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Zeus Fell Prologue
LOCATION: Society of astrology and neurology
Access code: ******
Doctor Jim Hart raced down the long white hallway. Sweat bellowed down his front as he wiped the sweat off his brow and rubbed it on his white lab coat.
“Pardon me!” Dr. Hart called, slipping by a female doctor.
Turning sharply to the left, he ran down another corridor before stopping at a large door marked: Conference room 2B. Patting his wrinkled shirt down, he took in a few long breaths and smoothed his hair out.
“Show time.” He panted, his accent was Northern American.
Pushing open the large door, he entered a room that had a long table which was surrounded by many other people dressed in dress clothes. The hushed whispers stopped as he strolled up to the front of the room.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Doctor Hart grimly announced, “thank you for coming. Yesterday, there was a discovery in which…”
He stopped. Searching for the right words, he closed his eyes.
“The blackness is here.” He spoke.
At once, a hand shot up into the air.
“Yes, Doctor gray?” Doctor Hart asked.
“Are you referring to the blackness that we are presently studying?” Doctor Gray asked.
“What proof do you have?”
Walking off to his right, Doctor Hart pulled up three CAT scan sheets. Placing them against a white bard, Doctor Hart walked off and switched off the lights. Instantly, all the light in the room rushed into the white board. Glowing an eerie tan, the light made the CAT scan sheets seem more life like.
“If you will refer to the CAT scan on the far left as exhibit A,” Doctor Hart said, “I would like to show you the first stage of the blackness. Next to Exhibit A, you will see that when the blackness first starts, it destroys a person’s ability to choose good or bad. Then, the blackness destroys the person’s brain as seen in the far right.”
A quiet murmur rose and died in the small crowd.
“Furthermore, we have found exactly where and why the blackness has come.” Doctor Hart concluded.
“And where is that?” Doctor Black asked.
“We have computed the equation,” Doctor Hart spoke, “And we found that the blackness will strike in exactly three hours and will kill all the adults…”
“We will vanish or…dematerialize into the air.”
“And the reason why?”
“We received a message from an anonymous person stating: The blackness has come upon this planet because of the over population and destruction that you have brought upon yourselves. This fact must never be ignored…farewell. Yours truly, W.E.”
“Who is W.E.?”
“We do not know, but he did leave this message: hope for Paul Smith.”
Silence filled the room as all the doctors looked around. Each person had one thought on his or her mind:
Who is Paul Smith?
Then, Maddy woke up.
The end of the world began with the banning of books. Comic books, graphic novels, novels, and the classics; all were being banned. Sometimes in the morning, there were newscasts that stated:
Burn the Rebellion
Buy the DVDs
Get Rid of Books
Smoke rose up in the air as by the dozens, the human population then began to burn their books.
“Why do we need these?” People asked, “We can have them on the internet!”
And so, smoke filled the sky in the morning, noon, and even the night as Maddy stared out beyond her small room window. Rubbing her tiny hands together, she shivered as she watched her friends go out of their homes with handfuls of books and return after an hour with videos and video games and with no books.
“Maddy!” They called, “Come on, the governor is burning his collection of encyclopedias!”
Shaking her small oval head, Maddy pattered her cheap skirt and stepped back into her sanctuary. The diming light of the evening faded from Maddy’s hue colored face. Tears formed in her beryl eyes before storming down her sucked in cheeks. Casting her sights up to the faded sky just outside her window, Maddy cried.
“Atlas may have shrugged,” She told her cat, who entered upon hearing her master’s cry, “But Zeus fell.”
For Maddy, the morning started off just like any other morning in her teenage life. She rose from her bed at 7:00 A.M. took a quick shower, put on a pair of jeans with a pink snug shirt and walked down the old creaky wood stairs to her dining room. Breathing in the scent of cinnamon and apples, she smiled and watched as her mother, who wore a black shirt with a black skirt took off her flour covered apron and placed it gently on the back of the chair. Standing up, Maddy could see that her mother was thinner than usual and her black hair was in curls.
“Good morning, honey.” Her mother cheerfully greeted her.
“Morning, mom.” Maddy replied, “How are you so far, today?”
“I’m well.” Her mother sighed.
Sitting down at the table, Maddy watched as her mother sat and stared at the apple cobbler with a look of guilt upon her face.
“Mrs. Jefferson was here yesterday.” Her mother spoke.
Taking a spoonful of apple cobbler, Maddy looked up at her mother.
“She wants me to throw away all our cookbooks.” Her mother finished, without looking at Maddy.
Swallowing her mouthful of cobbler, Maddy stared at her mother.
“Well, did you throw them away?” Maddy asked.
Her mother choked, her version of a sob, and rose from her seat.
“What is this world coming to, Maddy?” Her mother asked, rhetorically, “Why is it that books are not popular anymore? Why is technology taking over the world?”
Not even responding to her ranting mother, Maddy rose and picked up her empty plate.
“Don’t worry, mom,” Maddy spoke, “There will be some good from this confusion.”
Maddy knew that her mother had her. Nodding her head in defeat, Maddy retreated into the kitchen, deposited her plate in the dishwasher, and started up the stairs.
“Is dad home?” Maddy asked.
“He’s always home.” Her mother responded.
Maddy nodded and jumped from the stairs.
“I take it that he is in the library?” Maddy asked.
“What’s left of it.” He mother flatly stated.
Storming down the hallway, Maddy came upon a black door that had a word carved into the wood: LIBRARY.
“Dad?” She asked, “Are you in here?”
Slowly pushing open the door, Maddy entered the library. Dozens of barren bookshelves were scattered about the room as a single individual sat on a wooden chair and stared at a broken computer at his feet. A small glass of whiskey sat on the floor while an empty bottle laid in the trash can.
“Dad?” Maddy whispered, “Oh, my gosh.”
“Where are all the books?” Maddy demanded, “What happen to your books?”
“They died.” Her father replied, drunkenly.
“Dad,” Maddy asked, “Why did you smash the computer?”
“What’s the use?” Her father asked, “What’s the freaking use?! They don’t need writers anymore, heck they won’t need authors anymore!”
Picking up the near empty glass, her father swallowed the last of the whiskey and threw the glass ahead of him, not aiming at anything in particular. Smashing against the wall, the glass shattered and broke into a thousand pieces. Jumping back, Maddy looked at her father. He had a late five o’ clock shadow which made him seem gruffer than he usually was and wore an old tattered shirt and brown pants. The emanation of cheap alcohol mixed with rotten food filled an invisible circle around her father as he inhaled and exhaled deeply.
“I hate this…” He started.
“Dad,” Maddy choked, “Why did you do that?”
Tears were now storming down both their faces as Maddy pushed some of her white blonde hair out of the way of her eyes.
“Dad, please tell me what happened.” She tried.
“Oh, I feel so stupid!” She yelled, “Why did we have to have more books than most people?”
“Honey,” Her father muttered, “We were special, but not anymore.”
Rising from the chair, he walked over to an old writing desk and pulled the top drawer open. Suddenly, Maddy’s heart turned to ice as she watched as her father pull out break-action a double barreled shotgun.
“Dad!” She yelled, crying, “Don’t!”
“What?” Her father asked, looking around, “I’m going hunting.”
Smiling, Maddy forced a laugh out of her body.
“What did you think I was going to do?” He asked, still drunk.
“Nothing, I…uh…nothing.” She stammered.
Loading two shells into the action, her father watched as she turned around to leave. Watching her walk, he smiled and shook his head.
“You have your mother’s walk,” He commented, “She always had a walk that would lure men into her grasp.”
