Monday, July 24, 2006

***Author's Note***
I'm creating a new iteration of this story, soon. I will delete this blog and instantly create another one with the same name. Sorry for the hold up! Stay alive.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

That's not a normal electromagnetic pulse... I mean, all it does is nullify electricity. I can't help but feel that it would utterly destroy my electronics... but everything functions normally after it goes away!

Weird. But isn't everything.

Where was I?

The Mexican Army had broken through the US guard, and were coming up into California. General Velasco faced an insurrection consuming the entire country, but he had a loyal group of soldiers and a population that wanted to invade the United States while they still could. Velasco complied, joined some kind of 'Aztlan' faction, and arranged for heavy armor to meet the pistol-and-glass-shield boys down by the border. Bam! Tanks in California. The United States sent a huge contingent of the army to intercept, and when they couldn't find them, they plowed into Mexico. But can you keep those guys under control? President Kerry decided: Not without a few tac-nukes.

So, Mexico is a protectorate of the United States now, with several northern cities suffering attacks by small nuclear arms outside of the dense areas. This is being done to stem the tide from the border, and I guess it worked, with all major roadways bombed to oblivion, but Velasco is still in the US. The tanks encountered the air force pretty soon after, but Velasco still has thousands of guerilla soldiers, and in the sorry state of the nation, they can't all be tracked down.

Kerry's plan for rebuilding the nation was pretty good. He turned powers over to the communities, sending humanitarian aid and military support to as many counties as possible, starting with the most populous, and asking for all US citizens to group into 'refuge zones' and turn to military representatives for weapons training. The news had been consumed with his plans for small, self-sufficient, independent communities throughout the nation, able to react to hostiles themselves. They've released a lot of information over the internet on urban survival, it'll save a lot of people, and give Velasco a run for his money.

What am I saying, using the present-tense. I get so absorbed in this record-telling. Velasco is probably dead, shot down by the invaders or eaten by the walking, blackened dead. Actually, I hope that he is still alive. We need as many humans as possible to survive, and one with such military experience is a very valuable person.

Anyway, that's what was happening, we soon discovered. We slept very fitfully that night.

And then came Friday, the 14th.

The Sickle of Islam was no threat any more. They were pulling out. The military had beaten them back, especially in Folsom. But they were determined to do as much damage as possible while they retreated. At 4:00 PM, the Folsom Dam exploded. We could hear it as it shattered, even in Cameron Park. We couldn't see it, and didn't want to go out with the Aztlan people out there... but it happened. The local radio reported complete devestation. Just the other night I was looking for my house. But half of my neighborhood is gone, swept away by the floodwaters...

So the Sickle of Islam had their last laugh. Or so we thought. I... can't bear to recall the memory... but they poisoned the water system, somehow. Some kind of cyanide. Karol had just filled a cup of water from the sink during dinner, took a drink and... suddenly she said the wind was knocked out of her. It must have just been a minute dose, because she stayed alive for quite a while. She got sick, and we immediately traced it to the water system when Sharon began showing the same symptoms.

I can't seem to remember it all too well. I don't want to repeat the episode..

We heard on the radio that it was happening and there was a cure and if only we could get down there we could get some kind of cure and save her from dying from poisoning and everything would be alright. Everything would be fine. Karol would have stopped coughing so much and Karol would be alive she wouldnt die she'd be alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't do this. I'm sorry.

Alright, I'm here. I cannot believe I haven't been killed... its a miracle I got back to this place. You can't possibly believe what I've been through.

Can you believe anything? I am questioning whether this whole thing is an incredibly advanced lucid dream. I mean... how does this stuff happen? Why is this happening?

I'm locked in this house, and there are creatures outside the gate. These things are everywhere! I'm sure, if you are still reading, that you've heard of them, or seen them on the news. The good news is that they're moving slowly from Los Angeles, and with the collapse of air transportation, the virus wasn't able to spread to New York.

I can't believe how horrible all of this is. I... just... can't express it. This doesn't feel real to me. I sometimes laugh at the thought of it. But I look out of my window, into the dark borealis above, and also down the driveway, passed the gate... and watch those things pacing outside of those iron bars. They are waiting there for me. They seem to know something is in here, and they want in, to eat me. Eat me! THOSE THINGS ARE FREAKING TRYING TO EAT ME!

Stupid stupid stupid stupid! Why did you leave? Why DID I LEAVE?! WHERE IS TAYVA AND ANGEL AND SHARON!!? ARE THEY DEAD TOO!?!

Wha... what is going on here? What is going on? You aren't going to leave THE ENTIRE PLANET IN THE DARK, are you, heavenly father? There has to be an answer.


Well, I'm stuck in here as of now. Tereal has disappeared once more, and I've only got a few shells left. What can I do but tell everyone what has happened?

Where'd I leave off?

Oh yes, a week ago, Thursday. The good times. I was fearing for my life, yes, but, not like this. And at least I had others.

Let me calm down for just a second.


So it was Thursday, at about 2:00 pm. We weren't out of food, but we had started to ration food. I, unfortunately, shot one of the sheep. I had the difficult task of gutting that thing which... was not a happy experience. Karol... Karol took over for me after a while, carried that stinking meat to the fireplace, where we had knocked out the wood stove and instead made a fire ring on the solid bricks. We cooked up the mutton over the fire, applied a good amount of salt and pepper, and then, even still... that stuff was just disgusting. Ugh. I nearly threw up, felt like I should throw up any way.

So Tayva and I decided that we needed to go get more food. That meant preparing our pistols, hopping in the good ol' red truck and making it to the Cameron Park shopping center. It was gloriously empty, we didn't see anyone. With our lights off, and guns off of safety, we patrolled the place, looking for a place where we could loot all the food we needed. Neither of us thought that there would be much left, I mean... a week had gone by. The looters probably had picked everything clean.

The shopping center was a mess. Parking lot had more than a couple crashed cars, toppled vans, empty police cars (no guns inside, though) ect. ect. Some kind of battle had gone on here. We didn't care. I located a Mongolian Barbecue, we knocked down the windows (I hated when they shattered, giving away our position to possible enemies), and jumped inside all gung-ho.

The place hadn't been looted yet! It looked so pristine, as if the keeper of the shop had just closed it down for the night. We flicked the lights on, found the freezer, and unloaded boxes upon boxes of beef and pork chips, along with frozen vegetables. Ah men, we were so happy. We were set. Nasty, it was, but this stuff could keep us full for months, if we could load it all.

How did no one think to raid a Mongolian barbecue? Cameron Park is a developing area, a lot of old-timers in country homes... maybe no one was out to loot here. Or maybe they all thought the same as we did, that the looters had already taken everything. We were happily surprised. It was another stroke of good luck.

Piling the boxes of frozen meat chips in my truck was easy, no one troubled us, but we quickly realized we could never hold so much in our freezer. Leaving a month of food in that freezer room was horrible. We decided we would figure something out later. It was still a great find. When we got back we were all ecstatic.

We got back at 7:00 pm, and ate as much frozen food as we could so as to make more room we eventually discovered we had taken more frozen chicken chips than we had room for, and so we gorged ourselves for the next two hours, roasting the meat on the fire. Last peaceful time I remember...

There were some disturbances around 8:30 pm, that Thursday night. We heard the 'Himno Nacional Mexicano' being played over loudspeakers. Outside, we saw four hummers roll by, decked out with a large Mexican flag on the side, all military-esque. It was a caravan of Mexican soldiers. Real Mexican soldiers! We couldn't see the soldiers inside but, I swear... that scared the holy crap out of all of us. They eventually rolled away down the street... but what were Mexican soldiers doing here?

The news quickly clarified this. The Mexican army had made a break in the lines

Power went out. Ball lightning or EMP or something. SUCK. I better shut this laptop off before it starts getting screwy. This should roll over soon.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Where are you! Michael, why did you leave us here? Michael, I hope you read this. I hope you followed my message.

I'm so frustrated! Right when we needed you had to leave. You and your flip-out mode. I hate that. Oh, I remember when we were kids when you snap you really snap. Like when you punched that Wilson guy?

Never mind. I don't want to be angry with you. The truth is, I love you and I can't bear the idea that you might not be

But you are coming back. Look, those Mexican revolutionary guys know we are here. They keep going back and forth passed our house, every few hours or so. A few guys rattled the gate they know we are here and are planning an attack. I don't think they know how many people there are in here. They're very cautious. Angelina and Sharon and I have decided our best plan of action is to leave.

We didn't need a coffin, Michael! This is the New World, this is The End of Times! We can do without! What we need is to survive! Karol's in a better place and I'm glad we have one less mouth to feed! Get off your sentimental crap and stop screwing around with our lives! We need you!

Its not just those Mexican guys, though I would be worried enough with them. The news it just gets scary Michael. I hope you aren't one of them by now. They say those creatures are already in Stockton. Wherever you are, I hope you are trying to make it back here, or north. Head as far north as you can! Check the news and the web, they'll tell you what's going on.

And with the waters rising, the whole flooding thing going on We need to head inland. We need to get so far into the country we'll be able to see any threat miles before hand. Miles and miles.

Look I'm wasting my time as it is. I can't believe I'm typing on this laptop I really hate this obsession of yours, I'll have you know. We need to focus on other things! Surely you have medicine or something for this thing.

I'm sorry. I apologize for my attitude. Come back here, find this message, find us again. I wish I had more time with you. It sounds bad through words on the screen, but I love you. I don't care if your crazy, I just want you back. I want to get sealed in the temple with you and have a family in a world that's safe and sound... and why haven't you brought marriage up beforehand in our conversations more! You never made a single move, and I loved you! And I know you had things going on with the other women, as if you were still living in the days of Polygamy! I almost feel ashamed to be in love with you.

I'm sorry again, I'm venting. Its so much easier to just type all of your thoughts away. It must be why you like to do this kind of stuff. I don't mean much of that.

