Well this is new for me, actually posting my own original work for people to read and judge. Please be kind if you have a comment.
This storyline is copyrighted to Kes L. Radford (me), along with the characters and places.
Hope you enjoy.
Grace's world had been unraveling, falling apart. People ran by her on the streets screaming for help that no one could, or was willing to give. Grace had run against the crowd, searching for her family. The screaming people were in denial, believing that somehow someone would come to deliver them from their apocalypse. But Grace understood that nothing could be done for the world crumbling around her. If she was going to die that day, she wanted to be with the people she cared for.
Creatures sprang from cracks in the earth. Prisoners of the earth's crust had finally gained their freedom. Pity it would not last long, but in their last few moments they caused hell on earth. They prowled the streets searching for pray. Jagged claws blocked the screaming people's escape as the monstrous creatures pushed them into a corner, licking their lips for the final meal.
Even with the possibility of one of the escaped beasts lurking around a corner, Grace ran against the flow of people. Her long brown hair had come out of the bun she had put it in that morning, and was whipping around her thin face because of the furious wind that the frightened people had kicked up.
"Ethan! Aiden!" She called out the names of her ten year old twin brothers; she let her voice crack like a child as she called out for her mother, and even the father she had never truly known.
Stumbling over the cracked pavement, she ran towards the last place she had seen her family. Sweat beaded her forehead and her heart raced, but she didn't care. She called out the familiar names again and again, even after her voice had gone hoarse, wishing with all her heart to hear her brothers' annoying voices or the singsong melody of her mother's.
Finally she spotted two short brunettes scrambling towards her. With renewed hope in her heart she was able to feel joy as she ran to her brothers. Grace's knees buckled under their weight as they leapt into her arms; her tears soaked into their scruffy hair.
Finally able to compose herself she looked both of her wet eyed brothers in the face. Their matching deep blue eyes stared back. With the sleeve of her school uniform she wiped away Ethan's tears then Aiden's and asked them, in a calm voice, if they had seen mom. New tears sprung to their eyes and they buried their heads in their older sister's chest. No words needed to be spoken for Grace to understand that the three of them only had each other now.
Getting to her feet, she took her brothers by the hand. Gently, she urged them to run with her. In the minutes that remained before her world was completely enveloped in darkness all Grace wanted to do was run, to know that she had tried. With her brothers stumbling to keep up with her, they made their way to the edge of the city, where civilians were boarding ships bound for the edge of their world.
Soldiers, the men and woman that had fought for them, stood one last time to defend their people. Grace found herself wondering if her father would have been standing there with them. How he would have looked in his uniform. Their mom had never shown any pictures of their father in uniform. It was too painful for her. The uniform only reminded her of the reason the seat beside her at the dinner table was always empty.
Grace was young when he went and never came back. Her brothers had been even younger. Their mom never wanted to watch the news about the war anymore, but that didn't stop her from telling them stories about him whenever they asked. The number of stories she told them made them feel like they still knew their father and what he was like. Building false memories in their minds as they imagined him almost getting hit by a bus when he had run across the street to ask their mother to marry him. It scared her half to death so it took her a moment to realize that he was down on one knee.
Or the times he would place Grace on his knee and tell her she would one day travel and have adventures like he did. Oh if he only knew.
He promised he would always come back to them, and every time he did. Every time, except one, and that was the one that counted. She wondered how it would feel to have been able to say goodbye knowing he would never come back. Did these soldiers, who stood tall and unmoving, have to have their family torn from their arms so they could escape?
None of them made any move to board the ships. They had all decided to stay behind in hopes of giving someone else a chance to live through the day where everything fell apart. The trio arrived at the airfield in time to see the last ship taking off into the sky. The boys both fell to their knees in exhaustion, but even though her legs ached from the strain of running all that way, Grace merely stood and stared at their last hope disappearing into the clouds.
The ships were slow, weighed down by their frantic passengers, too slow. Out of the clouds burst a terrible flying beast. Its wings resembled those of the dragons Grace had seen illustrated in her favorite classic books. But the head was that of a fearsome crocodile and the body matched that of a deformed whale. It dropped out of the sky above the highest ship, creating streaks of blue and green as it sped through the air. Grace watched in horror as its gigantic jaws wrapped all the way around the metal aircraft, snapping it in two. Moments later the rest of the aircraft exploded in red-hot flames. The force of the explosion almost swept Grace off her feet. Her skirt flapped furiously around her legs.
The soldiers had spotted them now and ran towards them in order to protect them from any falling debris. Grace just managed to catch a glimpse of the flying beast clamping its jaws onto the next ship before one of the soldiers wrapped his arms protectively around her.
Grace felt herself being hoisted onto someone's back but she saw nothing anymore. The shock of watching the dead carcasses of the burning airships crash to the ground in a spectacular explosion of colours had ripped the world out from underneath her. She knew her eyes were open but no images formed, safe for the fire and smoke rising from the wreckage they were leaving behind as they fled.
Slowly images started to return but no noise met Grace's ears. The sound of the explosion had banished the frequency she was usually able to hear. She watched the ghost's of the buildings, which once stood tall in her beautiful city, go by. The boys' heads were pressed against the backs of the soldiers that carried them, to hide from the ghoulish sights. They no longer wanted to look. Grace could not blame them, she too was tempted to bury her face against the soldier's back, to give into her childish desires, but she had to be strong, for her brothers.
They passed by a mound of red bricks and chunks of wood painted white. Grace could not stop the gasp that was pushed from her lungs at the sight. She knew where they were. A single icy tear fell from her wide dark blue eyes. Her mind's eye could still see every brick in its rightful place. Each of them fit so perfectly together, like a puzzle, as she pieced each one back into its proper place. The building had never been very big and Grace could remember complaining several times about how stuffy it could get in one of its small rooms. But all of her complaints didn't seem to matter now. Grace would give anything to have that old-fashioned schoolhouse back again, with all of its faults.
She had sat in one of the rooms on the second floor just that morning. In fact that was where she had been when the first earthquake had struck. Where she, and everyone else in her class, had rushed to the window, sticking their faces against the unwashed glass in order to get a peak at what was going on outside. What Grace had seen would stick with her forever, it was the last time she had seen the city intact and quiet before its streets were filled with fleeing citizens. Most of them would never know how far the apocalypse would go and why it was happening.
Her classmates were probably all gone now. The people she had played ball with, the people she had been stuck with for the past nine years were gone. They would never graduate together. They never even made it past the eighth grade. All of them were gone.
A sad thought crossed Grace's mind as she remembered that moment. The group of soldiers, her brothers and herself were probably the last people alive on this version of earth and the apocalypse was only going to get worse.
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