Long before the end of the world several prominent scientists had suggested ways in which the end might come; none of them had come anywhere near the truth. The end did not come when the asteroid destroyed half the earth’s atmosphere. When one third of the earth’s population died in a plague that no cure was ever found for the earth continued; re-population turned out to be the number one skill of humans. The greatest of wars in which all the weapons conceived by man took part did not bring an end; in fact the clean up of the planet made necessary by the contamination of the bombs lead to a period of great health throughout the surviving, prosperous, population. No, the end did not come with a great flash, there was nothing for the talking heads on the television sets to proclaim with great intensity, no film of women screaming or babies crying, no the end came on a peaceful quiet day. I remember the pale blue sky, just a few wisps of white cloud placed here and there for accent, and sweetness in the early morning breeze, the last morning was one of the best mornings the earth had ever produced. The end came from one small, seemingly insignificant, action, the action of one small insignificant man.
This man, the man who would eventually bring about the end of all humanity, was born to a simple man who was married to a simple woman living in a simple wood frame redwood sided home, next to simple wood frame redwood sided homes in a neighborhood of simple wood framed redwood sided homes. The homes were newly painted (having been newly built) in different colors so the inhabitants could tell which home was theirs without looking at the brass numbers on the posts next to each entryway. The father of the man who would bring about the end drove his new fifty-four Chevy Bel-Air power glide four door family car down the average street of track homes and turned up the driveway and parked in the carport of the fourth house on the left side, the chocolate brown one. The man had only recently become a father; he and his wife had waited until the promotion at work had come through. When the size of his monthly check increased they sat down together and made sure their extrapolated future would justify bringing another life into being. The numbers added up. A college education was all but assured. Their love was strong. Toby, a twenty-inch long, eight-pound baby boy was given the second bedroom of the two-bedroom house all to himself. At first he spent much of his time either within the barred walls of a wooden baby crib or in the arms of his mother Sally. Sally baby talked and rocked the small infant, encouraged him to coo and smile, when he giggled her whole world sparkled, when he cried her whole being was devoted to finding a cure. This afternoon he nestled in her arms sound asleep, Toby’s breathing was so relaxed Sally watched the rise and fall of his tiny chest to insure he still possessed the life he had recently been given.
Ralph, the man who had fathered the person who would one day bring an end to life as we know it, set the car door into place and walked on the four foot wide walkway to the front of the brown house, opened the unlocked solid wooden door, and stepped through the doorway.
“Honey, I’m home,” he shouted to the inside of his home. Toby did not wake but smiled in his sleep at the sound that had already become a familiar part of his day. Sally placed him into his crib and made sure his blanket was in the proper position. She closed the bedroom’s door almost all the way, leaving a four-inch gap between the door and the doorframe so Toby could be heard if he had a need.
Going to Ralph at the door Sally put her index finger to her lips and whispered, “he’s sleeping,” and then she stood on tip-toes and welcomed Ralph home with a kiss that was a good deal more then the minimum expected. Ralph held her at shoulder’s length and took a long look at his beautiful bride. Her blonde hair had been cut short after the birth of his son and covered her head with natural curls, her blue eyes sparkled, he sighed at his good fortune and, bending down, Ralph returned her kiss with another that was more than was the basic required kiss. Together they walked, hand in hand, to their new son’s bedroom and watched silently as the joy of their lives slept. Toby would grow up in a home filled with love. His care would be complete. He would not lack those things a young boy needed but he would not be raised without proper discipline; the boy who would one day bring about the end of all mankind would be taught right and wrong. As he grew he was often complimented on his good manners and the way he cared for others.