Okay, I need to get off. We're heading to that mansion place we saw earlier, you know where it is. But we'll only wait a day for you... then we're moving to the Temple, on Mormon Hill. I got their phone number on the internet, and the entire place has been barricaded. We'll be safe there. If we move on, we'll leave a message.

Stay safe. And carry this thing around with you. I assume you lost your cell phone or something, because I keep getting messages. I'll contact you on the internet, then, okay? We'll find each other again.

I love you Michael,
Kiss me hard when we first see each other again, I know we will,
God speed,

Saturday, July 15, 2006

But... why? I thought You were going to do something about this. I felt like it was going to happen. What good is faith anyway!! I survive bullet after bullet after bullet... WHY? She just had poison in her! That's it! You make me dodge bullets but you let her die after drinking a cup of water? This isn't a joke! What? What game are you playing here? You turn off the lights, make nations crumble, religions fighting each other... Is this the answer? Is this your divine plan?! To have everyone on the planet kill each other off, except for me?

Karol is dead. She's dead. She's dead. SHE IS DEAD. SHE IS DEAD! SHE IS DEAD! SHE IS DEAD! SHE IS DEAD!

How... why... you make me sit in here with the door locked, you put these voices in my head, telling me to type on my stupid freaking computer, telling me to relive every horrible minute again and again! I can break this thing! It isn't hard. Smash it against the fireplace. Chuck it into the fire. Try to make me do this monotonous task THEN! How about that?!

I can't do it. I have to do this. Why do you make me do this? Why do you make it so that I can't think straight until I've finished this? Are you punishing me? Were you trying to save her, only... it was my fault that she is dead? Am I to blame? TELL ME!

The girls are crying outside. They're shouting at me. "Why are the doors locked, Mike!" "Why are you doing this, Michael!" "Are you insane?" YES, AND WHOSE FAULT IS IT. They don't know if I've lost it completely.

I've got people to comfort, Heavenly Father. They cannot suffer this alone. Please. Let me go. I can tell the story later. I can't let the girls handle Karon's death by themselves. Who knows if Sharon is doing as well as we thought? Her life might be forfeit as well! Please. I know you have a plan, just help me, please. I'm sorry. I shouldn't doubt thee. I am your servant, I know. I need to get off of this computer.

Maybe, if thee could just lift one of my hands off of this stupid keyboard.. then i can just do the resttttttgh

Friday, July 14, 2006

And there it is. How many miracles will you grant me, Father?
I'm going now. I'll save Karol. She won't die, if I hurry.
Have to stop it. Have to stop typing. I have to go.

Ah man. Ah man. I... Erm. I've got no time! I have to, though. I have to.

Karol. She's sick! The water's poisoned! They poisoned the FREAKING WATER SYSTEM! We should have been more careful. How hard is that? There's chlorine in the pool house... I'm sure that would have cured everything. If we just...

What's going to happen!?! The three days are up. Darkness. Thursday. Friday. Saturday. Auroras, light! Sunday. Monday. Tuesday. Moon disappears, overcast auroras, the pillars of brilliance! You know what that means? You know what that means!? Wednesday! Thursday! Friday! What happens next? WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!?!

heavenly father. please. please. i know that i haven't been going to church and i haven't paid my tithing and i haven't... i haven't

But please. Karol's not the one to die! She hasn't been converted yet. She hasn't seen the Light! She's a good person. She can go to heaven, if she just has a little bit more time! You want to save your children, right? You're not going to... kill them before they've had the chance, you know? Please don't let Karol die. Please don't let her go. In the name of Jesus Christ. Please!

Thank you. She'll be better now. I know she will. Thank you.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wait, wait, wait. Forget the map. Check this out. It just appeared on the news.

How many times will I say it? Wow.

Local reports suggest its been there since the Moon disappeared. Guess where it is? The North Pole, geographic, not magnetic. They are sending crews out to see if the same thing is happening on its Southern counterpart.

No one can get any farther than this range before they enter some kind of 'electrical drain'. Like an EMP, except happening every second or so. How far away it is, from the photographer? They don't say. Fox is sending out an expedition soon to make it to the base of this pillar.

More strange news? Heat. This thing is not just another light-show, there is energy right there. Scientists are registering strange 'heat-waves' being sent off from this thing, in random intervals anywhere from 15 seconds to 7 minutes long. The North Pole is getting considerably warmer from this event, with a 10 degree drop already. (Fahrenheit, people, come on, this is America.

What does this do to the world? Well, the good ol' scientists we keep on seeing on the tube say that the world has cooled down hugely since the Darkness. The auroras are giving off more heat than the dark sky, but still less than normal sunlight. They say that some places in the world got thirty degrees colder in only those three dark days, while in the temperate zones we saw a change of only ten degrees.

So... the aliens, or the god, or the alien gods, whatever... are heating our planet up. The question is, are they doing this just to bring back the temperatures we know and love? Are they trying to fix something they started? Or is that energy pillar going to stay there?

Maybe some superadvanced alien race is trying to terraform (is that the right term?) our planet for their own use? Warm it up to an environment they find comfortable? That's a theory around on the net, but I personally don't believe it. If the aliens are advanced enough to erect some kind of huge shield around Earth and the Moon, and then take away the Moon as if picking up any normal object... why would they need the Earth? These guys could build their own Earth, a thousand Earths, with all the power they are showing us.

Aliens? No, I'm not thinking this is aliens. I don't know, I just believe that this is something else. Maybe a normal space phenomenon or something. Could it be divine? There is a lot of evidence out there for that as well.

Speaking of the divine, this 'Pillar of Brilliance' is attracting the zealous and fanatical, as everything does now-a-days. The Mehdi has been calling for Muslims to pray to the North Pole, now, instead of Mecca. He says its an 'embodiment of Allah'. What a coincidence, the Christians are saying the same thing, as are the Hindus, and it seems every other freaking religion. The Christians are the most adamant about this, calling the Pillar a 'Stairway to Heaven'. Isn't that the name of an old rock and roll song? The Pope and other extremist Christian leaders are telling all members that can risk it to make a trek to the Stairway, and bring back the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and His new plan for His children. Fun. Some people are having adventures and going on pilgrimages while we're stuck here.

I've been looking up the Mormons today. For a powerful, recognized religion, they aren't doing much. They are calling for safety. They acknowledge that this is the reason God gave them the commandment of food storage. They are opening parts of the Temples for refugees. The Mormon Church mentions that its humanitarian aid programs are the largest still functioning. But, the Prophet isn't advertising this disaster as some divine occurence. He calls it, rather, a sign of the times, a trial to precede the Second Coming. Its the same thing they did with the Indonesian Tsunami! It's not even a bigger deal than the Tsunami, all of this darkness and 'stairways' and auroras and all that.

Still, the Church is doing well. Their forums are blossoming with activity. The USA released a list of states based on the percentage of order they have reclaimed. Utah is on the top. Spiritual unity... Vast amount of food storage... It makes sense, I guess. Utah is where you want to be. Nevertheless, I can't believe they aren't making a big deal about all of this. Time will tell.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Check it out. Finally found that map. Somewhat unprofessional, but it's traveling pretty quickly through the web. Words are kind of small, but hey, I want to do my part to spread the information.

Otherwise, I've got things to do. Tayva is trying to talk me into going on an outing to get some food, either by looting or taking from the refugee centers in the Eldorado Hills area. I think she just wants to have some alone time for some more lovin'.

She's standing right behind me, isn't she. (Love ya babe.)

Michael out, for tonight at least. Stay alive!

The world is getting more dangerous by the second.

There is a definite pattern emerging here! Whatever this... crazy phenomenon is, its operating by some kind of pattern. We had three days of darkness, and then suddenly three days experiencing this aurora borealis.

On the morning of Wednesday, far before I woke up, the people at Fox reported that the Moon, good lady Luna, has disappeared. I'm kind of happy to be rid of that gray spot in the sky, it was so much more different than the Moon I remembered.

The auroras above also seem to be changing. We woke up to some kind of overcast environment today. The lights have been dimmed. A three-day night of some kind, I would guess, but not the total darkness we experienced. It casts a strange, surreal twilight outside... I'm not sure what to think of it. But, it's better than the strange surrounding light of the auroras, where there really aren't any shadows despite the day-like illumination.

Life has been good for the last few days, hence my reason not to type. But there have been troubles. Food is running low. We can cut up the sheep, but I reason that every day, food that might have been looted is being taken by others. I'm talking about going to some commercial center and searching for scraps. For six days, people have had a chance to break in and take as much as they've wanted: will there be any left? How long before we descend into barbarianism? The girls and I have estimated that, with our food storage and current dwindling collection, we have nine or ten days left before we run out. Who knows how much the seven sheep are worth once over an open fire.

The girls are great. We've gotten to know each other very well. Sharon has stuck with us, though I believe that it may just be out of no where else to go. She's generally quite lax as well, and I don't know how to make it so that she pulls her weight around the house. But, we all feel we have been knit into some sort of family.

The females are having fun, definitely. As the only guy, they've each had there turn to fall for temptation, especially in this sometimes hopeless atmosphere. I don't know what to think about this, but I have been slacking in my chaste, moral attitude.

I think it might be healthy for the group as a whole, you know? Its not like we have anything fun to do. The only thing non-informative on television is channel four, composing of reruns that loop every six hours, with constant intermissions for news, and advice on survival.

Needless to say, my relationships with all of the women has kept the ladies very occupied, and there is plenty of intrigue for everyone. Dramas keep looping over and over. Tayva considers herself my girl, while Karol is fighting for first place. Karol is hindered by thoughts about her boyfriend. Angelina has made a quick dash into competition, after a sum of two hours making out in the basement in only the last two days. How does she entice me so?

