Friday, May 20, 2011

It's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)

This is it- the most important, and potentially last, blog post you’ll ever read.

The beginning of the end of the world is happening tomorrow. In case you’ve been living in a cave for the last month or so, read more about it here (new window).

If you’re unfamiliar with it, the rapture is the event prophesied in the Bible in the book of revelation that serves as the beginning of the end of the world. The common interpretation of the rapture is this: All believers in Christ are heralded from Earth into Heaven, leaving the unbelievers behind on Earth to experience “the great tribulation”, a time of war, famine and natural disasters before the world as we know it is destroyed altogether. Harold Camping and his associates at Family Radio believe that this event is going to occur tomorrow, Saturday May 21st 2011. Sadly, the time of day is not specified, so I don’t know if I should cancel my dinner reservations or not.

I won’t go into great detail, but the math that Harold Camping uses to determine when the end of the world is going to occur is fully detailed in his Wikipedia entry (new window, see “controversy” paragraph).

I should preface by saying this: I am a believer in Christ and in the Bible, and I think that one day the rapture really is going to occur. I just don’t think it’s going to be on Saturday. Mostly because the Bible says it won’t. More precisely, it says that nobody knows when the end is going to occur. In fact, if you’re even a little devout odds are good that you’ve heard Mark 13:32-33 before: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that day will come. (NIV)”

So God is going to such great lengths to keep his secret that not only won’t he tell his folks here on Earth, but he’s also keeping his angels and his own son in the dark (which, since it’s Jesus’ second coming, must be like waiting 2000+ years for a surprise birthday party from your dad. Thanks, Dad.)

I’m fairly certain that if God is all-powerful enough to create and run everything that he’s more than capable of keeping a secret from a guy who runs an independent radio station (and already got his doomsday prediction wrong once in the past, in as described in his book 1994? (new window). By the logic of Mark 13:32, the fact that this guy claims to know for certain that the rapture’s going to happen on Saturday seems to rule out Saturday entirely.

So what’s the take-home lesson? Odds are very, very high that the rapture isn’t going to occur when this guys says it will. And if you want to read the Bible, please don’t go looking for numerological secrets encoded within its pages. The secrets of the Bible aren’t encoded or hidden, and that’s what makes it great. You don’t need a secret knowledge to find out what it’s really saying.

And yes, if I’m totally off base and I am raptured tomorrow, you can have all my stuff. But it’s booby trapped. You’ve been warned.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


If you liked my short story Human (new window) then I think you'll like this story. Danny's back, and today we get to learn a little more about his friend Shaun (as mentioned in the previous story). I'm hoping to further develop these characters into a novel once my current projects are complete. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Aaron Matthew Smith- May 2011

“What kind do you want?” Shaun asked.
“Chocolate, duh,” I said. After football practice in the early September heat, nothing was better than chocolate frozen yogurt.
“One chocolate and one strawberry,” Shaun placed some crumpled bills on the ice cream store’s counter.
You want frozen yogurt?” the cashier asked. She wrinkled her nose. I saw Shaun blink, and he looked like he wanted to say something. If he had any blood, he probably would’ve blushed.
“Yeah, sorry,” I stepped in. “I probably stink, football practice. But Shaun here smells fine since, y’know, zombies don’t sweat.”
The cashier’s face got red.
“I’m assuming that face you made was at me, not at my friend.” I said, loud enough for the people in line behind us to hear.
I knew it would embarrass Shaun, but no more than he already was. The woman scooped up the money and handed over our snacks without another word. I stared at the cashier as we walked out of the store. Shaun and I took a bench in the shade outside.
“You didn’t have to do that,” Shaun said.
“Yeah I did,” I argued. “You’re my friend.”
We ate in silence for a few minutes. It was so weird; a month ago I wouldn’t have cared what the cashier said. I might not have said it myself, but I would’ve kept quiet.
I’d never been friends with a zombie before. I’d only been at my new school three weeks, but I’d already learned a lot about them. Playing football and becoming friends with Shaun had taught me something, besides the fact that they don’t sweat; zombies are people, too.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

"The Last Tailor" appetizer

Hey everyone,
As most of you probably know, I'm getting married in a little more than three months. As those of you who are or have been married (and weren't wed in a drive-thru line by a guy dressed as Elvis) know, that means that my fiancée and I have been up to our eyeballs in preparations. That, combined with the fact that my fiancée' and I found, signed a lease for and moved into a new apartment in the last six days, means I haven't haven't had as much time for writing as I would have liked.

