Bewildering Stories

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The End of the World, Again

Diphosphorus Pentoxide

Mac opened up the newspaper and almost dropped it in shock. The end of the world was happening again.

Body Found Flattened

Egret Dorinfo, Pletanzk Chronicle - The body of Mon Dagorre, 53, was found yesterday two miles south of the Castle of Pair Caravel, after being flattened by a stampeding herd of 101,269 elephants. Mr. Dagorre was threatening to kill the dead elephant when it knocked him off, and they stampeded over him.

Farmer Kidnapped by UFO

Egret Dorinfo, Pletanzk Chronicle - Barlom Fernondo, 25, was kidnapped yesterday by an unidentified flying object. Gorzfleb Marrens, his next-door neighbor, tells the Pletanzk Chronicle that he saw Mr. Fernondo being sucked up into a spaceship that was about the size of a school bus. Then the UFO zipped away, and 401,263,777 banners bearing weird and inscrutable etchings fell out of a hole.

Mac slowly put the newspaper down and stood up. With shaking legs, he made his way to the door, unlocked it, and stepped outside without bothering to shut it after him. He walked a few paces into his front yard and looked up.

There, just as he expected, was the UFO that had visited him three years before.

"Well, hello, there," he said. "Welcome back."

There was an indescribable sound from the UFO.

"What brings you back to Earth? Don't you know it's about to end again? Or is that why you came? To take me away? That's not such a bad idea..."

He stepped into the light beam under the UFO, and that was the last thing he remembered...


He woke up, the beads of sweat running down his face and neck. After a moment, he calmed. It was just a dream, he told himself, and he started to smile.

"Just a dream," he said. "Just a dream."

When he looked to the left at the spot beside his bed, he saw that the alien was still there.

Copyright 2002 by Diphosphorus Pentoxide.