2013: The Harvest – Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Daniel and his little sister Kimmy returned inside from playing in the snow. Their fingers had gone numb, their noses turned bright red and had began to run from the ice cold air. “Daddy should be home soon.” Kimmy said glancing at the DVR unit—4:56 P.M. displayed on the digital screen, he is always home by 5:05 P.M.. With the addition of the new snow that had just finished falling, they now had almost two inches on the ground. Both Daniel, and Kimmy was hoping that it would not melt so they could have a white Christmas. The last couple of years had let them down. Being that it was December 20, they was thinking it might actually happen. That is if the world doesn’t end before then.

Kimmy ran out the door as soon as she heard a car pull up. She wrapped her arms around her dad as he step out of the car, “Daddy, you’re home.” Only six years old, she is a daddy’s girl. “I tried to make a snow angel, but there isn’t enough snow.” Kimmy said looking up at him with pouty lips.

“There will be more snow, I promise.” He replied kissing the top of her head.

Looking up at him she gave a smile that spread from ear to ear, “how do you know that, daddy?” She asked gleefully.

Letting out a laugh as he grabbed a hold of Kimmy’s hand, he led her back inside, “I saw the weather forecast this morning, the meteorologist said there is a snow storm coming within the next couple of days—maybe even as early as tomorrow.”

“Is there going to be a lot of snow?” She asked jumping up and down.

“Maybe, a foot or two.” He couldn’t help but laugh, seeing his kids happy always warmed his heart.

Daniel was playing a video-game on the front room TV when he heard Kimmy and their dad enter. Hearing her laughter and excitement, he paused the game to see what was going on. “What’s so exciting?”

“We are getting a foot or two of snow tomorrow.” Kimmy replied spinning around.

Shaking his head, Daniel looked at Kimmy. “No we’re not. The world is ending tomorrow, the Maya said so.”

Placing her hands on her hips glaring at her brother, “Daddy, said we are getting snow. Tell him, daddy.” Kimmy said giving her brother an evil eye.

Daniel rolled his eyes.

“Daniel, I told you to quit telling her that. Like I have said a million times, the whole world ending thing is fictitious, and crap.”

“Um, Daddy, you said the C word,” Kimmy blurted out as she took off running towards the kitchen. “I’m telling mommy.”

“Whatever! If it doesn’t end we better get that snow you’re talking about.” Daniel said as he went back to playing his video game.

Tony chuckled, “we will, you’ll see.”

The aroma drifting out of the kitchen smelled so good it would make a full man hungry. Rubbing his stomach as he headed towards the kitchen, Tony couldn’t wait to see what his lovely wife, Amanda was whipping up for dinner. “Honey I’m home,” he announced entering the kitchen.

Amanda and Kimmy stood there waiting as he entered the kitchen. Both of them hands on hip tapping their right foot against the floor. “Is it true, Tony, you used the C word?” Amanda asked trying not to laugh.

“Well, it kind of slipped out. You can punish me if you want.”

“Ha, ha! I would, but you would just enjoy it.” Amanda shook her head at Tony as she went back to work peeling potatoes. “Hey dear, you know if the world doesn’t end tonight, we better get some of that snow you told Kimmy about…” She paused, quickly checking to see if Kimmy had left the room. “If we don’t get that snow… you’re going to wish the world would have ended.”

“Yea, I know.” Tony pulled up a seat at the table and began helping peel the potatoes. “I will be glad when tomorrow gets here, so that everyone will finally stop talking about the end of the world. That stuff is getting old.”

“I know dear, trust me. Hearing you complain about everyone talking about it, is getting old too.”

Silence spread throughout the house as everyone went about their business. Kimmy up in her room playing with her Barbie dolls, Daniel still glued to the TV playing XBOX, and Tony and Amanda hard at work preparing dinner. A typical Thursday night at the Robertson’s house.

<><><><>

Herald enjoyed the cool breeze of the evening air, taking in all that he could not knowing when he would be breathing fresh air again. Preparations for what was coming were almost complete. Plenty of food had been prepared in advance, Herald had finished that a couple days ago. There was plenty of flashlights that had been prepared. He double and triple checked the latches and locks on the bunker doors. Everything was operable and working solid. Having spent the last twenty years preparing for tomorrow, Herald had hoped this day would have never came. Part of him was excited, but he was mostly terrified. Knowing what he knows, everyone would be better off if the world were to be coming to an end.

Herald started his last act of preparation, inviting all the neighbors to join him in his fallout bunker. The first three houses everyone was happy to join him. One neighbor, Old Mrs. McGrey, told him she had lived her life, if the world ended it would be OK with her. Making his way around the block, Herald was shocked at how many people didn’t want to take shelter. He was even more shocked that next door neighbors the Robertson’s boy Daniel didn’t want to take cover. Daniel and Herald had spent many afternoons and evenings discussing December 21, he was sure he would have wanted to join him in the bunker. “The door to the bunker will be open until things start going down, then it is shut until I decide it opens again.” Herald offered everyone who did not want to join him.

<><><><>

11:00 P.M. on Thursday, December 20, 2012 the Robertson family had all settled in together in the front room to enjoy a late night movie on HBO. Kimmy was the only one not present, she had decided to go to bed hoping to see more snow when she wakes up in the morning.

“Dad, do you know for sure that the world isn’t going to end?” Daniel asked sounding concerned.

Amanda watched as Tony’s face went blank, she was wondering how he would answer this one.

