And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was ...

"Excuse me," I asked, opening my notebook. "I'm a reporter with the Daily Camera. Would you mind telling me your name for the story I'm writing?"

"I don't want to be in the paper," the fearsome dark figure on the pale horse replied.

"OK, it's just that I'm probably going to have to write something because you and your three friends are causing, you know, pestilence, war, famine and death. ... Oh, is your name Death?"

"I told you I don't want to be in the paper."

"I understand that, but you guys seem to be raining a lot of fire and brimstone, and the public is going to be curious."

"You're going to have contact the public information office on Monday."

"Are you serious?" I said. "If I'm not mistaken, this is Armageddon, is it not?"

"I'm sorry, sir, but you are going to have to call the public information office on Monday. I'm not authorized to speak to the media."

I tried to stay professional, so I kept the exasperated sigh barely audible.

"OK, can you confirm that this is, in fact, Armageddon? It's Thursday, and Monday is kind of far off. I have to write a story one way or another, and since you are here —"

The figure dismounted, lumbered over to me and jammed its finger into my chest.


"You know, not for nothing, but it's people like you in the media who are always trying to make things look worse than they are. Why can't you ever write anything nice?"

"Um," I said, pointing at the blood-red sky. "I write nice stories. But this appears to be, you know, the apocalypse."

"Who said it was the apocalypse?" the figure growled.

"That's what I'm trying to find out, and if you can confirm that is what you are here doing, I will get out of your hair."

"And I already told you, I can't speak to the media."

I was getting frustrated, but I knew if I yelled at this figure, it would have the moral high ground. So I kept it cool.

"Look, I understand that, and I don't want you to get in trouble with your boss, although I don't really understand how that is possible, this being the end times and all. But do you know how I can get in touch with someone before Monday? That's just a really long time, you know."

"Ugh, hold on," the figure muttered as its shoulders slumped.

It pulled out a gnarled, terrifying smart phone, fiddled with it a second and turned the screen toward me.

"Call this guy. You didn't get this number from me."

"OK, thank you very much."

"No problem," the figure said before climbing back upon the pale horse and vanishing over the horizon.

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