God Is Dead
This will be the last time I speak to you. As we stand here, the sun beats down; we have not seen night for months now. I have to shield my eyes to speak to you all, to see you in the crowd. The doomsday clock has seconds to reach midnight, and we have been told to stay indoors. I am scared to hear the next tick. To see the minute hand strike twelve.
I have slept in this place with you all for weeks, we have become close - may I suggest family? With hands intertwined, we travel as one to a better place. We will ascend together. I won’t let your hand leave mine.
Before coming to this congregation, I was no more than one of you. I was ordained just before I came here, I had my first sermon here. I will have my last sermon here. My last life ended when I walked through those doors. Together, we became one congregation. We could never be apart. It was where we began this community, and it is where we shall go into the light, hand in hand. As one, we were promised so much - we were chosen by our Lord to shepherd his coming. We have been forsaken.
Do any of you recall the night we spent on the grass, standing among the headstones? Next to the generations before us, we became the last of our lines to walk the earth. I could feel the tremble of the hooves on the dirt before I saw them, clouds of dust hazing my view. The ground quaked under my soles, and I had to use you all for balance, for fear of falling under their canter. The horsemen have come.
We watched as a white horse rode past us; if horses had fire flaming from their nostrils. A beast on his back - I cannot call what I saw a person; its skin was falling off in places, scarred and puckered from sickness, wielding a bow and arrow. We watched as a crown landed on his head. It was spiked, and cut into its forehead. Blood, as black as its heart, trickled down its face and into its eyes and mouth. its hair billowed like Christ, I could see the sky through the holes in its hands. He was an exact replica for the Lord, yet we knew it to be the imposter. It laughed as it cantered past. Disease started with small pox marks on the face, the arms, the legs. It turned the skin black. People began to smell like rot, you and I included; noses became desensitised to the smell, some of them even fell off. Our hair fell from our heads, taking the skin with it, leaving welts on the skull. They wept yellow, dripping into the eyes. Many became blind. They did not have to see their sister’s face cascade from her skull.
After him followed a red mare. It’s mane ablaze and steam emitting from her skin, her rider wielding a sword akin to that of a soldier. The rider’s hair was the colour of lava, hot and red against her dark skin; she looked burnt from the heat of her horse. Muscular beyond all belief, she could have crushed me with one finger. Her cry filled our hearts with fear, causing us to fight amongst one another. Was she screaming from her pain or ours? Her sword, almost like Excalibur, stabbed my brothers and sisters where they stood, piercing them from front to back. Each fell on their faces as she pulled her sword back. She had bested us that day. How long had she been carrying this weapon, in order to slay humanity.
A black steed strode past us; an old man, probably the same age as my Grandfather, with scales in his hand rode upon it’s back. Double the price of wheat, he cried out, triple the price of corn, starve them out of their homes! None of us got our breakfast that week, we couldn’t afford the weetabix. He brought a famine the likes of which we had never seen. Crops burnt from the inside out, rotting from the roots; potatoes oozed and strawberries exploded. Slowly we were starved; it killed our mothers, fathers, grandparents and children. Headstones popped up in every churchyard. The black steed reared above every new grave, taunting the dead. Malnourishment diminished us and forced every soul together. The dead turned to fresh meat. Who knew grandma was so tasty?
I watched, hand in hand with you, as a steed of skin and bone withered past us. I could almost touch it’s bony frame with my threadbare fingers. I could see through it’s papered skin, mottled grey. The sun showed it’s organs; small and broken, it should have been as dead as I felt. This horse’s rider had a wheeze I had never heard before, a rasping laugh and a hacking cough all rolled into one. His finger gently caressed our friends, and each of them fell. They had survived so long, and deserved so much more. Bested by the gentlest of touches from Death himself. Bones became the new gravel beneath our feet, innards spreading down the street like rivers. Mass graves opened up on the commons, where my own daughter is now buried. We had just run out of space and energy to hold more funerals. I hope that she’s enjoying the afterlife… that she’s waiting for me on the other side.
As one we go into the night, whilst day shines brighter than ever. My friends, my family, my people; wherever we go, we will be going together. Hand in hand, arm in arm. Our love for each other will be the last words to leave our parched lips.Our days shall never end when we are together in the promised land.
My dear friends, I fear we have been lied to. We are not the chosen ones that we were told we were. We have been abandoned. We are alone.
As one family, we will never be apart. I want you all to know that I loved every single one of you like a brother, like a sister, like a friend. My love for you will never waver. We may never go to heaven. Perhaps we’re already here. It is now midnight.
God is dead.
About the Author
Hannah Myers is a Creative Writing Student from Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. She likes to write novels and novellas, in which her main character is never happy. In her spare time she writes a comic review blog. She is the mother to two cats whom she loves very much.Enjoyed the story? Follow Hannah on Twitter, and check out her blog, The Faceless Librarian.