“Well son, I will be honest, I don’t really know for sure. A lot of people believe in the Maya predictions, I myself, do not believe in that stuff. No one knows for sure when the world will end, it will happen one of these day, I am sure of that. As far as the Maya calendar goes, just because it ends doesn’t mean the world ends with it. All they have to do is make another calendar. Besides I heard they found more to the Maya calendar that dates into the year 4047”

Daniel let out a laugh almost chocking on some popcorn, “yea, I guess that’s true, dad, they could just make another calendar.”

“Let’s all just enjoy the movie,” Amanda said as she snuggled up with Tony. “I don’t want to think about the world ending.”

<><><><>

11:55 P.M. the movie was interrupted by a late breaking news report;

We interrupt this regular scheduled programming to inform you of this late breaking report. NASA is reporting irregular activity headed towards earth. They have not been able to clarify if this is some sort of asteroid, or meteor shower. NASA has reported that whatever this maybe, it is of epic size… Hold on, we have just received an update from NASA…

I’m sorry folks, this just in from NASA, and the US Federal Defense Agency. They believe that this could be the beginning of the end of the world. Everyone take shelter immediately, I repeat, TAKE SHELTER IMMEDIATELY. We are under a….

The TV went all static before the broadcast had finished. Amanda, Tony, and Daniel all sat there looking at each other. Daniel and Amanda were as pale as a ghost.

“They are just trying to scare everyone, that’s all.” Tony said as he tried changing the channel. “The whole cable service is playing along. Let’s all just go to bed, and when we get up in the morning everything is going to be fine I promise.”

The power flickered and had gone out as they headed up stairs. Kimmy let out a scream as she was woken up by the sound of the power going out. “Mommy… Daddy… Mommy… Daddy…” she screamed.

“I’m coming darling,” Tony hollered running up the stairs, pulling out his cell-phone for light. “I’m right here.” He said entering her room; Kimmy immediately latched on to him.

“Is the world over, Daddy?” she questioned eyes full of tears.

“No, it is not over, let’s go join your mom and brother and get some candles lit.”

Daniel helped his mother, Amanda light the candles they had spread throughout the front room. Once they were all together everyone agreed to sleep in the front room for the night. “Hey, Dad, do you think this is the beginning of the end of the world?” Daniel asked while fighting back his own tears. The thought of what might be happening scared him.

Tony let out a big sigh, “Come on everyone outside, I will show you it is not ending.”

Everyone followed as Tony lead the way. The frigid air stung their noses as they stepped outside. “See, everything is fine.”

Amanda nudged Tony in the side with her elbow. “What time is it? If it’s not midnight, then the world isn’t supposed to end yet.”

Tony checked his watch, “11:59, no, wait it is now…” Before he could finish what he was saying, the ground started shaking as thousands of red beams struck down from the sky. “Holy shit!”

“Come on hurry my bunker is still open,” Herald hollered. “Come on, run.”

The Robertson family took off running towards Herald’s bunker. Kimmy was falling behind, Tony grabbed hold of her, she clinched onto him tighter than she has ever held on before. The ground was shaking hard. It felt like an earthquake, but with the exploding sound, it felt more like a bomb had gone off. Looking back over his shoulder, Tony saw the destruction taking place. These beams from the sky were incinerating everything in their path—houses, cars, animals, and trees—the beams spreading what looked like a quarter mile wide, it was as if nothing could stand against them.

“My god! Amanda, Daniel, run with all your life.” Tony screamed at the top of his lungs. All the neighbors that had turned Heralds invite down was now running for their lives. Tony had seen the crowd of people heading the same way, he hoped his family could make it through the crowd. “Run, for crying out loud, run!”

Herald stood at the opening of the bunker. “Everyone hurry, I must shut the door. Hurry!” he bellowed, as the crowd of neighbors started pouring in. As much as he would like to have saved everyone, Herald knew that could never happen.

“Wait!” Tony screamed as Herald had begun to shut the door.

Daniel was first to enter the bunker followed by Amanda. Tony caring Kimmy had fallen behind. While waiting for Tony, Herald watched as a red beam closed in on them. The Trotter family—Domonike, Teresa, and little Nicky—were coming in behind Tony. As the beam closed in, Herald watched as all three Trotters were incinerated right before his eyes. “Wow!” Just as we expected. Herald said to himself as Tony came running buy almost diving into the bunker.

The bunker door was shut tight, large mechanical geared latches grinding and squealing as it locked in place. “Everyone out of the stairway, NOW!” Herald hollered. The temperature in the stairway began to rise. Herald and Tony were the last ones out both dripping with sweat. “The beam is on top of us,” Herald said as he began to make his way through the crowded bunker. “Excuse me folks, please let me through.” Making his way to a doorway on the other side of the room, Herald placed his hand on a black screen that lit up with his touch. A series of green strobes quickly danced around the screen outlining his hand. To everyone watching, it seemed as minutes had passed, but it all had happened in a matter of seconds. A couple of clicks, followed by the hissing sound of air being released, the door slid open. “All right everyone single file the hallway is not that wide, follow it all the way down. You will know when you are all the way, you will be in a huge room.” Herald stepped to the side—still holding his hand on the black screen—to let them through, “I will explain everything then.”

Tony and his family were the last to enter the hallway. “What the hell is going on?” Tony asked while turning around to look at Herald. “And what kind of bunker is this?”

Herald reached out and patted Tony on the shoulder. “Like I said, I will explain when we all get to the end of the hallway.” Removing his hand from the screen, Herald followed behind. The door slid shut sealing up tight behind them.

< Back to title – – – on to chapter 2>

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