70. It was a sunny day all over the world—including the half that was opposite the sun. This had never happened before. Scientists were astounded. Then the sky everywhere turned black. The whole Earth was as dark as the inside of an inner tube. Flashlights, car lights, and streetlights did not brighten the blackness. A bright light appeared in the sky for all to see.
A voice said, "We've been watching you. You are a world of bullies. You need to learn to be nice to your neighbors. We're going to start with world leaders, then work our way down the power ladder. We're going to take the H‐A‐T‐E out of E‐A‐R‐T‐H. We're going to replace 'hatred' and 'hurtful' with 'nice.' If you bully others, you'll suffer horribly and publicly." Then the light went out, and the sun reappeared over half the Earth's surface.
Some world leaders scoffed. They didn't believe the light had any power, other than to turn the entire sky black or blue. One world leader, Darth, the world's most feared and most macho leader, immediately attacked the country that was his western neighbor. The attack lasted all of five minutes. Then Earth's entire sky went black and the light reappeared. Dangling in the light for all to see was Darth. Suddenly, he started screaming. After about half a minute, he stopped.
He begged, "Please, don't hurt me again. I'm sorry! I'll never do that again." Then he started screaming again. This time his screaming made dogs bark and cats howl. Finally, Darth stopped screaming. He begged and promised some more. The light released Darth back to Earth.
From then on, there were no more wars. National leaders worked out their problems through conversation and compromise. Ordinary people started doing likewise.
Every year for the next 20 years, the light reappeared. It congratulated leaders and followers on their improved behavior, but it reminded them, "We see all of you all of the time." Then a replay of Darth screaming in agony appeared for a full minute, and the light disappeared.
In the 21st year, the light failed to appear. One of the first to notice this was Darth. 3.9, 369
70. Copyright © Mike Carlson. All rights reserved. www.eslyes.com