Maddy smiled and turned around.
“For a man who has depression,” She said, “You do give wonderful comments.”
“Maddy,” Her father said, “someday, you will lure a man into your grasp and be happy. Just like how I was with your mother.”
Smiling, she fluttered her eyelashes.
“Thanks, dad.” She smiled.
“See you later.” He called.
“See you later, alligator.” She called back.
Snapping the shotgun shut, her father watched as Maddy closed the door behind her. Maddy walked down the hallway but then stopped as a fact then dawned on her.
“Dad’s against killing animals for sport,” She realized, “Why would he go hunting.”
Then, the air was filled with the sound of a loud BANG! Then, everything was still, except for the tears that fell down Maddy’s cheeks.
End of Part I
Chapter Four: Electric funeral.
“Who is Paul Smith?” The Little child asked Maddy.
Maddy removed her old sunglasses and looked at the little boy with a sad expression on her face.
“Pardon?” She asked the boy.
“Who is Paul Smith?” The boy repeated.
Maddy turned away from the boy and shook her head.
“Such questions should not be asked by a boy.” She told him.
But the boy did not pay attention; instead he took hold of a clump of dirt and began to toss it around rather rudely. Looking ahead, Maddy watched as her father’s casket was placed in the large chasm which would be his home of eternity. Tears rolled down her face as she looked at the large crowd which had turned up to watch the last author be put to rest.
“This is truly a sad day for the world.” A reporter spoke into a cell phone, “The last great author of our time is now dead. For some, this is a sad day. But to others, this is a day in which the last author is now dead.”
Maddy watched as her mother approached the open grave and calmly tossed in a single red rose. The morning dew had settled upon the ground and covered the grass. Shifting her feet sideways, Maddy watched as the grass swayed and moved with the force caused by her small shoe. Large gray clouds filled the sky and moved very solemnly, honoring her dead father. No leaves were on the tress as their branches swayed in the little wind that there was. Suddenly, she felt a hand on her shoulder. Looking over, she saw her mother crying next to her.
“I can’t believe that he did that,” Her mother sobbed quietly, “I can’t believe that he took his shotgun and…and…”
She was balling now. Wrapping her arms around her dear mother, Maddy held her as she watched the horde disappear into their cars, both old and new, and drive away.
“Come on,” Maddy told her mother, “Let’s go home.”
Leading her mother to their car, Maddy stopped when she felt a gentle tug at the bottom of her skirt. Gazing down, she saw the small boy with his dirty hands and his black suit. Bringing up his small hand, he beckoned Maddy to come closer to him. Maddy let go of her mother and bent down.
“Yes?” Maddy asked.
“Paul Smith is your hero.” The boy said, before running away.
Standing up, Maddy looked for her mother but only saw their black car with her in the passenger seat with Martin (her neighbor) in the driver’s seat. Shrugging her shoulders, she walked off towards the car.
“Who is Paul Smith?” Maddy asked her mother as soon as they were home.
“What?” Her mother sniffed.
“Who is Paul Smith?” Maddy repeated.
Her mother shook her head and sat down in a chair. Sighing in frustration, Maddy took her off her black gloves and walked up the stairs to her room. Entering her room, she saw a small pile of books in the center of her small rug.
“I’d better hide all of these.” She told herself.
Looking at her bookshelves, Maddy smiled. Hundreds if not thousands of books filled her room. Each one she had read but now, she knew that they didn’t matter. Nothing in the world mattered now. Sitting at her small desk, she felt the tears coming once again. Shaking them away, she walked over to the small pile of books and began to put them away.
“Father would be impressed,” She muttered, “If only I had shown him earlier…”
Suddenly, one of the books fell from her hands and plopped open on the floor. Muttering to herself, Maddy bent down and picked it up. Suddenly, she froze.
Who is John Galt?
She paused and looked at the words once more.
“Who is Paul Smith?” She asked, “And who is John Galt?”
Placing that book onto the shelf, Maddy walked over to her desk and sat down. A soft tap suddenly echoed through the tiny room.
“Who is it?” Maddy called.
“It’s me.” Her mother said.
Entering the room, her mother disregarded the books that polluted the area and walked over to her daughter.
“What are you doing?” Her mother asked.
“Oh, nothing. I was just thinking.”
“I don’t know him, mom. I was at the funeral and this little boy came up and asked me who Paul Smith was.”
“Yeah, funny thing is that I’ve never heard of him. Have you?”
“What about John Galt?”
“I’ve heard of his name, he’s from a book, isn’t he?”
“Maddy, I just want to tell you…”
“Mom, I can’t figure it out. Why would a tiny kid know about a man who I have never heard of?”
“Maybe he is not popular.”
Suddenly, there was a knock on there door.
“I’ll be right back.”
Leaving Maddy, her mother walked from her room, flew down the stairs, and opened the front door.
“Maddy!” Her mother called, “Tom is here.”
Getting up from her desk, Maddy walked out of her cozy room and down the stairs.
“Hi, Tom.” Maddy greeted.
Tom was a large structured man who had golden brown hair and brown eyes. He wore a pair of shorts with a black “Ultimate Fighter 4” T-shirt. Smiling brightly at Maddy, he greeted her.
“So, what brings you here, Tom?” Maddy asked.
“I…I wanted to say how sorry I was about…” He started, his voice was frail.
“It’s okay.” Maddy said, “Come in.”
Stepping over the threshold, Tom entered the house and looked around.
“Tom,” Maddy asked, “Have you been on Facebook lately?”
“No,” Tom started, “But that’s why I came, actually. Do you have internet access?”
“Has your internet crashed yet?”
“What are you talking about?”
Bringing out his cell phone, Tom showed it to Maddy. The screen was black and showed no life.
“I don’t see anything.” Maddy stated.
“That’s the point!” Tom exclaimed, “No one has internet access!”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah and guess what?”
Looking both ways, Tom leaned in and whispered: “Martin Speck has gone missing.”
“What?” Maddy whispered.
“Yeah, weird isn’t it?”
“Yeah. But he drove my mother and I home from the funeral…”
“Maddy, he never came home. They found the car but not him.”
“Do we know why?”
“No, but something is going on. And this all started with the…”
He leaned in again and whispered: “Book banning.”
“I know,” She said, “I just can’t put two and two together.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, first, my father…you know. Then, a little boy is asking me about a Paul…”
“Yes! Have you heard of him?”
Throwing his hands in the air, he groaned.
“Who hasn’t?” He asked, “He’s the most famous person who is on people’s lips.”
“Who is he?”
“Wait! Come and sit.”
Leading Tom into the living room, Maddy plopped him down on the couch and sat next to him.
“Now,” She asked, “Who is Paul Smith?”
“I haven’t met him,” Tom said, “But what I have heard, he is a man who has heroically stood up against all odds and has helped thousands of people with no thought of a reward.”
“He is just a common working man! No one knows who he is or where he came from!”
“So, all we know is his name?”
“Well, that’s annoying.”
“Tell me about it and get a load of this…”
Holding up his cell phone, Tom exited out of his blank internet page and pressed on the internet icon. Suddenly, four white words appeared on the black screen.
WHO IS PAUL SMITH?
Maddy looked at Tom and then out the window.
“Does anyone else have this problem?” Maddy asked.
“Everyone does.” Tom stated.
“What do we do?”
“I guess we wait for what the government tells us to do, that usually works.”
Then, all the power in the world shut off, forever.
“Mom?” Maddy called, “Are you here?”
Running out of the house, Maddy looked to the sky. Darkness fell across the land as other children called out for their mothers and fathers.
“What happened?” Tom called.