I don't know what to make of it. I definitely don't want to mess around with Sharon, a 17-year old, though she has done her deal of flirting. I also have the opinion that Karol should wait for her boyfriend before she leaps into something with me. But I like each of them mostly the same, in different ways... but I have no favorite! I've known Tayva longer, but Karol is one heck of a kisser, and Angelina always feels like she needs more love than the others, because she has these fits of depression.

What do I think about Tereal, now?

She's been more active in my dreams, and I've had more time to spend with her, with more time to sleep. Tereal outranks all of the real girls, with a both a body and personality I can't stop thinking about! Plus, I've have had dates with her that far outrival that I've spent with the three women I share the house with... volcanoes, tropical paradises, the Moon, dazzling glass cities, everything my imagination can conjure! But ultimately... she's... nothing. An extremely realistic figment somewhere within my brain.

I have to ignore all of this. I'm sorry for boring any of you, if any of you are reading.

Fortifying the house has been great. We've had plenty of materials. We still have tons of wood in the barn, even after I've reinforced many of the smaller fences. I've also found some metal pipes as well, though I'm not sure what I should use them for. We've punched small holes in certain walls, in foresight that we might be invaded and have to defend ourselves from the inside. In this case, we can have several defensible positions.

I want to build some kind of swinging log trap. It's been bugging me. In my lucid dreams I've experimented with trying to build it, and I think I've found a way. We have a good tree branch overarching the driveway. If someone rams the gate with a car and get's through, a log or some other heavy object could be let go to swing into their path. Cool, eh? Like Starwars. You hoist it up with one rope or cable, using a crank or winch or something. Another rope pulls it to the roof. Secure the 'pull-back' rope, and cut it whenever needed. I could cut a hole through the roof, and hopefully see if I can get the rope down into one of the main rooms. Good for emergencies.

I haven't found anything heavy enough or oblong enough to fit the design! I've made one using a much lighter 'bob', an old fifty-gallon metal milk can I found in the barn. It works! But I need something to do some serious damage, and we've used up all of the furniture for barricades.

An unhinged door? Or maybe, a bookshelf. I'm sitting by a bookshelf we haven't used as I type this on my laptop. Take the books out... fill it with rocks or something heavy. Hmmm... Maybe, I don't know yet.

Hmmm... about the international scene. The Coalition Army (what I like to call 'the Crusaders') headed by the European Union, have not been turned back from the Middle East. They're early successes against the nations nearest to Israel bid too much optimism. They've made small offensives, but they are very entrenched. The Islamic nations are unified now under the unseen 'Mehdi' messiah guy, reports have detailed that all governments in the region have submitted to him. He's been converting as much industry as possible to his war machine, waging a horrible war both open and guerilla. The Coalition Army doesn't know whether to nuke more cities, thus enraging more and more to join the Mehdi in arms instead of submitting, or to just go to town on the Muslims. The Pope and many church leaders are pushing the nuclear option as much as they can, but there are still governments out there...

But they have done atrocious things, or so it is said over the news. They're not following any of the rules of war, concealing weapons, dressing up as civilians, sometimes even in Coalition soldier apparel... they've used chemical warfare and biological warfare unprecedented (though nothing worldy contagious). They believe Allah will make them invincible... what if they release something at a pandemic scale? The world is freaked about this possibility, which is why they are sending more and more soldiers.

Meanwhile, at home, the situation continues to get worse. Terrorism everywhere. The Muslims in the internment camps throughout Europe, a majority relocated for no reason at all, have staged many uprisings and many keep on breaking out. A huge part of the formal soldiers and the eager volunteers are in the Middle East, leaving a population of the weak at home. The draft has been reinstated to at least provide training for new volunteers willing to patrol the streets and keep control.

In the United States, order is coming together once more. Much of the Muslim threat has been extinguished. Open borders from Mexico, however, has released a deluge never before seen. Many soldiers are trying to hold them back, but an estimated millions have already crossed. People are being typecasted once more: if you are Hispanic, you are thrown into an internment camp. The government cannot trust anybody except for wasps. This is causing a huge uproar in itself. Still, the people who got through were those first in line: the zealous, anti-American, anarchist type. Looting and terrorism is huge in the Western United States.

President Kerry is in a fix. He was the one who cut military spending, and sent many soldiers back home. If this happened under Bush, we'd have a lot more soldiers to throw around. Mexico's government has utterly collapsed, as well as many more nations south of the border, all the way to Peru. How does Kerry solve this?

Outside of the West, Africa has been wiped nearly clean of borders. With the darkness, every small conflict in that nations of discontent had erupted into a meltdown. The only real 'country' is now South Africa, who is desperately trying to keep order, while their soldiers are occupying near countries. Outside of that, ethnic and religious strife has kept everyone from thinking straight on that continent.

Have you noticed how the northern nations are doing so well? Their populations are used to long nights in the frigid winter. If it wasn't summer, they probably wouldn't even have looked up. Russia has kept itself very intact, despite Muslim terrorism.

Japan is also doing well, much better than the United States. They had their deal of conflict, but the North Korean fiasco forced the population together. Enjoying victory over their long-time enemy, anarchy has been kept quite calm in that country. Their soldiers are being deployed throughout the Far East region to maintain control.

China is mysteriously quiet. Dealing with Muslims in their own area as well... I assume the giant is considering its options and licking its wounds, undesiring to make movements when it's internal organs are bleeding.

There's a map running around somewhere on the Wikigoogle. Hang on a second.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

We couldn't believe it. I woke all of the girls. We could see. There was light coming through the treetops! Shining, comforting, warming, lovely light! We were saved.

But then we walked out, closer to the road, and we looked passed the trees.

"What... is that?" Karol said. We were all silent.

I've never seen the aurora borealis, before, despite having lived in Alaska for a year. But that's what it was, albeit on a much grand scale. It was as if there were thousands of aurora borealis', overlaying one another, making the sky dense with color and light, shimmering and moving like an insubstantial curtain.

It's been weird. This isn't something that isn't just going to end! What is happening to the planet Earth?

The scientists soon confirmed that a new material or force had replaced that of the darkness blocking the light. Maybe it was the same material, having transformed somehow. But it wasn't just in our skies... There was a sphere, surrounding the Earth and the moon... as if we were trapped in an eggshell or something... all light! No one could understand it.

It happened on the morning of Sunday.

It happened when my family began their exodus to Jill's Canyon, in the wilderness of Utah.

Is this some kind of holy episode? Does it have religious significance? Will this precede the Second Coming? I still don't know. I always assumed that Jesus Christ would come around a lot quicker, to save the day, instead of leaving the population of the planet in a dangerous funk.

For Sunday and this last day, Monday, we relaxed. In the light, we could find much more throughout the house. We made molotov cocktails, ready to be lighted up, just in case. Wars continued on the news (Fox seemed to be the only real, organized news channel, with CNN slowly coming back on air. Atlanta had been the center of extreme violence, with very mixed ethnic and religious backgrounds. Still, things had calmed down enough for CNN to start broadcasting again.)

The land has a huge woodpile, an acre back. I spent all of today refortifying our fences with hammer and nail. The women have taken up domestic affairs, compiling our remaining resources and such. This place has a guesthouse, by the pool, I hadn't even realized. It's very cool.

The electricity still works, as does the water, remarkably. I found a pump out back, and I have assumed that we're drinking groundwater. Most excellent. As for our electricity... well... there is a huge, metal electric pole dominating the far-corner of the property. We're getting direct electricity, so that's great.

I'm getting the internet through my satellite internet connection, which is great. If it was dead before, now its a beehive of discussion on how to rebuild the world, and theories on what the lights above are exactly.

It is slightly unnerving to be under those lights. Its a cooler light, with strange colors. The human mind is much less used to it than the darkness. Sharon threw up once, when she was out cleaning the pool (thankfully, not into the pool).

We're doing great, but we're all still getting ready for something bad. I think we all agree that we haven't even gotten out of the frying pan, yet.

For as much action as we’ve had already, we’ve had a couple of days of rest.

The rest of Saturday we bunkered in and made a general search of our place. It was much more difficult to move around without the streetlights, and we couldn’t find an easy solution to this. We shut the blinds as tight as we could, and turned on the lights in rooms that didn’t have windows, and light candles. We didn’t want to be detected, but it we rationalized it was necessary for these first few hours.

The girls set up the rooms and scoured the place for food. I found some more chains in the barn and locked the gate up the best I could manage. The place was very satisfactory. There was a wine cellar in the garage, the perfect ‘keep’ of our castle. Tayva and I would have to make Molotov cocktails of them before the others found it; we didn’t want anyone drinking when we were in crisis mode. The place could be turned into a fortress. There was a considerable stack of wood in the barn that I used to barricade up windows. We moved an old piano in front of the main door, and angled a couch against the back.

Someone had been into the fridge, and it was mostly bare, accept for some cheeses, frozen bread, and condiments. They had an entire cupboard full of jams and jellies (what an old people thing), which was kind of cool. But the real goldmine was in the wine cellar, where under a blanket we found several boxes of dehydrated beans, beef, and many assorted vegetables. They had food storage! I wondered if they were Mormon.

We ate the last of our fruit that night, sitting on the carpet in a circle in front of the TV. No one wanted to turn it on and learn of new horrors. For now, we relaxed in our haven. Karol made an eggplant stew thing that wasn’t just edible, it was delicious! We devoured as much as we could, sitting in the candle light, and laughed as much as we were emotionally capable. Sharon seems to be breaking out of her shell, though I imagine she is still very depressed. I made fun of her for shying away from the idea of cooking up the sheep outside. She told us all stories of when her family had three sheep they bought from a flea market and never had the heart to give away, even after three moves across the country.

“I… don’t know what happened to my family.” Sharon said, finally, looking to the ground, setting a somber mood.

