The Dawn of Destruction

The Dawn of Destruction

A Story by Phil Beckwith
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Asteroids hurl toward earth,upon entry an event that will change the world for ever.

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Word Count 2752
The dawn of destruction

Skin of rock, heart of fire, the asteroid hurled itself through time and space, knowing not its destination, only the destruction and mayhem in an outcome that not even the gods could have altered. Ten, no, twenty thousand… how long had it really been since it had started its voyage across the fabrics of space? Thousands upon thousands of light years at best guess. Time moved differently out here, in the desolate peacefulness of nothing. An hour might seem like an eternity one moment, then an eternity like an hour the next. 

Another thousand years had passed and the asteroid’s goal was in sight. 

Its target, which was nothing more than a glimmer in the distance when the asteroid had first exploded from its eternal black womb, was now a small blue planet with green splattered masses of life upon it. It would not be long now before it would make its debut into the gassy force field that was the planet’s ionosphere, not long until the asteroid would meet with its siblings, whom together would bring wrath and destruction upon this unfortunate revolving ball of life. 

And the asteroid hurled it self even further, gaining speed, feeling the magnetic pull of the planets mass, this was it, this was the day of reckoning. The siblings joined the rush, a mad dash to the finish line, and now together, the asteroids hunger for destruction grew into an obsession for chaos. Nothing could stop them; not even the driving force on which the asteroids were carried upon through timeless space could stop them now. This was their goal, their purpose. This was their destiny.

The asteroids started to penetrate the planet’s atmosphere and the dawn of destruction had begun. 




Chapter 1

The day was late, as the sun began to be consumed by the ever greedy horizon. Light was growing dimmer, as the first of the evening stars sparkled to life in the twilight sky. 

Jacob wiped the sweat from his weathered forehead, then placed his aged pitchfork to the blistered and dried soil. Jacob had been working twenty hours a day for the past three weeks in preparation for the wet season, two weeks of rain on a good year. He hoped for a good season, but only expected a week of rain at the most. A week would be good enough for his crops he thought proudly, for Jacob knew his soils were the best for miles, nothing a little hard work and a little elbow grease couldn’t achieve, as his grandfather used to say. 

Jacob stood a while looking out over his empty and baron corn field quietly pondering to himself for a moment then with an almost military about turn Jacob took for the house. He could almost already taste Bonnie’s crow casserole. Now one might cringe and grimace at the sound of a crow casserole, but for people around these parts crow was the only animal worth eating with out driving for five days due east into the big city for some beef or chicken.

********

“Raymond! Raymond! Dinner is almost ready, wash your hands and come help me set the table honey, your father will be back soon.”

Raymond frowned. “She always does this to me,” he moaned quietly to himself. “Right when I’m just in the middle of something, man, I’m not even hungry!”

He stood up with a groan. Then throwing his greasy spanner to the cement floor, Raymond turned with a sigh toward the basin to wash up.

“I’ll be five minutes mum, dinner had better be worth it!” He yelled through the back door from the patio. 

Raymond scrubbed, rinsed and dried. Then, walking past his masterpiece, he gave the barely finished dirt bike a loving stroke and proceeded through the back door into the living room.

********

Jacob hadn’t taken five steps from the crop, when he noticed a sudden temperature change in the night air. What was usually crisp and chilly was now growing into an almost unbearable heat. 

Sweat poured from Jacob’s sun blasted forehead. As he wiped his brow with his dirt stained sleeve, Jacob suddenly realized that not only was the night air getting hotter but the sky it self was growing brighter.

“Hmmm…” Jacob pondered to himself, “Not like moon light nor the sunrise neither.” 
Jacob had never been known for his smarts, but his long years on this earth had now provided him with a life time of wisdom and this wisdom told him something was wrong, terribly wrong. 

As the sky grew brighter Jacob examined it more intensely than he had before. What he saw was something that sent chills down his spine like nothing had ever before, something that would haunt him until the end of his days. What Jacob had merely overlooked as the moon, became a blatant realization. The source of the light that eerily illuminated the night sky and burned even the soul to ashes was not the moon at all, but a giant ball of fire hurling itself from the heavens with one clear goal, destruction. 

Before Jacob could think he was sprinting toward his home where his beloved wife and son prepared dinner unknowingly of the danger headed on a collision course of catastrophe. 

********

Raymond and his mother had just finished setting up for dinner and were now seated at the table. Bonnie eagerly awaited Jacob’s return as it had been weeks since the whole three of them had shared a family dinner together. 