“My parents are gone!” Austin, a twelve year old boy year old said, “I was watching T.V. and then everything went boom!”
“My parents are gone too!” Anna called.
Shouts rang through the air as Maddy turned around and started to go in to her house.
“Maddy!” Tom called, “Wait, we should see if they need any help.”
“Why?” Maddy asked.
“They’re just little kids.” Tom said, “They need help.”
Sighing, Maddy walked over to Tom and nodded.
“Wait,” She asked, “I thought that it was morning.”
“It is.” Tom said.
“Then, where’s the sun?”
Tom looked up. All he could see were the tiny stars which shone brightly overhead.
“Something here is wrong.” Tom said.
Looking down at his watched he tapped on the watch and looked at the time, 8:30 P.M.
“Everyone!” Maddy called, “Everyone come here!”
“Where?” Someone asked.
Grabbing Tom, Maddy held up his arm and pressed the illuminate button on his watch.
“Follow the light!” She called out.
After several minutes of pushing, yelling, and crying, all the neighbor hood children were gathered and sitting in front of Maddy and Tom.
“Okay,” Tom said, “Listen up. I know that y’all are scared but…”
“You all.” Maddy corrected.
“It’s not y’all, it is you all.”
“Who cares?” A bratty boy called, “You ain’t that smart, girl!”
Holding his hand for silence, Tom took in a breath of cold air and looked at the crowd.
“Now,” Tom said, “I bet that your parents are probably on their way down to the Power Company to settle this. Just relax and…”
“Their cars are still here.” Maddy stated.
Tom looked at her and then back at the crowd of children.
“Hey, big kid?” A little girl asked.
“I have to go potty!”
“I’ll get her.” Maddy said to Tom.
Walking into the crowd, Maddy picked up the little girl and brought her into her house. Groping her way through the dark hallway, Maddy found the main floor bathroom and opened the door.
“Mom?” She asked, “Are you here?”
No answer. Placing the girl down, Maddy urged the girl in.
“I’ll be right here.” Maddy said.
“Thank you!” The girl sang.
Closing the door, Maddy listened until the girl was done and washed her hands.
“Come on.” Maddy said, taking her hand.
Once outside, she saw that Tom had a lighter and was holding the flame close to his face.
“…and so,” Tom finished, “we need to work together, okay?”
“I’m not working with a girl!” The bratty boy called out.
Maddy and Tom chuckled.
“Hey,” She whispered to Tom, “Father always kept a full fireplace, why don’t we all go in and light up a fire. For, you know, light and food?”
Looking towards the crowd, Maddy called out: “Hey, guys, let’s all go into my house…Tom will light us a fire and we’ll have some food!”
No one, not even the bratty boy resisted that offer.
After the fire was lit and everyone had a plateful of graham crackers, Maddy watched as some of the children began to fall asleep. Humming to herself, she walked up to Tom.
“I’m going to bed.” She told him.
“Okay.” Tom said.
Walking towards the stairs, Maddy started up before turning around.
“Don’t follow me.” She ordered.
“I won’t.” Tom called.
A blood sun rose up in the morning and stayed red until around ten o’ clock. Rising up at her usual time, Maddy went down into her living room and looked upon the dozen sleeping little kids which were sprawled out across her floor. Tom had fallen asleep in his chair with his head tilted back and his mouth hanging wide open. Smiling, Maddy turned around and looked at the clean kitchen. She did not notice the running refrigerator nor did she realize that her electric lights were on until she heard a shrill cry from a young girl.
“The Lights are on!”
Soon, Maddy’s house was an Animal Farm as she tried to calm down the excited children. Tom laughed as he began to brew himself a cup of coffee.
“Help!” Maddy called.
Rushing over to his friend’s side, he helped keep the kids settled down and organized.
“If you all are good,” Maddy stated, “then, I’ll make you all some breakfast.”
All the tiny children sat down and patiently waited as Maddy cut up some fruit and then brought them out on tiny plates. Devouring the food almost immediately, the children then began to bang their fists on the table while chanting: “More, more, more, we want more!”
“Hey guys!” Tom called, “I think that you’re parents are back, look!”
Pointing outside, Tom showed them that all the cars were gone. Opening the front door, Maddy walked out and took a deep breath of air. Suddenly, she heard a harsh voice call out:
“Freeze or we’ll kill you!”
William Stone had ice cold skin with white flowing hair that sat in a mess upon his head. White eyes sat in his socket, which showed no color or hope as he stared at Maddy, who stared back. She was wearing a black dress and her hair was bleached blonde. Smiling, William approached. His black trench coat flowed behind him while his black pants and shirt kept him warm.
“Hello, my dear.” He spoke.
Maddy did not respond.
“Oh, sorry about the threat,” William spoke, “We just have to be careful, don’t we?”
Looking behind William, Maddy saw that there were dozens of children and adolescents that were following him. Nodding in agreement, all the children watched as William approached Maddy and smiled.
“We don’t have a girl follower,” William, “At least, not one so pretty.”
“Maddy?” Tom called, “Is everything al…holy crap.”
Exiting the house, Tom looked from Maddy to William. He smiled with a hint of evil in his smile. Smiling back, Tom stuck out his hand.
“I’m Tom,” Tom said, “Who are you?”
Swatting away Tom’s hand, William looked at him.
“I’m your savior!” William proclaimed, “And you will call me…Master.”
“What’s so funny, weirdo?”
His followers laughed as Tom drew back.
“So, how many are in the house?” William asked.
“Uh…” Tom started.
“Shut up!” William barked, “I’m talking to…THE lady!”
Tom quickly went back inside. Backing towards the entrance of the house, Maddy glared at William.
“We…” She started.
Suddenly, William stopped. Looking off the side, he smiled and nodded.
“Let me take them off your hands.” He offered.
Maddy looked behind her. Spotting the little children, she saw as they anxiously crowded the doorway.
“Fine, take them.” Maddy said, “But don’t harm them, okay?”
“Maddy,” William spoke, licking his lips, “I’m good with children.”
Turning around, Maddy motioned for the children to come out. Rushing in one huge horde, the children quickly surrounded William.
“You smell like roses!”
“Are…are you Paul Smith?”
Suddenly, all went quiet. Spinning around, Maddy watched as William pointed to a little girl.
“Keep this one!” He yelled at Maddy, “And child, don’t ever say that name.”
“Why not?” Maddy implored.
“Because,” William said, “He does not exist and I’m tiring about hearing fiction nonsense in my life. Come, kids, let’s go have fun!”
William Stone arrived at the head of the storm. Closing the door, Maddy looked at Tom and the little girl.
“I hate that guy.” Tom growled.
“Tom, he’s just a bully.” Maddy told him, “Don’t bother with him.”
Turning her attention to the little girl, Maddy smiled and looked at her straight in the eye.
“How do you know about Paul Smith?” Maddy asked.
Smiling, the little girl shuffled her feet and looked at the ground.
“My daddy told me about him.” The little girl said.
“What did he tell you?” Tom asked.
“He said that Paul Smith is…” The little girl remembered.
“Well?” Tom asked.
“He is cute!” The little girl giggled.
Maddy smiled and looked at Tom, who was beginning to become annoyed.
“Who is Paul Smith?” Tom asked the little girl.
“He’s a…a…prince!” The girl announced.
Throwing his hands up into the air, Tom groaned.
“This is hopeless!” He told Maddy.
“Tom,” Maddy snapped, “Be nice, she is just a little girl!”
“I know, I’m sorry.”
“Oh, I remember!” The little girl announced.
“Who is he?” Tom asked, anxiously.