“I was angry at them when they told me I couldn’t go see Kyle Hanson after school any more. I walked out on them, went to one of my friends down the street.” Tears started dripping down her cheeks, and she spoke softly, “The next day, the… sun… it didn’t come up. I ran back to my house. They weren’t there. They were…” she sobbed for a few seconds. Karol and Angelina both put their arms around the girl.

“All I found was a note, telling me to stay there if I came back. They were out looking for me. I stayed there for two days, and they didn’t come back. They didn’t answer their cell phones… they just… disappeared. Right along with the sun.” She broke out crying.

“I think we all have lost something, everyone on the planet, and it’s not just the sun.” Karol spoke through sobs. There had still been no word from her boyfriend.

What had I lost? I was a single guy with very few connections. Worse, until this crisis I lived a lot of my day in dreams. My family, yes… but…

My family! I remembered that moment I hadn’t contacted them for a day and a half.

“Excuse me, guys.” I made my way out of the room. I think some of the girls took it as an emotional thing. It was sad… but I wasn’t crying. I was scared for my family that I had somehow forgotten. I’m a live in the moment kind of person, and it sickens me to say this, but I hadn’t really noticed my family had existed while trying to protect these three… four women. How old was Sharon?

Cell phone out. I dialed.

“Come on. Pick up, Mom. Dad. Anybody.” The phone ringed five times and I tapped it nervously.

“Michael!” My Mom’s voice came through the phone.

“Mom! Hey! I’m here! I’m alive!” I said.

“Where’ve you been?!” She nearly yelled.

“It’s okay; I’m here in a house, barricaded up, with four friends of mine. We’ve got food, water. We’re good. Except for our impending death by suffocation, we’re good.”

“My battery is running out, Michael.” My Mom began getting frantic as she usually did when she was crunching for time. “I need to tell you that the family has all met and we’re going on a caravan down to Jill’s. Except for you and some of the other tweens, we’re together, and we want you to come down as soon as you can.”

“We’re going to Jill’s place? What? Jill lives in the middle of the wilderness, in a canyon, Mother. Why?”

“Uncle Ray remembers Jill’s blessing said that her family would gather to her home in the time of darkness. We had a prayer, and we believe that’s what the Lord wants.”

“That’s… oddly specific, Mom. Are you sure that’s what her blessing said? Uncle Ray is pretty old, you know?”

“He was telling the truth, I felt it, Michael. You need to come as soon as you can.”

“Alright, alright. So you guys are fine?”

“Yes… we’re all fine. But we’re moving out tonight at midnight… and… after that I don’t know…” she began crying, “If we’ll have cell phone coverage… and… I love you, baby.”

“Mom, I love you, too. Don’t worry. I’ll see you again. Maybe not right now, but I’ll find you. Is Dad there?”

“He’s here.”

“I love you, Mom. Put him on.”



“I’m so glad you’re safe!”

“Dad, I don’t know how long Mom’s cell phone will last, but I just wanted to tell you, that I love you.”

“I’ve always been proud of you Mike; I’ve always believed in you, you know that? I know you’ll find us. I love you, Mike.”

“Thanks Dad.”

The phone was dead.

And then, in two hours… there was light.

We were on the highway for only ten minutes, but it was an extremely tense ten minutes. Our company had no idea if some military caravan was going to suddenly appear over the next hill, or if someone had blown up parts of the road. We drove fast, and hoped we would detect a rupture before it hit.

Finally we got up to Cameron Park. It had the feel of a small town, even though it was only a few minutes from the city. The hills had something to do with making the place seem quiet. I almost crashed into a herd of… get this… buffalo. Someone’s dying wish must have been to let them run free. I would like to catch a few later on, if they were still alive. They’d do great in the meat locker.

Karol directed us to a neighborhood. You couldn’t call it that. Each ‘estate’ had about five, ten acres to its name… you couldn’t see the house next to you. It was about as rural as we were going to get for our amount of gasoline.

“Alright, ladies,” I said over my cell phone, “We’re having a special giveaway today in the Cameron Park area… all of the houses are free!” We laughed.

“We need fences,” Tayva said, “preferably with a stream. And a big house, but not too gaudy, it might attract others.”

“Should we pass up this multi-million dollar mansion, then?” We slowed the cars down to observe a huge house on a hill, passed a large cast-iron fence and a vine-covered gate to match. We couldn’t see specifics, in the pitch black. There were no streetlamps in this area, our only illumination was our headlights, with which we caught a glimpse of a large stream running through the center. But the gate was locked down with many heavy chains. Someone didn’t want us to come in, and we weren’t going to. I had brought the blowtorch, but it wouldn’t do a thing to that.

“No one knows what goes on behind those walls…” I laughed mysteriously. It could have just been an empty lot with a lake, in the darkness. When the lights came on, I later found it to be a huge mansion, with three full stories in some places: my house paled in comparison to its guesthouse. It had a formidable stream, a tennis court, a basketball court, and wonderful Spanish architecture. But we couldn’t find a good way in.

We moved on, and house-hunted. I have a lot of painful memories searching for a house, especially in Folsom, where real estate is horribly expensive. I’m glad that money wasn’t the issue.

One house we found very attractive. Two stories, quite large, good amount of property, a long driveway where we could see the looters a few minutes before they got there. The gate was open, and we drove the cars in to search the place. With Tayva at my side with her weapon, and my good ol’ Browning at hand, we found the front doors to be locked. I pulled my blowtorch out and started melting the knob down. It was a good tool to have, though I didn’t know exactly what I was supposed to do with it to open up a door. I kept on getting the feeling I should be firing the lock up, not the knob.

No matter. I was only a few seconds into it when the door rushed open, and the wrong side of a shotgun was shoved in my face. I dropped everything and put my hands up.

“Back up, boy.” Someone shoved the shotgun into my chest, and I quickly obeyed. “Come on, git, that’s right.”

“We’re sorry.” Tayva said, calmly, hands up, her pistol no where in sight. The shotgun swerved around to her. The assailant hadn’t seen her. They might have been blinded by our headlights, pointing straight at them. I caught the scene with the gun out of my face. There was a woman peeking out the doorway, and the one holding the shotgun was a man about five and a half feet tall with straight black hair and a curly beard.

“We don’t want to hurt anyone,” Tayva continued, “we don’t want a fight; we were just looking for some food and a place to rest, our mistake.”

“We don’t have any for you. Now give us your weapons and get out of here before we take something else.” The man shouted, his eyes lining up a shot on Tayva.

I realized my spare gun was in my back pocket. In a second I had it in my hand. I took two steps towards the man with the shotgun, and placed it at his head. The man lurched in my direction, as if to attack, but pulled the trigger too soon, and ripped the air with a noise that made me jump. I accidentally pulled the trigger, in my surprise.

But I had left the safety on, again. A cold shiver went down my spine. I could have killed this man, who was probably just trying to protect his family.

“Sir, we don’t want any trouble. If you’ll drop your shotgun, we’ll take our things and leave.”

“Git your hands off of –“ Tayva fired a shot into the air, her pistol back in her hands. The man immediately dropped his shotgun to the ground. I nearly pulled the trigger on my Browning again. God almighty I needed practice!

“Sorry folks!” I tried to say friendly-like, “Didn’t want to cause a disturbance!”

“You guys might want to keep a lock on your gate, if you want to stay safe!” Karol yelled from the car.

We found our place soon after: it had a cast-iron fence and a gate, a bit shorter than the other, with only a small thing of chain holding it together. The blowtorch made easy work of that. Angelina took Tayva’s place to take a sweep of the land. There was no one inside. It had a small stream in the corner, which we could use for water if we needed to. Some of its fences were old, weak, wooden things, but its front was very strong. It was on top of a hill, with a lot of trees, and a good view over the empty highway. There was a barn, with no animals, and get this: a flock of seven woolen sheep! The house was kind of old, and it must have belonged to an elderly couple, because it had very little modern technology: more paintings and family pictures and such.

I didn’t suspect the pool in the back. It had a tarp over it… and it was so dark… Tayva fell through. She screamed. I tossed down my stuff, undid my shoes, and dove in after her. It would have been easier if Tayva hadn’t completely panicked, and if it wasn’t nearly pitch black. For a second out there, I was afraid one or both of us would drown. The tarp hindering my movements around me, the cold water seeping in… But I finally followed her voice and wrapped my arms around her.

“Calm down. Calm down. Calm down.” I repeated over and over, to get her to stop gasping for breath and struggling. I went down a couple of times, and began to panic… But I held it in. I pushed the tarp aside again and again; it kept coming. I gulped down a bunch of water by the time Tayva finally relaxed. She couldn’t swim so well in her shoes. I made slow kicks in a random, dark direction, worried I might be making it nowhere, and drown in a small, narrow pool. My head finally collided with a wall, and I pushed Tayva up onto the edge.

“You got it? You okay?” I asked urgently. She grunted in agreement and made her way up. I came out of the pool after her. I couldn’t see her in the pitch black, but I eventually followed the sounds of her frightened breathing.

“You okay?” I asked again, as I found her wet shoulder.

I don’t know how it happened, but Tayva found my lips once again, in the darkness… she must have practiced the move… and we made out again for ten or so minutes in our wet clothes. I finally got a grip on myself and pulled away, and we sat in silence. It was very cool outside, and we were both shivering by now.

“I lost my shoes in the pool, Mike.” She chattered.

“What about your gun?”

“It’s waterproof.”

“When did they make guns waterproof?”

“Mine is.”

“You fine now?” I asked her.

“Yeah, I’m good.”

“Let’s go get the others. This is our place.”

Monday, July 10, 2006

There’s a lot happening, but it’s safe here, I’ll let you know that. It doesn’t seem like too many of you are out there. I’m glad to see the discussions on survival, and of a unified response against the malefactors that have appeared since the Day Without Light. The United States and China have turned North Korea into a nuclear crater, while Japan and South Korea have systematically annihilated all of the North Korean navy, including their formidable submarine fleet.

