The Rapture Series
Why Do you Believe? What Do you Believe? How Do You Believe? Who Do You Believe?
“Reason to Believe
Natszal: "Left" (6:3)
THE EARTH'S LAST DAYS
TIM LAHAYE & JERRY B. JENKINS
Oh, I ain't bein' nosy or nothin'. It's just that if you're leavin' here at six, I gotta get payment in advance. You got the long-distance call and all. And I don't get up till seven.”
“I'll tell you what, uh, what was your name?” “Mack.” “I'll tell you what, Mack. I left you my charge card number, so you know I'm not
going to sneak out on you. But in the morning I'm going to leave a traveler's check in the room for you, covering the price of the room and a lot more than enough for the phone call. You get my meaning?”
“A tip?” “Yes, sir.” “That would be nice.” “What I need for you to do for me is slip a bandage under my door.” “I got one. You need it right now? You all right?” “I'm fine. Not now. When you turn in. Nice and quiet like. And turn off my phone,
OK, just in case? If I have to get up that early, I've got to do some serious sleeping right now. Can you handle that for me, Mack?”
“I sure can. I'll turn it off right now. You want a wakeup call?” “No, thanks,” Buck said, and he smiled when he realized the phone was dead in his hand. Mack was as good as his word. If he found that bandage in the morning, he would leave Mack a good tip. Buck forced himself to get up and shut off the TV set and the light. He was the type who could look at his watch before retiring and wake up precisely when he told himself to. It was nearly midnight. He would be up at five-thirty.
By the time he hit the mattress, he was out. When he awoke five and a half hours later, he had not moved a muscle.
Rayford felt as if he were sleepwalking as he padded through the kitchen to head upstairs. He couldn't believe how tired he still was after his long nap and his fitful dozing on the couch. The newspaper was still rolled up and rubber banded on a chair where he had tossed it. If he had any trouble sleeping upstairs, maybe he would glance at the paper. It should be interesting to read the meaningless news of a world that didn't realize it was going to suffer the worst trauma in its history just after the paper had been set in type.
Rayford punched the redial button on the phone and walked slowly toward the stairs, only half listening. What was that? The dial tone had been interrupted, and the phone in Chloe's dorm room was ringing. He hurried to the phone as a girl answered.
“Chloe?” “No. Mr. Steele?” “Yes!” “This is Amy. Chloe's trying to find a way back there. She'll try to call you along
the way, sometime tomorrow. If she can't get through, she'll call you when she gets there or she'll get a cab home.” “She's on her way?” “Yeah. She didn't want to wait. She tried calling and calling, but—” “Yeah, I know. Thanks, Amy. Are you all right?” “Scared to death, like everybody else.”
“I can imagine. Did you lose anyone?” “No, and I feel kinda guilty about that. Seems like everyone I know lost somebody. I mean I lost a few friends, but nobody close, no family.”
Rayford didn't know whether to express congratulations or remorse. If this was what he now believed it had been, this poor child hardly knew anyone who'd been taken to heaven.
“Well,” he said, “I'm glad you're all right.” “How about you?” she said. “Chloe's mom and brother?” “I'm afraid they're gone, Amy.” “Oh, no!” “But I would appreciate your letting me tell Chloe, just in case she reaches you
before she reaches me.” “Oh, don't worry. I don't think I could tell her even if you wanted me to.” Rayford lay in bed several minutes, then idly thumbed through the first section of
the paper. Hmm. A surprise move in Romania. Democratic elections became passé when, with the seeming unanimous consensus of the people and both the upper and lower houses of government, a popular young businessman/politician assumed the role of president of the country. Nicolae Carpathia, a 33-year-old born in Cluj, had in recent months taken the nation by storm with his popular, persuasive speaking, charming the populace, friend and foe
alike. Reforms he proposed for the country saw him swept to prominence and power. Rayford glanced at the photo of the young Carpathia, a strikingly handsome blonde
who looked not unlike a young Robert Redford. Wonder if he would've wanted the job had he known what was about to happen? Rayford thought. Whatever he has to offer won't amount to a hill of beans now.
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