“Long ago, when there was war,” The little girl said, “Daddy said that there was one man who always ran with the under…under…doog?”
“Dog?” Maddy asked.
“Yes! The Under…dog!” The little girl giggled, “So, he helped them and they beat the bag guys and then he…POOF! Vanished!”
Tom nodded his head and looked at Maddy.
“This Paul Smith certainly is a…” He started.
“Wait! I’m not done!” The little girl whined, “Daddy also said that he played a thing around his neck a sort of…”
Bringing her tiny hands up, the little girl performed an imitation of a harmonica.
“A harmonica?” Tom asked.
“Yes!” The Little girl said, “A homika!’
“Harmonica.” Maddy said.
Tom laughed and looked at the little girl.
“Did your daddy say anything else?” Tom asked.
“Nope!” The little girl laughed, “Can I have some juice?”
“No, but you can have some water.” Maddy told the girl.
“I don’t want water, I want juice!”
Maddy glared at the little girl, who then stopped and put her head down.
“Okay, I’ll have water.” The little girl pouted.
“Good. Tom, will you take her and give her some juice?”
Cracking his knuckles, Tom nodded and took the little girl by the hand and led her away.
“Maddy!” He called, “Do you have any books that could help with this Paul Smith? Such as Western Civilization or anything?”
“No,” Maddy called, “I only have…”
Then, she stopped. Pondering to herself, she blocked out Tom’s voice as he continuously called her name.
“Maddy? Are you alright?” Tom asked.
“What? Oh, yeah I’m okay.” Maddy called.
Walking up the stairs, she soon found her way to her room and looked at her book shelf. Scanning her books, Maddy suddenly stopped. Popping out a large book, she read the cover: Webster’s American Biographies. Flipping open the book, she entered the S section and began to look for Smith. John Smith, Joseph Smith, Kate Smith…she searched through until she realized something.
“There’s no Paul Smith.” She sadly said.
“Maddy!” Tom called, “Can you come here?”
Walking out of her room and down the stairs, Maddy looked at Tom.
“Yes?” She asked.
“What is it?”
Opening her front door, she peered out.
“What?” She asked.
“Look up into the trees.”
Panning her eyes upward, Maddy scanned the trees until her sight rested upon a single white security camera that was hidden in the branches.
“Who put that there?” Maddy asked.
Turning to Tom, she saw his shoulders rise and drop.
“Honestly,” He told her, “I do not know.”
Maddy looked back at the camera and then back at Tom.
“The storm has arrived.” Maddy whispered.
William Stone gazed around his followers with a sense of delight.
“Everyone!” William called, “This is your home! This is our home! We shall live together in peace and harmony. Now, there are just two rules I want you all to obey. They are One: Do what ever you want whenever you want. And Two: if you do anything that you want, you must do one thing that I ask of you. They will not be inappropriate in any way whatsoever and if you obey these two rules then…we can fun. If not, then…”
He looked at two large boys on either side of him. Cracking their knuckles, the two boys chuckled and looked out into the crowd.
“…Also,” William Stone continued, “Every morning I ask that all of you report in at once to me at exactly nine o’ clock. Do you all understand?”
William looked around the area where he had brought them. Dozens of wall tents were set up in a random order. Each one had an outlet for electricity and a single light bulb that hung fro the center of the roof. Mud covered the ground as William looked upon his followers. Each person was nodding. Outstretching his arms, William smiled.
“Welcome home!” He shouted.
At once, the air was filled with applause and shouts of joy. Turning around, William brought his two bodyguards closer.
“Did you set up the cameras?” He asked.
“Yes, sir.” The two replied.
“Good. If you see anything irregular, you will tell me…understand?”
Brushing by them, William walked up the small hill and entered his large tent. Inside the tent, hundreds of video games and videos were scattered abroad. Three flat screen televisions were on the floor, each showed a pause screen for a first-person shooter game. Picking up a book, William smiled and looked at his bodyguards.
“Have any of you read, Catcher in the Rye?” He asked.
“No.” Both replied.
“How about the play, Julius Caesar?”
“Have you read anything in you lives?”
“Well,” One bodyguard responded, “I use to read the playbook in football a lot.”
“I don’t like to read.” The other responded.
“Do any of you play video games?”
“Good. You may play all that you like.”
Scurrying over to the game console, the two sat down and began to play the video games, shooting and killing the other Sims that made them mad.
“I’ll be right back.” William announced.
Walking out of his tent, William tossed the copy of the play, Julius Caesar into the air and watched as it blew away in a strong gust of wind.
“No one should be able to find that.” William told himself.
Falling in the wind, the play fell down the hill and rolled to a stop upon a jagged piece of rock. After blowing in the wind for a few minutes, the pages then stopped flipping. Then, someone picked up the play and retreated back into the crowd of excited children and teenagers.
Night began to fall over the land as Austin watched the fires of the camp rise into the air. Loud Heavy Metal music blared out of the cheap speakers that someone found in their tent. Rocking back and forth, Austin felt his skin crawl as William walked past him and join the party children.
“Are you okay?” A voice called from behind.
Turning around, Austin saw a girl with multiple piercings all over her body. Black eye liner, lipstick, and nail polish mixed in well with her black dress and black shirt. Waving some of her black hair out of her eyes, the girl looked at Austin, who smiled at her. Smiling back, the girl crawled up and sat next to Austin.
“You cold?” The girl asked.
Shaking his head, Austin looked at the partying people.
“I miss my mother.” Austin spoke.
“I don’t,” The girl said, “Heck, my father was a jerk and my step-mom was just a chain-smoking little freak.”
Coughing, the girl looked at Austin.
“So, which tent is yours?” The girl asked.
“That one.” Austin sighed, pointing to a tent in the near distance.
“Ah, the one behind us is mine.”
Rising from the ground, Austin looked at the girl.
“Well, I am going to bed.” Austin said.
“Okay, good night.”
Stealing off to his tent, Austin closed the flaps and tied them shut. Switching on the light, Austin picked up the book that he had and began to read.
Soon, the fire died down and all was still and quiet. As night rolled on, the soft sounds of explosions rang through the night. Far away from the camp, a man sat up in the trees and watched all the activities as they began to unfold. Smiling, he pulled out a small piece of paper and pen from his pocket and began to write.
Morning was met with smiles as Maddy, Tom, and Jessica (the little girl) rose, ate a small breakfast, and then began to clean up the house.
“What do you want to do today?” Tom asked.
“I want to go and get ice cream!” Jessica called.
Maddy smiled and looked around.
“I like that idea.” Maddy said.
Tom nodded. Gazing out the window, he suddenly stopped.
“Whoa,” He called, “Hey come and look at this!”
Walking forward, Maddy picked up Jessica and traveled to the window. Staring out the window, she suddenly stopped. Black bellowing clouds towered in the sky, threatening to rain.
“I guess there will be no ice cream today.” Tom concluded.
Jessica curled up in a ball in Maddy’s arms.
“Rain, rain, go away, come back some other day.” Jessica quietly sang.
“It’s okay,” Maddy reassured Jessica, “It won’t rain, will it Tom?”
Shooting Tom a glare, Maddy nodded. Quickly nodding his head, Tom laughed.
“Yes, I think that it won’t rain.” He said.
“And?” Maddy persisted.
“And, I’m going to the store to get some ice cream.”
Smiling, Maddy nodded. Traveling to the front door, Tom opened it and walked out.
“He’s cute.” Jessica whispered.
Maddy giggled and fluttered her eyes.
“Yes, he is.” She agreed.
