Never has the Northeast seen storms as this before. Forty days of wind, hail, tornadoes, and dark skies have taken its toll, and things are no longer as they seem.
Newspapers scatter down New York City’s barren Streets, where once they were full of people making their way, in the busiest of business districts. Broken glass littered the concrete below as most windows were broken, and Time Square is dark and lifeless.
Roger drove his Jeep through the city with caution. The drive from Dayton, Ohio had been a test of endurance ... he nearly collided with three twisters.
He wondered if he was a sole survivor or were there others like him, lost to all they knew. Forty days ago seemed like yesterday when the storms first came across the plains, bringing with it hurricane force winds, hail the size of softballs and a series of F5 tornados——leaving devastation in its wake.
Roger had been asleep when a tornado ripped his house from the foundation, taking his wife and five-year-old son. He sat on his bed, looking directly into the eye of the funnel, waiting for it to take him too, but he was spared. Why?
He screeched his Jeep to a stop. Roger thought he saw a shadow dart off to the right. Scratching his head, he looked at the still dark sky. How could there be a shadow when there were no sunlight to cast one?
He jumped from his vehicle and picked up a baseball bat, his only protection. He walked down the street, pulling his blue hoodie up, as the temperature here were much colder than where he was yesterday. Glancing up, he saw nothing, but dark concrete.
Where could everyone be?
Snapping his head up when he heard something scrape across the street, right behind him. He froze, afraid to turn, but feeling as though something or someone meant to do him harm.
Turning, he saw a girl of nine. Her blond hair pulled tightly into two braids. Her dress appeared to be covered in ash and her face dark, as you might see in an old black and white movie.
When she smiled it looked more like a sneer. Her lips barely able to contain her razor sharp teeth. Her hands tucked behind her back, concealing something he feared.
“You are big, scary man with a baseball bat.” She fluttered her eyes. “Are you hungry?” Pulling her hands out, she held a severed arm in them. “Not as good as brains, but they are hard to come by these days.”
Roger stepped back as the child lunged at him. “Agghh, I just want a taste, give me a taste,” she muttered.
Pushing her shoulders back, he tried flinging her from him, but he can’t, she’s too strong. Her jaw snapped as she tried to bite his head.
Suddenly her head snapped backward, and he saw a woman with a black dress pulling her back. She then placed a small cage onto her head and tied her hands behind her back.
“Bad Millie, you know you can’t just roam around alone.” She turned her dark gaze into Rogers' direction. “Where are you from?” She asked him, smiling slyly.
Her skin was dark like the child, but she didn’t seem to have the same affliction. Still, she didn’t look like him.
“I’m from Dayton, Ohio.”
She shook her head. “From when did you come?”
His eyes narrowed, and he glanced around him, wondering if it would be better advised to escape while he can. “What do mean when? I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you are asking me.”
Leaning forward her dark features became intense. “From what year?
“I don’t know the exact date, but the year was 2010.”
“How did you travel here?”
Motioning behind her. “I drove my Jeep.”
Shaking her head. “It simply isn’t possible to travel here by car. This is the year 3020.” Raising her hand skyward. “Mass destruction has reduced this city to what you see now, and only a handful of survivors remain.”
“Where are they?”
Turning her head to the side. “I don’t know, but I know there are others.”
“Maybe that child has eaten them all.”
“Some perhaps, but she cannot help it. I keep her caged usually, but I need to let her out sometimes. I cannot stand her whimpering.”
“How did she get like that?”
Leading the child away, she ignored his questions. He followed her from a distance, following when she entered an alley. Afraid to follow, yet afraid not to.
She opened a door and turned to him. “You may come in if you want. I will cage the child, so she won’t be a threat to you.”
What Roger found inside wasn’t what he expected. There were rows of cages on one wall, and the mysterious woman placed the child within one as she promised. He saw the child sitting with a haunting look in her eyes. If she hadn’t tried making a meal of him, maybe he would have felt pity.
In the center of the room, there stood a lab table with straps attached, and along one wall were test tubes filled with colored liquid, blue, red, and green.
“Was this a lab?”
“It still is a lab. I have been searching for a cure for Millie’s affliction. She is such a sweet child when you get to know her. After the Rapture, I found her wandering the streets. Most people were transformed into the forgotten.”
“The forgotten? Are you saying the Rapture has already taken place?”
“Yes, New York City is the herding place for those deemed unworthy for saving.”
“Who could be that heartless to decide such a thing.”
“Many angels fell, and put their hands upon this city in spite. Even believers were banished, there was no food, and they became hungry, but once they fed, they became inflicted with a virus.”
Walking to a bookshelf the woman removed a book. It’s worn leather cover had an image of a sickle with an arrow through it and in gold letters was the name “Book Of Lies.”
Looking up puzzled, Roger became confused. “What is this book of lies?”
“It tells the story after the rapture.”
Opening the book, Roger read the first passages.
Darkness is welcoming as a blanket on a cold night, enveloping the city. Now is not the time to be caught alone as already you hear the cries of the Forgotten. They remain hidden in the daylight, and the Sunshine Children as they are known, knew it allowed them only a brief respite. The Sunshine children take cover just as the last ray of the sunset evaporates.
As daylight fades, and the Forgotten rise and extract themselves from the cracks and crevices that once offered them shelter. No longer able to exist as day dwellers, they were forced to recede into the night. Lost to all they knew, they will be forgotten forever.
Considered to be mere animals, although, they still hold human form. Already the Sunshine children’s numbers decrease as the Forgottens’ rise, soon they will outnumber them.
“So the fallen angels decided this?”
“We have been cursed to live here as the heavens closed without accepting us in, there are many false prophets that were allowed in, but for us, we were forced to live here in fear and uncertainty.”