But I still found time to finish a first draft of my novel, "The Last Tailor". Yippee!!
I'm currently in the process of proofing and editing it, and I'd like some more eyes on the manuscript. If you're interested in helping a budding writer out, please let me know.

Here's an appetizer that will (hopefully) make you want to read more.

"The Last Tailor" (excerpt)
Aaron M. Smith- May 2011

“I don’t know how you survived the airship,” the masked man said as he walked slowly toward us, “And I don’t care.”
“Don’t know how we survived?” I said, suddenly more stunned than afraid. “You threw yourself out of the window into the sea! I want to know what angel is looking after you!
“Please,” he said, and tugged on the loose garment tossed around his body. “They use these things all the time in your world, don’t they?”
“Is… is that a parachute?”I shook my head. “No way, it’s too small.”
“Colin!” Riza hissed. “Quit arguing with the man who’s about to kill us.”
“I’m going to ask you again,” I said, ignoring the urge to look away from his masked face. “Where is my father?”
“It’s not going to matter to you very soon,” he said. I watch his eyes behind the mask. They were dark, dark gray, and bloodshot. He was halfway across the dining car from us now.
“Colin!” Someone shouted, and I turned to see Alan and Carla in the door of the car. Alan threw my sword at me- I caught it on the grip as the kidnapper dashed the remaining distance between us.
Carla moved faster- her sword was drawn and the she struck two blows at the man before I could even blink, the sound of steel-on-steel the only thing I could follow.
I drew my sword and waited for an opening, but suddenly the man in the mask started moving, and I couldn’t see him anymore. The ring of steel on steel became a roar, and I had to fight the urge to cover my ears.
Carla and her attacker suddenly came back into view as the kidnapper’s foot snapped out, colliding heavily with Carla’s midsection- she cried out and was tossed across the car. She hit the edge of a nearby table and slumped over, still.
I moved in, bringing my sword to bear before he could turn around. At the last moment I vanished, moved behind him and came back into reality, slicing blindly through the grey smoke that had followed me from the Veil.
He slipped away, vanishing before my blade made contact, but I had him on the run. I followed him into the silent gray world and thrust with the point of my blade. I tried to remember everything that had been taught me, but my brain was running a hundred miles an hour. I was doing well to remember which end of the sword to hold.
He pressed me then, and suddenly his movements became a blur of fluid motion. I didn’t have time to think- I retreated into the Veil and tried to move around behind him, but it was no good. It was almost as if he knew what I was going to do before I did it. He brought his weapon down onto me as I slipped back into reality before the smoke had cleared from my eyes, and my clumsy parry made my shoulders sting and my burned hands scream with pain. One of my knees buckled, and I hit the floor.
Adrenaline screamed, commanding me to move, and I rolled away as his blade clove a deep gash into the hardwood floors of the train car.
Someone cried out, and when I rolled to my feet I saw that Riza had drawn her sword. She stood defiantly across from the kidnapper, who was holding his side. The tip of her blade was wet with red.
She’d wounded him.
Her amber eyes were narrowed. She squeezed the hilt of the sword with both hands and shifted her feet against the wood grain. Her white dress and oversized gray coat looked a little silly, but she looked as dangerous as the weapon in her hands.
The masked man roared in anger and lunged, thrusting with the tip of his broad, short sword. Riza’s weapon was longer, and she had the reach advantage- she backed away carefully, trying to keep the other fighter at a sword’s distance from her. She parried the blows from the kidnapper expertly, but I could see what was happening. The door to the passenger car was behind her. Another few steps and she’d be backed against it.
She was running out of time. I had to do something.

...and that's all you get for now! That's why they call it an appetizer- to make you hungry for the main course! ;)