Thursday, January 22, 2015


By Beatrice M. Hanson

Occasionally an unusual story will hit the news the country over. Such was the case back in the 201s.
An aged prophesier, well known for his previous forecasts predic­ted the ending of the world as well as the exact date it would come about.
His “absolute” certainty of this is what made it an interesting as well as a questionable piece of news.
Mother brought the subject up at the supper table the evening before the predicted date. “What do you think of it?” she asked Father with the wide-eyed innocent look of the country housewife.
"Poppy-cock! No such a thing!" thundered Papa bringing his fist down on the supper table with such force it set the dishes rattling. With that he left the table, reached for his hat and disappeared out the back door, giving Mother no chance for further argument.
We children left the table, too. We had our own interests to attend to, leaving Mother with her cold tea and a martyred expression.
At ten o’clock I went upstairs to west bedroom with my two smaller brothers. We were tired after the day’s activities and, after some small talk back and forth, we all fell into a deep sleep.
I awoke, suddenly alert, and lifted myself up on my elbows. The room was deluged in an orange light so bright it brought out every detail, every corner, I had a feeling of terrible disaster and dread.
It is the end of the world, was my first thought. My heart doubled its beat. I lay prone waiting. Slowly the orange light faded from the walls; black darkness filled in.
I heard the hiss of brakes outside and realized in quick relief it was only the motionless trolley-car, on the incline, whose beam had penetrated the room. Now it moved on. I lay back on my pillow. My heart quieted down, I felt drowsy.
I was going fishing in the morning. A pretty girl had moved into our neighborhood. The violets might be out along the river.
The prediction was wrong. It wasn’t the end of the world at all.
For me, nearing thirteen, it was just the beginning.