India has forced an occupation of Afghanistan, and their government doesn’t want to stop. Many are dead. Then again, India might splinter any second. The economical damage is far too much. Their military can only go so far.

The Muslims have ended open warfare. Now it’s a horrendous guerilla campaign, spurned on by the Mehdi, a messiah, it seems, that is only second to Allah in their religion. While Israel has captured the capitals of Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria with the help of European militaries in a brutal kill-all march, Islamic insurgents have detonated several dirty bombs throughout the cities of Europe, the largest searing Moscow with radiation. I’m glad we’re separated by an ocean. The modern Crusaders have toppled the neutral Turkish government, as well as most North Africa: Muslim nations that hadn’t declared war and tried to contain the situation, and gave up easily. The Middle East has screwed itself over, yes, but it’ll be a long, bloody affair.

With the lights back on, the Mexicans have stopped killing each other, and realized that the borders are weak. Reports of vast illegal immigration have been coming through the news… but at least they are Catholic, right? I don’t know what to think about it. Hopefully, the United States will get off of its butt and send armies to control the situation, now that it looks like the doomsday isn’t going to come.

Still… we aren’t out of the storm yet. The sky of pitch-black has not been replaced with a normal one. Are we supposed to just accept this eerie, aurora borealis-like thing that has stretched across our sphere? Can we get used to the dull, grey spot in the sky that is now the Moon, illuminated in a way it’s never been before? The occasional electromagnetic pulses, and the frequent ball lightning… what about that? There are reports of ball lightning sailing into refugee centers and igniting the place in seconds. How am I supposed to barricade against that?

As if the world wasn’t weird enough already…

It was still Saturday morning, 9:00 AM, when I awoke. The women were still sleeping, but Angelina was watching the news at a barely audible volume.

I shook the lead out of my veins, and sat down next to her with a gallon of water. Some medicant later, the chemicals started flowing, and I felt alive again.

"Anything going on? Still no light outside?" I asked Angelina.

"Well, yes, the situation is getting worse by the hour. I don't know how we're going to live through this." I realized she was red with tears. Some depression streak? I put an arm around her shoulder, and she didn't seem to mind, and I hoped that comforted her.

How were we going to live through this?

There were strange storms raging in the north; super-cold, super-fast blasts of wind and hail. The scientists on Fox reported that eventually these could move down into the south as the planet experienced a rapid cooldown.

Politically, things were worse. The still-functional countries of the European Union had declared a war against the insurgents, and was determined to restore proper governments in fallen countries. Headed by the UK, this included violent rocket attacks on supposed hotspots. Arabs and everyone with a turban on were being rounded up into internment camps.

A new nuclear cloud appeared over northern Greece. Iran tried to launch a missile at Rome, it seems, but it hit the ground too early. The Europeans now declared war against the countries of the 'Islamic Alliance', while the Pope had made a similiar declaration: a second, formal crusade to recapture the Holy Land, to stop the evil darkness from eating up the world. The Pope had made statements over the news for all Christians and Catholics to take up arms against the Beast, the religion of Islam. Israel, fighting for every inch the Islamic guerillas pushed forward, welcomed the support.

So much for a hundred years of religious tolerance. When would they start calling for the Mormons to fight, or for some other religion to annihilate the Mormons?

I gave Angelina a massage, and told her not to worry about anything, that I would get them through the disaster.

"God doesn't want to condemn us all to a quick, cold death, that's not part of the plan. You just have to have faith."

"Yeah." Angelina sniffed, still troubled. "Yeah, we'll survive. Thanks Mike."

"We all need to get some sleep, this darkness has been playing with our sleeping schedules, you know? Go up to bed, I'll keep watch."

"You're serious aren't you?" She turned towards me, a half-grin on her face, "You don't need to sleep. I've seen you only sleep for an hour at a time, if that."

"Yeah," I smiled, "It's a thing I learned. Now go up and get some rest. Who knows when we'll need it."

Angelina went up to bed, and I watched the news cautiously, checking the windows very frequently for action outside. The area was calm again. Still, I held my gun religiously. The local news channel told that a few soldiers, aided by a vast volunteer force, had routed another attack by the Sickle of Islam on the Folsom Dam, and was cleaning up neighborhoods from their headquarters at Intel. The forces consisted largely of devout Catholics and Hindus. At least a few religions weren't up in arms, but how long would that last?

While these volunteers had captured the Folsom mosque after a bloody battle, they had left the refugee area open to attack. The Sickle of Islam had been able to get inside undetected, open the defenses and rush inside with vans. The guards had begun a long, urban battle with them, while people scattered to the hills. So much for one concentrated relief area. How many had died, I wonder, from the bullets of the Sickle?

At 1:00 PM, when the sun should have been high in the sky, the women got up and showered. They all came down, one by one, moving stealthily and quietly, into the kitchen. Tayva held watch while Karol and I made a large pan of scrambled eggs that was more cheese and meat than egg. We needed to get rid of all the food that would have to be kept refrigerated.

"How's the new girl, Sharon?" I asked Karol, while stirring the contents of the pan.

"Shocked silent, I bet. We tried to make her comfortable, but I think she lost part of her family to an attack. She doesn't want to talk much, about anything."

"You think we're taking too much people?"

Karol looked at me funny, "What do you mean?"

"Well," I shrugged, "To survive, long-term, we need people that can carry their weight. Should we just be accept any refugee we come across?"

"Carry their weight? You're the only one carrying the weight, Mike, everyone else is trying to help, but you've taken charge. Maybe if we were left to our own devices..."

"Oh really?" I smiled, "Maybe I should just head for the highway, so you ladies can create some ultimate feminist bulwark against the forces of evil, eh?"

The girls were up, and we sat down on the carpet in the TV room. There wasn't any furniture left, it had all been used to barricade windows. But I had blankets and pillows and such. It was managable, if not comfortable.

"So... I think we really need to get out of here." Angelina said after 'breakfast'.

The other girls nodded. "We shouldn't stick around here with those fanatics outside and the dam ready to blow any second." Tayva said.

"I think we should head for the country side, up in the hills. There's some mansions that I think some people will have abandoned." Angelina said, entertaining the idea of a mansion hideout.

"Those big, rich houses attract looters like moths to a lamp." Tayva sighed, recalling personal experience, "The country sounds good but we need a place out of the way, that can't be reached very well, with fences, and enough space to live in for a while."

"Wait, you guys, are we sure we want to leave my place? I mean, look at these barricades. It'll take me an entire day to do the same for another place. And, the search... it could get chancy."

"It'd be better than in these densely packed areas," Karol commented, "We can't even move well out here, and we don't have many places to move. We need escape routes."

I thought about the eventual doom of the planet if the light wasn't there. Inevitable suffocation. I was smart at that time to assume that things would get better, that God would save us from the dark death.

"Okay, we'll move out. Any suggestions?" I asked.

We were quiet for a couple of minutes.

"Cameron Park area?" Karol asked, "It's as close to 'farmhouse' as you can get in the Sacramento county. I remember a lot of fences and gates when I was looking for a place up there. And the houses were quite large, twice as big as this dump, at least."

"I've been up there." Sharon said, in a dismal tone. It was the first time she spoke, "There's horses, and sheep, a few streams, a lot of trees..." She seemed to recite from memory. I wonder what chord had been struck in her memory.

"Hey," I finally agreed, "Why not? The cars are mostly packed, but let's get as much food and tools into my truck as possible. We can leave in an hour, head up to the Cameron Park area, find an empty place, and start barricading up again."

"Thanks Mike, I know you don't want to be separated from your bachelor pad." Karol grinned.

"Bachelor pad? That's what you call it after all of done to this place?" I laughed.

We filled the cars in forty-five minutes. I got a map from Google Maps for Cameron Park, and at 2:30 PM, Saturday afternoon, we opened the garage and hit 50 mph out of the neighborhood. I had Karol in my truck, with a gun in case of emergencies, and a cell phone for communication with the other car. Then we hit the deserted highway, and hoped for the best.

We had to get out of there.

"Mike!" Karol was crying. "Why? Why?"

Tayva had her arms folded, and she was looking at the ground. She wasn't crying. "Thank you Michael, for protecting us." She whispered.

I had murdered two men.

And then I heard a radio. Arabic. I stormed back into the guest bedroom, the carpet wet with blood, two dead men in turbans. I pulled out a small radio, as big as a cell phone, and switched it off.

"We gotta go." I said. The Sickle had to know we were there. These guys were scouts, and if they disappeared... well, they knew where they were headed, at least.

"Get the food, get water, all the guns, some extra clothes... And throw down that mattress!"


"Just do it!"

After getting two girls to muscle it, the mattress sailed from the top of the stairs into the main room, with a loud thump. I quickly moved it into the garage, covering the broken window. I slid a piece of carpet over it so I wouldn't step on the glass. But there was still blood outside, and bullet marks in the walls where the projectiles had gone through. If they came, they would check the place out.

The girls and I began assembly-lining things into the cars. And then, Angelina saw it.

"You guys! Come up here!"

I raced up the stairs, looked through the window, and over the neighborhood street outside. And there was a van, men sticking out the windows, with rifles. I swore I could see an AK47 in that crowd. They had search lights and were searching the neighborhood for life like some large predator.

"Nevermind, we're not going with that thing out there."

"Mike! What do we do?!"

"I'm thinking, I'm thinking!"

We had to stay put. We had to be ready to go in an emergency, but we had to wait until that thing was a mile away from us.

We sat in the dark, with cold-weather clothes and shoes on. Angelina had this sweater on that... well, anyway, we waited. We whispered, but very little. They were all so tired, but we were pumped with adrenaline. Already the smell of the dead was rising from the guest bedroom, though the door was closed. We were freaked.

At least now we had guns for everybody, and one to spare. I held the extra one in my back pocket, just in case. I wish I had some heavier weaponry than pistols. A rifle would be so much more comforting if those guys came up to the door.

