Tall And True Short Reads
Signs of the Second Coming
Episode 25 (31 May 2021)
At primary school in Perth, Western Australia, in the 1970s, I had a teacher who was also a lay preacher on the weekends. Before schoolwork, he started the day at our (supposedly) secular state school with the Lord’s Prayer and gospel readings. And his favourite scripture topic was Signs of the Second Coming.
Signs of the Second Coming
Season One: Episode 25 (31 May 2021)
Signs of the Second Coming is a short story from the Tall And True writers’ website, written and narrated by Robert Fairhead.
Read Signs of the Second Coming: https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/microfiction/signs-of-the-second-coming
Podcast website: https://www.tallandtrueshortreads.com
Support the podcast: https://supporter.acast.com/tall-and-true-short-reads
Buy Robert’s short story collections online:
• Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Fairhead/e/B086HZ36NM
• Rakuten Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/author/robert-fairhead
A Facebook post from 2011 popped up in my timeline memories in March 2021. The post was titled “Signs?” and was the brief tale of one of my primary school teachers, a lay preacher, who started each day at our secular state school with gospel readings. And how he greeted the class excitedly the morning after any news of disasters because these were “Signs of the Second Coming”.
As I related in the post, his daily gospel readings and tales of the “second coming” spooked the eleven-year-old me. And my fear only abated when I moved schools and headed into my teens and had other things on my mind.
I don’t know why I wrote the “Signs?” post in 2011. But reading it in 2021 brought back memories of the panic I had felt as a boy, seeing a falling star in the dark Perth skies. And as Graham Greene said, “Writing is a form of therapy”, which is why I wrote this short story.
The writer, John Banville, also observed, “Memory is imagination, and imagination is memory. I don’t think we remember the past, we imagine it.”
Some parts of Signs of the Second Coming are from my memories (or imagination, as Banville would describe it). And other parts are my writer’s imagination and licence. I leave it to the listener to separate fact from fiction in this short story. And to decide if the memories of an eleven-year-old boy are pure imagination.
I hope you enjoyed Signs of the Second Coming. You can read this and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com.
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Podcast Theme and Podcast Sound Effects
Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.
Sound effects licensed under Creative Commons 0 from FreeSound.org:
- Classroom: https://freesound.org/people/craigsmith/sounds/480708/
- Church Bells: https://freesound.org/people/Audeption/sounds/425172/
- Lords Prayer: https://freesound.org/people/BeeProductive/sounds/380359/
- Earthquake: https://freesound.org/people/zatar/sounds/514381/
- Heavy Rain: https://freesound.org/people/jmbphilmes/sounds/200272/
- Fire: https://freesound.org/people/craigsmith/sounds/483311/
- Flies: https://freesound.org/people/Natty23/sounds/442839/
- Mortar Fire: https://freesound.org/people/greenbastardd/sounds/240567/
- Playground: https://freesound.org/people/mshahen/sounds/503841/
- News Jingle: https://freesound.org/people/mansardian/sounds/61322/
- Crickets: https://freesound.org/people/Woodmoodman/sounds/543450/
- Clock Ticking: https://freesound.org/people/gecop/sounds/522119/
- Church Choir: https://freesound.org/people/kirmm/sounds/503504/
- Hellfires: https://freesound.org/people/Leady/sounds/26727/
- Girl Laughing: https://freesound.org/people/squashy555/sounds/240324/
Tall And True Short Reads is produced using Audacity. Thanks to Josh (VoiceOverMaster) Meyer for Audacity recording tips and tricks.
Podcast recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the land of the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation.
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