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Rapture



Estimated reading time — 5 minutes

It was early Sunday afternoon, and my parents were at church, leaving me home all by myself. They were devout Christians, yet I was not. Sometimes they even tried to get me to go, but it bored me to tears, and just was not a believer. So there I was, lying on my bed, laptop resting on my stomach and headphones in my ears. I wasn’t doing anything in particular; just browsing some of the new uploads from a few of my favorite sites, basically anything to pass the time. Then I saw a video that stood out to me. LA Beast eating a cactus. That seemed really interesting, but before I could click it, I got a Skype call. It was my friend Nick.

“What’s going on?” I asked as my standard greeting to all my friends. There was a faint sound in the background that I couldn’t help but notice. It kind of sounded like someone was screaming. A woman. “Uh, what’s that noise?”

“Why do you look so calm!? Don’t you even know what’s going on?!” he answered, looking jittery. Every few seconds he would take a look to his left towards his door, then immediately in the other direction out his window, like he was paranoid.

“What? What the hell do you mean?” I implored him. “What’s going on?” Now I was starting to get curious, and as much as I hated to admit it at the time, even a little nervous.

“Look outside! People are going nuts!” I took the headphones out of my ears, and that’s when I heard it. Screams coming from outside on the street. My heart beat faster and the adrenaline started to pump through my veins as I slowly got up out of my bed. I removed the headphone jack from my laptop so I could still hear Nick, and I made my way over to the window. Splitting the blinds, all I saw was a blinding light that made my head throb with pain. Taking a few seconds to adjust to the light, I saw it. People running up and down the street in every direction like they were being chased, but it was hard to tell the difference between who was running away and who was in pursuit.

“What the hell…” I cursed under my breath. Upon closer inspection of the chaos down below, I could recognize some of the people running. A bunch of my parents’ church friends were down there. I’d met them before at birthday parties that my parents would drag me along to. Most of them were pretty nice. Then I saw a man dressed in all black with a tiny white collar around his neck. It was the priest. He had dinner at our home on several occasions, and if it weren’t for the fact he was a priest, you wouldn’t even know he was religious. We liked the same shows and movies, which is weird because it was tough to imagine a man of the cloth being into the type of same type of humor that appealed to me.

I watched him for a few seconds. His skin seemed paler than usual, with cracks running all along it. He must be sick or something, I figured, because your skin would have to be pretty dry for me to see it from that far away, at least 30 feet. He just stood there looking around until his eyes locked on something. A woman was running down the street, and he intercepted her path, tackling her to the ground. He got atop her and looked like he was putting something in her mouth, but a second later he violently pulled his hand back with something in it. I had to strain my eyes to properly see what it was, and I wish I didn’t… it was her jaw. He had ripped it clean off her head. I wanted to look away, I really did. I just wanted to go back to my bed and pretend none of this was happening. But I couldn’t. My eyes were locked on her, lying below him, writhing in pain on the floor as a pool of blood formed around her.

He dropped the half of her mouth onto the floor and leaned forward, gouging her eyes with his thumbs before swiftly splitting her skull down the middle. Even over all the other screams coming from outside, the loud snapping of her bones could still be heard. That was it. I threw up, vomiting all of the previous night’s dinner onto the floor. At least I was finally away from that window. When I was finally finished, I made my way back over to my bed, Nick still sitting there. “Messed up, huh?” he said.

“Oh my god…” was all I could come up with. The screams rang through my head, but after a short while there was one less. I looked up at Matt as the background was now quiet. “Is everyth-”

“Shh, be quiet,” he said quietly, cutting me off. He was looking towards his door, and I put my headphones back on and began to listen intently. A very faint thumping could be heard that grew louder and louder, like it were footsteps getting closer.

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“Oh, no… It’s my dad,” he cried. The thumping grew louder until it stopped just outside what I assumed was his door. My suspicions were confirmed a moment later as a loud single pound could be heard. Matt sprang to his feet and went off screen to the right, I guess to hide in his closet. The pounding continued until the door burst open, and his father stepped into the room.

