Death checked his pocket watch again. It was 3:15 and well past the starting time. Where was Gerry? Why hadn’t he come to let the four horsemen out yet. Today was the day to end the world and that just couldn’t happen without the four horsemen.
War paced the small room in Hell where the four were waiting for their cue. He kept muttering to himself though what exactly he was saying wasn’t clear.
Pestilence took a long drag from his cigarette and leaned back in his cushy chair. “Maybe this will be like the last time. What was that guy’s name again?”
Lounging on the couch, Famine sipped on some coffee. “Stan.”
“That’s right. Stan.”
Death closed his watch and tucked it back in his robe pocket. He leaned against the wall by the door, pulling leaves off a tall house plant. “He over slept. That’s why this one is set in the afternoon. No oversleeping this time.”
“I hear he’s burning in the fire like now,” Famine added.
War gripped his hands into fists in front of him. “This is an outrage!”
Famine sat up and gave the cushion next to him a pat. “Calm down before you have a heart attack or something. He’ll be here.”
Pestilence took another long drag. “Or it’s been called off again.”
War stamped his foot. “I will not calm down! This is our world to end!” He threw one hand out and gestured wildly at the door. “Every time. Every time! This is our sixth end of the world and here we are, still waiting!”
Death shrugged. “Humans are clever.”
“What was it last time?” Famine asked. “Antibiotics?”
“Genetically modified plants,” Pestilence replied. “That’s your area. Your fault this time.”
Famine shot him a dirty, pinched face look. “And how am I supposed to stop GMOs from down here?”
“How was I supposed to stop antibiotics?”
The two gave each other nasty looks.
Death brushed in between them. “Humans are clever,” he repeated. “We will get them. Just give it time.”
War bristled. “Easy for you to say. Humans die all the time. Getting them to go to war is harder.”
All three gave him a bored look.
He put out his arms. “What? It is. Harder than infecting them with something or making their plants die. I have to convince them to do it.”
There was a knock at the door.
Pestilence tossed his cigarette on the ground. “Finally.”
A small devil poked his head inside. In one hand he carried a broom. “Oh, uh, you guys are still here?”
Death swept his robe back. “Ready and awaiting our grand arrival on this glorious day for an apocalypse.”
The devil went from red to a pale pink. “Oh, uh, I guess you guys didn’t hear. The apocalypse has been canceled. Sorry about that. You can go home.”
“Again?” they all cried.
The devil shrugged. “Uh, yeah, guess they reached a deal or something. Either way, the nuclear war was stopped. The apocalypse is canceled.”
War waved a fist in the air. “See! I told you making them fight was hard.”
With a collective groan, the four horsemen shuffled out. They’d have to wait until next time.