And so it would seem that the day the world nearly ended there were only a few people in the Mystic Twelve cinema on that chilly, fall night. The small group of teens, escorted there by an impatient older sibling, had been dropped off somewhat hurriedly by the same sibling who had then taken the opportunity to speed off into the night with daddy’s car after extracting promises from the younger ones to not to tell anyone (or handing down threats, depending on whose side you viewed it from).
The young mother and her child sat quietly in the sticky plastic coated chairs, glad to be out of their apartment for the evening. A night out meant a break in the dreary monotony of their lives.
There was nothing particularly mystic about the MysticTwelve cinema. Like most other small town theatres it consisted of five viewing rooms, all equally hideous in their lack of any distinguishing features. Sticky floors, gum wrappers, and the occasional abandoned pacifier; Vinyl chairs with layer upon subtle layer of life left behind as the masses came and went—blindly handing over fistfuls of money for what amounted to 1.25 hours of lackluster images that people in cities far, far away from the Mystic Twelve (and who would never visit) had previously determined were what qualified as blockbuster entertainment. In other words, there was nothing out of the ordinary, no reason to think that this night would be like any other, either for the Mystic Twelve or for the six people in theatre three.
Other than the six ordinary people sitting in the theatre that night, there were no other souls around. Nobody to see the blindingly bright light that suddenly filled the room. Nobody to hear the screams of the six as they put their hands up to ward off dangers they could not foresee. Nobody to watch as the young mother pulled her toddler closer to her breast as she wept tears for what would never be; Nobody to notice as in a flash, all six vanished into the darkness of the theatre, leaving behind a roomful of empty plastic-coated chairs, a handful of candy wrappers, and the subtle aroma of sweat, vinyl, and yesterday’s dreams. Nobody at all.