Jerry Oltion, "Judgment Passed"

Astronauts return to earth and find it empty. They’ve missed the second coming of Jesus by four years.

(from Wastelands)

Now that’s an old school apocalypse: Everybody’s gone, leaving our befuddled astronauts to contemplate their next move. Do they try to signal God, now that they know he’s real? Do they try to repopulate the earth? They were mostly atheists when their mission began. Now they wander the vacant Earth, having some hilarious discussions and feeling a weird sense of loneliness.
What Happened: Well, according to the old newspapers blowing around, Jesus, who is real, came back and took everybody, living and dead up to Heaven, which is also real.
Destruct-O-Meter: 5. I mean the people are gone, but the planet seems to be on the rebound.

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