In the not-so distant future...
3:30 pm CST. Fort Worth, Texas. I was nine-years-old on that Friday, when...
They came without warning.
It began with one. Then two. Then four. Eight Sixteen.
Doubling every hour. The dark yet glimmering objects fit like puzzle pieces, obscuring our sky.
One day and twenty-three hours later...
The remaining rays of daylight disappeared.
Darkness covered the heavens; chaos littered the planet.
After the first ones flickered into sight, remaining stagnant, they informed us to stay within our homes and to remain calm. No one listened.
The more these anomalies appeared, the less reception there was for the many devices our lives depended on.
The following morning wasn't morning. Unseen against the backdrop of a clouded night sky, they had continued to appear. The sun didn't greet us with the warmth of a new day.
And hours later, the talk of it being the "end of days" wasn't so much a feared belief anymore, but a cold fact we had to accept.
My father and I had boarded up every door and window in the house he had built for my mother, once upon a time. It had only been a year since I spoke to my mother that last time.
She was a cancer survivor, but shortly after remission from chemotherapy, it had returned with full force. The little fight she had within her was not enough that time.
The last thing she told me meant nothing to me in that moment of rage and hatred toward each doctor who had failed her.
I now understand why it's considered a "practice" and not an art or expertise. Doctors don't know anymore than we do. I screamed this at them.
Outside, I could hear the screams off in the distance, along with gun shots, car horns, and a constant wail of sirens. There was no power.
No light besides the burning candles inside and the tiny glow from searing buildings in the city outside.
I'd always wanted to live closer to the city, but now I'm forever grateful for being where we were when Earth became Hell.
I held a picture of her in my arms while resting my head against my father, who held a double-barreled shotgun instead.
But every once in a while, I'd wake up to soft whimpers and would see the picture in my dad’s hands.
No one could have expected what happened next.
I was awoken from what I'd thought was an earthquake. My dad held me tight in his arms, his gun alone on the shaking floor. I thought that was it. We were going to die.
My thoughts held onto the last memory I had of my mom, and the words she had said to me in her weakest voice—
"Don't ever be afraid. Never. Every... thing. Will. Be. Fine--."
My eyes darted open to something I'd thought I'd never see again--sunlight. My father was quickly pulling away all the boards that had taken hours to put up.
His face was full of color, smiling at me. He turned toward the city, clouds of black smoke ascending to the now open sky.
The objects were gone.
I'm still not sure what to believe happened or why. The newspaper headlines read the same account shared by mystics and "channelers.”
That a large, undetected comet was a near collision with Earth, but thanks to our "Watchers," had been prevented in the nick of time. I'm not sure if I believe all of that.
But if that was the case, humans have a thing or two to learn from my mother.