[Fragment from an untitled novel, written 12 March 1995]
here’s no question about it.” The statement was uncompromising, leaving no room for doubt. “The firmament is weakening. Great cracks or fissures have already appeared in the surface of the outer plating. It’s only a matter of time before one of them rips through.”
“And the result?” The reporter leaned forward intently.
“The result?” The speaker was incredulous. “Isn’t it obvious? All that holds back the waters above us is this thin shell. When the firmament cracks we’ll see a flood. Not just a flood, a flood to end all floods. The land will be scoured with huge torrents of water from Eden to Nod. Our cities will be drowned, our fields torn up, and even the highest mountains covered.”
“So what you’re saying, Japeth,”—this was another reporter—“is that we can expect some changes in our traditional way of life?”
“What I’m saying,” said Japeth, his voice under tight control, “is that civilization as we know it will end. No more cities. No more fields. No more people. When the flood comes there will be nothing but water under the heavens, only water as far as the eye can see.”