Waitin’ On The King of Terror

I wrote an article about Nostradamus for the school paper once. It was right after 9/11. I had heard someone on some show saying something about Nostradamus predicting it. One of those retroactive “ohh, the “firey heaven death king is a plane, I get it now” things.

Me being me, that was the only angle I had on that story. But I did my research and I checked my sources and I turned in a not-terribly written article about how Nostradamus was, in fact, full of shit. So don’t worry.

It was edited to hell. Unreadable, nonsensical, and complete shit. Complete shit with my name on it, complete shit that hadn’t been that when I handed it to the editors.

I never wrote another article for them again.

One bit stuck with me though, from my research. The King of Terror, who was supposed to come from the sky.

She always liked that bit.

And y’know, there was that old factory on the edge of town. If you were nimble enough, you could climb on top of it and see for miles. So we’d climb it, and keep an eye for the King of Terror. Occasionally we’d shout encouragement, especially after I read that book where the King of Terror turned out to be King Ghidorah from those old Godzilla movies.

We’d yell landing instructions into the sky, or ask where it was in our best Scooby-Doo-Where-Are-You? voices. I was always hoping he’d land on the school. I think she wanted it to land on her dad.

Mostly though, we’d just talk friendly nonsense. Up there, with a nice view, waiting for space kings to drop on the stupid stuff in our lives.

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Josh Hechinger is a future writing superstar/cautionary tale. He lives in Pennsylvania.

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