Just Five Minutes
By Harrington A Lackey
A strange story surfaced about an old, downtrodden, poor husband named “Edgar Goose” who owned very little money. He told his aging wife that he decided to take their last stash of money, amounting to $10 to Las Vegas, Nevada to gamble their remaining money to see if he could turn that money into more money even though they had everything to lose. So, Edgar drove their beat-up old Chevy pickup to a casino in Las Vegas. When he walked inside, he was dressed in rags. He looked around and decided to play a slot machine. At first, it took him a while to get used to playing one but he quickly caught on.
At first, he didn’t have much luck, but suddenly, when he pulled the lever down, the machine stopped at four “hearts”. The lights all around the slot machine flared and made a lot of loud dinging sounds. Then, a ton of quarters gushed out of the output tray. Edgar stared in disbelief and so did everybody else at the number of quarters clanging out of the machine. A friendly woman walked over to his machine and offered Edgar two plastic bags for him to put all of his coins inside. But Edgar wasn’t finished with the slot machine.
He inserted one of his quarters into the machine, and the slots stopped again at four hearts. More quarters fell out of the tray. Edgar was becoming a rich man quickly. After several hours, Edgar owned a small fortune of about $4,000. Then one of the undercover casino owners who had been watching him visited Edgar at his machine, and told him threateningly, “You only have five minutes left, or we’ll take your winnings away!”
Edgar felt a cold chill, a feeling of terror that made the blood in his veins turn to ice. He had taken it personally, and he needed to fold. He lifted his bag of quarters and took his bags and cashed them in for dollars. As he left the casino, he could still hear the manager tell him he only had “five minutes left”.
At the same time, a storm had been brewing overhead, and suddenly, a lightning bolt came out of the sky and struck Edgar in the leg. He quickly fell to the pavement. People who saw the whole thing happen, rushed to him to see what they could do. Edgar had lost consciousness. In 30 minutes, he opened his eyes inside an ambulance racing toward the nearest hospital. Two paramedics had been tending to his oxygen flow and another had placed a temporary cast around his leg.
“Five minutes,” Edgar said when he partially regained his consciousness. “Five minutes… five minutes.” He kept repeating. The paramedics thought he was just in shock. When they rushed him into the hospital, Edgar kept repeating “Five minutes… ”
When he was stabilized, the doctor asked him some questions, but Edgar said, “We are not guaranteed the next five minutes.”
His wife was contacted and rushed to the hospital via a neighbour’s car. When she got to the hospital, she saw Edgar in a comfortable bed. But he kept repeating “five minutes”. When he heard his wife’s voice, he opened his eyes, and said, “Only five minutes left… Only..five mi… ” Edgar fell asleep.
A minute later, Edgar opened his eyes. This time he said, “four minutes left… ” A minute later, he said, “Three minutes left..”
His wife became nervous and tried to wake Edgar. She thought he was reacting to the pain medications affecting parts of his brain.
Then, he awoke and said, “Two minutes left… ”
At that point, the hospital was overshadowed by darkness, although it had been a bright shiny day at 2:15 in the afternoon. Suddenly, the hospital shook violently.
“One minute left..” Edgar said. It would be his last.
In one minute, a huge asteroid fell and hit the Earth at 10,000 miles per hour. There was no warning except for Edgar who had counted down the hours to the end of civilization.