Excerpt from The Revelator

Robert Kloss

And when an awful breath of flame streaked the night sky, lighting the streets as in the day and making invisible all the stars, you began to preach the word of the end of time. For in the final hour man will become wicked and greedy and governments will be dissolved, and the good will hide in the mountains, subsisting on honey, pheasants, root vegetables. And the skies will light with balls of fire, and the skies will fall before periods of darkness. And while in years past the destruction came by flood, where man survived atop some mountain, or within some boat, this will prove the final hour for all. There will be earthquakes and fires, and there will be plagues, and bodies will swell fat with blackness and cough blood as thick and putrid as oil. And whatever man has domesticated will turn against him and assault him. Now man will fall against the gnashing of his hounds and his horses and his mules and his oxen, coughing blood and broken teeth beneath the furious trample of their hooves and teeth. And the creature of the Almighty will sharpen its horrid sickle. And bodies will fill the streets. And ships will drift with the dead weight of entire crews. And mothers will forsake their children. And wives will denounce their husbands. And entire populations will be sought out and murdered as scapegoats. And men will lash themselves with iron-spiked whips, spreading the ground with their blood, crying out, “Mercy! Mercy!” and “Peace! Peace!” They will claim to heal the dying and they will claim to raise the dead, and they will tell stories of their meals eaten with the Almighty. And they will murder priests. And they will ravish the flesh of their congregation, making bloody love to their parishioners. And many dead men and beasts will cover the ground, the air rife with their pestilence. And when the last of the people can find no food they will eat the last of the tree bark and the final strands of grass. And then the wicked will murder their brothers, and these they will feast upon. And mothers will eat their children, and wives will eat their husbands. And tornadoes will diminish towns to the dust, and hurricanes will pull cities into the sea. And the sea will blacken, and mountains will explode in fire, and locusts will fill the skies, until ears bleed from the force of their hum. And from the heavenly darkness shall come yellow eyes and the most ancient of beasts will unhinge its jaws, devouring the sun and the moon. Now the world will fall into winter. Now long hours of sleep, for even the Almighty will weary. And when the last cock crows upon the scarred land His ancient eye shall blink open, and He will stand in judgment over the good and the wicked. And the world shall be cast into flame. And the world shall be dissolved. And from the molten ash the mountains will rise anew, and the fields return shimmering. And the righteous will be called from the soil, and the sinners will be cast into flaming pits. From the loam the good will rise, as they were in life, nude but for the shroud of soil, reborn and cast anew in the Almighty’s image. And the end will be known as the resurrection of the saints, and the trumpets of His creature will radiate across the heavens.

Robert Kloss is the author of the novels The Alligators of Abraham and The Revelator and co-author (with Amber Sparks) of The Desert Places, illustrated by Matt Kish.