Fields White With Harvest by Sylvie Galloway
It was a typical Sunday morning at the Second Independent Non-denominational Baptist Church. The choir had just finished singing Nearer My God to Thee, and the non-tone deaf congregation members were thankful that Sister Cordelia was for once mostly in tune during her solo. The children were trying not to fidget too much, and brother Greer’s snores had not yet reached an audible level. Pastor Jeremiah Hennessy, took his position behind the pulpit. His suit hanging loosely on his lean frame, bowed his head to give the opening prayer, then began his sermon. He was in the middle of a series based on the book of Psalms. He’d discovered over the years, that if he covered three Psalms a week, he’d have sermon material for the entire year, ‘except for Easter and Christmas. He rotated that sermon series out every five years.
Thirty minutes into the sermon, half the congregation was fighting sleep, most of the other half had given up the fight. Only Mrs. Hennessy sat attentively, or so it appeared. Somewhere during her 38 years of marriage and thousands of worship services she’d learned to nap with her eyes open. Other then the pastor, who mistook all the bowed heads as contemplation or prayer, and who’s hearing was faltering, only Bobby and Jeffrey, the Godfrey twins were fully awake. Bobby and Jeffrey were playing connect the dots with the music notes in their hymnal.
Bobby noticed movement out of the corner of his eye. He nudged his brother who quickly closed the hymnal. Mrs. Bobeck in the pew next to them was stirring. It looked like she was standing up. As she leaned forward, her ample rear starting to lift off the pew. Then to the twins astonishment Mrs Bobeck’s back end just kept going up, the rest of her following. They watched as her body lifted all the way up until it reached the ceiling where she dangled like a lost helium balloon. Mrs. Bobeck hung there limply, sleepily unaware of her buoyancy.
The boys looked over at the pastor who was looking up at Mrs. Bobeck with his mouth hanging wide open. Then he heard a shriek that woke everyone up.
“Jeremiah!” Mrs. Hennessy wailed. “Help me!” as she too began to rise bottom side up towards the ceiling. Within seconds pandemonium broke out as more and more people found themselves heading towards the ceiling. Soon a third of the congregation were bouncing along the ceiling. Others were only partially suspended a few feet off the ground.
Then someone said it. “Rapture! Its the rapture!”
“Get the door! ”someone else yelled. The double doors of the church were quickly opened and those still on the ground stood atop the pews to help guide the bodies of those airborne towards the doorway to freedom. Once outside, the more buoyant people shot skywards, others lifted slowly, then gained momentum as their bodies climbed. “Look! There’s another one.” was said as the onlookers saw the occasional body hurtling upwards from around the neighborhood. Several realized that they were still earth bound instead of being raptured heavenwards so valiantly jumped up and down trying to join the others. They jumped and jumped until collapsing in exhaustion.
Inside, Pastor Hennessy still stood gripping his pulpit. His body hadn’t budged an inch off the sanctuary floor. Tears poured down his cheeks, as he cried, “Oh God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
Fifty thousand feet above earth the ship hung in a low orbit. The remains of several satellites drifted brokenly in the ship’s wake. Ksshn scratched an eye tube with his left minor tentacle. “Man, what a harvest this trip.”
“Yeah,” said Ychen. “I told you that that introducing cheap and easy fried foods to the humans would have good results.”
“No kidding. And to think the our beloved and terrifying leader wanted us to use the harvest by deadly disease method like all those other times.”
“Yep.” Ksshn examined his tentacle for residue. “Because the humans are larger per pound then they’ve ever been, we got our quota in a single cycle, and by harvesting from only one continent.”
“Well that means we got time to get to the Phhhtp system in time for some rest and mate time.”
“Ok, but this time, I’m picking out the mating candidates, your breeding criteria is less then desirable.”