Eschatology (a story)

Eschatology (a story)

There is a cult of people who sit in a desert where no one wanders. They rarely go to the cities that come closer and closer to their hiding place. For they consider the people within them to be evil, all that is wrong with the world. Somehow these people survive though. They have enough to eat, fresh water and raise their children to be caring people. Their children who stay to become the next gen of end-timers. Without coercion from their elders.
They are happy.
All this is a sign that the people of this cult are holy and in the favour of the gods they serve.
So they continue to watch for what they have been told foretells the coming of the last earth day.
They watch the skies for their ancestors’ return. Telling them that earthlings have spread out beyond this galaxy and now live on planets other than earth. That they still don’t seem to realize that they need to care for and nurture their planet and consider their neighbours over themselves.
They look to the seas to see their ancestors’ return. Telling them that land-dwellers have threatened them for long enough. The water boils and has garbage in it. Entire species die every day, due to human selfishness.
They look around the land and see rage and depression dividing the people further and further. They see the old gods displaced with money, greed and consumption over sharing and family. They see children starve to death everyday. When there is wealth aplenty to go around, if only people shared fairly.
They see fire misused as a weapon, rather than a cleansing agent. They see children not taught to respect it who commit arson. Perhaps because they are bullied and left behind in their society.
And they see the old ways of living set aside. Like farming and crafting, like hunting and foraging. And they wonder how these people will survive when the last days are upon them.
And having seen all these things, they know the time has come to prepare. The prophets have spoken true words.
So the people of this cult start to gather their supplies they will need for the end-times. And make the bunker. Hidden well where no one can see it, if they stumble across their village.
They stop having more children and gather the herbs they need to end lives who would not be an asset in the bunker. Those who cannot live inside, even for a short time and would panic others.
And they go inside.
They lock the doors.
They start singing their old songs that have never become popularized with modern tones. They speak their old tongues that have never been mixed with an enemies’ language. And they wear their old costumes that have never been raised or lowered due to fads. They eat their traditional foods and read their old tomes. Nothing has changed since the ancestors first came to them.
They were never exposed to anything from outside. Except the encroachment of the cities nearby.
Until the final day…
Each member gathered a drink and a cookie from the bin at the pulpit in the main room of the bunker and sat close to loved ones so they could be together as they changed forms. So they would be together in their next incarnation, wherever the ancestors needed them.
And they ate, they drank, and they sang and prayed. Till their last breath was gone.
The elders stayed alive long enough to give last rites to all the members. Then they slit their own throats and fell where they had stood. Praying for the ancestors to tend to their souls.
Even though they had not been allowed inside the bunker, those left outside made sure the bunker was sealed and would never be found as they walked away. They hoped that would be enough to get them back into the good graces of the ancestors.
And they went back to living in the ways they always had. They had children they were sure were doomed to die. And waited for the day when someone told them they had done well, or something had changed.
Like someone stumbling across their village who told them that there were other ways of being…

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