I couldn’t see him in the frame, just his silhouette on the far wall. He took a few steps into the room. I could see him then. He looked just like the priest. Pale and dry, with cracked skin. Walking over to Matt’s computer, he crouched down and made eye contact with me. A chill went down my spine and I froze up. I couldn’t tell if I was looking into his eyes, or into a black void. A sadistic smile crept across his chapped lips, causing them to split between the cracks.

“Hi,” he greeted me. I couldn’t really describe his voice. It was just a deep, unearthly sound.

“W-what are you?” I’m sure he could hear the fear in my voice.

“We are the end,” he rasped.

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After he said those words, he turned his head towards the closet where Matt was hiding. The call closed, leaving me staring at the YouTube homepage. I tried not to think about what happened to my friend, and instead reflected on what the thing had said to me. “We are the end.” Those words played over and over again in my head until it finally occurred to me.

Years ago when I was a young boy, my parents made me go to church with them. There isn’t much I remember from that, as most of the time I was bored out of my mind, but there was this one time when the priest had spoken about the end of the world that I vaguely remembered. He said that all those who believed in God, their souls would rise up to heaven. Without a soul, a body is just a shell, and a shell is always waiting to be filled by something.

My front door opened, and I heard two sets of footsteps coming up the stairs. I guessed that my mom and dad were back from church.

And for the first time in my life, I prayed.   “Please, God,” I sobbed. “Let it be quick.”

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41 thoughts on “Rapture”

  1. I would’ve liked an explanation as to what was inside the bodies…. Demons would be the most logical explanation to me, but I’d like to hear the author’s take!

  2. RoseByAnyOtherName

    Interesting premise. I don’t know why people keep saying the believers were “punished.” The part that makes us who we are (arguably), the Soul, had been sent to heaven. The base animal part of our humanity was what was left. Not quite sure what the “Shells” were trying to fill themselves up with though…blood? Flesh? Souls from the unbelievers? Ricotta cheese and marinara sauce? (Ooops, guess it’s time for my lunch.) That was one part that I think needs a little more defining…

  3. Well, if you’ll excuse me, I have some thinking to do about religion. Mainly about how you kill one of those empty shell things, because I’m sure as hell not going become religious over fear of super Christian zombies.

  4. Wait, Nick and Matt are the same person? Proofread, and try not to make fun of Christianity next time, okay?

  5. Cool concept, but maybe next time you could re-read before you submit. Might have avoided the friend’s name changing from Nick to Matt. Learning the difference between was/were should probably be on your list as well. (Hint: “he were a priest,” “it were footsteps” and “if I were looking” are all wrong.)

  6. Awesomenessradiatesfromme

    I thought what the author was trying to say was pretty clear: the religious peoples souls were sent to heaven and there bodies remained in earth, as empty shells. That gave satans demons a chance to take over an empty human body.

  7. DarthBassetHound

    Quite nice, a can see this becoming a story somewhere. Don’t suppose you could continue this and try getting it published……?

  8. Fairly good. I actively disliked the main character (but maybe I’m just a crotchety old man at this point, yelling at those darn kids to get off my lawn), but the premise of the story is what carried it for me.

    There are some eschatological oddities, but nothing that kicked me out of the story (just ones that irked me later).

  9. it was a good read yes. But if you’re going to talk about religion especially the rapture make sure you state it right. In the rapture it states that those who are worthy at the time are wisked into heaven not their souls but their bodies included it states that only their clothing would be left behind. Other than that i enjoyed it just wish it was longer

    1. While I agree that the situation is a bit odd, religiously speaking, I’d also point out that getting the rapture “right” is essentially impossible as there is great disagreement on the topic. Heck, some Christians don’t even believe that the rapture will happen. Thus some liberty must be allowed.

  10. I liked it. Even through the title and beginning it with his parents being devout Christians, I did not see that ending coming. Never heard of bodies being empty shells, once the souls depart, that can be filled up with something. Demons, I imagine, since all the believers were saved, leaving Satan and his demons free rein. Very spiffy pasta.

