TW: Some of the scenes maybe disturbing!
“Back in my days, life was very different than it is now,” I say to my Grandchildren who are piled around me, in front of the roaring fire.
It is getting dark, and the night chill is setting in. Darkness is a dangerous time to be out in the open, but I have made this place as inconspicuous as possible, beneath mammoth trees.
“Grandpa, could you please tell us about the old world?” Newton asks.
Newton, my seven-year-old Grandson, was two years old when the New World Order began to decimate the population in the year, 2022, and my five-year-old twin Granddaughters, Sophie and Lilly, were not even born. I tuck a blanket around them and they snuggle in close. This is the story they always want to hear whenever they come to stay – usually when their parents go out into the world to fight for our freedom, against the N.W.O regime.
All communication to the outside world ceased, when the power supply was shut off to those who weren’t in the one percent of the people who now rule the planet. In a short period of time, we lost everything; our way of life and our freedom. The billionaires, the elite, they own everything now; houses, cars, farms, power, and water, to name a few. Although they have no money because the banking system collapsed, they don’t need it, they can access anything they desire, or so I have been told. They use us as slaves, but I will never let them take us, as long as I am around to prevent it.
“Years ago, people lived in houses, kids went to school and parents went to work,” I give them the simplified version.
“What is school Grandpa?” asks Sophie; she looks so much like her Mother, my daughter, Maia.
“Well, it was a place where children would go to learn how to read and write, math and science, geography and the history of the world. The best thing about it was making friends; those days you could play with other children.” I struggle to hold back my tears.
“Grandpa, what is reading and writing?” I can see Sophie’s brain working hard to grasp the concept.
“The old world was full of books – they were a source of knowledge and information. They are long gone now, the regime destroyed them all. I would have loved to read you a book, but I had to leave them behind when I fled.”
“Grandpa,” Sophie asks touching my face. “Why are you crying?”
“I get sad sometimes. The old world was special and it was taken from us. My heart still hurts to think about it.”
“Tell us more, and Sophie please stop asking questions. You will like this story more if you stop interrupting!” Newton exclaims in frustration, he is such a head strong youngster, much like his Dad, Dev.
“You would have loved our house. Grandma spent years doing it up and making it a loving home. It is no longer there, the last time I checked. Your Mother went to school, though she complained about it. She even had a puppy called Baxter. I still remember the day we brought him home for your Mother’s tenth birthday, her happiness lit my heart,” I hear the twins exhale in surprise.
“What do you mean a puppy…did she have a dog?” Lilly’s face turns into a confused grimace.
“Back then we had pets! Absurd to think about it now, the things we took for granted. Only the regime have the right to have animals, not that there are many left. Grandma had a cat called Louis; he was a beauty, but he is long gone now,” the loss of our pets, breaks my heart.
We make our way back inside the homemade shelter, I erected a few months after the N.W.O took control. I used to be in the Army, many, many moons ago, so I know how to live in the outdoors, my survival skills have been enough to get me through the years of hiding. The floor is laid with large leaves tied together with rope I made from branches. Using water and deep dirt I made the walls with clay. The roof is made with logs from small trees, to keep it waterproof I put clay on the ceiling to harden it. It is pretty much insulated, keeping us warm and cosy.
“What happened to Grandma? Mom said she got sick, but she never tells us why,” Lilly asks.
I reach into my coat pocket and pull out the one precious item I managed to bring with me – a photograph of my wife, Nelly, the love of my life. Seeing her beautiful face rips me apart inside. I show it to the kids and then hold it to my heart.
“Something terrible happened to our world. There was a virus and it killed millions of people. The ones who didn’t get sick blamed those who refused to get the vaccination to help stop the spread. It turned into a global war; it was pandemonium. There were deadly protests around the world, and it got out of hand. The National Guard came with their tanks and put an end to those fighting against the regime,” I exhale my held breath. “Your Grandma was in town shopping, when the National Guard sprayed something poisonous into the air to stop the protests.”
Nelly came home and explained what happened. We watched it together on the news. Whatever it was they did to the protestors in town, it was happening all over the globe. People were dying in the streets; some media platforms shared the atrocities. Then they stopped reporting the news altogether.
“Your Grandma went downhill pretty fast after that incident. When we got to the doctors they said she couldn’t be helped,” I say through more tears.