The van patrolled the neighborhood for a while, and we could watch it a few blocks over, following the search lights. But they stayed close. My guess is that they heard the gunshots. Armed, turbaned men patrolled the streets. A large group of five men were going from house to house, in a random order. I think they guessed that they were being watched.

"If they come over here, you guys, we are going to bust through the garage, you know that? Karol's driving her Pontiac Montana."

Thirty minutes, and we could see them coming across the road, towards our front door. Then a man called out in another language. There was gunfire. The group started running to another house. If that hadn't happened, a few minutes late, or something like that... the terrorists would have seen the blood, and stormed the place.

The women were crying. We had all been very freaked out. Five men, marching towards your doorstep with rifles... What would you do? Karol excused herself to the bathroom. We all knew what had happened when she had a different pair of pants on. I was close to doing the same thing. No shame for that moment.

Meanwhile, Angelina gripped my neck with her arms like a madwoman. They were all trying to hold onto me in terror. Now that's stress, wondering what you're going to do with five guys coming to your doorstep and a girl nearly suffocating you. Ayah.

I don't know what happened, but they left a half hour later, carrying food and other loot. It must be getting cold outside, because some of them were wearing jackets. I was glad that I was still getting heat.

We stayed for two more hours huddled like that, on the stairs. An hour and a half after I killed those two terrorists, there was considerably less activity. We finally pried ourselves off of each other, made it into the kitchen, and ate some old oatmeal I had.

The girls were incredibly tired. I, on the other hand, was fine. It was 5:30 in the morning. I couldn't pull these guys along with me in the way they were now. I told them I needed to get the bodies out of the house. But the stench in the garbage cans in my backyard would attract hostiles, if they were looking for the two. I would have to jump the fence in my backyard to the house behind me, on a different street. I told the girls to keep one sentry and for the rest to get some sleep, switching every hour or so.

I pried a few boards loose and was able to heft the guys one by one. I hated doing this. I placed plastic bags over their heads, and pretended they were dummies. It didn't help too much. But I got them into the dumpsters in this other guy's backyard. I hoped that their friends would find them, and they would get buried, and have good afterlives. I wanted to say something about them, but I couldn't play funeral. They were men that wanted me dead. That was all.

After disposing the second guy, I was looking around this man's backyard, looking for useful things. A smaller portable radio, and a few mechanical lighters sufficed as useful. But then...

I saw her.


As I was looking around, I saw her in the window, distinctly. She looked at me for a second, and then turned a corner. It had me freaked out of my mind! A hallucination? What? Why? I guess I actually did need sleep.

But I had to search the house, now. For some reason, I felt that maybe Tereal wasn't a creation of mine, but maybe... my unmet soulmate, found through my dreamworld. What a romantic thought...

I used the blowtorch to heat a hole in their sliding glass door. It didn't work as well as I would have liked, melting everywhere, but I eventually found an entrance that didn't include shattering windows. Inside, I searched everywhere for a sign of life. There was food! Cereal boxes and some hot dogs in the fridge, that was something! In the darkness, I couldn't see much, and I used one of the mechanical lighters to search.

Upstairs, I came to a bedroom. It was open, and I knew it was a girls room by the posters of Matriarchy, and Nadia Krane. This is where my search came to a stop.

"You aren't a terrorist, are you?" I turned and saw a girl. Not Tereal. 17-ish aged, light Philippino. She was crouched in her closet.

"Why are you here by yourself?"

"This isn't my house, you know. I don't even listen to Nadia Krane."

"Okay... how'd you get here."

"I was heading for a place my friends agreed to meet at, and I figured out someone syphoned off my gas."

"Where are they?"

"The Aquatic Center, by Folsom Dam."

"Sorry to tell you, but you do not want to be there. They've been trying to blow that thing up."

She was quiet. She was quite pretty. I knew where this would lead. How am I getting all these attractive chicks into my house. Tereal... is this a trick?

"Hey, some friends and I are barricaded in that house back there. It's pretty safe. Wanna come?"


I realized that she might be thinking I wanted to drag her into a place full of guys. I realized what she was thinking.

"Yeah, my girlfriend and some of her buddies. Come on, kid, we gotta get out of here before the looters get here."

She finally got out of the closet. She was silent and scared.

"Hey, could you help me grab some food? We need all that we can get." I said, looking around the place, "Any other useful items you know about in this dump?"

"I wouldn't know, they've got a plasma TV, though."

"I think I've gotta skip on carryin' that out, aye?" I laughed. Awkward girl. I couldn't blame her. She'd be better off with the other women. We carted the food back into the darkness, and then through the fence and back into my house.

"Who's this, Michael?" Tayva was holding watch.

"I don't know, uh..."

"My name's Sharon."

"Sharon it is. Refugee, needs help."

"Cool, welcome to our group of battlehardened survivors." Tayva grinned, "We're all just sleeping now, but if you want to eat something."

"Great, sleep, you know its been a day since I have slept. I seriously thought... Michael... was a hallucination. Thank you, very much. I hope I won't be a problem."

"Not at all."

Great. Four women. Ugh.

Eventually, my turn came and I slept for an hour and a half.

"Michael Alan!" And then I saw her. We were in a pristine valley, with a river, the sun in the sky, Greek columns everywhere. She was dressed in a red toga, and saunted up to me. Tereal.

"I thought I saw you today." I smiled, and gave her a hug. We glided down to the river's surface, and walked upon the rushing water, the reflection of the sun making it seem as gold.

"I thought I saw you, Michael." She said.

"Did I ever tell you how sexy you are in red?" I asked. She laughed, and her eyes were filled with happiness.

"I'm glad I can see you more often, Michael." Tereal said.

"I've realized that you don't fleet away from me like you once did, my love."

"Well, I've realized I need to be around you more, to protect you from other women. You're not as loyal as I thought." She pouted.

"Real women, Tereal, are a little more persuasive." I smiled, playing with her brown-red hair.

"Oh really?!" She put a hand to her chest, apalled. "Well, let me show you how women in dreams persuade others." And Tereal kissed me. I loved her, and I could only return the favor. It was so realistic. Hyper-realistic. We danced on the moons of Mars, and planted a red tree that grew into the stars. We climbed it for miles and miles.

"I love you, too, Michael." She said, resting on a red petal the size of a mattress. Tereal was perfect.

"Thank you Tereal, you know how I feel." I smiled, "Now why were you paying me visits?"

"Because I can, and people need your protection." She said, very seriously.

Then I woke up in another cold sweat. What was Tereal doing?

Just a moment... once again...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

At 11:10, we heard some gunshots nearby. Not good. Certainly my densely packed neighborhood might be the target for some insurgents. The 'Sickle of Islam' was rumored by the news to be everywhere, a sleeper organization that had been finally called to serve Allah.

The girls and I were still alive by 11:20, in a circle on the other side of my bed, where we surrounded the radio and some candles. I used an old sheet to cover my window, so that the light wouldn't pour out. We kept quiet, fearing that we would be found.

They're such awesome creatures, these females. I love being around them. In the wake of terror, we told jokes and stories. I can't believe that I was lucky enough to get barricaded in a place with three very good-looking women my age. And they weren't stupid either, these were college girls. A lot of good conversations. Tayva seemed a little off-beat. She had killed a man that day, and I couldn't forget that.

When we heard the gunshots, this changed. We all became tense.

"Okay, new rule." I said, "We need a person on the stairs, watching the front door, with a gun. If someone breaks through the back, its only a few steps around the corner, in we can fire on them." I had fortified the backyard face of the house with enough wood scraps to make it look like a log cabin. Someone could jump the fence, yes, and break the window, yes, but it would take them a while to get passed the rest. I was really only worried about the garage and the front door.

"I really don't want to say this, ladies, but we might have to shoot at someone." The vivid reality came to their faces, then, "There are people running around out there that will kill just for being white, let alone non-Muslim. We know they are killing people out there for just that reason, and we can't let them do that to us."

I wasn't racist. In my college days I had been an advocate of helping relations with the Muslims on the campus. I had several friends of the Islamic faith. I had lobbied along with a few other representatives for the Mosque to be built, when so many others had been pushing for the opposite reason. It was horrible that my efforts had led to nothing in this world-wide disaster.

"We're all tired," I lied, "We should each take shifts for sleeping. One person awake in this room, with a pistol, just in case, one person on watch, the other two can sleep. Whadya think?"

"Mike," Angelina began... such lovely blue eyes, "I actually propose that we leave."

Leave? This place was a fortress!

"It sounds like those 'Sickle of Islam' creeps want to blow the dam up. We could very well face a wall of water any second now." Angelina said. The others were mortified.

"Angeline, this house is not in the flood plain, we'll be fine." Actually, it was very close to the flood area, I had escaped it by only about one hundred feet.

"Nevertheless, Mike, there are guys in turbans running around shooting people. We have got to get out of the suburbs, up into the hills."

"This house is completely barricaded. We've got a lot of food, water, tools... we can survive here. We can't go out in the cars and risk getting shot at now!"

"They might search the neighborhood, house by house! What do we do when we are faced with an army, Mike?" Karol asked. Was she still mad at me for not accepting her? Probably. Karol was a friend though, she'd cool off in a... couple of weeks, sure.

"If we face an army, Karol," I said, "We'll get in the cars, bust through the garage and race as fast as we can stay alive. Look, those guys probably aren't on foot. They've got motors somewhere in this ragtag legion of theirs. They could chase us. If we lay low for a while, let the military work this out, we'll have a much better chance."

The girls looked doubtful.

"Come on you guys! This is my house! Trust me. Please." I took their silence as an 'okay'.

"Alright, I'll take the first watch. I advise everyone stays in the same room. I've got sleeping bags, and a spare mattress."

While they got set up, I opened the door to the garage and kept it open with a bungie cord. If we needed to move fast, we could, and without noise. I put several boxes of food in, just in case we needed to split.

