They were all outside, that lonely September night, all there to lift their heads up to the sky and bear witness to what was happening up there. What reasons had led them outside were many and varied, from arguments in the house to children still at play, but what mattered more than that was that, one way or the other, all the people were out there. Initially, we thought it might have just been our block, or our neighborhood, or even just our town, but the man on the TV swore it was happening all over. People were outside from Tukrow all the way to Cray, dragged out of their homes by coincidence and fate, and all with their heads suddenly pointed upwards, like they were looking for the good Lord himself.
Momma said nothing like this ever happened before, and she started praying for God to watch over us and forgive us for our sins cuz this had to be the Rapture; the Lord was coming to take us all up to heaven and leave the sinners on the Earth. I don't know anything about church, but I figured it was as close as anything to what was actually going on. I think she even tried to call the pastor, but he didn't answer. Maybe he got raptured, I don't know.
Papa was on the porch like usual, drinking a cold beer, but even though he's the kinda man that's seen the world twice over, he still had his chin up. He was casually checking it out just like everybody else. When I asked him about it later, he said it was probably aliens. And back then, I thought he was serious, but it turned out he didn't believe in any of that stuff. He was just joking around; he always did stuff like that back then.
Across the street I could see Rita Higgins, her eyes looking at me instead of the sky, and I was just happy she was looking my way. I was sweet on her something fierce, but I didn't reckon I ever stood a shot with her. Her bright red hair and 5 foot frame were calling to me, and we met in the street. I could see she wanted to say something, to break down or cry, but she didn't. I grabbed hold of her and pulled her in close, and I kissed her like I'd always wanted. It was the first time, and the last time, we'd ever do that. She tasted like the magic, high above us in the sky, swirling towards us like the end of the world.