Apocalypse: an event of great importance, violence, etc.
The earth was changing, everyone could sense it, and we didn't know what to do about it. The problem was...people were looking down, under our feet. That's where the troubles could be felt. The shaking, the fires, the floods, all of them below us, but...time and again history has taught us, look up. The heavens brought the ruin of earth. The one thing in this solar system that could create life, the sun, was the very thing that opted to take it back.
Days before the event happened, worldwide panic set in. Every channel on TV ran a story about what to expect, or how to prepare, or who to pray to. The sun was going crazy, and no one had an idea what to do. A solar flare unlike any before it, so unusual, even the brightest minds of the world didn't know what to make of it, was heading straight for the earth. The heretics called it retribution, the priests called it judgement, and the word apocalypse was whispered in dark corners. In the end, it really didn't matter. There was no way to prepare. The earth didn't stand a chance.
I remember my parents telling me that we had to leave quickly. As my father rushed around the house grabbing things such as our camping gear, lanterns, batteries, and my mother went for the food. Both of them worked together, stuffing it all in our four-door sedan. I jumped into the driver’s seat, earning me such a glare from my father. I mumbled a sorry and moved to the back.
I had never seen dad drive so fast. We practically flew away from our home. My parents were arguing about whether to stop at a store or not. Approaching the Super Store, my dad began to slow down. Gunshots rang out from inside the building. Every window was broken, and people were running out carrying as much as possible. It’s odd the things you remember in times like these. I remember a man; eyes wide with terror carrying a bag of dog food in his arms, dog food, of all things. My dad gave my mom one look and drove away from the store. Lawns and houses passed by so quickly. All I saw was a blur of green.
Dad took us into the woods. There was an old cabin tucked away in a valley near a small lake; its waters were clear as crystal. My dad said we were lucky that only a few people knew it was there. He hoped it would stay that way. I overheard my Dad say, "There is a chance these mountains will protect us." My mom didn’t respond. Her eyes had a shine to them every time she looked up. Later I learned she was holding her tears.
We didn’t do much for the first day. We sat in the small cabin playing cards and waited, for what, we didn’t know. My mother listlessly wandered around the cabin, crying sometimes. Her face framed by her greying hair was unreadable. Dad lit a fire at night using the wood we collected from close by. None of us ranged very far.
After the first day of camping in the cabin, a deep silence fell over us. The days passed slowly. One evening as the sun was setting my father woke us up carefully. His strong hand on my shoulder gently shook me awake. My mom was crying silently. Inside the cabin we all huddled together, waiting.
A faint red glow was forming outside. As it built, the world began to take on a deep red glow. Gradually it grew brighter and brighter until we had to shield our eyes. The light was so strong I could see the bones inside my arms. With a brilliant flash, it doused the world in a light that penetrated everything. Nothing could hide. Then I remember darkness, which arrived only with my loss of consciousness.
I was the first to wake. Something felt different, looking around the cabin I saw my parents laying side by side, breathing lightly while sleeping. For the first time in days, my mom wasn't crying. Looking closer, I saw there was something different about them. I couldn't explain it, but they looked darker somehow. There was a change in them that I was unable to see, only sense. I looked down at myself and noticed I looked brighter, almost like a glow inside me was trying to light the way out.
My parents were sleeping soundly so I decided to let them wake on their own. I stood up and went outside to look around. The sun was just falling behind the mountain. We had been asleep for almost a full day. My stomach confirmed my suspicions when it loudly grumbled. In the fading light of our little valley, I looked around at the trees, the lake, and our car. Everything seemed as I remembered, yet different, just a little off. It was almost as if when I looked right at something, it was the same. Then when I glanced out of the corner of my eye things would shift. As I stood trying to find the difference, I heard my mom call out my name. I knew from the way she said my name something was wrong. She very nearly screamed it. My heart pounded in my chest as I rushed back.
Dad lay on the ground rubbing his eyes. He rubbed his face as if he had trouble waking. My mom, on the other hand, looked fully awake. She was sitting on the ground where I had left her. She still called my name as I ran back to her side. Each call was louder...more frantic.
"I'm right here Mom." I reached out to her and placed my hand on her shoulder. She jumped at the sound of my voice and turned her head towards me. It was at that moment that I saw her eyes. The deep blue that had welled with tears just yesterday was gone, replaced by pure black, the black of nothingness, emptiness.
My dad stood up behind us and turned towards me. His eyes focused on me. A warm smile formed on his lips when he realized I was ok. The smile vanished quickly when he saw mom. He rushed over to her and grabbed her by the shoulders.
"Honey, can you see me?"
Mom turned her head towards the sound of his voice and blinked a few times. "No, is it still night? Are there no stars?"
A gasp escaped my dad's throat. He didn't say a word at first, then as silent tears rolled down his cheeks, he told my Mother "Your eyes have gone completely black, the sun is setting, but it's still light out. From what I can see. Shade and I are ok, but honey, the glow must’ve made you blind." My Mom broke down and sobbed. Dad held Mom close.
"We will work through this."