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World's End
A 277-word monologue

C. Scott Ananian (THR205)

I dreamed last night about hippopotamuses - er, hippopotami. Great big orange and lavender striped hippopotami that carried us off to the world's end. I'm sure that means something. A huge diesel locomotive blasted through and woke me up - but I don't live near any trains. I don't know what that means, either.

Do you ever feel like that? Like some cosmic being is ordering your whole life, making you dream technicolored absurdities, trying to tell you something? Some supernatural playwright, writing in a language no one understands.

Not that I don't try to. I've been to them all - church, synagogue, mosque - searching for answers. Last night topped them all, though. I'd found a tiny-print boxed advertisement in the NY Times with bold letters in the header: ``The End of the World is coming!'' and about a thousand exclamation marks.

I followed the address, a tracker on some spiritual jungle-hunt, and ended up in a run-down hovel with blue light pulsing out an open door. Turned out the colored light was coming from a tinted lightbulb hanging bare from the ceiling, but it still freaked me out, coming up to the place. A back-woods bible-basher was thumping the pulpit as a drummer beat out time; the pianist was going crazy with fingered chords behind them - but what really got me was this...I don't know how to describe it: a wind, a breeze, some kind of force. Some kind of invisible locomotive powering through the place, pushing people before it, who were skipping and jumping and beating the air with maniacal glee. And I sat, overweight, in the back, with my dress suit and favorite purple-gold tie, unmoved.

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C. Scott Ananian