Book III: Chapter 12
For whatever reason, I got the urge to flip on the tube again (well, like I said, I was addicted).
Oh, I knew there was no chance of a baseball game – for all sporting events had long been cancelled. Furthermore, I had heard that most cable stations were now defunct as well – after all, people no longer had time for watching The Travel Channel or QVC – instead only a few national networks were left, and those were now solely devoted to delivering news and public service announcements.
Without television as their opiate, people were just trying to survive to the next catastrophe.
Everybody knew it was coming, they just didn’t know what ‘IT’ would be or when it would occur.
Whenever I rode into Williamsport to pick up groceries, I could sense that all were certain that their meaningless, mundane lives were about to end.
(Would you be surprised to learn that churches the world over were filled with suddenly devout believers?)
In any case, there I sat, on my recliner (WITHOUT a drink, mind you), and with the TV remote gripped nervously in my hands.
“….refugees moving from China into India,” said an announcer, as the TV panned over a limitless line of forsaken wanderers moving along a dusty road, “There is nowhere for them to—“
“…join the National Relief Effort,” pleaded a young lady on a public service commercial, “come to Nevada, help us make—“
“…Help is on the way. So remember, if you are—“
“Ah, it’s meaningless!” I turned the TV off again. Yet, even as I was about to get up and go back to bed, something pulled me back.
I turned to Channel 13 – thankfully it was still on the air. Once again I saw nothing more than an ordinary newscast – talking about still more destruction. For nearly thirty minutes I watched, appalled at the devastation.
“Why, Lord?” I began to cry. “Where is the Good Shepherd?”
And then, even as the signal blurred on my TV, I realized what was coming — The Two Witnesses.
Once more I watched Elijah and Enoch as they languished in their dank cell.
By now they were even more disgusting looking than the last time I saw them, but as they lay there in apparent sleep, I was certain that an awful new prophecy was about to come forth.
Time dragged by in the moments that preceded their resurrection.
And then, suddenly Enoch opened his empty eye sockets and began to groan as he raised himself upright, slobber running from his toothless maw, “We are the Olive Trees.”
His words seemed to revive Elijah and, as if on cue, he thrust out his hands, “The Two Lampstands – giving the only true light to the world.”
“Today is the day.” Enoch smiled.
“It has been 1,260 days since we returned.” Elijah confirmed.
I knew what was about to happen.
“Revelation 11.” I gasped at the implications. “ He’s going to murder them. And worse yet, he’ll be a hero for it!”
The scene on the TV couldn’t have unfolded any more scripted than if I had been the director: for at that moment the camera panned over to the prison door.
Silently the portal opened and in walked a lone man. Clothed all in white and armed with a scimitar – the curved blade polished to a blinding brightness– the man’s face was shrouded by a heavy turban, one which covered his entire face, and even though his eyes looked familiar, I could not make out for certain who he was.
(Benedict? Ma’bus? Marrollo? I just didn’t know. Yet one thing I was sure about – this was The Beast!)
The prophets must have sensed the presence of the intruder as well. And, surely they must have known what was about to happen, for I watched as Enoch raised his arms protectively…
…only to be viciously cut down!
For his part, Elijah did not resist, instead he simply lay back down, smiled, and waited to be destroyed.
The Beast kindly obliged — splattering Elijah’s blood across the walls.
For this was a holy war and, although I knew that the world over was likely rejoicing at the pseudo-deliverance just provided by this mystery man, in reality, I retched at the sight.
Don’t you realize what this means?
Satan’s Son had taken one step closer to Victory!
I couldn’t bear to watch any more. For I realized something else…
It’s about to get all kinds of crazy up in here…