So we began taking shifts. The women talked for a long time in my room, and I couldn't figure out what. I eventually decided I would just stay up and take the entire watch. I don't need to sleep! People don't know how much I appreciate this advantage. I love what I'm able to do, and every day I'm grateful for having abilities others don't.

At 12:00, I told Angelina she could go to sleep if she needed to, she was nodding off.

"You sure, tough guy?" She smiled.

"I'm stimmed up from meds, m'gal, don't worry." I whispered back.

Everything was fine. I was on my laptop, trying to find information on what was happening. So many tales to be told and songs to be sung of the wars everywhere. Through a window about fifteen feet from the floor, I kept watch. I saw a few cars, and people running or walking. Scary times.

I went down and got some medicant... the girls had been questioning me about this. None of them will try it. It was 2:30 AM, in the morning. The three ladies were on the top of the stairs when I came back.

"You know, we should really be getting some rest, you know." I whispered up to them as I came up the stairs.

"Hey, Han Solo, we just decided we want to help you out." Tayva laughed, a little loud than I would have agreed with, "You're not going to ground us, are you, Dad?" They all laughed.

"Well, if you guys insist." I smiled and sauntered back into my seat on the stairs. Tayva started rubbing my shoulders and we began talking about college and stuff. I got back on my laptop, a little nervous with three attractive women on the steps above me, and began typing. They made fun of my obsessive recording, but hey, laughs are good. Helps out our mental health during a crisis. They learned about my lucid dreaming, and Tereal, and they thought it was a big joke. Mmmm... If only I could show them...

And then, after Angelina began a story about a blind date she had been on, we saw people coming through the front entrance. I closed my laptop.

"Get in the room, now." I whispered. They slowly moved back upstairs. Tayva remained, at the corner, a pistol readied. I motioned for her to remain silent.

This would be the second time I would be shot at. I moved down close to the door, and realized they were trying to pick the lock. Nervous, I moved against the wall. They wouldn't be able to get through my locks, or the bookshelf against the door. With my back against the wall, I moved into the garage.

My garage is right by the front walkway. There is a window that faces directly toward the front door. I suddenly realized that I had left this spot unbarricaded. But it seemed the two men were set on getting through the door. I got a good look at the guys: shorts, black sweaters, turbans. They were dressed all in black, and except for the lamplights, I wouldn't have a clue. I could see a pistol on one guy.

Then, I caught the light off of a blowtorch. They were going to get through my lock.

I'm getting anxious right now, there's a pressure in my head, I don't want to tell what happened but I have to. I have to tell. It happened.

I realized I had no choice. They were coming to loot the place and maybe kill them. I pointed my Browning Hi-Powered, made sure I was aiming right, and I pulled the trigger. The glass shattered, and the noise made me jump out of my skin. I pulled the trigger again, and again, and again, and again, and again. Five shots. The two men were probably down in three.

I went back into the main room, by the front door, and the girls ran down.

"Mike!" Karol yelled.

"Help me!" I said, gritting my teeth. They didn't venture down the stairs, but I didn't need them. Adrenaline was pumping like mad. I had killed two people. I had the bookshelf away from the door in a second. I ripped the door open, and pulled the guys inside. The girls were shocked stiff. I couldn't be squeamish. I pulled the two into a guest bedroom nearby, and found out that one of them was still alive. He mumbled something in another language. I took their guns, two more pistols, in a heartbeat, as well as the blowtorch.

Why did I have to do this? WHY!?

I took a pillow from the couch. I was going to kill this man, after putting two bullets in him. God forgive me. God forgive me, please! Blood was getting everywhere. I couldn't shoot him again.

Tears down my eyes, I pulled the pillow over his face, and hoped he would suffocate. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

Everyone has been dead tired. I let the girls go to sleep, while I began to fortify our new place. The lights… so beautiful, like an aurora borealis stretching across the entire horizon, have not gone out or changed at all, and I’ve gotten about six wonderful hours with some kind of light pouring through the windows. I love it. It’s such a psychological relief.

Though the women want to leave, I know that it’s still dangerous out here. Our world has collapsed in three days in a violent whirlwind of distrust and hysterical terror. They feel like they can charge right outside, that it’s safe… I wish it were true.

I seem calm, eh? My nerves are blown. I’ve had too much in these last three days, and the anxiety has killed me. The fact that I haven’t really gotten any good amount of sleep since the Darkness usually wouldn’t faze me… but it has. I need to tell you everything.

Alright, here we go.

Her name was Tayva Craft, a once-best friend that I still trusted, and she was a criminal. With evidence that her fingerprints were in the system, she knew she would be caught if she went off to a military-enforced refuge in Eldorado Hills, as everyone would have to be registered. So she called me to pick her up.

I did. As I rolled up, she ran out and jumped in the car. It was good to see her again, with her distinctive dark brownish-red hair, and green-blue eyes, just like I remember. But she had definitely changed since we were younger; here she was a full-blown adult! And I know that for some reason she had indulged in the life of crime for at least one job, before deciding that wasn’t the life for her.

“Is there a hurry?” I asked.

“Not necessarily, Michael, it’s good to see you,” she flashed a quick smile, “But I’ve been hiding from those looters for the last day without sleep. They tore through my house, taking odds and ends; I managed to hide in a closet… so Michael I am feeling quite nervous about this whole thing.”

I gave a laugh, “You… have a problem with… stealing?” I gave a playful frown.

“Ha ha. Okay, you can bother me later about that. Come on! I’m not feeling so good!”

“No, really, I just want to know if we could take something from this place. We need food, weapons, water, gasoline, jewels, stuff like that.” I grinned.

Ignoring my last remark, she gazed out the window into the pitch black, illuminated only by the hazy street lamps, saying, “I’ve got a weapon right here.” She lifted a pistol out of the air and gave it a spin. It was a fat firearm, man, military-grade.

“That looks impressive.” I nodded. “Anything else, food, water, et cetera?”

“Someone jacked our spare car, and I wouldn’t know where to look for gas. But I do have a little bit of food in the closet... It’s not that much -” her gaze seemed to wander different directions, as she looked for hostiles. I remember her doing that a lot when we were kids. It made me smile.
“Cover me!” I said, and jumped out of the truck and ran up the steps, passed a Dorian column and through the front door. Tayva only yelled out, “By the stairs!”

And now I was in a big, creepy house, its furniture tossed here and there, with absolutely no light at all. I had my cell phone in my pocket, and held it aloft, my gun in my other hand. It did little.

“Stairs. Stairs. Where are the stairs?” I mumbled.

I finally found a closet near a red-carpeted stairway, where Tayva had probably been hiding. Inside I found five boxes of pancake mix, two bottles of ranch, a gallon of water, a can of chili and a head of lettuce. Good eating, eh? I stuffed my cellular and my pistol into my jeans, stacked the goods and armed it out of there, moving quickly.

Coming out of the front door, I heard noises. And then I saw him, some dude pacing in front of my truck. He heard me before I heard him, and he rose his pistol and sent a bullet off like a snake strike.

Here was a minor miracle. As soon as I saw the guy, I freaked. I threw the boxes and the ranch into the air. The can of chili, floating in front of my chest, was the lucky recipient of the bullet, and the can exploded, sending chili all over me. Where the bullet went after that, I don’t know. I don’t think a can of chili can deflect a bullet, and that thing should have passed through me as well… but I’m here… and I don’t have a gaping wound.

I heard two more gun shots go off, and I thought I was dead. Then I saw Tayva, having sprung out of hiding in the space in front of her seat, and two holes in the shoulder of this dude. Blood went everywhere.

The impact of seeing my friend pulverize that guy. The blood. Nearly being shot. I doubled over for a second. Then, my pulse going, I recollected the food, sans a can of chili, threw it into the truck, and jumped in the driver’s seat.

There, I began breathing hard, and I got up to 70 mph getting out of that place.

Tayva was distressed as well, blood flecks still on her cheek. She was holding a pistol in each hand. I guess we had gotten another gun, that’s one good piece of news. She looked at me, her green-blue eyes wide open, mouth pursed, for a few long minutes.

“Have you shot anyone before?” I asked, taking a fast, sharp turn.

She let out a half-sob, dropped the guns, and leaned forward, her hands holding her face.

“Tayva…” I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t approve of her killing someone, but hadn’t she done it to save my life? We drove in a sad silence, as she sobbed nearly inaudibly.

“Tayva, hey, don’t let that get into your head. These are desperate times. This isn’t a storybook.” I said. No flipping kidding. We were both Mormon kids, each having fallen in the faith a little bit in the recent years… But… Mormons don’t bust a cap into people!

“Come on, Tayva.” I said softly. Erm… I don’t know if I was controlling the situation, but I was trying. I turned on the radio, and caught a few minutes of slow jazz before the radio turned off. As well as my truck.

“What the…” I slowed to a stop. We were on a five-lane freeway, with a stretch of grass and a forest to our right. I eased my truck into the grass. Then the street lamps died. It was pitch black.

“Michael?” Tayva asked, quietly.

“We’re fine,” I said, calmly, “No one is going to find us in the dark.” I reached for my cell phone to try and get some light, and then realized that this was an electromagnetic pulse or... something like that. No cell phone. This better not screw up my car.

And then I realized something, sitting there in the pitch black.

I’ve always been told to never be alone with a girl I don’t know so well.

Especially in the dark.

Especially confined to such a small space.

Especially with a very good-looking woman.

Tayva and I talked, awkwardly, at first.

“You don’t have anything to light up?” I asked.

“Uh-uh. I guess we’ll just have to wait.” She said, her voice becoming very soft.

“Right…” I sniffed. “You okay?”


Short silence.

“Michael, you have cold chili all over you.” Tayva said. I then realized I was still covered from the neck down with chili.

