Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

It’s a peculiar time here at the world headquarters of the Reno News & Review, coming to you live, perched atop the hill overlooking Interstate 80.

Christmas is Saturday, but the newspaper comes out Thursday, so by the time three-sevenths of you read this little note, Christmas will be past. By that same token, one-seventh of you will read this note on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas to you all. Happy holidays to everyone—regardless of the holiday you choose to celebrate.

At any rate, we’ve been serving up an annual fiction delicacy since Christmas 1999. This year, we’ve got a cool one-two punch of an offering, with local educator and writer Brad Summerhill kicking out the jams for the cover story, and local artist (and owner of Gallery 516 on S. Virginia St.) Ron Oden illustrating the piece.

Thanks and congratulations to both of them.

The story is pretty funny, but I’m not going to give you a synopsis. Suffice it to say, the story fits where my brain is these days, which I hope means it’ll fit where yours is, too. Even the question asked by the title, “Is this the Rapture?” seems appropriate.

I don’t subscribe to a lot of superstitious or religious thought, but I’m interested in this concept of the Rapture and Armageddon. Let me see if I have it right: There’s a big battle on or near Mount Megiddo, good triumphs over evil, and the triumphant get to rise into heaven, while everyone else stays here on Earth to live for a thousand years of peace and plenty and paradise.

Where’s the harm in that? Kind of reminds me of that Billy Joel song, “Only the Good Die Young.” I guess the harm would be in the active pursuit of the prophesy without regard to the world the non-combatants will inherit.

As I said, with Christmas—and all that Christmas really means—right around the corner, it’s a peculiar time.