Simon cannot close his eyes any more. He has spent the last three days trying to hide himself in slumber, smothering his face beneath the sheets, but his damned and dying flesh has now rested far too long. On the second day he tried to suffocate himself with a pillow, and as the phosphenes of asphyxiation flooded into sight, he thought he saw the hand of Christ beckoning his body. But as Simon reached out to grab His hand, he was forced to face the truth that he was left alive, doomed by Christ to never die, to never find His kingdom.
He had come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. And Simon had been deemed unworthy. And so he has been sitting in his own shit for three whole days, a pestilential penance for the double life that he had led, the lies he’d told his lover, and the loss that he’d been dealt.
Simon sees the streaks of sunlight sneaking in through the slits of his blinds. He shifts his torso to try to get a peek behind the shades without leaving Maggie’s side in their bed. That is to say, where she was before the Rapture. As he moves he hears the squish of the urine-soaked mattress. The liquid sound sends a signal to his brain that his body needs water, needs food, needs some kind of nourishment. But he’s too afraid to move, to see the flames beyond the window as the Devil lays waste to the land. Simon can’t remember what happens after Revelations, and he’s terrified to find out. Even worse, he’s afraid of nothing at all. That God has left, and with Him has gone order, the structure of things, and now there is no one left to make the world happen.
“Ding-dong, motherfucker!” the mob outside screams. “God is dead, you assholes! We fucking won!” Their chanting is set to the thick rhythmic bass tones of a pop song blasting from a large subwoofer. Before he infiltrated the church, Simon would have been out there celebrating with them. Now he’s not sure what to celebrate. Did they win the war, that legion of sinners outside? The Conservative Christian literalists they’d railed against for so long were finally gone, leaving the rest of the world free to revel in debauchery. But the Rapture was real, and those hate-mongering zealots who were God’s chosen followers had been whisked away to live with Him in Heaven. A never-ending gift in return for their devout service: a land without sin, without sinners, without suffering.
But Simon still wonders who has truly won: those who were right, or those who are left? And which side does that leave him on?
Then he hears a window smash somewhere on the compound. Then another, then another, then another on the ground of the house, followed by the sucking sound of flames filling up the space. Simon feels the heat begin to rise from underneath.