  11. The priest and both sets of parents were the empty shells of good souls brought up to heaven… What inhabited those “shells” were demons in a sense. Reminded me of This is the end… Enjoyed it nonetheless.

  12. Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen

    Pretty good. I feel like it would be better if it had more of an explanation, or with more character development, and I would definitely love to see what becomes of the main character. 7/10

  13. Not bad. I would’ve loved it to be longer though. I think it would make for a great action story. Lots of blood and guts and all that. Hope to see more of your work in the future.

  14. Wow, I love this concept. The idea of the empty shells being filled after the rapture is not one I’ve ever heard, and was used to great effect here. I was trying to figure out the Christian-Rapture-Ripping people to pieces connection out, and did not expect the surprise. I really enjoyed that. And Your writing overall is pretty good and engaging. I just think the execution did not go quite far enough. There is no real sense of urgency at any point, which makes the narrator feel so detached. His conversation with his friend (why call someone on skype when this is going on anyway?) could add this to the story, but it remains too casual as is. It makes the pacing of the whole story feel off, as well, so that there is not major feeling of tension in me, nor any significant climax to the story. I like your characters and find them interesting; I just wished they had been fleshed out a bit more with some fear or urgency in their dialogue/actions. As I said, I absolutely love the concept, and overall think your writing is really solid! Really cool story and a great read. Thanks and happy writing!

  15. Other than Nick’s name changing to Matt towards the end of the story, this pasta was pretty good. Seems like it could’ve been a little longer though; it ended pretty abruptly. It’s an interesting idea, I like that much better than entire bodies going to heaven leaving clothes behind; it makes more sense to me. 7/10.

  16. Nicely done. I think that is the first pasta I’ve read with a Judeo Christian slant. At first I thought it was going to be a huge anti-faith rant, but I liked the twist at the end which actually made it pro-faith.

    From an analysis standpoint, I don’t know if I find the reactions of the characters believable. I think there might be a little more hysteria, but I could be nit picking. Lastly, I would move the explanation about the shell to the beginning and drop it in little more subtly. Maybe something along the lines of “The priest said something about souls rising up to heaven and bodies being left as a shell or some inane crap like that. I wasn’t really paying attention, those pokemon weren’t going to catch themselves after all.” Something like that. Gives you a bit of foreshadowing yet also relays the protagonists indifference for religion. I’ve never liked being spoon fed all the details. As a reader I like to have something to figure out on my own. Right now your story kinda has the Star Trek template, everything gets figured out in the last 5 minutes. Again, maybe just personal preference on my part.

    Overall, like the message, but the execution could be touched up a bit. 7/10.

  17. Definitely an interesting concept. I like the idea of empty bodies being filled up by what I assume are demons, but I feel like it’s missing something. Overall I’d give this a 6/10. Please extend the story :)

  18. Had great potential. I think it could of used more details, like going into more elaboration on what was wrong with the afflicted people and why they ripped body parts off of others.I also think it could of been longer, it seemed to just end suddenly. All in all, good read!

      1. Psychotic_Child13adluck

        Correct. In the bible demons and Satan were to take over the world and fight the Lord. The author of this pasta was saying that since only souls were sent to heaven the demons were able to take over the shells and terrorize the one who were left behind

  19. Religious pasta for the main course with a side of bible slap.
    Now if you’ll excuse me I think I’ll be going to church…..

  20. Ohh I get it… The Rapture all those religious fanatics were talking about. In the time leading up to one of the various days that some “prophet” said the world was going to end, people who felt that they were going to be taken to heaven were actually suckered into paying LARGE amounts of money to…well, sinners I guess…to take care of their pets after they were admitted through the pearly gates. Yay for the human race!

    1. Hey, I thought the story was pretty cool. It had a great twist at the end there, but bashing people for loving God isn’t cool.

      Thanks.

  21. Interesting. Not what I was expecting at all, there was a definite twist at the end. Rather well written, though the descriptive language and character dialogue could use slight improvement. Overall, a decent pasta.

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