posted on Dec, 5 2012 @ 03:00 PM
They will burn me at dawn.
I don’t fear death; its been stalking me for months now. What I do fear, though, is the pain.
The thought of the flames terrifies me.
I am determined to spend my last few hours on Earth telling my story. Maybe, someday, it will be found and read. Then at least one person will know
my sacrifice, and that I go to my death against my will.
Perhaps that will be enough.
It started about five months ago, when December rolled around. Like the majority of people, I knew about the “end of the world” hype; and like
most people, I ignored it. I thought it mere hysteria, fueled by Hollywood movies and internet rumors.
Then the date came, and nothing happened. No fiery cataclysm, no end of the world disaster, nothing. There were a few riots, here and there, but
for the most part, the world breathed a sigh of relief and carried on.
The first amateur astronomers saw it about a week later. A large object was on course to pass close by the Earth. Very close, apparently; there was
a chance, albeit small, that the Earth’s gravitational field could pull it into our atmosphere. If that happened, well….it would be bad.
NASA quickly announced that they had been diligently tracking the meteor for over a year, and by their calculations, the object would simply
“skip” off our atmosphere and tumble into space.
No one believed NASA. So the riots began again. People fighting over supplies, shooting each other for a loaf of bread and bottled water. New York
and Los Angeles burned, which was the final straw. The President declared martial law on January 12, 2013.
My family was fairly lucky. We live in the mountains of East Tennessee and our area is already pretty isolated; we only have about 15,000 people who
live here. Small towns didn’t feel the impact of the panic nearly as badly as the urban areas; I guess that’s one benefit of knowing your
neighbors. Sure, there were squabbles, but for the most part we got along well.
Or, that’s what I thought.
On January 24, 2013, the object made its approach. It didn’t hit the Earth, as feared, nor did it “skip” off our atmosphere.
Instead, it hit the moon. And it was no meteor.
The moon exploded. That’s the only word that fits; it exploded.
Almost immediately, the world went berserk. Parts of the moon and the….object….rained down over most of North and South America. I saw a couple
of the pieces myself. One looked just like the moon, gray rock that crumbled in my hand.
The other was a deep, sinister red. It gave off a pulsating light and terrible heat. I let it lie, behind our barn. I wanted nothing to do with
that….whatever it was.
The day after the moon exploded, our town decided to quarantine ourselves. It was easily done; there were only three roads leading in and out of our
town. Men used farming machinery to block the roads with boulders and junk cars. Then they created a rotating roster for standing watch, armed with
multiple rifles and shot guns. No one was coming into our town.
I only wish I’d listen to my instincts and left when I had a chance.
We gathered in groups and watched the news. Despite the plethora of astrophysicists and geologists interviewed, no one seemed to know what would
happen. The tides changed and the polar regions flooded; the axis of the Earth began to change. Climatologists predicted dire consequences due to
the new planetary wobble. All in all, not a good time to be on Earth.
On January 28, the power went out. It flickered once on the 29th, briefly, but then it was gone.
I haven’t seen electric light since. I never thought I would miss it so much, or consider its fluorescence beautiful.
After the power went out, things got very dicey very quickly.
By the time February dawned, strange new lights streaked across the sky. They resembled the red object that struck the moon; many people believed
the two were the same. A few pieces made it to Earth.
Where they landed, the animals began to die. In the river that ran through town, fish floated to the top, ulcerated. Deer, squirrels, and raccoon
carcasses piled up on the side of the roads and in the fields; they, too, had deep ulcers and sores on their bodies. Closer to home, our cows and
chickens, horses and pigs died by the dozens.
The panic reached a crescendo two days later. That’s when Mrs. McCready, the old preacher at the New Covenant Church, began talking about
We were gathered in the ballpark, the only place big enough to hold most of of the people. The mayor, John Johnson, was reading a list of emergency
measures we should immediately put in place. Just as he started to discuss rationing water, McCready stood up.
“Listen to me, people!” she shouted, her voice somehow louder and more authoritative than the mayor’s. “What is happening has been foretold!
We are in the last days, and the judgement is nigh!”
“Shut up, ya old bag,” someone shouted. But others hissed for him to be quiet.
“For the wages of sin is DEATH!” she cried, her arms reaching heavenward. “Look around you! We are SURROUNDED by DEATH!”
A low murmur rippled through the crowd.
“And I say unto you, that death is the result of our SIN. No one is righteous, sayeth the Lord Almighty. Surely this is His judgement on
Louder murmurs. Some people nodded, a dazed expression on their face.
“And what did the Lord require from His children when they fell into SIN? BLOOD SACRIFICE!”
The audience began to murmur agreement.
“We need to APPEASE THE LORD! And the only way to do this is to SACRIFICE!” She paused, and when she spoke again, her voice was whisper soft.
The light through the windows is brightening. I don’t have a lot of time left.
I peer out the window, and I can see them. They’ve got the stake in the ground, and they’re piling the kindling high.
It won’t be long now.
Why me? Because God chose me. At least that’s what McCready says. In reality, it was a simple lottery. And I had the winning number.
I’ve tried to talk to anyone who will listen, but I’m surrounded by her zombies. They snarl at me to shut up, or tell me soothingly that my
sacrifice will save the town. I ask how they can possibly believe this, but there’s no answer.
My death serves no purpose, except to empower a sadistic fear-mongerer.
When I learned my fate was to burn, I begged to be shot instead. I’ve always feared fire, and to die in such a way…..but they believe my
suffering will serve a purpose. The more I suffer, the better the results.
At the stake, I notice they are pouring water on the kindling. They want a slow fire, I see.
The crowd is gathering. It’s nearly time. I’ll hide this behind the loose brick in the hearth.
I know the last sound I shall hear.
It will be the strike of a match.