The Rapture

Hackney marshes

I dreamed I was the only one left in the world. It was a Friday. I was going to see you all Monday. I went to the marshes on Friday night and lay on the ground on my woollen blanket. I was utterly alone. I took my socks off and my jeans. It was a warm night. I waited for people to come. There were none. I felt the spirits of old lovers. I took off my blouse and bra and lay on the rug. The ghost of an old boyfriend was there. I tried to chuck his chin in the air but only caught the edge of his beard with my fingertips

On Saturday I went to Euston and took the cab of a train. With Google maps on my phone I learned to drive, and inched my way to the Midlands. But I grew in confidence, no passengers and no passing trains. By the time I passed Morecambe Bay it was sunset and I was on a roll.

I stole a car from no living man in Penrith and drove to mum and dad’s house. As the sun came up, I walked through the unlocked door and up to their bedroom, where I watched the sun rise over Fang’s Brow. I hadn’t felt so lonely until then.

I knew full well I’d see you all on Monday morning,
when the great trumpet sounded.

Once the sun was up I wrapped myself in the duvet and sat on the bed, feeling sorry for myself. I knew full well I’d see you all on Monday morning, when the great trumpet sounded. But it was still hours away.

To cheer myself up I thought of all the time I’d heard my family laugh: guffaw; really laugh; lose their shit.

I thought of Mum spitting her wine out in the sink because she was laughing so hard.

I thought of Dad giggling until tears sprang out of the corners of his eyes.

I thought of Mary laughing so hard, bent double, I thought she’d wet herself.

I thought about my family’s white teeth, their eyes squeezed shut with a fan of pink wrinkles outside, and their laughter bellowing as loud as a shout.

Some bright morning, I thought. Tomorrow. I shuffled downstairs in the duvet and made myself some toast, waiting for the rapture to take me.

 
 

Image credit: Sludge G

 
 

The Learned Pig

Ellie Broughton

Ellie Broughton is a 28 year-old writer and editor from Walthamstow, London. She has previously written for Cadaverine, Queen Mob's Teahouse and New Nature London, as well as appearing in an anthology published by For Books' Sake. In her working life, she is the features editor for the UK's main magazine for GPs, and also helps to produce The Sunday Times's iPad edition. She loves horror films, weird fiction, Edna O'Brien, photography, and stories about places. She hates whimsy and is still trying to get it all out of her system.