Raymond on the other hand was fidgeting with boredom, he had plans for later that night, and Charlotte would not wait much longer for him at the diner, if she were still waiting at all. 

The room was in silence, apart from the inevitable fidgeting from the young man, when they heard Jacob come bowling through the side door.

“Leave, we have to get ouda here! Pack only what’s necessary, tinned foods, warm blankets, warm clothing…” Jacob looked around and realized how stupid he must look.

“Come! Quick! To the window.” He pointed skyward.

“What time is it?” Asked Raymond as his father opened the blinds, “I could have sworn it was dark outside only ten minutes ago!”

“No son, yer right, look,” he pointed to the sky again in a rushed manner. This time Raymond saw what had spooked his father so much.

“We have to evacuate!” Raymond agreed unable to draw his eyes from the blazing ball.

Bonnie, who was the first of the two to track her sight to where Jacob’s grimy finger pointed, just stared frozen in a panic stricken state of shock. Small feverish beads of sweat excreted from her forehead and her palms were clenched so tight that white patches of bloodless flesh appeared upon her knuckles.

“Raymond, go pack your bags! me and yer mother will meet you out by the truck in two minutes,” Jacob ordered Raymond who nodded speechless but did not move.

“Now Raymond! GO!” Jacob physically pushed his son into the direction of his bedroom.

Next he spoke to his wife in a loving yet reassuring voice.
“Bonnie sweetness,” he said calmly, he had to keep calm, for he knew if he didn’t, all hope might be lost. 

“Honey, we have to pack, there is not much time.”
Bonnie simply looked at him with eyes that had lost all hope 

“But where will we go Jacob?” she whispered, “where will be safe?”

“Does your cousin Willis still live in New York?” Jacob asked

“Y-Yes, I-I-I think so, I-I mean I hope he still lives…” and with that Bonnie broke down, crying in hysteria.

“Go to the truck my beloved, I will pack our supplies, me and Raymond will not be long, go.”

Bonnie nodded silently then began to walk for the front door. 

“Bonnie…” Jacob called out before she could leave the house, “I… I love you.”

“I love you t-too, please do not…” Bonnie sniffed and whipped away tears as she looked back, “please do not be too long.”

“You shall not even know I have left you,” he said calmly and reassuringly. 
Then Bonnie was gone.

********

Jacob had mind only for the job at hand. He gathered tinned spaghetti, baked beans and bread loaves. He then filled five empty two litre coke bottles with tap water. Next Jacob ran into the master bedroom that was his and Bonnie’s, grabbing every pair of pants, jackets and underwear that he could find, stuffed them into five plastic bags he had found on the floor and then began to make his way to the front room.

Gathering all of the supplies he had put together, Jacob looked up and saw Raymond running for the front door with a small bag and his guitar slung over his right shoulder. It was then that Jacob realized the heat had grown immensely. He looked at the walls as the paint began to bubble, and metal doorframes began to warp and bend.

Raymond reached for the door knob only to grab it back in a screaming fit of pain, Jacob could see the melted flesh from his sons palm, clinging to the door knob like burnt meat to an old frying pan. Raymond fell to the floor clenching his right hand. Jacob grabbed for one of the water bottles to cool his sons blistered and burnt hand. The plan was useless as the water was boiling and the plastic bottle was stretching and warping from the now searing heat. 

Raymond gathered himself knowing only survival, and rose to his feet, stepped back two steps then threw his body weight against the wooden door only to find it would explode under the immense stress of the heat outside. The young man fell to the floor of the patio, his skin burning, his eyeballs feeling as if they would explode from their sockets. He looked up and saw his mother sitting in the truck, the truck that was his goal, his destination. But something was wrong, Raymond couldn’t quite put his finger on it, he tried to concentrate but found it hard to think under the stress of the burning air. Then suddenly it was clear. His mother did not move with life, her skin had began to shrivel, dry up like a piece of bad beef jerky left in the sun too long. Raymond saw blood in what looked to be a static dried dribble from her ears.

He heard her scream. She was alive! He could hear her scream so she had to be alive! Then without warning rain began to fall, but this was no ordinary rain, this rain was on fire, like a spitting breath of a dragon, as Raymond would recall later. He didn’t even have the time to get to his feet when a bullet of fire rain laid no mercy upon the truck, sending it into an explosion that could have been seen for miles.

