But To What End?

Jenna’s friends kept joining a cult that told them it would kill them. It was called The Answer, and first Roger joined. She thought it was because he had just lost his parents. It was a terrible car accident, the cold unmercy of the cosmos, so maybe a place spouting “the answer” would be appealing. She could see it, even if to her it was stupid.

When Kayla joined, it made less sense. She wouldn’t elaborate anything more than “it just makes sense to me.” This explanation failed to make sense. She hadn’t even been particularly religious before.

These first instances were small, isolated. However, when the large advertisements began to up around town, people began to go in packs. Three, four, five of them at a time would enter the little red hut out by the highway overpass. Jenna watched them from afar. They would enter timid, unsure, then leave the building with their head held high.

On the internet, she found literature from The Answer that said “the point of a human’s life is to end. We will show you how it should be done.” There was a bunch of citations, some biblical, others philosophical, others scientific data on global warming and pollution. The Answer seemed to be just this: escape. But to what end? She couldn’t answer the question.

The date of the event was going to be April 1st. She thought it being on April Fool’s Day was cruel, but this didn’t seem to bother them. They took it in stride. Leading up to the date, even Jason, who she had just started dating recently, suddenly began their normal phrasing: “I wanted to tell you something. For a long time I’ve been searching for an answer…” At that point, she got up and left the restaurant where they were eating.

A few days later, she watched from a hill as large batches of cars all left from the little hut towards an undisclosed location. She watched them go, her mouth hanging open, unable to understand. The line of cars stretched far down the highway, emptying the town below.

Maybe I’m missing something, she thought. But she didn’t move. She just watched the cars head away, toward whatever answer awaited them.