It was the end of the world, the very eve of Armageddon. We all knew it, saw it escalating around us. It began gradually; small changes that happened in the village as we went about our daily work. There was a palpable sense of danger running rampant throughout the community. The ground began to shake, subtly at first and then with greater urgency. We all rushed out to protect the fruits of our labor, our village, our home as the earth buckled and churned beneath our feet. These horrific episodes were always followed by periods of calm that would lull everyone back into complacency before it would all begin again in an endless, sickening loop. Despair and anarchy ruled the day, terror falling heavily upon the land.


There was a great fear in the village on the day that the sudden fire struck the town square, unleashing panic and destruction in its wake. Flames fell down from the sky in a hellish shower, acrid smoke trailing behind each explosive blast. Many of us were killed in an instant, horrifically charred and burned alive as the rest of the villagers watched on in fear. What could be the cause of such calamity; how could we possibly survive? We all knew that there was only one who could lead us away from the brink of extinction, one whose wisdom and goodness would surely guide us: our noble Queen.

She came down from her sanctuary to walk among us, her loyal subjects, in our time of great need. She was gracious and gentle, a most calming presence, filled with a radiant inner peace. She touched each of us in turn as she made her way to the village center, giving us her blessing. The weaker ones laid down at her feet as she passed, trembling in admiration that she should risk her safety in this way. We were all very grateful to her, convinced that she alone would know the solution to our heavenly persecution.


The Queen reached the center of the village, turning gracefully to face her subjects. All of us gathered together, stretching out in every direction as far as the eye could see. It was a piteous lot the Monarch surveyed that day as a hush blanketed the assembly, each of us straining to catch a glimpse of our brave sovereign. We waited in complete silence for her address, the Queen raising herself up to her full, regal height before beginning. Just at that moment, an enormous explosion upended the crowd at the farthest edge of the square, throwing bodies up into the air, leaving carnage, blood, and horror in its wake. A molten beam of light burst down from the heavens, igniting the village in fire and brimstone as the earth began to quake and come apart, capturing a score of us in a tomb of buildings, rock and dirt. We all moved together as one towards the center: the Queen! The Queen must be protected at all costs, for without her, all would be lost.

She was composed and calm in the chaos, her courage inspiring us all as a sudden eclipse gripped the land. We were plunged into complete blackness, all of us running to escape the inevitable, to rally around the Queen’s majesty. If this truly was the Day of Reckoning, the Queen must live on to lead her subjects, if any survivors there should be. The cry rang out loudly, above the cacophony of death and destruction, all of us united in one voice: “Long live the Queen!” as the world broke apart and darkness reigned.


The Destroyer of Worlds gazed down in admiration upon his handiwork, almost imagining that he could hear the screams of the poor souls lying beneath. He felt a slight twinge of conscience that he should have caused them such distress, but the way the light shone down through the magnifying glass was just too cool to pass up. He wouldn’t have believed it was possible until his older brother showed him how to do it, trying the glass out on the giant anthill in their backyard. The smoke riled up and scorched the little creatures as they toiled away, running to escape the harsh rays. He and his brother would spend every day of summer vacation outside, poking at the anthill with a stick, watching the ants scurry around in panic as the boys and their friends each took turns with the glass.

It was all great fun; that is, until the morning when he’d been forced to put them out of their misery. His dog, Cassie, knocked the whole thing over in search of her ball, leaving the anthill in complete devastation and ruins. He might be a Destroyer of Worlds, but he did have a heart after all. He tamped down hard on the dirt, hastily turning the earth over with his plastic shovel. He killed as many of the broken, injured creatures as he could find before running back into the house, his mother calling him in for lunch.

There would be no more annihilation of worlds that day. Not, at least, until he’d had his afternoon nap.