Sunday: A Human Tragedy in Seven Parts

Sunday: A Human Tragedy in Seven Parts

A Story by Jordan





“What do we do?” the woman asked her husband.


“What we always do. We carry on life as usual. I'm sure they're just sensationalizing what's happening. They have to sell their headlines somehow.” He pulled her closer. “A week from now, this will all just blow over.”


She tried resisting, ready to argue her fears, but gave up as the young girl walked into the room.


“Mommy, what's going on? What's everyone talking about?”


“Nothing, sweetie.” she wiped the tear from her eye, smearing her makeup back into place.


The girl walked over to her, opening her arms wide for a comforting embrace.


“Are you and daddy mad at each other?” she asked, looking up.


“Of course not, honey. We're just talking about grown-up things. I promise, everything is fine.” she kissed her head.


The woman hid her face behind the man's neck as she began crying again. Thoughts and fears raced through her mind. She envied her daughter's innocence; how oblivious she would be through whatever happened. It wasn't fair that life came to this. Why her family? Why now? Why did they have to suffer because a few politicians couldn't get along?


She always dreamed of having a family of her own, of being a mother. Now that she had it, life seemed determined to rip that away from her. Victims of forces beyond their control, bystanders of the apocalypse.


To her, life was now grains of sand slipping through her hands.








“Tensions have built as the peace talks break down.

Violence erupted in the streets outside of the

embassy as protesters, police, and the

ambassador's personal bodyguards clashed. Presiden-”




“Keep that thing off,” the man said, hitting the power, “There's nothing worth hearing on there anyway.”


“Not keeping up with the news? That's out of character for you. I thought we were carrying on life as usual.”


She cycled the radio on again.



“-ping you up-to-date as the situation

progresses. Stay tuned.”



The young girl peeked around the corner into the room. She lost interest in the conversation when her father's hard hand landed against her mother's soft cheek. Whatever was going on, she knew she didn't want any part of it. She ran to her room.


She sat on the edge of her bed, crying and questioning what would make him do that. She thought he loved her, and you never hurt people if you love them. The answer struck her. She got down on her knees beside her bed.


 Clasping her hands, she began, “Dear Heavenly Father, please make my daddy love my mommy again. I don't like it when they yell, or when my mommy cries. She thinks that I don't see it, but I do. It makes me very sad, and, and, and please make everyone happy again. Also, thank You for Jesus, and my house, and everything else you've given me. Amen.”


“Sweetie? What are you doing?” her mother walked in, cheek red.


She gasped. “Nothing.” she said scared, turning around.


Her mother sat down beside her, holding her in her arms.


“You know I love you, right?”


“Yes, mommy. I love you, too. I love you to the moon and back!


The girl clung tightly.








“It wasn't that hard...” the woman said into the phone. “No, I don't know why he hit me. I think all of the stress is getting to him... No, I didn't smell anything on him. How is James handling it all?”


She held the bag of peas to her cheek. “That so? I guess that makes sense. I'm sure he saw worse during his service. The two of you should come over tonight. It might help to have a few voices of reason around during all of this... Well, maybe tomorrow night. I miss our little dinner parties... Okay, take care. Bye.”


She placed the phone on the receiver, slid down the wall, and began to sob. The world was flying apart, her friends wanted nothing to do with her, and God knows where her husband was. He was supposed to be at work, but honestly, he could be anywhere.


She heard the front door open, and in walked her daughter. She quickly jumped up, dropping the peas and fixing her makeup.


“Sweetheart, what are you doing home so early?”


“They sent us home early. They didn't tell us why.” she sat her books on the table.


“Do you have any homework?”


“No, they said we don't have to worry about it this week.”


“Oh. That's strange. Did you have a good day?” she kissed the girl's head.


“Louise brought a-”


The phone rang.


“Hold on, sweetie.”


She answered.


“Hello?... This is she.” she looked back at her daughter, “Yes, ma'am. She just got home... I had asked her about that... That's what she said... The rest of the week? Why is that?... Oh. I see... Thank you... You too...”


She sat at the table next to the girl. “Good news, honey. You're out of school for the rest of the week.”










“A state of emergency has been declared.

Peace talks have officially been called

off as both nations prepare for war

following the assassination of Presiden-”



“Honey, get in here!” the man yelled, turning up the volume.


“What? What happened?” the woman ran in, sitting beside him.


“They killed the president. Listen!”



“-ots have broken out in several cities

across the nation. We've received

several reports that fire is spreading

through parts of Washington and

New York. Martial law has just

been declared, and the National

Guard is currently being mobilized

to maintain law and order.”



“Oh, god.” she put her hands over her mouth.