Brushing her hand through Jessica’s hair, Maddy smiled and looked down at Jessica.
“Let’s go brush your hair.” Maddy suggested.
Jessica eagerly nodded her head. Walking up the stairs, Maddy turned left and pushed open a white door. Walking inside her old mother’s room, Maddy placed Jessica down on the King Size waterbed and walked over to her mother’s mirror. Picking up her mother’s old brush, Maddy then turned and sat on the bed with Jessica.
“How many strokes do you want?” Maddy asked.
“Mommy always did twenty-five.” Jessica told Maddy.
“Twenty-five it is.” Maddy announced.
Gripping the wooden handle of the brush, Maddy brought the teeth up and began to comb through Jessica’s gentle hair. The hair seemed to melt into the brush as Maddy counted off.
Jessica hummed and rubbed her hands on the blanket that was over the bed.
Soon, Jessica was rocking back and forth with each brush stroke that came. Suddenly, she stopped.
“What’s that?” Jessica asked.
“What’s what?” Maddy asked.
A sound was that of a loud drumming; as if someone was beating upon the house and was getting louder…closer. Rising from the bed, Maddy looked outside. A wall of rain blocked her view as she tried to find Tom. He was no where to be seen.
Blood poured from Tom’s head as he ran from the Grocery store. Cold rain pounded onto his clothes and leaked into the plastic bag which was filled with vanilla ice cream. Glass flew all around him as another brick flew through the air and broke the glass of another store. Screams and shouts rang through the air as dozens of children and teens ran wild in the streets. Fires poured from deserted buildings while the rain tried to desperately put the flames out. Snaking his way in between people, Tom ran and tried to find his way to Maddy’s house. The gash on his forehead bled harder and harder every time he took a step. Shaking off the blackness that was trying to surround him, Tom stumbled and fell to the ground. Staring back at him was a box of shotgun shells that someone had disregarded.
“These might be handy.” Tom told himself.
Picking up the shells, he placed them in his pocket and began to run once more.
“Do you have it?” William asked his bodyguards, after spotting Tom.
“Here it is.” His bodyguards replied, handing him a loaded shotgun.
Chuckling, William raised the shotgun.
Austin did not see William because he was toying with a small Jackknife that he had found in the road. Nor did Austin hear the chuckle of William and his bodyguards. The last thing Austin ever saw of this green earth was the folding blade of the Jackknife and the rain pounding against the dirt in his…BANG!
The spray caught Austin all over his small body and threw him aside like a rag doll. Suddenly, screams emerged out of the crowd as a circle formed around Austin’s dead body.
“Someone help!” A girl cried, “He’s dying.”
William handed the shotgun to his bodyguards.
“Hide it.” He told them.
Walking off, the body guards passed the girl dressed in all black. In her hands, she held a video camera. Rushing down to where Austin laid, William looked at the crowd and then peered through the rain until he spotted Tom.
“There he is!” William shouted, “There’s the murderer!”
At once, all eyes were turned towards Tom, who began to run.
“He has a box of shotgun shells in his pocket!” William shouted, “Go bring him to justice!”
Snarling like dogs, the horde began to dash towards Tom. Sprinting with all of his strength, Tom ignored the pounding rain and stumbled through bushes and pot holes in the road until he spotted the large silhouette of Maddy’s house.
Bursting through the door, Tom dropped the grocery bag and slammed the door shut. Locking the door, he panted and listened as Maddy came running down the stairs.
“Tom, what’s….oh, my gosh!” She started, “Your head!”
Rushing over, Maddy reached up to examine his wound.
“I’m alright.” He told her.
Suddenly, there was knocking at the door.
“Don’t answer it!” Tom told her.
“Who is it?” Maddy whispered.
“Tom,” William Stone called, “Are you there? Tom, why did you murder Austin? He was just a young boy…”
“You did what?” Maddy asked, backing up.
“I didn’t I swear!”
“…Tom, you are a horrible liar. Maddy, check his pocket. He has a box of shotgun shells. Austin was killed with a shotgun.”
Maddy was now red with anger as she reached into Tom’s pocket and pulled out a box of shotgun shells. Gasping, she backed away and threw the box at Tom.
“You murderer!” She snarled.
“I didn’t kill him!” Tom said.
“Maddy,” William called through the door, “Let me in, I have proof.”
Approaching the door, Maddy tried to unlock it. Grabbing her hand, Tom shook his head.
“Let me go!” She growled.
“Maddy…” He started, then he saw the box of shotgun shells, “Look, the box isn’t open.”
Stopping, she looked at the box. Dipping down, she picked up the box. The plastic covering was still over the box.
“He used one of the shells from the box,” William said, “And he killed that poor little boy.”
Maddy shook her head.
“Check my hands,” Tom continued, “New shotguns have a powder that takes forever to get off.”
Holding out his hands, Tom watched as Maddy investigated them. Fear came across her face as she looked up and pointed to the door. Nodding, he watched as she forced a glare on her face.
“Maddy,” William continued, “Come with us, come to safety.”
“No.” Maddy replied.
“What?” William asked, coldly.
“Go away, Stone.”
There was a bang on the door followed by a cold voice.
“You will die, Tom. And Maddy, I know why your father killed himself.”
Then, the only sound they heard was the rain that fell on the roof of the house.
The rain did not stop. Instead, more rain poured down. Standing at the entrance to Austin’s tent, the girl dressed in all black cried. Her soft tears fell from her eyes and hit on the mud floor. Walking over the small empty cot, she patted down the sheets. Bumping a hard object, she moved the top blanket to find the copy of a small book.
“What’s this?” She asked herself.
Shrugging her shoulders, she placed the small book in her pocket and started out of the tent. Suddenly, she stopped. Spotting a loose leaf piece of paper on the ground, she picked it up and began to read: Don’t Listen to him! Sighing, she walked out of the tent, folded the paper, and placed it in her pocket.
“Attention, everyone!” William called, “Austin’s death was a tragic act of murder. We all know who the murderer is and his accomplice, don’t we!”
“It’s that one girl, Maddy!” A teenager called.
“Yeah!” Everyone, but the girl in black, shouted.
Holding his hand up for silence, William smiled.
“She and her boyfriend are plotting against us!” William continued, “We need to be prepared! Now, I ask of you all…will you give me emergency powers to bring down this cruel couple?!”
“I can’t hear you!”
Cheers and shouts rang out through the sky as William held his hand up once more.
“This night,” He spoke, “We shall bring the murderers downward from their lies and their acts of violence! From the fiery darts that we will cast, we will spit and bring them to justice!”
“Therefore, I will need guards, soldiers, and people to help with the hunt and the protection of our people!”
Instantly, hands flew into the air as William smiled even more.
“We will expand our Sphere’s of influence and our generosity to those who will help us and…”
He raised his voice.
“…we will kill those who oppose us, murder us, and murder children!”
Angry shouts and cheers filled the air as all the children then began to chant: “Stone! Stone! Stone! Stone! Stone!”
The chants continued as William turned to his body guards.
“Did you raid the gun store?” HE asked them.
“Yes, master.” The two replied.
“Did you get bullet-proof vests for you two?”
“Good, tonight, I need you two to go and accomplish a job for me.”
“Good. And for you troubles, you can pick any game console and games that you want for yourself.”
“Thank you, master.”
The girl in black stole away and wandered off into the woods. Rain fell gently, now as she tried to shake off what she had just heard. Flipping open the book that she had stolen, she sat down and began to read, while the man sat up in the trees and smiled.
“We need to go into your father’s study.” Tom told Maddy, who was shaking in fear.
