***DISAPPEARANCE Sneak Peek***

They stood atop the roof of the building they’d woken up in, drinking up the beer that the party organizers hadn’t taken away and discussing it.

“In the end, they’re right, you know,” Jon said sagely. “Someone really does need to step up and start giving orders. If anything’s going to get done”.

“Yeah, probably,” Zachan agreed, “but who? You? Are you going to go find everyone and say ‘hey guys, do this’?”

Jon drank his beer (still cold, thank goodness for small miracles) and thought about this. Eventually he nodded his head.

“Nope,” he said cheerfully, “that does not sound like something I’m going to do, how about you?”

Zacahn laughed, the sound echoing off into the night.

“Hell no,” he chortled, “I wouldn’t know the first thing about taking charge”.

“Well then, there you go. There’s no point in worrying about it until someone else steps up and says go”.

Zachan chugged the rest of his bottle and threw the empty over the edge. It described a long arc and then plummeted, hitting the pavement below with a satisfying crash. Seconds later a dog began barking wildly and both men jumped.

“Jesus, was that a dog?” Zachan asked incredulously. “I haven’t seen one since, well, since you know what happened”.

“I have,” Jon mused, “well, that is I’ve heard some. While we were poking around today, I heard a couple, barking from a long way off, blocks away. That one’s close.”

“I wonder if it needs a friend?” Zachan asked aloud, ducking into the building’s roof entrance to snag another beer. Jon finished his beer and then tossed his empty to join its companion. It crashed similarly, causing the dog to go off even louder.

“Fuck him,” Jon called out, stifling a belch. “Get me another one”.

Zachan returned with two frosty Stellas and handed one to Jon.

“So, what the fuck do you think happened?” Zachan asked philosophically, twisting the cap off of his beer.

Jon opened his beer and took a long swallow before replying.

“I don’t really know, but I have some theories” he said mysteriously. Zachan cracked up.

“Oh yeah? Lay ‘em on me, oh wise one”.

Jon paused for a swallow. “Do not mock the wise old sage, my son, for he can still lay out a can of whoop-ass all over your drunk Balkan ass”. He gathered his thoughts, and then spoke. “I think that maybe the planet went through a phase or, a rip I guess, in the space-time fabric, and not everyone survived the trip through it”.

“That’s pretty meta,” Zachan laughed. “I don’t know, that’s kind of heavy”.

“Best I’ve been able to come up with, short of it being the Rapture, I guess”.

Zachan considered this for a moment, drinking his beer. He finally shook his head.

“I mean, it fits,” he said slowly, “like, it looks like it’s supposed to, I suppose, but…I mean, come on. Really? The Rapture?”

Jon nodded. “Yeah, no, I know. I get it. I mean, I’m not really a believer, and I think that there’s probably a rational explanation for all of this, but I’ll be fucked if I can think of one.”

“So it’s the atheist Rapture, then,” Zachan said.

“What do you mean?” Jon asked.

“Everyone’s disappeared for no fucking reason at all”.

Jon considered this for a moment, and then nodded slowly.


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