© 2002 Erin Collins
The rain fell in soft waves down the window pane of my new place. I thought I’d happy here, but much of the things I used to enjoy were gone. I loved to do my own cooking, but now, with the computerized kitchen, the food practically cooked itself. The laundry was cleaned by just dumping the clothes down a laundry chute. The computer read the bar codes, allowing laundry personnel to deliver them to me, clean, ironed, hung, and ready for me to wear.
I preferred balancing my own checkbook, rather than allowing the computer to scan my I.D. card, and automatically deducting the amount I had spent. It made me uncomfortable, somehow. Such is progress. Soon, chips in our hands would replace the I.D. cards, thus alleviating some of the crime that was so prevalent.
The uncomfortable feeling from the “New Monetary System” was becoming stronger as the day that it would be completed loomed near. I was already scheduled for my implant surgery, which was the 15th of October, still two months away. Something restless was now growing inside me.
I was attending the new mandated church, but they were all free thinking, and did not teach the ways of my youth. I had been longing to go to an old fashioned church. Gone, now, were the “Hell-fire and Brimstone” preachers of yesteryear.
Today, I ran into an old friend of mine, one I knew back in the early part of the 21st century. She and I spoke for just a bit, then, she whispered ever so softly to me about a church she was a part of. She said it was the kind that was now illegal. I went with her and learned a few startling truths. All the preachers I had ever heard never spoke of the “End Times.”
When I arrived home, I realized all the electricity had gone out in my complex.
I now stand here at my window, wondering if it is too late. Can I now escape the “Mark?”
I kneel down and pray for the second time today, for it is still safe with no electricity. It is illegal to pray now as well. I prayed once with the man of God earlier in the day, who was so bravely, and at great mortal risk to his life, trying to save anyone who will come; and now, to ask God for the strength to carry out what I must. I finish my prayer. I am at peace.
I shall miss my family in a lot of ways. I will continue to pray for them, but they can no longer be a part of my life, for I cannot risk the lives of the others I have met. Besides, I haven’t seen my cousins for a long time now. Having never had children or siblings, they would have been the only family I would have had a hard time about.
I won’t miss my apartment. I won’t miss the conformity that I now know was forced on me.
I thought about the children I never had. I could never quite shake the aching loneliness inside my mother’s heart. I wondered why I never had them.
The rain has now stopped falling. The clouds are ever slowly parting to allow the sun to shine through. I feel much like the sun must have to have been imprisoned by such a dark storm, then, suddenly, the freedom to shine. Only my storm was the storm of ignorance, of the pressure to conform, to go along with what the world calls the “Norm.”
The sun has set now. The light has gone.
I once again, fall to my knees, relishing the brief respite in the absence of the monitors that watch us all so very closely, I pray for God’s will to be done.
As I watch out my window, the tiny suitcase in my hand, which now holds all I will most likely possess the remainder of my life, I see the headlights wink in the dark of night, beckoning me to come. To run toward the freedom I had so sorely longed for my whole life.
As I step into the darkness of the cars’ interior, I feel safer than I ever felt before.
As we ride along the deserted streets of the city, I notice all lights are out, everywhere. I am amazed that such a blackout has occurred, since we had not had one in nearly 25 years. It dawns on me that perhaps it was no accident.
We are now out of the city limits, heading toward the mountains which loom over the city. I turn in my seat to take a look below, and see the lights beginning to come back on like waves plunging toward shore. I turn to face the front and I see a number of cars, all of them the same old fashioned kind I am in. These are all old enough to have no North Star Systems or other tracking devices installed. I see about 10 to 15 cars ahead of us, waiting for us to catch up. We get near the last car, and then to my amazement, a fog begins to swirl around us all. Though it is not man-made, it is strange, due to the fact that it is above, and around us, but not engulfing us. We all can see the road in front of us easily. The surrounding fog is so thick, that nothing can possibly penetrate it.
As we near the sanctuary, I see many, many children all coming out to the end of the long drive, looking to see who has arrived.
I get out of the car.
“These children have lost their parents, who have become martyrs for the cause of Christ,” my friend tells me.
As I look into the faces of these war-torn children, my heart swells with compassion for them all. I kneel down to extend a hand in greeting, but they engulf me, surrounding me with hugs, and suddenly, I know what my purpose for the Lord is. I am home. I am now fulfilled.
My last thought before sleep, is one of thanks to God that He chose to spare my life and give me children at last.
Thank You, Lord!