“We’ve already been over this,” Maddy told Tom, “We can’t. Not me, at least.”
Placing his hand on his friend’s shoulder, Tom leaned down and gave her a small kiss on the cheek. Jessica giggled.
“Do you remember when we use to play hide and go seek in the woods?”
Maddy smiled and nodded.
“That’s when we had our first kiss.” She said.
“Eww!” She sang, giggling.
Tom and Maddy giggled.
“Maddy, we need answers to what’s going on here. We have read all the books that you have up in your room. Please, let me go into your father’s study and see what he has.”
“He has nothing,” Maddy stated, “He got rid of all his books before he died.”
Tom rose and sighed.
“May I please go and look?”
Nodding, Maddy whispered a small yes.
“Thank you.” Tom whispered.
Walking down the dark hallway, Tom approached the old study. Gripping the old doorknob, Tom opened the door and entered.
The room was barren with the exception of a small writing desk that had a double barreled shotgun sitting on top of the desk. Walking over to the writing desk, Tom picked up the shotgun and placed it on the ground with the action open. Pulling open the top drawer, Tom began to rummage around the variety of objects that he saw. Suddenly, he stopped. Picking up an old portable DVD player, Tom saw that there was a DVD inside of it. Flipping open the screen, Tom pressed play.
“There is a darkness coming,” A voice said (the screen was black), “A darkness that many will die in. This is what I would like to call, The Great Darkness. Scientists believed that the end of the universe would be due to a similar darkness but instead, they were wrong. This darkness was not in space but within society. When the government began to burn books years ago, history began to black out of the lives of the entire world. But now, there is a darkness that is coming for everyone…for those who will believe in the darkness. It may sound just like a science fiction novel but the darkness is caused by…dematerialization of the mind and censoring of our lives…”
Tom looked around the room with a sense of fright. The sun was going down.
“…but there is hope.” The Voice of Maddy’s father continued, “There is a certain being, Paul Smith. He is the hope for the future to survive. Even now as I am saying this, I am looking for Paul Smith; the only cure for the blackness. But alas, my search has been in vain. And so, I am now force to end my own life due to a sad fact that the blackness will wipe society clean, like the blank pages of a book. To anyone who finds this, read the banned books; read them all! Do not listen to those who tell you otherwise. Books are not poison, they are the cure to the blackness that will take all the adults in the world. To my wife and my daughter Maddy, if you are listening to this, I love you.”
The DVD player then stopped. Smiling, Tom placed the DVD player in the drawer. Stopping, Tom saw an open box of shotgun shells in the desk. Picking up the shotgun, he put the box in his pocket, picked up the shotgun, and walked out.
“The Blackness?” Maddy asked.
Tom nodded. Looking at the open shot gun that was on the table, he nodded once more.
“So, my dad pretty much said read and wait for Paul Smith?”
“But, who is Paul Smith?”
“That is a never ending question,” Tom said, “You ought to know by now that no one can answer that question.”
“But yes,” Tom continued, “According to your father, the Darkness is coming.”
Maddy looked up and then looked out the window.
“No,” She stated, “The darkness is already here.”
The girl in black closed the book and looked up at the branches of the tree.
“That was amazing.” She told herself.
Looking at the cover, she peered at the figure who wore a purple robe. Several stab wounds were in him as he seemed to fall through blackness, through emptiness. Peering in closer, the girl found that she could not see his face for he had pulled his purple robe over his face.
“Why purple?” She asked herself.
Flipping the book back open, she turned to the back. Stopping, she began to read in the middle of the author’s notes: “…purple was often a sign that one was high in the political status such as a consul or a leader. So, when Julius Caesar was assassinated at the theatre of Pompey, he was wearing a purple robe to signify his high political stature…”
The girl nodded and looked around to make sure that she was alone.
“That was amazing.” She told herself again.
Looking up at the tree, she smiled and stood up. Her legs were soaking wet and covered in mud. Wiping her hands down her legs, she scooped off the mud and wiped her hands on her small skirt.
Staring down at her, the man smiled and nodded as the girl looked around.
“Who is Paul Smith?” She whispered.
No response. Nodding her head, she walked back to her tent. Tripping once or twice over pieces of rope, the girl held onto the book and note. Staggering into her tent, the girl stopped. Standing in the tent, was one of the bodyguards. He held a dozen dying roses in is hands.
“Hey,” He greeted her, “Master wanted me to give this to you.”
Tossing the flowers over to her, the bodyguard then left. The girl looked at the flowers and then felt her soul within her body burn in rage.
“Are you sure that you can handle it?” The girl in black asked another boy, who nodded.
Looking around, the girl then produced the book. Gaping at the book, the boy then looked at the girl.
“How did you get this?” He asked.
“Austin had it.” The girl replied, “And in honor of him, don’t tell William Stone.”
“I won’t.” The boy replied, “Actually, I’ll read it tonight!”
“And after you are done,” The girl persisted, “Give it back to me, understand?”
The boy nodded. Sneaking out of the boy’s tent, the girl suddenly stopped. Gazing over to her far left, she saw the two body guards sneak away from the camp, each one held a rifle in his hands.
Tom sat in the chair with the loaded double barreled shotgun on his lap.
“I hate this chair.” He told himself.
Squirming around, he paused. Then, he moved again.
“I can’t fall asleep in here.” He said.
Closing his eyes, Tom tried to fall asleep. After a few minutes, he felt his mind beginning to wander when he suddenly popped his eyes open.
“Shush!” A small voice called, “Just kick in the freaking door.”
Tom rose, grabbed the shotgun, and walked into the hallway. Suddenly, he heard the doorknob behind him rattle. Crouching down, he brought the shotgun up and steadied it. Breathing and out slowly, he waited for the door to open. Seconds seemed like minutes as he sat there. Tiny beads of sweat began top pour down his nose as he tried to calm his racing nerves.
The door burst opened as one of the bodyguard’s kicked it in. Flying off of its hinges, the door flew clear across the hallway and landed at Tom’s feet. Inhaling a deep breath, Tom placed his finger against the trigger and pulled it back. BAM! BAM! The buck-shot dug into the bodyguard’s bulletproof vest and carried him backwards. Slamming into his comrade, the bodyguard panted and quickly rose.
“Run!” He shouted to his comrade.
Jumping up, the two ran off into the raining night. Tom stood in the doorway, smoke still pouring from the muzzle of the shotgun. Panting, he felt his knees wobble and his shoulder screaming out in pain.
“Will they come again?” Maddy asked Tom.
“No, I don’t think so.” Tom reassured her, “How’s Jessica holding up?”
“She slept through it.” Maddy said.
Looking at the door, Tom and Maddy shook their heads and sighed.
“Sorry about the door.” Tom told her.
“It’s okay. At least you kept those freaks from getting to us.”
“Yeah, I did.”
Stepping closer, Maddy hugged Tom and began to cry.
“What if they come back?” She asked him, “We can’t stay here, now. They know where we are!”
“We can’t leave, either.” Tom said, “William has set up cameras everywhere.”
Nodding, Maddy peered out into the darkness. A cold breeze began to blow, driving some tiny raindrops into the house.
“What do we do now?” Maddy asked.
“Let’s get Jessica and we can sleep in your basement, okay?”
“I’ll go get her.” Maddy said, “Fend off anything that you see.”
Running upstairs, Maddy entered her mother’s room.
“TOM!” Maddy shrieked.
“What’s wrong?” Tom asked, running up the stairs (three at a time).
Entering the room, Tom looked at Maddy, who was in tears.
“Jessica’s gone.” She said, pointing to the broken window.
