I walked down the darkened street and all around the coldness of night crept into my bones. As I rounded the corner from 35th to 2nd Avenue, a homeless man got up from his pile of bric-a-brac and stood to face me.
“Money for the poor? I’m so hungry,” he said pitifully. His hands were shaking in the cold and I could see the tips of his fingers, showing through his cutoff gloves, were old and wrinkled.
“Sorry man,” I replied without courtesy.
“Do you know it’s coming?” he said. His begging for alms had left him now and his eyes took on a wild light. The black orbs stared deep into mine with a fire that both surprised and frightened me. “It’s coming. Today is the day, the sky will burn.”
“What the fuck are you talking about, old timer?” I replied with indignation.
“Look to the skies, my boy,” he damn near hollered with enthusiasm. “Look to the skies! The end of days! The end of days is upon us! The Antichrist shall walk among the Sons of Man and the Horseman shall not be far behind. Look to the skies!”
I gathered my coat around me and glared at him with disgust. “Crazy bastard.”
I thought nothing of the vagrant’s warnings all during my walk home, and through my supper and my ritual of evening television. But when I went upstairs that evening it birthed itself fresh in my mind.
The sun was setting on the horizon and I was exhausted from the weary days before. I tore off my shirt, and went over to the rolling blind to lower it for the evening’s sleep. I stared out onto the burning horizon to see the giant saucer, a monstrous disc of illuminated, glowing metal from another world lower itself down from the sky above, hovering above Manhattan. I saw the burning trails of fire burst forth from its metal chassis and rain destruction down upon mankind. I watched the buildings explode and crumble in the distance as the hellfire reigned down upon them, and I thought of the man’s warning, to look to the skies.