Here’s this week’s story. What do you think?

What For

By Laura McHale Holland

Pierce wakes up the morning after. Yolanda, still sleeping beside him, had been wrong about the world coming to an end. He wonders how his wife of twelve years, the mother of his children, could have been so stupid, so snookered in. Yolanda had even seemed disappointed last night when they’d watched the news on TV. Not much had happened: a twister ravaged a section of southern Nebraska; another levee broke along the Mississippi; a plane carrying 186 people disappeared over New Hampshire; a 5.5 earthquake hit San Luis Obispo, California; a few terrorists were detained at O’Hare airport and managed to shoot a customs agent before they were overpowered. But that was it.

Pierce smiles at the sunshine coming through the bedroom curtains, as it always does on clear days. He swings his legs to the side of the bed and slides his feet into this comfy, fleece slippers. He takes a step, but there is no longer a floor beneath him. He falls down, down into a vast, black sky, and spins far away from his home, his neighborhood, his life.

He screams as he loses sight of the earth, and Yolanda stirs in her dream. She wakes up and wonders where Pierce is. It isn’t like him to leave for work without kissing her goodbye.

She sits up and stretches while swinging her legs to the side of the bed. She slides her feet into her slippers and stands up. The floorboards creak as she makes her way down the hall and looks in on her children, still asleep, surrounded by stuffed animals in their beds. She smiles and shuffles into the kitchen, where she sees that Pierce didn’t take out the garbage last night; of course, she thinks, he was too busy hounding her about what a fool she is for believing the Rapture. Irked, she pulls the garbage bag up from the can and vows she’ll give Pierce what for when he comes home.

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