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Like the World Is Ending · Original Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
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The spreadsheet before me is filled with donations from two weeks ago. They've dropped over the past two months, but five and six digit offerings are still common. Even after spending all the advertising, Family Stations, Inc. remains a hundred million in the black. It's a necessary buffer, since the years to come will be lean. I hope they won't need to cut my pay, but God will surely provide for us.

Everyone has to show up tomorrow, even weekday employees like me. The big red circles over today and tomorrow on the wall calendar serve as a constant reminder, as though it were somehow possible to work here and forget what day tomorrow is.

"It's a blessed Friday morning at Family Radio! How may I serve you?" resonates Esther's perky voice from the cube next to mine, for the thirty-third time today. I barely notice it. It's taken me six years, but I've finally managed to tune her out. Her voice drops an octave when she's not on the phone, so it's easy to switch gears when she's trying to get my attention.

The numbers on the sheet are starting to bleed together in my vision, so I rest my eyes for a moment and say a little prayer to Jesus. After I unbow my head, I hear a familiar, "Psst!"

Esther is peeking down at me over the cubicle wall. "The phones will not quit today!" she moans.

I stand so I can talk to her face-to-face. "Not exactly a surprise," I say with a grin.

Esther rolls her eyes. "Just count your blessings that you don't have phone duty tomorrow."

"If there is a tomorrow," I note, half-serious.

"If? My goodness, Mary! Don't let Harold hear such doubts," she admonishes, her voice crawling with sarcasm. "Did you hear he tried to cancel the workday? The board wouldn't stand for it, but I'm sure nobody's getting laid off if they don't show."

"I figured it'd be safe, but I don't mind the overtime. I'll give it back to God on Sunday," I say. "Besides, it's going to be insanely busy, and I love my job." Spreading God's word is more than a vocation, after all: it's a calling. I wouldn't be working full-time for eighteen-five before taxes if I didn't believe in my job.

"I'll be here too. Heaven forgive me, but curiosity on how this thing will unfold is a temptation. Besides," she says, with a mischievous look in her eye, "Zeke's not coming in."

"Really? He's staying at home with family," I realize. "Good for him."

Esther leans in and whispers, "There's more. Check today's donations."

I sit down and open today's tab, and my jaw drops open wide. "The six-hundred kay?" I gasp, my voice a whisper. "But he knows it's too late for advertising and we're just banking it! What's the point?"

Esther shrugs. "He wants to do what's right, and since the churches are apostates, that means giving it to KEAR-FM. Sold the house, both cars, the boat, everything."

An ice-cold sensation wrenches deep in my gut. Ezekiel has a wife and five kids, plus another on the way. I close my eyes and focus for a moment before speaking.

"What incredible faith. I have so much respect for him," I say with a smile, and the terrible feeling in my belly fades.

"Oh, me too," says Esther, energetically. "He's an inspiration to us all. I spoke to him earlier, and he sounded just like Camping. 'Even to think that something else might happen would be an affront to God,' but he's still nice about how he says it, so it isn't insulting."

"His place in Heaven is secure," I say.

"Absolutely," Esther agrees.

The kids have been tucked in after devotional and prayer. They're only three and four, so my husband has decided there will be no Family Radio while they're in the house. It's not that he doubts, of course. He simply sees no reason to alarm them. They're just children, for goodness sake.

I lie in bed and glance at the clock on the nightstand. It's eight-thirteen. By Harold Camping's calculations, the earthquakes will start in New Zealand in less than two hours. Here in San Francisco we have until six pm tomorrow.

"You sure you don't want to stay up with me and watch on Fox?" asks Simon, standing by the bedroom door.

"You go ahead, dear," I say. "I have a big day at work tomorrow."
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