It was around midnight when the boy returned the copy of Julius Caesar to the girl in black.
“It was awesome!” The boy said, “I didn’t understand it but I like the part where everyone gangs up on the guy and stabs him to death!”
“Et Tu, Brute!” The girl said.
“Yeah!” The boy said high-fiving the girl.
“Now, you don’t tell anybody, okay?”
The boy froze, his face grew pale.
“Oh, crap.” He said, “I read it with George.”
“Yeah…uh, I think that he was interested in that play as well.”
The girl looked around and quickly leaned in towards the boy.
“Where is George right now?” She asked.
“He’s on guard duty.” The boy stated, “He’s up on the hill.”
Passing by the boy, the girl looked around outside.
“No cameras.” She stated, flatly.
“Master said that there was no need for cameras in the camp,” The boy stated, “He said that he’ll rely on people ratting each other out in order to get the people who are attempting to betray him.”
“So, you and I are pretty much screwed?”
“And George, yes.”
Grunting, the girl started for the hill.
“I need to talk to George.” She said.
“Here, let’s go to him.”
Turning around, the two walked off; just as a tiny child peered from behind the tent.
“I’m telling.” The Bratty boy whispered.
“George?” The boy called out, silently.
Pushing aside the entrance flap into one of the tents on the hill, the boy and the girl entered the tent. George had a flat round face that was cherry red with a blend of paleness within. Sitting in the chair, he focused his eyes on the dozens of dusty television screens that were laid before him. Leaning back, he brushed off the crumbs that were on his fat body.
“George.” The boy said, louder.
Yelping in fear, George popped up.
“Wha-what?” George stammered.
Holding up his hands, the boy approached George.
“Take it easy,” The boy said, “It’s me, Kenny.”
“Whew!” George said, “Kenny, don’t sneak up on me!”
“Hey, man,” Kenny said, “You know that girl who lent me that book?”
“Yeah, is this her?”
Moving aside, Kenny allowed the girl in black to come forth.
“Hello,” the girl said, “I’m Alice.”
“George,” George greeted, shaking her hand, “What brings you here?”
“I heard that you read the story?” Alice asked.
“That? Oh, yeah! It was EPIC!”
“SSSHHHHH!” Alice hissed.
Kenny looked around.
“We’re good.” He confirmed.
“Okay,” George said, “sorry, I was just really interested and confused by that story.”
“Same,” Alice agreed, “But I think that the story has a meaning for us.”
“Hold on.” George said.
Getting up from his chair, George walked over to the exit. Beckoning them to come, he whispered: “I want to show you something.”
Moving out of the tent, all three snuck around the hill top until they came upon a large blunt object.
“Okay,” George said, “We can talk here.”
Alice looked at the object. Leaning closer, she saw that the object had a round silver sideways barrel next to a wheel.
“What is this?” She asked.
“A semi-truck,” George spoke, “We found it on the hill, look at this.”
Taking a nearby staff, George stuck it underneath one of the wheels. Gently pushing down on the stick, George watched as the truck began to move.
“Impressive.” Alice stated.
“Yep,” George said, “Just think, if I put my entire weight on this, the truck would drive down the hill and sail across the lake over there.”
A chuckle emerged from Kenny.
“So,” George continued, “Why did you have us read that book?”
“Because,” Alice said, “I wanted to read it…for Austin.”
The other boys hung their heads low and nodded.
“And,” She continued, “I wanted to know if there was any mention of…”
She lowered her voice.
The two boys cringed at the name.
“Have you heard of him?” Alice asked.
“Yeah,” Kenny spoke, “I heard that he rips rebellions apart and restores peace…”
“I heard that he is a man who wanders about, never helping anyone but the underdogs.” George said.
“Well,” Alice spoke, “I’m trying to find him.”
“Don’t bother.” George spoke.
Before he could answer, there was blinding light that shone on all three of them.
“See?” The Bratty kid asked the bodyguards, “I told you so.”
Alice watched as the flashlight lowered. Suddenly, she felt a hand grip her arm and tore her away from the boys.
“Hey!” Kenny shouted.
Running up to the bodyguard, Kenny attempted to tear Alice away from the bodyguards. Suddenly, he collapsed after the Bratty Boy kicked him in the private area. Leading all three of them away, the bodyguards led them off into the night.
Rain fell in the morning when Maddy and Tom awoke. Yawning, she rose, traveled up to her room, got a new pair of clothes, took a shower, and then went to the kitchen. Reaching into her freezer, Maddy took out a freezer burned sausage and grabbed a frying pan. Switching on the stove, Maddy greased the pan, waited for the pan to heat up, and placed the sausage in. HISS! The sausage began to cook while Maddy began to cut up some fruit. Humming a song to herself, Maddy watched as the sausage turned brown. Grabbing hold of a steak knife from the knife drawer, Maddy traveled over to the sausage and sliced it open. Peering into the center, Maddy saw that the middle was red.
“A little longer.” She told herself.
Placing a lid on the pan, Maddy continued to hum while she diced up a banana. Placing some kiwi, strawberries, grapes, bananas, and some soy milk into a blender; she blended the substances up into a smoothie.
“Tom will love this.” She told herself.
Lifting up the lid on the pan, Maddy was met by a cloud of steam that rose and exited out the exhaust fan. Cutting again into the sausage, Maddy saw that the sausage was fully cooked. Slicing the sausage into two, she placed the sausage onto two plates and carried them to the dining room table.
“Breakfast!” She shouted.
Laying out two napkins, two forks, and two knives; she sat at the table and waited. Walking up the stairs, Tom entered the dining room and stopped.
“Did you make all of this?” He asked.
“Yes, I made all of it!” She excitedly spoke.
Walking over to her, Tom hugged Maddy.
“You smell like strawberries.” She said.
“Well,” Tom said, “I did take a shower.”
Maddy looked at the clothes that Tom Wore and giggled to herself. Tom was wearing a pair of jeans that were a size larger than his. A tie-dyed T-shirt stuck to his body as he sat down. Rubbing his neatly combed hair, he looked at the breakfast.
“This looks amazing.” He said.
“Oh, wait!” Maddy exclaimed, jumping up, “I forgot the smoothie!”
Dashing into the kitchen, she ran up to a cupboard and pulled out two mugs. Pouring the substances from the blender into the mugs, she brought the mugs out and sat them down at hers and Tom’s place. Taking a sip of the smoothie, Tom’s eyebrows shot up towards the sky.
“This is delicious!” He exclaimed.
“Thanks.” Maddy giggled, sipping her smoothie.
For a while, the only sound that Maddy could hear was that of the silverware clanging against the plates.
“How’s the front door holding up?” Tom asked.
Maddy glanced over to the front door. An old quilt was duct taped over the doorway and the busted door was discarded against the wall. Smiling, she looked back at Tom.
“It’s well, honey.” She said in a high pitched voice.
“Uh, thanks dear.” Tom responded in a low pitched voice.
Both friends then burst out in laughter before calmly cleaning their plates.
“So,” Tom asked, “What are we going to do about Jessica?”
Maddy sighed and looked at her small hands.
“I don’t know.” She stated, “I just don’t know.”
“I think that those two creeps took her.” Tom suggested.
“I think so, too.”
“Do you want to go and try to get her back?”
Maddy looked at Tom. His face was solemn and serious.
“Are you joking?” She asked.
“No, I want to go and get her.” He replied.
Silence filled the kitchen as the two finished washing and drying the dishes.
“Here,” Tom said, “If we go, I’ll bring the shotgun, just in case.”
Maddy felt her spirits die as she considered the offer that Tom was putting forth. Sighing, she nodded.
