by Jake Christie

a story.

When the sky turned red and space rocks started falling from above, and the seas all rose and hurricanes started buffeting the shores, and the forests were consumed with flames and all the nuclear missiles started counting down, there wasn't really anywhere to run.  Instead we all laid on our backs on the conference table and looked at the ceiling.

"How many ceiling tiles do you think there are?" asked Sheila, from accounting.

"I don't know," said Jim.  He turned his head.  "Do you mean here, or in the whole building?  Or in the whole world?"

"Just in here," said Sheila.  A man ran down the hallway, screaming, possibly on fire.  He didn't stop so we couldn't ask.

"We could always count," I said.

"That would be a waste of time," said Sheila. She sighed. "I can almost guarantee it."

The sound of gunfire wafted up from the streets below.  I wondered what people were doing outside, in weather like this.  Besides shooting guns, I mean.

"I wonder what they're doing out there," I said.

"Shooting guns," said Jim.  "Obviously."

"Well, yeah," I agreed.  "I know that."  The screaming man ran by again, in the other direction, but he still didn't stop, probably because of the fire that was or wasn't burning him.

"Shouldn't you all be working?" said somebody at the door.  We all looked up, even though we knew the somebody was Karl, the Assistant to the Office of the Vice President of Sales.  Technically our boss, if that sort of thing mattered anymore.

"Why?" asked Jim.

Karl shook his head.  "Typical," he said. "Just typical."

"What's typical?" asked Jim, annoyed.

"The world ends and you all just assume you get the rest of the day off."

"We didn't assume anything," said Sheila.

"Speaking of which," I said, "is that guy who just ran by on fire?"

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