At 7:11 EST on the morning of December 21, 2012, the skies will thicken like black pudding, and the earth will begin to open and pour her guts out over super highways, shopping malls, schools, swimming pools and ice cream parlors. Experts will disagree as to whether to call it the Second Coming, the Apocalypse, or simply the end of the world, and millions will find it difficult, if not impossible, to get a decent cup of coffee. Digital imaging technology will make it easier than ever to record the event for Facebook and Twitter, except in North Korea, Iran and Kansas, and mom, dad, and the kids will watch it unfold on gigantic flat screen televisions in crystal clear detail. Before the first tidal wave destroys much of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, hawkers will offer specials on “end of days” wrist bands, tee-shirts and inflatable flying discs, and the Shopping Network will feature cook-wear that can take “whatever fire and brimstone can dish out.” On December 21, 2012, moments before the earth is crushed by a nasty wayward planet, The Biggest Loser will air, and Mary Ellen Jones of Buffalo, New York, will lose fifty-one pounds and earn immunity.
Ralph Wahlstrom is a writer, teacher, singer, musician, cyclist, reader, father, husband, and generally happy person. He has published short fiction in a number of journals, including Denver Syntax, Glossiolalia, The Rose & Thorn, Cafe Irreal, and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. His book, The Tao of Writing, was published in 2006, and Kesh, a young adult/teen novel will be published this year by Wild Child Publishing. You can find out more about Wahlstrom, in an outdated, neglected sort of way, at http://taoofwriting.com.