| sEATTLE, WASHINGTON
30 SEPTEMBER 2006
OTHER CURRENT LOCI
By the time Rayford got around to calling his wife's church, it was after hours, and he was grateful he wouldn't have to talk to anyone. As he hoped, a new message was on their answeringmachine, though it was communicated by a stunned-sound male voice.
"You have reached New Hope Village Church. We are planning a weekly Biblestudy, but for the time being we will meet just once each Sunday at 10 AM.While our entire staff, except me, and most of our congregation are gone, the few of us left are maintaining the building and distributing a videotape our senior pastor prepared for a time such as this. You may come by the churchoffice anytime to pick up a free copy, and we look forward to seeing you Sunday morning."
Irene was a fastidious housekeeper. Her morning routine included the coffeepot on a timer kicking on at six, percolating her special blend of decaf with an egg. The radio was set to come on at 6:30, tuned to the local Christian station. The first thing Irene did when she came downstairs was open the drapes at the front and back of the house.
Well, of course, Rayford thought, that pastor had often spoken of the Rapture of the church. That was why Irene was soenamored with it. What a creative idea, to tape a message for those who had been left behind!He and Chloe would have to get one the next day. He hoped she would be as interested as he was in discovering the truth.
Rayford gazed out the front window in the darkness, just in time to see Chloe, one big suitcase on the ground next to her, paying a cabdriver. He ran from the house in his stocking feet and gathered her into his arms. “Oh, Daddy!” she wailed. “How’s everybody?”
He charmed Hattie with wishful intelligence of a private group who will merely study the words. When explaining, he leaned away, but caught at his place. The woman, like before, always did hesitate. Easton, shook up before names, was the guy to say if you were out. He realizes you had just stooped.
t. s. eliot at the office
RON STARR does technical writing for money and other writing for pleasure. He is an editor at Floating Bridge Press. His work has appeared most recently in Anemone Sidecar and Drunken Boat 8. His chapbook, A Map by a Dim Lamp, is forthcoming from Ravenna Press. All of the pieces, except for “T. S. Eliot at the Office,” are derived in various ways from Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth’s Last Days.