"…So when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The trumpet shall be heard on high,
The dead shall live, the living die,
And Music shall untune the sky"
— John Dryden (The Major Works)
Harper Hull's apocalyptic short story Terminal Sunday is a glimpse into a couple's last hours together.
the characters are unnamed and are referred to only as "I" and "you." the true nature of their relationship - whether married or not, how long they have been together and how old they are are left to the reader to surmise.
while the world outside erupts in chaos, the couple go through their domestic life seemingly unperturbed. madness and desperation mark the world beyond the couple's home. from within, there is simply order.
this play of contrasts is woven throughout the story. i find this technique effective in bringing out in the reader varied emotions as well. i have read this story more than a couple of times and i could not help being emotional each time. at a turn of phrase, a mention of a word or in the description of a scene, i often find something new to mull over. i think about the lives of the people i care about and of those i do not know. i question myself if i have been a good person or have tried to be a better one.i reflect on the abundance of nature and its gifts and how we use or abuse them. i ponder at the ways we have treated one another and at what we have achieved in making this world a better place. and yes, i wonder what would it be like for each of us should the world designate tomorrow as its demise.
this well-written story has certainly moved me in so many ways. it is chilling in its realism, frightening in its possibility yet profound in its underlying message.
Terminal Sunday is free to download at Smashwords.com
my personal rating is: