Friday, January 9, 2015

Judgment Day by Roseanne Dowell

I wrote this many years ago when I became serious about writing. It's not my usual genre. In fact far from it. But, like most authors, when something wants to be written, I write it. 

The crowds hustled by, everyone in a big hurry to get home after a long day of work. I almost laughed at the rude people bumping into each other, as if they had the right of way. No one cared about the person next to them. They all had their own agenda and thought only of themselves.  Horns honked and cars weaved in and out of traffic, trying to get ahead of the others, only to stop at the traffic light, not making much progress. Storm clouds threatened to open any minute. The wind picked up and lightening streaked across the sky, casting an eerie glow on those rushing about. I stepped out of the doorway and hurried down the street, sidestepping those willing to stampede over me.
"The time has come!"  A voice bellowed through the crackling sounds of thunder. I recognized the voice, had heard it many times.
Suddenly the sun shone brightly and just as quickly transformed from yellow to red, the color of blood. The sky darkened once again. Thunder rumbled. Lightning flashed. People scattered, running for safety from the storm. The sky turned pitch black and opened up, spewing forth pellets of hail, ashes, and bits of bone.
A great upheaval shook the earth. The ground cracked, separated, and erupted, opening graves in the nearby cemetery. Bodies, dead for centuries, spilled from their tombs and rushed forth into the crowds.
 Someone reached a hand out and snatched the heart from a young man’s chest. Another plucked out the eyes of an old woman. Body parts floated everywhere. Hearts, lungs, kidneys, and livers flew about as if they had wings.
A young man reached for a heart, but it didn't fit into his empty chest cavity. Tossing it aside, he reached for another, and yet another, throwing them aside, in a desperate search for his own.
Clumps of ash swirled around me with bits of bone and materialized into a body. It ran off down the street, screeching. People scrambled to get out of the way of deteriorating bodies that poked and prodded, removing body parts from others and reclaiming their own missing parts, which they had donated to others after their death. Everyone rushed about in panic and frenzy.
A form appeared in front of me. A young lady, wafts of long blond hair clung to her skull and bits of a pink dress still hung from her shoulders. An evil grin appeared in her bony skull when she turned to face a man. He stood immobile, fear pasted on his face. He dropped to his knees in recognition. "Please," he begged, "Please, no."
She approached him, arms out stretched. He tried to crawl away, but she was too quick. Showing no mercy, she grabbed him around the neck and squeezed the life out of him. Guttural sounds came from her mouth when she raised him effortlessly above her head, bowed to me, as if to offer him up, and carried him to a bridge. Spinning around two, maybe three times, she flung him over, then turned away and hurried off.
I ran to see where he landed and looked down into a fiery inferno. Tongues of flames licked its hungry mouth, swallowing the man into the bowels of the earth. He had killed the young girl, and she sent him on to his just due.
I returned to the doorway and watched as featureless creatures rose out of their earthly internment and pursued their killers. Like the blond girl, they murdered in the fashion they had died.  One kicked his predator to death. Another stabbed repeatedly in a murderous rage. Yet another carried his victim to the top of a building and flung him down like a rag doll. Their victim’s pleas for mercy, ignored.
One - a headless creature converged on an elderly man. It threw him to the ground and, with an axe that appeared from nowhere, chopped off the old man’s head. It rolled away and stopped in front of me.
A new head grew from the headless creature's neck to complete the body of a young boy. All these creatures lifted their victims’ bodies over their heads and carried them to the bridge. They repeated the ritual, like the girl had, each bowing to me, and then spinning around several times, they threw the victims into the fiery pit below. The massacre and brutal assault of thousands continued.  The stench of burning bodies saturated the air.
 More and more forms appeared from the clumps of ashes and bones, reclaiming the shape of their earthly beings. People raced wildly about, screaming as bony hands ripped their innards from their bodies. The skeletal creatures removed kidneys, livers, and hearts, and repossessed them.
Across the way, a serene scene with masses of people manifested itself. I went toward them. They floated on a bed of clouds, surrounded by a brilliant light that illuminated the blackened sky. They were the good ones, the believers. The young blond girl, her body no longer a skeleton, took her place among them, a pure and innocent look on her face.
Other creatures followed, after they had achieved their revenge allotted to them by their God. They took on angelic forms. The musical sound of a flute and a harp filled the air. Many of the mortals that had, moments ago, been rushing about looking to replace missing parts were now renewed.  Their bodies united with their souls.
 Perfect images rose above me with virtuous, peaceful faces. Laughter and love abounded among them. They began humming with expressions of pure joy as they rose higher and higher to their final reward above. A floral scent of roses mixed with other unidentifiable sweet aromas.
I turned back and watched while bedlam still raged on the other side. Thunder continued to rumble, mixed with terrifying screams of the bewildered lost souls. Cadavers chased humans, pushing and stampeding over them as they searched for their body parts. The evil forces reached out, trying to grip the victims of time past. The innocents rushed past me, eager to join with the host of angels.
It was time.
 I went back to them and beckoned to my lost sheep. Flames emitted from my hands and smoke swirled around my mouth as I reached out to claim the evil ones I called my own. I denounced them as they fell to their knees, begging for mercy from a God that they had long ago forsaken.
A flood of water gushed over the earth, sweeping their bodies into a wild rush of current. Arms and legs tangled, thwarting the onslaught of water, as they swam for their very lives. Just as quickly, the blackness and water disappeared, replaced by a sudden flash of orange. It burst forth into the eternal flames of hell.
We were home.