I won’t tell them the truth yet; they are too young to understand. The doctor said she had cancer, but she got deathly ill so quick, and she died not long after. I know it wasn’t cancer, it didn’t make sense. She was only sick for a few days before she succumbed to her illness. I believe in my heart, that the medical system was hiding the devastation, in the guise of cancer to explain the sudden deaths of billions across the globe. Lilly is sucking her thumb – she does that when she gets tired, Newton is listening intently, and Sophie is yawning. Suddenly, I hear a noise outside the shelter, branches snapping and the lines of cans that run the perimeter, attached to old fishing line, is rattling – indicating someone has arrived.
“Dad, it’s us,” Maia calls out.
When they enter the shelter, the children run to them and wrap themselves around their legs. Later that night, after the kids are tucked in and snoring quietly, Maia and Dev fill me in on the latest developments.
“Dad it was worse than ever. They were piling bodies along the streets. They weren’t even put into body bags; they were left there to rot, it was horrifying!” Maia tells me.
“Harry, you wouldn’t believe it, we managed to get close to one of the mansions on Maine Street. They had heavily armed guards surrounding the perimeter. We heard from an underground source, that the New World Order is bombing significant landmarks all over the USA. The Pentagon is obliterated, and the White House is in ruins,” Dev says, as he gulps water from his flask.
Water is a commodity we took for granted in the old world. Now we have to gather it from safe water sources, and boil it on the fire to rid it from chemicals and dangerous poisons. Rain water isn’t safe to drink anymore either, due to the poisonous gas they continue to spray around the world.
“We found a group of people who are trying to save the rest of us, but the safe place is across the country and we have to go by boat,” Maia explains.
It takes me a while to process this news.
“How do you know we can trust them?”
“Because we met up with some of them, when we went further up north. We were able to get quite far, until we had to retreat. They have boats leaving in two days, they will take us to their safe place.”
A shiver runs down my spine at the mention of being somewhere safe. Do I chance it with the family? Or stay put where I know we are relatively safe? This could all be a ruse to get us out in the open so they can capture or kill us, but it could be our one and only chance to leave this place for good.
“I say we do it, we have to get the kids somewhere safe. From what we have seen, it looks like a group of militia are heading this way. We have to try it, it’s now or never,” says Maia.
I tell them I am tired, and I will sleep on it. I managed to salvage a couple of mattresses, from an abandoned house, that has since been burned to the ground. The regime demolished all abandoned buildings in an attempt to stop people who have escaped, from living in them.
I am woken to the sound of screaming. I look about and I am all alone in the shelter. The sun is up; I miss the sound of birds song, on quiet mornings like this, when for a split second I don’t remember, that my wife is dead, my daughter Maia, her husband Devon and their children are in danger, and I am not in my own bed at home lying next to Nelly. I hear the scream again, this time I know it is Maia. I rush out, only to find three men surrounding us, holding guns in their hands. My family are on their knees, with their arms above their heads. The kids are crying. The men spot me and make me kneel next to Maia.
“You have to make a run for it. I will distract them,” I whisper to her.
“No way,” she replies, tears streaming down her face.
“There is no other way. You have to get the kids out. Get to the place you said you were meeting those people; they will save you. Just follow my lead,” I say as my fear grows exponentially.
“What is it you want?” I ask. “We have practically nothing. We only have a small amount of food from my garden, and a couple of blankets.”
I watch them for a response, this will inform my next move. They are militia, I can tell by the clothes they are wearing. One of them comes over and kicks me hard in the stomach – I buckle under the immense pain. He pulls my head up and spits in my face.
“So you think you can hide out here in the woods and we wouldn’t find you? Quite a nice place you have made for yourself,” he says kicking Dev this time in the gut.
Maia screams again and I hush her, but she has brought attention to herself – this is not going to end well unless I intervene.
“Well, well, well. Look what we have here. Such a beauty! I think I will make you my wife,” one of the men says as he touches my daughter’s hair.
“Back the fuck off!” I yell at the top of my voice.
“You shut the hell up,” he comes over and punches me in the head, I nearly pass out.
Time slows down as I try to figure this out. I have to time my movements, gage the situation carefully. There is no way in Hell I will let them take my family.
“Take me instead and let my family go,” I plead.
