A Curious Little Story: The Edge of the Field
I had just arrived. I stood in a friend’s kitchen, looking at a curious little radio of sorts that was on the countertop. There was a strange feeling hanging in the air. I could hear voices in the dining room, so I headed that direction.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
I was told that these were the last days. “The Earth will be completely destroyed in 30 days,” one friend said.
I didn’t believe him, but everyone else in the room vouched for this truth.
“Everyone knows that,” one person said.
“The government announced it,” another said.
I still didn’t believe them. “This is the fault of that blasted box on the counter,” I said. “We need to unplug it immediately so you all realize this nonsense.”
I went back to the box, but it didn’t have a plug. There were no batteries, either. I picked up the little 3×4 inch box and saw that it was counting off the days and marking other factors to the end of the Earth. The box said 30 in one of the little windows.
A vague memory of a person at a bus stop reading a newspaper with a headline about the end of the world flashed through my mine. It was all true? And I’d only just arrived.
My friends weren’t upset in the least. To them, this box and its future were just a small part of their otherwise good and happy lives.
I went outside and found a large, grassy field in front of me with soldiers all sporting differently designed uniforms, according to the lines they were in.
The four lines on the left were charging the four lines on the right, head-to-head. There was a lot of noise and chaos, but there was only one canon, held by the white team (left side, closest to me). Everyone else was fighting: on the ground, man to man with swords and sticks. And bodies were strewn across the field.
There was an announcer, like at a high school football game, calling the play-by-play and reading off the impressive stats of the teams. The Irish had four straight victories, and were currently kicking and fighting their way to a fifth against the Japanese.
Then they announced some teams that were out of combat altogether because they’d lost too many times. The Czech team had just beaten the French team, so the French were out.
In my mind came old words I remembered learning as a kid, “In the last days, great wars were waged…”
I realized everyone had interpreted this and were simply trying to fulfill it the best way they could. There would be destruction, violence, war, death. These were the wars. Sardonically colorful wars.
Everyone had accepted this, and instead of fighting it or denying it, the world united in making the best of it.
These were people of an ending world who were honestly and sincerely making the very best of their situation.
I stood on the edge of the battlefield, and it seemed a burden lifted off of me. I breathed in an easy breath, deep and sweet. It was time to enjoy these days to the fullest.
Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at JodyBrown.com/writing.