The Earth shook furiously and the screams of mankind could be heard throughout they were devoured by the once firm grounds. Thunder and lightning rolled through the heavens, which opened and let go enough water to fill the oceans once over. Gale-force winds swirled and tidal waves swallowed thousands of people whole, returning angrily for seconds. Plagues ravaged the feeble humans, their mortal immune systems no match for the apocalyptic viral cells, which left their bodies swollen and decayed.
It was night, though day and night really ceased to have meaning once War, Pestilence, Famine, and Death had made their way through the Earth and wrought their destruction on mankind and all of his endeavors. Volcanoes had erupted, spewing molten lava; flora and fauna had wilted. Life, as it had been known, was finished. Darkness enveloped the planet.
"War, I can't believe you actually got them to fight, knowing that I was going to come and kill them anyway," Death said, cackling his thunderous laugh. The brothers sat around a table, drinking beer and reminiscing about their spree through the Milky Way's lone life-bearing planet.
"Well, I wanted to help you out a bit, Death. There were almost seven billion of those pugnacious little crap piles for you to contend with. I figured if they killed a few of each other, we'd be finished that much sooner. Besides, think about how stupid they are."
"You mean were," said Pestilence, and the laughter swelled again.
Famine looked up. "Did anyone call Lenny?"
There was silence. Pestilence looked at War; War looked at Death; Death looked at Famine. Famine looked back at Pestilence. "I thought it was your job to call him."
"I thought War was going to do it," Pestilence countered.
"Well, Pestilence and Famine come first. War and Death come later. Besides, we are older," Death said.
"I've had just about enough of that 'We are older' crap. You two have been saying that for millennia. We're all old now."
"Yes, but we are older," said War.
"Oh, shut up, War."
"You shut up."
"Okay, enough," said Death. "We have more important things to talk about. What are we going to tell Lenny?"
"I don't think we should tell him anything. Let's just pretend to do it all again and invite him this time."
"Great idea, Pestilence," War said. "I'm sure he won't notice the fire, the molten lava or, oh yeah, the seven billion corpses."
"I don't hear you coming up with anything bet--"
The opening door interrupted Pestilence. Lenny Goldfarb plodded in, went to the refrigerator to grab a beer and sat down at the table. Lenny pushed aside his dark black hair so he could see through his black-rimmed glasses. He withdrew a handkerchief out of his pocket and blew his nose.
"What's up, guys?" Lenny's voice was still nasal.
Death spoke first. "Hey, Lenny. How's it going, bro? You doing alright?"
"Yeah, I'm okay. Something's bothering my allergies though. Famine, did you kill any plants today? Maybe the pollen spores are bothering me."
"No, nothing that I can think of. The deserts are doing their job so far."
"Hey, Lenny," War said, "We gotta talk. Listen, this may upset you at first but it was an honest mistake. Really."
Pestilence continued, "We're not really sure how it happened. I mean, I don't think we even meant for it to happen."
Famine picked up, "It was all just so quick. You know when things happen so quickly, they're over before you know it?"
"What are you guys trying to tell me?" Lenny squirmed a little.
"Well, we sort of launched Armageddon today."
"YOU WHAT?" Lenny stood up. "How could you guys? You promised you'd call. This is so unfair. You always leave me out. You left me out of the Peloponnesian Wars. You left me out of the Crusades. You left me out of World War II. What do I have to do to get noticed around here?"
"We brought you to the Six Days' War," said Pestilence.
"Big deal. Famine craps longer than six days! Did you crack Europe off of Asia?"
The brothers looked down at their feet.
"OH MAN! You knew I wanted to do that. Man, this blows. I'm outta here." Lenny walked to the door and opened it. "I hope you guys are happy. Now I gotta wait for it to happen all over again." He walked out.
"Well, that wasn't so bad," Pestilence said.
"He'll be fine," Famine said, "He just won't talk to us for a couple hundred years, like after the Hundred Years' War."
"War, why don't we go loot the diamond mines later and whip something up for him?"
"Good idea, Death."
Famine got out of his chair. "Hey, who wants another beer?"