Sunday, 27 January 2019

End of Days

This one was inspired by the horrible heatwave we've been experiencing here in Australia. 


The skies are shotgun blue, without a cloud in sight, and the heat is pressing and exhausting. No birds have sung in the past few weeks and I haven’t heard any children run around the place lately either.

This is strange. But seeing how hot it’s been, I’m not surprised.

People would have been worshipping at the temple of the shopping complex, to get away from the heat and into the cool air-conditioning. And with school starting soon, it’ll be something to look forward to. However with the heat still pressing down on this country, it’s got me thinking: is it really Summer? Or is it something else?

I mean, America is in the grips of one of the worst Winters they’ve experienced in years. Coyotes are roaming into the cities searching, hunting for food; and that’s because there’s none walking around.
And yet, there’s snakes and Dingoes doing the same thing here in Australia because there’s nothing to eat for them here.

This morning, I walked out to the papershop and found that at around 7am, the normally busy main road outside my place was empty and quiet. Now, I’m not a God-fearing person, nor will I ever be one. But, I didn’t hear any birds singing either – just the cicadas ever-lasting long note of ‘damn it’s hot! Damn it’s hot!’ And adding that to my tinnitus is enough to send normal people off the edge – but then, I’m not normal. I’m used to that mind-boggling ringing in my ears. It’s difficult to ignore it, but it’s been there for years, constantly getting louder over time.
As I walked down the road in the blinding sunlight, my footsteps echoing around the street, I felt as though I was in ‘The Omega Man’... yep, I felt as though I was the last person on the planet wandering around. Then, I spotted a few people, braving the heat to get the paper and some milk from across the road. Okay, I now felt as though I was in ‘The Day of the Triffids’, where the world was invaded by plants which ate humans.

Creepy... but a great book and movie.

It’s been hours since I ate breakfast and decided to take off to photograph some landscape stuff to paint. But driving around, I couldn’t find a place populated enough by people to paint. I tried the local shopping centres, then drove further afield, taking the toll way and found there was nobody on the roads – not even trucks.

I pulled off the road, finding my way to a church, where I thought I’d find people of faith hiding away there, to pray, in search of guidance to their God. But that car park was empty.

Exactly what was going on? I tried the doors and found them locked... on a Sunday? This wasn’t right. I had a feeling there was somebody behind me, and spun! There wasn’t anyone. I could see my camper van in the lot and that was it.
“What the hell is going on?” I muttered taking a few deep breaths, leaning against the cool glass doors of the church. Then, I realised, to find my answer, I had to get inside. I picked dislodged a rock from the garden and threw it through the large glass panel next to the main doors. It shattered – but no alarm went off as I expected. As the glass fell to the floor, I carefully stepped through and looked around.
The air-con was on.
Music was coming from the speakers in the ceiling – but it was just the radio.
I went up to the doors of the church itself and tried them. Locked! I went back outside and walked around the side of the building to look in and found the main building was empty.
“Who are you looking for?” a voice asked to my left.
I turned to find the Pastor standing there, “Where are the people?”
He frowned, pulling at his collar, his eyes wandering to glaring hot day, “It’s hot isn’t it?”
Nodding, I agreed with him, “But where are the people?”
Sighing, he sat in the pew put outside for people to rest in, “I don’t know. I heard you break in before, and I couldn’t get into the church either; not even with my key.” Tears brimmed his eyes as he looked to the ground, “I do believe it’s the End of Times.”
“Hey, Pastor, we would have had warnings.”
“We did!” he snapped a look at me, “Wars, disease, famine, extinction... that joke of a President was another... they were all warnings. And what did we do? We all sat on our phones, hypnotised by them.”
I didn’t know what do to, “Have you been out there today?” I looked out to the steaming heat of the day.
“No. I came here in the hopes people would come here.”
I shook my head, “Don’t. There’s nobody around. The streets are empty, the highways... the internet isn’t .... um... the radio is static. I thought it was a screw up until it was like that for an hour.”
He scrubbed his tears away with the flat of his hands, “So, now what?”
Looking at him, stunned, I shrugged, “Well, I came here to ask you that. You’re one of ... or are you? Seeing it’s the End of Days, what do we do now?”
“For what redemption – a bit late.”
He spotted my camper van out in the lot, “Do you think there’s others?”
“If there are, they’re hiding.” Or dead I thought but I didn’t want to scare him more than he already was, “I don’t know.”
He stood, “Well, I’m going to get into the church the same way you did... and I’ll stand by my post. It’s what I was taught to do.”
“Need help?”
“No. God will show me the way. Where are you going?”
“On my road trip, I guess; better late than never.” I walked out to the lot, unlocked my camper van and got into the driver’s side. I knew what the pastor was going to do, but I didn’t want to be there when he...
As I pulled out of the driveway and onto the street, I heard a gunshot echo from the church; causing me to slam on the brakes and my stomach to lurch. I’ll be not only going on the road trip to paint, but to also search out others.
I did have a question though: was a left here as a bad guy or a good guy? I guess I’ll never know.