“I… am… kind of hungry.” She said… her voice smooth. In the pitch-black I couldn’t see her, but she found my shoulder with her hands, and then began planting her lips on my neck and eventually found her way up. Wow, what a hot move.

“I’ve always found you very attractive, even when we were little, Tayva.” I said, laughing slightly. Then I found her face and began making out with her for twenty-odd minutes. Something about the all-concealing darkness… it was a good experience. Then the street lamps came back on, and suddenly everything became more realistic. I kissed her for a few more minutes… and then we kind of just… got back in our seats, it was sort of awkward. I started the truck, and found it to be working just fine. We continued the trip back to my house.

“Wow, Tayva… you’re just full of surprises, lately, aren’t you?” I finally said, after another short silence.

“Hey, Michael, I needed that.” She said in defiance. I didn’t want to make her start sobbing again and so I gave her a look, smiled, and patted her leg.

“It was a good moment.” I told her.

We got back into my neighborhood and, with our lights off for some stealth, rolled into the garage. Someone would surely detect us sooner or later. We strolled into the house, Tayva with a blood on her face, and me with chili all over my body.

“Oh my god!” Angelina covered her mouth with her hands.

“Are you guys okay?!” Karol asked.

“Yeah! We’re fine; it was a good rescue attempt.” I smiled, giving Tayva a hug. “This is Tayva Craft, you guys.”

“What’s with the blood, Mike?” Karol asked.

“We don’t need to talk about that right now. I would like to change my clothes, right now, thank you very much. I’m glad to see you girls are okay.”

Angelina sauntered over to me with a sarcastic half-smile, “Oh, yeah, we were so helpless with out you, macho rescue man.” She gave me a playful push. “Good job.”

“Hey, I’m Angelina.”

“I’m Karol.”

“Nice to meet everyone, glad I could hang out here… until… well, hopefully this gets better, you know?” Tayva smiled.

I have three women in my barricaded house… with no other guys…I didn’t know whether to be scared or ecstatic. I’m a guy that takes things slow, you know?

“Okay, well, I just got shot at… so do you think you could do me a favor and make some dinner while I’m showering?”
“Shot at!” Karol yelped, “You said you weren’t going to talk about it!”

“Okay, I’ll tell you later, just let me get outta these chili pants. You haven’t been miserable until you where chili pants.” I climbed the stairs to get changed.

Another interesting development: I’m in the shower, when someone walks in.

“Tayva?” I called.

“Sorry, I was just going to take your clothes down to get washed.” It was Karol. She had long, smooth, dirty-blonde hair and copper-colored eyes… just as I put my head passed the shower curtain she found my head and we kissed. Again and again.

“I love how you went out and rescued that girl, so courageously. Mike, thank you for protecting all of us. And…” Karol started saying. Then I took hold of myself and pulled back.

“Mike?” she asked, confused.

Now I felt stupid. Stupid morals…

“Karol, you still have a guy out there, and I’m very obliged, but… Not now, baby.” I said from behind the shower curtain, rubbing my temples. “Go downstairs, please, I’m sure Tayva needs some new clothes, if you have some. I don’t.”

Yeah. Living with three women? This was going to be hard.

I was so nervous, that I got online, onto this blog at 9:30 PM, and started talking to a guy named Daniel. Intelligent, funny, guy; I’m glad to be in contact with him. Someone’s been keeping his head, and he told me that there was no chance for human life.

I couldn’t believe that I had missed this! More intelligent folks must have realized this instantly! Plants, from sea plankton to the rain forests, need light to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen. We were going to suffocate! Who knew how long we were going to survive. I desperately wanted to go out and raid a store for an oxygen tank. Daniel detailed that our only chance included greenhouses and sealable environments, preferably next to a power plant.

Immediately, I came up with plans. The dam! How much longer it could produce electricity, I don’t know, but it had been keeping these places powered. If we could take over and seal it up…

And then I realized that the government must be doing something about this. Some kind of last-ditch habitat or bunker must be being constructed, instead of these… high-powered lasers! And then I put two and two together. They were making the lasers in cities next to nuclear power plants! The government wasn’t doing anything… they were building them as fast as they could!

But the level of secrecy. Surely, they didn’t have enough room for everybody. We could still try and drive out to one of the disclosed locations and try to get in this ‘Ark’ they are probably building… I don’t think it would amount to anything. We would have to try and do something with Folsom Dam.

I told Daniel to start spreading the message, if he could, so that people might have a chance of survival. I’m glad the Internet remains an important conduit. There might be IP bans from the government, but it couldn’t hurt.

I was trying to get an update to my blog, but I heard the girls calling my name. I ran downstairs.

They were surrounding the TV, watching the news, faces of shock. I was still in a towel. Man, I had to be more careful in a house full of women. I still wasn’t used to… well, I sat down.

How’d you all feel when you heard the news? September 11th paled in comparison. What a world, eh?

War had consumed the planet as easily as the darkness.

A man named ‘the Mehdi’ had declared an Islamic Jihad against the Christian world. Iran had begun sending rocket barrages down on Israel, to every city and military installation. One of those missiles was nuclear. Satellite pictures show Tel Aviv up in a nuclear shroud. This has been going on for some hours, I guess before they had the press release. Israel has begun to send their entire military outside of their borders, but the place has erupted in religious guerilla warfare. Soldiers from all nations surrounding Israel have begun an advance.

The live video feed from American military still in Iraq… Dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong-Il, nuked Seoul a few hours earlier and has started sending soldiers. They tried to send missiles towards Japan, and now Japan is pulling all of its soldiers from Iraq, leaving the Americans stranded. It brought tears to my eyes, when they got pictures of those four soldiers getting blown to smithereens by rocket.

Iran is invading Iraq, and doing a good job at it. But what is it worth? The crisis escalated, and Israel has used its nuclear capabilities in full. Satellite imaging shows more than 250 Israeli nuclear missiles have found their targets. The Middle East has screwed itself over. Tehran has been nuked. Islamic holy cities across Saudi Arabia have been nuked…

Meanwhile, Pakistan and India have leveled each other. Our worst fears have come true. It seems Pakistan has been reduced to a vast smoking wasteland, with nuclear plumes over nearly every urban center and some just out in the middle of nowhere. Likewise, India has been catastrophically annihilated by Pakistani nukes, impact sites consuming its northwestern half, with nukes finding their targets in Hyderabad and Bangalore as well. No where near as bad as Pakistan… but my God, how they have destroyed each other. A ruin of fire and rubble has been left as a wall between the two nations.

And yet still, there are reports of Indian military beginning a march into Pakistan to massacre the survivors, and to continue into the Middle East. Someone has pissed off the Hindus, and they’re not going down so easily. The world’s only consolation is what with the electromagnetic funk around the planet, it’s taken them some time to get into the Middle East.

The United States battle group off of North Korea was nuked. Japan depended quite a bit on them, as they have only a few carriers. Japan declared war, as did Russia and South Korea (China mysteriously staying out of it). They will win. But some estimated 11 million died in those first few moments, and who knows how many are left now. The United States blasted the country, and North Korea is now a hot, ashen desert. I can’t believe the US sent so many nukes, with so little provocation... Can you imagine the horror? At least the North Korean nuke headed for Tokyo was shot down… what if it hadn’t? NK’s nukes are dirty… Japan would have suffered a third nuclear explosion in its history… 40 million dead. I’m glad their lives were saved. Then again, with starvation and anarchy consuming Japan, does it matter?

If only they knew the sun was going to come back up…

The worst part about this was that the Mehdi has called for all of the followers of Allah to rise up against the infidels. Many in Western countries have fallen prey to the infamous ‘Sickle of Islam’. I can’t imagine what Europe is like. Spain has collapsed entirely, and some Muslim guy has sent video over the internet of him sitting on the throne of Spain. Portugal is on its way. Paris has been the site of extreme rioting, explosions… With the French military cracking down on the Muslims, its caused a backlash unprecedented. That country will fall soon, as well.

What’s going to happen? The sun is up, but the world seems to still be in darkness!

After two hours of watching the atrocities. The three girls and I hear an explosion.

“Turn off the TV.”

Tayva, her face covered with tears, switched it off. The others were in a similar state. The videos they had shown to us over the news… the news anchor had been crying! But we had to know what was happening.

“Wipe your faces, ladies. Turn off all of the lights, now!”

“I rushed to check the doors were barricaded, and I realized I was still in a towel. I ran upstairs, threw on some pants, and came back down.

Angelina had prepared some candles, and we all huddled in my room. They were all still crying. I checked the windows. There was a person walking outside, with a radio in his hand. In the lamplight, I could see he was an Arab.

“You guys stay here, Tayva has a gun, I’ll be back.” I went quietly down the stairs, with a gun in my pocket and a candle in my hand, and found the old radio set. I brought it back up, and with the volume up just barely, the girls and I scanned for the emergency frequency.

“… to stay in their homes. The military is organizing an attack on terrorist hotspots. All civilian militia are called to defend the premises of the refuge area. And this just in, there is an explosion at the Dam. The Dam has held, but we suggest to everyone listening in the flood plain of the river to try to move as quickly as possible to a safe area. All Muslims and Arabs should report to military installations to accept surrender. Soldiers will typecast, and fire at Arabs on sight. This is the only precaution we can make against our new enemy…”

And so it went. The Mehdi (who was that guy? Some kind of Islamic Messiah or some such, it said on the news) had called for Islamic resistance against heretics worldwide. Folsom had a Mosque, across the river, and many, many Arabs thanks to the nearby Intel facilities. We also had a lot of Indians, and therefore, Hindus. The guy on the radio made several comments for ‘Hindu partisans to report to refugee centers for official volunteer outfitting, as unofficial uniforms will not be recognized, and volunteers will be fired upon by military forces’. There was no more tolerance for religion, any more.

So there was an insurrection. Maybe you might call it a civil war. But any way you call it, we were in trouble.