customers, purchasing cards in abundance for those they
cared about. The pavements at this time of year were overcrowded with shoppers
and commuters hoping to make a healthy profit.
    Yet there was none of that. The roads weren’t jammed with vehicles. No
one jostled from one store to the other. No one shook hands with friends who
would be travelling to see relatives, wishing them a Merry Christmas and a Happy
New Year. Instead the frostbitten roads and pavements were empty, forlorn in
appearance, and Perkins couldn’t help think that this was merely a prelude of
what was to be the future if anyone managed to survive.
    Scalding tears pooled in his eyes, blurring his vision until they
mercifully spilled out and trickled down his cheeks. He dried his eyes,
relishing the cold fingertips on his eyelids, cooling them.
    A discarded newspaper was swept down the main road of the small town,
coughing pages and pages of the story that made all other news trivial in
comparison. Shops had been abandoned. There was no point to doing anything
ordinary anymore. The townsfolk’s spirit had been destroyed since soon the land
they lived upon would be in destroyed in the ensuing weeks. No one had any urge
or need to want to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
    And who could blame them, Perkins wondered? What had they done as a
planet to deserve this pitiless demise? Individually there were bad and evil
people prospering when they ought to have been suffering, but as a whole for
all the sins and mistakes the population made on a daily basis, Perkins truly
believed that there were still too many genuinely good people to forsake.
    Or was this merely coincidence that some of the astrologists and
scientists were claiming that asteroids and comets had been entering the
Earth’s atmosphere ever since the dawn of mankind and before, and that it was
only a matter of time before something like this transpired.
    Perhaps God didn’t really exist, and they’d been fortunate as a race in
the first instance to have lived for so many centuries without mass
destruction. Perhaps they ought to be grateful for the time they’d had and
accept their fate (which there was nothing they could do to prevent anyway)
without complaint.
    Shaking his head in utter disdain, Rev Perkins walked home.
    When he reached the grey stone-walled vicarage and fished out the key to
unlock the front door, the reverend had the sudden urge to hurl the two bags of
shopping into the tall grass and bellow to the heavens in rage at what he used
to believe in. His rage he knew was induced by his foolishness for believing
all his life that God had saved him as He would save all those that lived by
His example and were good to others and kind to themselves.
    The familiar layout of his one-storey home welcomed him. He closed the
door on the world

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