Monday, 14 January 2019

My Curse

You would think life would be fair – but it’s not. And it’s strange how some things are covered so well on sci-fi and horror television shows and yet, people think most of that stuff is all make-believe.

Well, most of it is.

My curse in this life is that I can see what most other Humans can’t. I can see Angels, Demons and Reapers – but I mainly see the latter. Angels aren’t that common, and they’re out to protect the person they’re tethered to more than to show themselves in public. And besides, when a Human knows they’ve got an Angel tethered to them, they’re not going to tell everyone about it because ... well, would you?
Demons are everywhere. I spotted one at a party once years ago, and he spotted me. It was the most horrifying thing I had ever come across. I found my friends and got them the outa there before anything happened to them. But I remember what they said to me: ‘You’re nuts Dayna. He was fine!’
Glancing up at the rear vision mirror, while sitting at the set of lights, I spotted him in the car behind us, his red eyes glowing through the rear window of my car ‘He’s anything but fine. Did either of you talk to him? Kiss him, make fun of him?’
Belle sat in the seat next to me, hesitating, ‘Well, he said he could do anything for me. He promised.’ She went quiet.
‘Well, he said we had to kiss, not shake hands.’ She blushed, ‘He’s a hell of a kisser.’
I remember her funeral well, because it was only three weeks later she died. The police still have no idea how she came to be in an abandoned building in San Fran on the other side of the country on her own; and yet she had only been with me the night before for dinner and a movie. From what I know, I’m still a suspect two years later.

Reapers are a different deal.
I see them all the time. They’re normally around car accidents, hospitals, funerals ... basically anywhere where there’s been a death and they have to collect a soul. I even see them when the news is on and they show a volcano blowing its top – and I see them all standing around the townships it’s going to destroy. This is why I don’t watch the news. They’re just too creepy.
And yep, I saw a couple of them at Belle’s funeral, when I should have only seen one. That caused me to wonder why there were more than one to collect her; but I didn’t want to ask too many questions about it all – after all the police were looking at me as a suspect.

And you know it’s strange, I’ve never had a Reaper looking at me or in my direction. They’re normally looking at the person who is going to die, or they’re standing outside the place where a death is going to occur.
But the other day, I stepped outside a movie theatre and saw a crowd of them looking up at the building. There had to be about thirty of them standing, staring. I turned and looked up, shading my eyes against the sun just in time to watch the windows on the top floor of the Cineplex explode and smoke billow out from it!
“Oh my God!” I muttered, unable to pull out my phone, knowing that whatever I did next was useless. If I pulled out my phone, the emergency crews wouldn’t make it in time... but if I didn’t? I turned to the security guard nearest to me, “We need to evacuate the whole centre now!”
“Why, it could be just the Cineplex...” he muttered.
I looked over near the doors of the main shopping complex, and spotted more Reapers standing by the door and inside the place, watching, “No! The whole place will go up if you don’t evacuate now!”

The alarms howled and rang, as people spilled out on the streets surrounding the massive centre. I stood across the road with the people watching and waiting to be told what to do next, when a hand landed on my shoulder.
I turned to find a Reaper was there, “Why didn’t you leave it well enough alone? Their time was up.” I turned away, feeling a chill where his hand had been. When I turned back, he was gone. As I looked around at the people standing around me, I realised I had screwed with how these people’s lives were going to turn out. At some point in the near future, each of them were going to die. As I watched on, Reapers showed up next to each survivor I had gotten evacuated from the centre.
Within the next month, each of these people died. Their time was up at the Cineplex and I stopped it – when I shouldn’t have.

I needed to be on my own for a while, so I sought out my local church, where I saw they were preparing for a funeral service. I didn’t want to bother them, so I sat in the very back near the door. People filed in. People I knew... but they didn’t come to see me as I stood and approached them.
“Dayna.” A voice at my shoulder said, and I turned to see a man in a suit, “I knew you’d make it.”
“Make it?” I asked, “What are you talking about?”
“You still don’t know? You’re dead. You died at the Cineplex. When you looked up as the place exploded a wall fell on you.” An expression of worry crossed his face, “Oh, you don’t remember, you died so fast.”
“And I see Reapers all the time.”
He nodded, “Yes. That man who patted you on the shoulder, he was your Reaper. And you should have left things alone – Natural Order and all of that.”
“Where am I?”
He looked around as all the people sat down in the lovely church I used to attend, “You are at your funeral.”