Author: Phil Temples

I see them on the street corner again today. They’re an eclectic assembly of men and women. I count thirty-seven of them. While some are in their twenties and accompanied by young children, the majority are older—in their sixties and seventies. They’re part of a religious cult who believe that the world will come to an end in roughly sixteen months’ time. They are being led down the primrose path by a handsome, well-spoken young man who promises them a bounty of riches and eternal pleasures in the afterlife in exchange for recruiting more like-minded followers to promote his narrative. No doubt they’ve drained savings accounts and given their worldly possessions to this charismatic leader.

I’m not from this world—or even this time period—yet I still feel sorry for them. I cross the street and walk up to the nearest sign-carrier and ask, “May I?” I reach out and take the sign from her hands. Then I withdraw my pen and cross out the date on the sign and replace it with the actual date of destruction––5,041 years from now.

I hand back her sign and go about my business, leaving a collection of puzzled looks in my wake.