“NO!” Raymond could hear his father scream from behind. He smelled smoke and realized the rain must have hit the house also. But Raymond still heard the scream, could it be? Could his mother still be alive? His heart filled with hope, only to be sucked dry with the realization that the scream was not that of his mothers, but that of his own. He felt his breath start to come in short stabbing gasps, as his lungs started to burn from the carbon filled air. And the next thing he knew, his world had gone black.


Chapter 2

The asteroid plunged hard and deep into the earth’s atmosphere uninterrupted, so stealthy, nothing stood in its way. Its siblings entered from opposite directions giving the planet no chance for survival or refuge.

They had made it past the first couple of miles, and all seemed to be fine. Then something unexpected happened.

The asteroids began to grow hot, temperature slowly rising, at first it was almost undetectable, but then it grew faster and hotter. Before the next mile had passed, the asteroids were glowing and scorching with fire from the earth’s first and final stand against its greatest of foes. 

Flames raged, and still the temperature of the asteroids grew hotter. Small cracks appeared upon their rock solid skin, fire burst from within like a bloody spill of lava, but there was something happening to this lava, this life source. The molten lava mixed with the earth’s atmospheric gasses, burning away; creating a snowflake like particle that dispersed into the earth’s troposphere *.

The asteroids, losing their life source, began to break. The cracks forming upon their surfaces grew and joined forming into a puzzle of rocks. Pulling themselves free, chunks of rock skin began a journey of their own bursting into balls of flame and melting down into liquid fire.

Before long there were no asteroids in the earth’s atmosphere anymore but a storm of fire that rained down upon the world’s frightened inhabitants.

The fire rain struck with such force, burning and melting anything within touch. Cars melted down into lumps of rubber and metal, buildings collapsed from melted support beams and the sheer force of the fire rain. People and animals alike scattered for cover; most did not make it there alive. Families halved, if not fully wiped out. Mothers and fathers losing their children to the rain. Most of those who did happen to make it alive lost limbs and other body parts.

Nowhere was given mercy, not even the polar ice caps. They melted before the storm could even hit them; entire islands were lost to the instant global warming as the seas rose. The whole earth was in ruins.

********

When the fires finally died the lava particles still rode the currents of the winds, to the north and south, to the east and west, finally taking their resting-places about the earth’s scorched surface. 

And there they waited. For their day would soon come to pass, when the particles would take their effect upon this planet and change life, as this world knew it, forever.

* Troposphere (A layer of the earth’s atmosphere most inhabitable. It extends from ground level to about 10 kilometers in height.)



Chapter 3

The world lay in ruins for many long years after what people named ‘The Dawn of Destruction’ happened. The fateful day in which the earth had come so close to annihilation. 

After a few weeks people came together in small groups, and began rebuilding their lives. Colonies began to grow and prosper, trade lines began to operate between them within months, and the world seemed like it was finally digging itself out of the dark hole it had fallen into.

Big cities where no longer inhabitable, therefore they were now being used as dumping yards for cars, machinery, and even parts of houses that were damaged beyond repair.

The colonies made settlement where nobody had ever lived before. Some of them moved into the caves in the mountains, where they lived underground digging tunnels between their hovels. Whilst tunneling through the stone and dirt, the mountain people fell upon an unexpected treasure, for there was gold and other precious metals embedded within the mountain, and thus the mountain people made their living through the trade of metals.

A small group moved into the forests, which had only just begun to sprout green leaves and flowers again, and inhabited them. They utilized the tall trees and running river to protect their borders. These forest people made no attempt to trade with the other colonies, but lived off their own land and kept to secrecy. Before long the forest grew lush and the trees grew high, the people of the forest had finally cut themselves away from society. Over more time the rest of the world had begun to forget about the people of the forest, and like dust in the breeze, they were nothing more than a myth.

The remainder of the population made settlement in small towns, usually the towns they had occupied before the dawn of destruction. Most ran farms with live stock and crops. They traded between the towns, and now and then with the people of the mountains. 

Times were tough, but things were finally starting to get back on track.

The People of the earth would now have a chance to start over again, correct the mistakes of the past, a clean slate like they used to say.

And once again the world rolled on.

© 2012 Phil Beckwith


Author's Note

Phil Beckwith
My first short story please review and any advice is appreciated

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Added on October 10, 2012
Last Updated on October 10, 2012
Tags: asteroid, destruction, survival, death

Author

Phil Beckwith
Phil Beckwith

Australia



About
I am new to writing though i have so many ideas and feel the need to express them. more..

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Prologue Prologue

A Chapter by Phil Beckwith


Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Phil Beckwith