I’m a literal figure from the Book of Revelation and…wait, why are you running away?
Please, please come back! I just want to help!
Is it my seven heads? It’s my seven heads, isn’t it?
Well, honestly. It’s not like I can help it.
I mean, Jesus Christ. I spent all damn day crawling out of the abyss, and this is my reception? You’re being pretty regressive, friend, if these ten razor-sharp horns are the only reason you’re frantically trying to get away. Like, did you even notice they each have a golden crown? Ten crowns, and you don’t even mention one of them?
I can’t even.
Thanks, I guess. You were a little rude, but I guess we can start over.
Anyway, I’m not here to hurt you. No, no! I’m here because the Seventh Seal has opened, six of the trumpets have sounded, and you look absolutely frozen with mortal terror. I’m guessing you might have glimpsed the seven-eyed Lamb? Yes?
OH, the four Living Creatures. Yeah, they’re pretty gnarly, too. You spotted the six wings, I’m sure, but did you see those wings are completely covered front to back with actual eyeballs?
Well – I bet they saw you!
Sorry. Just a little joke. Trying to lighten the mood.
A noise? Oh, that noise…the one that sounds like a calvary? Yeah, that’s just the locust-scorpions. You can ignore them. They’ve got lion’s teeth, but you can totally beat them off before they get any purchase in you.
Yes, they do have human faces, what of it? Are you really questioning God’s design? Because frankly, sister, there are a bunch of other things going on right now that maybe you ought to be questioning first. Let’s try not to get stuck on the very first abomination that ever crawled out of a bottomless pit, shall we?
Anyway, you might have noticed all the brimstone and plagues. No worries! They’re only going to kill, like, a third of the population.
What? That shocks you? Man, this really is your first apocalypse, isn’t it? Things are just getting started, my friend.
I do have to say, though…if you’re already this jumpy, I’m kinda reluctant to clue you into what’s coming next. I don’t want to scare you, but…are you particularly reliant upon fresh water that isn’t, you know, made of blood? Cause you might need to reconsider that penchant moving forward.
OK, forgive me, I just have to take a second to ask. Did you even, like, notice I’ve got a mortal wound? Like, on one of my heads, just right here? Yeah, it’s pretty gross. But, trust me, you’ll want to pay more attention in a bit, because someone is going to miraculously heal themselves, and then rule over all dominion for 42 months, so things are about to get really exciting.
And, hey…I apologize if I came across too aggressively right there. I’m just kind of sensitive about my mortal wound. But I’m serious, my part is going to be epic, wait until you see it.I’ll be blaspheming God’s name and speaking profanities to His Kingdom and followers…spitting verses and dropping knowledge, amirite?!…and afterwards there’s this whole complicated plan to wage war against the saints. I mean, I obviously don’t need to say it, but…stay tuned!
If, you know, you survive all the fire and hail.
Oh, there’s the seventh trumpet, that’s my cue to go! I’m going to have to emerge from the sea soon. Before I go, though, I just want to give you a heads-up so you’re not surprised. You see, Heaven has completely devolved into War, and things are gonna get a little… weird…after this.
First, God is going to resurrect some dudes, so don’t get too freaked out. They’ll ascend to Heaven, so this really doesn’t impact you, but…and don’t take this the wrong way…y’all kind of overreacted the last time He resurrected someone. After all, we don’t want you to go off starting a new religion!
Anyway, then a really gorgeous red Dragon is going to try to eat a baby, but I’ll tell you a secret – I don’t see that working out logistically. After that, there’s some more war, some angelic prophesies about Babylon falling, some grapes that bleed…all omens you really don’t want to show up, you know?
Then, and I hate to say it, there’s going to be a boatload of pain and suffering. I’m talking massive pus-filled boils, the seas turning to blood, heatwaves that will cause people to spontaneously combust. Everything’s going to be plunged into blackness and the rivers will dry up and…what, you don’t want me to finish?
Are you sure? I really feel like you should know about the great earthquake that’s going to topple every mountain and dislodge all the islands and change the geography of the planet as you know it.
Well, I’m sorry, then, but I’ve got to split. It’s the third woe, and the Ark of the Covenant is about to appear, so you can probably imagine everything I’ve got on my plate.
Oh, but one last piece of advice! Anyone deemed to be against the King of Kings and Lord of Lords will be left out for carnivorous birds to eat for all eternity, so…yeah.
But, good luck with everything! Maybe I’ll see you in the lake of fire!
Shannon Frost Greenstein is the author of “Pray for Us Sinners”, a fiction collection from Alien Buddha Press, and “More.”, a poetry collection by Wild Pressed Books. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a former Ph.D. candidate in Continental Philosophy. Follow her at shannonfrostgreenstein.com or on Twitter at @ShannonFrostGre.