“Residents of major urban areas are

asked to remain inside of their

homes until further notice. This is

for their own safety, and the safety

of the Guard. Residents of suburban

or low-density areas are advised

to do as littltravel as possible.”



He put his arm around her. “I can't promise you tomorrow, but I wish I could. I'm going to do everything in my power to take care of both of you. I love you with all of my heart. I always have.”

“I know.”


He kissed her head.








“Food. How much food do we have?” he paced the kitchen, opening cabinets.


“If we eat just enough to keep going, a week. Maybe. I'm not sure.”


“That's not enough! We need more. I'm going to go into town and see what's left.” he picked his keys off of the counter.


“There's no point! If there's anything left, people are already fighting over it. Stay here, with us. We'll make do with what we have. The radio said that once everything calms down, they will start providing food and water to everyone.”


He put on his jacket.


“Yes, but how long could that take? A few days? A week? Months? We can't take that risk. How many buckets of water have we filled up?”


“Every five gallon I could find. I also filled the bath so we have something to clean ourselves with.”


“I guess it will have to do. I'll be back as soon as I can. If everyone is already fighting for what's left, I'll just have to fight harder.”


“Stop! Why can't you stay here?” she pulled his arm.


“I love you. Keep the doors locked, and the curtains closed. I'll be back as soon as I can.”


He pulled free and ran out of the front door. The sound of his car slowly faded.


She locked the door and began to cry. Over the radio came a loud tone.



“The previous order for citizens to remain 

inside of their homes has been updated.

Citizens are now advised to move to the

nearest disaster shelter. For those living

in urban areas, wait for a knock on your

door. The National Guard will then

direct you to the nearest shelter. For

those living in suburban or low-density

areas, please locate the nearest tornado

shelter. If there is no tornado shelter

within reasonable distance, you are

advised to find the center-most

room in your house and prepare to take

cover. The Guard advises that you

avoid basements unless necessary,

and attics entirely.”










The afternoon sun was peeking through the spaces between the curtains. The man still hadn't returned home. The same warning message had been repeating on the radio since yesterday.


“Sweetie?” the woman called, “Are you ready for dinner?”


The young girl ran into the room and grabbed a seat. “Yes, ma'am!”


The woman, to provide the best sense of normality she could, had cooked a full meal.


“Do you want to pray, baby?” the woman asked, kissing her forehead.


“No, mommy. You can do it.” she clasped her hands and closed her eyes.


“Okay. Father, thank you so much for everything you've provided for me in life. A wonderful husband, a nice home, and a beautiful daughter who I love more than anything. I also thank you for the food you've provided in front of us. I ask that you watch over my husband, wherever he may be, and over us. Keep us all safe in your arms, Lord. Amen.”


After eating, they sat on the couch. Listening to the radio, the little girl had curled up with her head in her mother's lap. Stroking her hair, the woman looked down and saw that the girl had drifted off to sleep.


The message stopped, and the regular announcer spoke.



“Good evening. To anyone listening, I pray

that you're all safe. I've been allowed into

the studio for one final broadcast. It is with

a heavy heart that I inform you that at

approximately 7:06 local time, cities

across the western and eastern seaboards

were struck by long-range nuclear missiles.

In retaliation, many of our own missiles

were launched. It is estimated that by

6:00 GMT, much of North America, and

indeed, the Northern Hemisphere, will

be irreparably devastated. A wound in

the history of mankind, one that our

children's grandchildren will still suffer

from, shall be inflicted. Ma- I've been

informed that a light can be seen from the

studio. May God have m-”



© 2018 Jordan

Author's Note

A year later and I've finally fixed all of the formatting and grammatical errors. Not sure if that says more about me or how broken the site is. Honestly, the fact that this is the only thing I've wriiten in a year just says a lot about me...

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I love how it was broken into separate parts, if I wanted to get up and have a coffee, I'd come back remembering where I was up to, not feeling like an idiot. I also like the creative word formatting, very unique!

Posted 4 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


4 Years Ago

Thank you!
Really good, I love the way you broke the story into different days to help differentiate times in which each part takes place, not a huge fan of how much dialogue there is but I understand some just isn't avoidable. Keep up the good writing!!

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


5 Years Ago

What would you suggest?

5 Years Ago

narration is a good way to avoid using too much dialogue, In this section from 'friday'
“F.. read more

5 Years Ago

Got me hooked up.Too good!!

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


5 Years Ago

Thank you. I'm glad you liked it. Any suggestions on how I could improve it?

5 Years Ago

Nah,good the way it is

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3 Reviews
Added on May 19, 2017
Last Updated on April 17, 2018
Tags: nuclear, war, apocalyptic, tragedy



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