God Bless

—Nancy Jane Moore—

"untitled"—Darin Bradley
          I thank you for the dollar. I surely appreciate it. Say, you found a safe place to go yet? Not much time left. Three hundred and something days.
           'Til what? 'Til Planet X comes by and knocks the whole Earth out of whack, of course. You better sign up for something quick; only a few safe places left. It's getting kind of late—you want to be one of the ten percent who survive.
          You haven't heard about Planet X? Honey, what do you do, walk around with blinders on all the time? It's all over the Internet. Put Planet X in the Google box and see what comes up.
          How come I know what's on the Internet? Hey, you think just cause I live out here on the street I don't keep up? Library's got computers, lots of 'em. I go in every day, surf the Web, check my email. Mrs.Jones@yahoo.com, that's me, case you want to be in touch.
          You look on the Web, you'll find out about Planet X. It's been coming around for a long time. The Sumerians called it Nibiru. It's a rogue planet, or maybe a brown dwarf, and it's got a powerful magnetic pull. When it comes by it will just rearrange everything on Earth. The North Pole won't be north no more.
          It doesn't have a regular circular orbit, like Earth. It goes back and forth between both suns, kind of a figure eight. Huh? What second sun? Honey, you have just not been paying attention to the news.
          See, the sun is really two suns, only the other one is dark. So we can't see it. But it still has a magnetic pull, which is how come they know it's there.
          It's all in the book: Blindsided, by this guy Mark Hazlewood. I got a copy right here, in my bag. Explains the whole thing.
          Blindsided, that's a good title. Cause that's what's going to happen to most folks next May. Planet X is gonna come by and the world is going to go kaflooey, and they'll have been looking the other direction.
          Of course the government denies it all. But they denied Roswell, too. Hey, they tell folks, they got to pretend they're going to save everybody. And you know that's not going to happen. They got good shelters for the president and all them other important folks. Bet you anything they find a reason to visit near there next May. Surely you noticed the president wasn't home on September 11?
          Me, I'm going for the Hollow Earth habitat. I've been sending those folks my social security check each month, just to hold my place. That's why I got to come out here, ask folks for change. But next year, I'll be snug as a bug in a rug, while everyone else is getting washed away by tidal waves or blown into space by tornadoes.
          You want to keep your blinders on, pretend it's not happening, it's okay by me. Not room for everybody, anyway.
          Only you seem like a nice person. You talk to me like I'm human, not just some trash on the street. So you think about it, honey.
          I can make it through another winter on steam grates. Having a safe place to go when it happens is more important. Don't you worry about me none. You worry about yourself.
          Here, take the book. Blindsided. It's okay, I read it so much I know it by heart. Maybe it'll change your mind.
          No? Okay then.
          Thanks again for the dollar. I appreciate it. I surely do. God bless.

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Nancy Jane Moore is the author of the novella Changeling, available from Aqueduct Press. A collection of her short fiction is forthcoming in early 2008 from the UK press PS Publishing. Her stories have appeared in a variety of venues, including the anthologies Polyphony 5, Future Washington, Imaginings, Imagination Fully Dilated: Science Fiction, and Treachery and Treason, as well as various magazines and online publications. She has had several pieces in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet.

Moore blogs on literary matters at Ambling Along the Aqueduct and expresses political opinions from time to time on In This Moment.

content Copyright 2007, Nancy Jane Moore—All Rights Reserved
image, "untitled" Copyright 2007, Darin Bradley—All Rights Reserved