“It doesn’t work that way! What I say goes,” says the man who kicked us, he seems to be the leader of the bunch.
They don’t look any older than twenty-five. I could probably take them all on, but it could end badly if I miscalculate. Slowly I rise to my feet. Maia is pleading for me to stop. The men laugh as I get up.
“Ha, you think you can take us all on old fella? I don’t think so,” and the beating begins.
As they pummel me to the ground, I plead with my eyes for Maia and Dev to grab the children and to run for it, but she sits there crying. So, I have to take evasive action. I turn under the arms of the man who is holding me, and I grab his arm and snap it – he screams and hollers. I shove him into the other man and they both fall to the ground in a tangle. Meanwhile, the last man points his gun at my face and pulls the trigger, fortunately it jams in the barrel. Now is my chance. I rip a pistol from one of the men on the ground, and I shoot them all in the head, one by one. I am amazed after all of these years, that my skills as a Marksman in the Army, is still as spot on as ever. Though, in fear of the noise I am making, I yell for my family to get up, before others come looking. We run and run for what feels like forever.
It’s a long, slow journey to the place we are to meet up with the rescue boat. When we finally make it to the boat ramp, under the cover of darkness, we are led into a room full of people. They give us blankets to warm us, hot food and hot chocolates. The boat leaves the ramp, and after a short while we are out in the ocean, with the full moon guiding our way to safety.
The creatures came out from their hiding places, where they had lived since the beginning of time, breaking free from the darkness, finally escaping their enforced restrictions. From beneath the earth they slithered and crawled out from their dwellings. The cave creatures emerged from the darkest bowels of the earth. From the sea, strange and dangerous creatures we have only heard about in fairy tale books, gnashed their teeth, snarled and wailed as some of them braved the sun for the first time since the great flood. In the sky they converged and hovered above the land; watching as the human race was nearly obliterated from the planet.
However, some of us survived, only because the ancient ones needed human slaves, for one thing or another. The ancient ones, usually called the higher beings, they are the ones who communicate with the survivors. Their outer skin is metallic, they shimmer and shift as if forever morphing to reflect their environment, like a camouflage, they blend in. Then, the ships came out from the middle of the earth, they call the Hollow Earth, they attacked from the sky, pulverizing most of the human race. The humans started it; they say, that we were coming to ruin anyway, with our wars, nuclear weapons and using minerals we weren’t supposed to use.
The first time Alice saw a creature, she thought she was having a nightmare. Its eyes were glowing in the darkness, and it was hanging from the ceiling upside down. There was no concept of time or perception of reality. In her discombobulated state of mind, nothing made sense. It emitted a red glow around itself, giving off enough light to see, as it scuttled down the wall, and came to rest upon her chest. Alice was petrified. When it opened its mouth, it smelt like rotten meat, flashing off thousands of razor-sharp teeth in its giant maw. Heartbeat pounding, thoughts racing, Alice found it difficult to breathe. When she finally found her voice to scream, it scuttled away. That was a couple of years ago. Since then, she has seen the cryptids that were once only urban myths or legends, come out and terrorize the planet. At first, it was reported on the news and all over the internet. Then one day all communication stopped to the outside world.
Alice leads a team of people who have set up safe places, for the human race to find solace and safety. Thus far, they have found thousands of people who were living in the wild, hiding from the creatures and those who came from the Hollow Earth. Across the globe, there are many teams of people, setting up safe places to rescue the human race from total devastation. Their hope is to revive the human race, regain their power and get back to some sort of normalcy, they used to have in the old world. In order for that to happen, they need to overthrow the New World Order. First and foremost, they are amassing enough people who will fight for their freedom. Though they realise there is no going back to the way they lived before, their faith in salvation is enough motivation to carry on the task.
Daily, boats arrive with survivors. When Alice spots her brother, Harry, and his family disembark off one of the boats, she is overwhelmed with emotions. They haven’t seen each other since the war began. It is a bitter sweet moment. They have both lost loved ones during their time apart, Alice having lost her husband and her children, and Harry, his wife. Harry becomes her rock, and together they make a formidable team, against the regime, the cryptids, the creatures, the ancient ones, the New World Order, and those from the Hollow Earth. There is hope, and they have faith. Inside the walls of the safe place, people relearn how to trust one another – the world is healing.
Copyright (c) Gibson, Del 2021