Short Story #362: The Day The World Almost Came to an End by Pearl Crayton

Title:  The Day The World Almost Came to an End

Author:  Pearl Crayton


Book cover to The Best Short Stories by Negro Writers - Langston Hughes.
The narrator explains that when she was twelve years old, she was committed to being a sinner.  However, she lived with a family and community whose lives revolved around the Church. One day, her cousin Rena insists that the world is coming to an end because she heard her mom and another woman discussing it and that it would happen with the eclipse that's occurring in two days.  Rena insists but the narrator finds fault with her claims.  However, when a woman comes by affirms what Rena is saying, the narrator becomes lost in thinking about what that could mean for her.  Later when her dad comes home, she asks him if the world is going to end and explains why she is concerned.  He says that it's nothing to worry about and that the world is going to end when it's going to end.  This only convinces the narrator that it will end sooner rather than later.  Unable to be calmed, she stays up all night worrying about the end of the world and counting up all her sins.  During the night, she begins to hear a louder and louder rumbling.  She jumps out of bed and begins crying that the world is ending.  She runs out of the house and down the street, only to be confronted by her father and other deacons.  He explains that the noise was an approaching airplane, something she was not used to hearing.  He returns her to bed and she finds herself infused with a great sense and appreciation of life.


I didn't find this story particularly enjoyable.  It felt more like a child's story than one geared towards an adult--that is, a human version of chicken-little.  
Short Story #362 out of 365
Rating: 2 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  12/1/2014
Source:  The Best Short Stories by Negro Writers, ed. by Langston Hughes.  Little, Brown, and Company, 1967.  This story can also be found for free at this website.  

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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