The Beginning

I think I’m a decent technical writer, but I’ve always been abysmal at writing anything else.  Like, seriously awful.  My brother got an ocean of talent in that department, but god left me high and dry, that asshole.  This is really unfortunate because I enjoy fantasy literature and have ideas for new worlds floating about my head, I can just never put them into words.

Anyway, I’m a big fan of attempting to conquer things I suck at, so every week I will post a continuation of this story that I started writing a while back.  Signed on to help with its creation so far are my friends Jeremiah, David, Tim, and the legend, Dr. David Burger.

I’m new to this, so critiques are welcome.

Hey there, kid.  So, you wanna know what I do?  Well, it’s kind of a long story.  Did your folks ever tell you about why the world looks the way it does?  Heh, I can’t suppose I blame ‘em.  Come on over and drop yourself by the fire, I’ll tell you all about it.

December 2nd, 2011, about five years ago by most calendars…that was when the first one appeared – a woman, just floating in the sky above New York City.  You would have loved the place.  It was so full of people you couldn’t walk outside without bumping into ‘em, and the buildings were so high you’d swear they touched the sun.  Anyway, this woman, the news networks couldn’t get enough of her.  News networks?  You mean nobody has told you about television?  Well, we’ll save that for another time…

Some people thought it was a gag, but after a day people started calling it a sign from heaven.  Some people called her an angel, which kinda made sense.  Hell, she looked just like one in the dress she wore, minus the wings.  Her expression was always the same and she looked so peaceful.  Others thought she was here to protect us, and most people started calling her our guardian.  We’d known about her for less than a day and already people were flocking to our city.  It was a right mess.

Three days later, that was the day that we adults have spent the last five years trying to forget.  I was lucky.  I was visiting my folks that week in Buffalo, which was far away from the city.  Like everybody else that night, we were curled up with some popcorn watching it on the tube, waiting to see how long she could stay up there and when the trick would be revealed, when the guardian finally opened her eyes – her blood-red eyes, and showed us just what an angel she was.

She began to change.  Within seconds the angel had become a beast with enough muscles to rip up the statue of liberty, and enough teeth to swallow it!  It first turned its attention to one of the other news helicopters, blasting it out of the sky with some type of…beam?  I don’t know, but the helicopter plummeted down in a fireball, just missing the crowd of people below.  It would have been better if it hadn’t missed, because next the devil flew after the crowds.  I’ve never seen anything move so fast.  Within moments, they were gone.  Within a day, so was New York.

Four more guardians appeared over the next week.  Some crawled out of the ground, one was reported coming out of the sea, and another from the air.  Together, they began devastating the major cities all around the world.  Los Angelos, St. Louis, Miami, New Orleans, all gone in what seemed like the blink of an eye.  Nations emptied their stores of weapons, most of ‘em at the guardians, some of ‘em at each other.  At best, it only slowed the demons.  The survivors moved away from the centers of population and struggled to survive, most of us just waiting for when the guardians found us.

But in my travels, I’ve heard from some people that something did stop the bastards – a band of mercenaries or something who figured out the trick to it.  Or maybe the monsters just decided there was nothing left worth destroying.  Who knows why it all stopped?  But they left us an entirely new world.  I’m not sure if it was the nuclear fallout or if the damn monsters brought them with ‘em, but what’s left of our cities are now full of creatures, abominations that you couldn’t even imagine.  Only profiteers, desperate ones, or the suicidally insane go near the ruins of cities.  If you walk in, you probably don’t walk out.  Nobody knows what’s going on across the oceans, since any ship that sails out never returns.  The waters must be full of ‘em as well.

They even say that human beings are changing.  I’ve never seen it, and I’ve been all over the place these last five years, so I say it’s hogwash.  But the Revenants are all up in arms about humans turning into monsters or using magic to aid the devil or whatever other nonsense they dreamed up at the time.  What’s that?  You don’t know about the Revenants?  Well, consider yourself lucky.  These guys think we’re living in the end times, and that this is their punishment for not having enough faith before and boy, do they ever hate anything that strikes ‘em as strange.  They’ve got their holy book and it gives some pretty precise instructions about what to do with “witches”, so they’re marching across the country looking for ‘em and, trust me, you don’t want to know what they do once they think they’ve found one.  It’s best just to steer clear of them if you can, but their movement is growing and I always find a group everywhere I go.  One will probably spring up here before you know it.  What a world, eh?  Who am I?

Heh, I s’pose you could say I’m a treasure hunter.  I’m one of those desperate guys who walks into cities, but only the outskirts.  What’s left of a city they once called ‘Washington’ is just about fifty miles away, and I’m gonna pay her a visit.  I won’t tell you about some of the things I’ve seen, kid.  If it weren’t for Suzie, my trusty axe here, I’d have been worm food a long time ago.  People want to remember a time before the Guardians, so most of ‘em will trade quite a bit of stuff for relics of the past.  Me, I left the past behind a long time ago.  It’s a new world that’s only just now getting back on its feet, and we’d all do well to let go of the ghosts of the past and start looking out for ourselves.

Well, I’ve probably kept you up long enough, and some of the adults are giving us funny eyes.  Sleep tight kiddo, and may an angel guide thee to thy rest.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.