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The Last Sunset of Arthur Finch

A peculiarly individual apocalypse.

By Daniel SullivanPublished about a month ago 1 min read
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The Last Sunset of Arthur Finch
Photo by Zoshua Colah on Unsplash

Arthur Finch woke to an orange sky, a screaming wind, and, as he so often did, possessed by a deep, unsettling feeling that the world would end. The radio confirmed his long-held doomsday premonitions with news of solar flares and global weather patterns.

The small coastal town's streets were eerily calm as he ventured out. He passed by the closed bakery, post office, and park with its eerie swaying swings.

As the only shopper in the grocery store, Arthur filled his cart with essentials. The cashier, Jess, asked about the storm.

"It's not just a storm," he replied solemnly. “It’s the end storm.”

Jess offered him free bread. He appreciated her kindness during what he believed were to be humanity's last moments.

Returning home, Arthur checked his supplies and secured his windows before sitting in his old armchair facing the roaring sea. As the day progressed, the wind grew stronger and the sky turned a menacing red.

He tried to find new information on his ham radio, but all he heard were frantic voices feeding his anxiety and resolve.

He called his estranged daughter Sarah, whom he hadn't spoken to in years due to their arguments over his apocalyptic obsessions. Her voice was warm but incredulous. "Is everything okay?" she asked.

"I just wanted to hear your voice," Arthur's voice broke. "Just in case."

Sarah urged him to come stay with her family.

Tears streamed down Arthur's cheeks as he watched the wind howl around his home.

Later, as the sky turned a less frightening shade of red, Arthur packed a bag and prepared to leave for his daughter and grandchildren.

As he locked his door behind him and stepped onto the street, lost in thoughts of reconciliation and new beginnings, the sudden roar of an engine shattered the evening calm.

A Mack truck, its driver struggling against the lingering gusts, careened around the corner. Arthur, caught in the headlights, had only a moment to register shock before the world he feared would end abruptly did—for him alone—as the truck ran him down, flattening him upon the asphalt street.

CONTENT WARNINGShort StoryFable
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About the Creator

Daniel Sullivan

I am a writer, live storyteller, actor, advocate, civil rights enforcer, and nonprofit director, among other roles. Presently, my focus lies in translating my rich life experiences into the realms of fiction and creative nonfiction.

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