“Okay,” She sighed, “We’ll go and visit their camp.”
Tom nodded. His frown was larger than life as he looked away.
“I can’t believe that this happened.” He said out loud, “I can’t believe that our parents disappeared…”
“Or died. But still, I can’t believe that this is happening! Up until three weeks ago, I never heard of Paul Smith or thought of what could happen to us now that the world is dead.”
“The world is not dead,” Maddy said, “We’re just not living.”
“How do we live?” Tom asked, “After a while, we’ll run out of food and then what? We’ll die!”
Maddy grunted in frustration.
“Tom,” She spoke, “Let’s just think of how lucky we are that we are alive. Now, I will admit…when my father died I felt like I wanted to die as well but now living like this…I don’t want to die.”
“I’m going to get my boots,” He told her, “Then, we can go to their camp.”
“You think you’re funny, don’t you?!” William shouted.
Another slap met Alice’s face as she began to cry.
“Stop crying!” William shouted.
Slapping Alice, William threw off his black hood. His blood red eyes stared into Alice’s pale green eyes. Looking away, Alice felt her soul crumble as William, or Master, stared into her eyes.
“Please, William,” She begged, “Stop! I’ll do anything!”
Master stopped and looked at her.
“First,” He said, “Call me by my real name.”
“You know me as Master and William but now, you will address me as…Zeus!”
Alice rolled her eyes. Another slap sent saliva flying from her mouth.
“No, check that,” William spoke, “Call me Caesar, no! Just call me William!”
“William…” Alice spoke coldly.
“Ah, ah, ah,” William poked, “THE William.”
“Okay, the William, “Alice spoke, “Will you release me?”
Master, or William, looked at the ropes that held her bound to the chair. Gazing off to the side, he saw his bodyguards holding the lifeless bodies of George and Kenny.
“Get rid of them,” He told his bodyguards, “Now!”
Obeying him, the bodyguards dragged the bodies from the tent.
The crowd of spectators was many as they watch the bodyguards hang the bodies up on a post. Hoods were pulled down over the heads of the deceased as the bodyguards looked out at the crowd.
“This is what will happen to any of you who will oppose Master!” One of the bodyguards spoke.
“Yeah,” The Bratty kid shot in, joining them by the post, “You all better watch out because I will tell if you are bad.”
Murmurs and whisperings traveled through the crowd as they dispersed. Pausing for a second, the bodyguards listened…they thought they heard a harmonica in the distance.
“You know,” William spoke, raising a scythe (which had blood on the blade), “I really am sorry that you were to be the rebellious one in the whole camp. But hey, you did manage to drag two other pathetic sols down with you so…good job. Sorry it has to end like this.”
Raising the scythe above his head, William took in a deep breath.
“We have visitors!” One of the bodyguards shouted, bursting into the tent.
William put the blade down and looked at his bodyguard.
“What?!” He demanded.
“Yeah, come and see!” The bodyguard said.
Turning to Alice, William glared at her.
“If I release you,” He asked, “Will you do exactly as I say?”
Tears stormed down her eyes as she nodded.
“Yes,” She choked, “I will.”
Marching behind her, William cut her bonds loose and led her outside.
Tom looked at the massive lake that was behind the hill that jutted out of the land. Clear blue water sat in the lake and calmly lapped on and off the shore. Kicking a stone into the water, Tom watched as the ripples extended as far as he could see.
“Who goes there?” A voice shouted from above.
Gazing up, Maddy watched as the figure of William Stone appeared over the edge of the hill.
“It’s Maddy and Tom!” Maddy shouted.
“What brings you here, my dear?” William asked before turning to Tom, “And you?”
“A few nights ago,” Maddy shouted, “Two goons of yours broke into my house and we believed that they kidnapped a child who was in our possession!”
“What?” People everywhere asked.
Members of the mob gathered and looked from William to the small figures of Maddy and Tom. Tom, who had placed the shotgun down on the ground was now standing with his arms crossed, staring at William.
“I don’t know what you are talking about!” William stated.
“Well, do you know where Jessica is?” Tom asked.
“Shut up!” William shouted.
“No, you shut your freaking mouth!” Tom shouted, “You are nothing! You think that you are so big and hot, well guess what? One of your boys was wearing a bullet-proof vest and when I shot him, he got up and ran!”
“But, you also killed a boy, so why should we believe…”
“You killed him!”
At once, a sudden gasp emerged out of the crowd as the bodyguards drew close. Motioning for the guards to sit down, William smiled as one began to sit on a staff that was shoved underneath one of the semi-truck’s wheel.
“You killed, you know why?” Tom asked, “Because you had a shotgun and I…”
Suddenly, the truck burst forth from the hill. Maddy watched as the truck barreling down the hill and headed straight for Tom.
“Tom!” She shouted, “No!”
Instantly, both Tom and Maddy’s blood ran cold. The truck slammed into Tom, turning his entrails and bones into jelly. Tom flew sixty feet into the air before slamming into the water with a loud SMACK! Red stuff poured from all over his body as the worthless body of Tom fell deep into the blackness of the cold lake. Slamming into the water, the truck sank in as Maddy fell to her knees, watching as the waves in the clear blue lake began to turn red and became still. No one felt the tears that poured out of Maddy’s eyes as she got up and walked home. She did not feel the warm comforting rain that fell as she passed up the cracked lane and started for her house. Collapsing to her knees, Maddy wailed for her friend. The heavens poured out their tears as they tried to comfort her broken soul.
“Are you okay?” A voice asked.
Looking up from the ground, Maddy saw a pair of old gray boots. Several scuff marks were all over the tips of the boots, making them seem old and worn. The man wore gray pants and a white shirt which was protected by a gray trench coat. A beaded choker necklace hung around his neck along with a harmonica. Bleach white hair filled his head and his heavenly blue eyes complimented his shallow oval shaped face and head. Dipping the brim on his gray hat, the man smiled.
“What’s your name?” The man asked.
“I’m,” Maddy sniffed, “Maddy.”
Holding out his hand, the man helped Maddy up and shook her hand.
“Hello Maddy,” The man spoke with a British accent, “I am Paul Smith.”
End of Part II
Maddy gaped at the man, who smiled back.
“Y-you’re Paul Smith?” Maddy asked.
Holding out his hands, the man smiled.
“The one and only!” He said.
“May I ask,” Maddy inquired, “How old are you?”
“I am only Twenty Years old.” He spoke.
Maddy’s eyebrows flew upward.
“Wow!” She exclaimed, “You’re young!”
“Well, thank you.” Paul said, “May I ask, how old are you?”
“You are young, as well.”
“So,” Paul asked, “Where is William Stone?”
Maddy gasped and looked at him.
“You know him?” She asked.
“Yes,” Paul stated, “I’ve been following him for years now. He goes around and tries to gain followers for his cause of a society and whenever I come, he bails and flees to another place in the world.”
“You’re sad,” He said, “Why?”
“William Stone has…” She choked.
“I know what he did.” Paul stated, “I watched it happen.”
Maddy backed away.
“You did?” She asked.
“Why didn’t you stop him? Why didn’t you help me?”
Paul Smith bowed his head and took off his hat.
“I am just a shadow,” He told her, “I weave in and out of life. That’s why the legend of me has been here forever; I weave in and out of time and space.”
Maddy stared at him in disbelief. Sighing, he placed his hat back on and looked at her.
“Your name is Maddy, your father was an author supposedly killed himself, and now you have just lost your best friend and you are wondering why I am going to help you, correct?”
“How did you…?” She stared.
“I see everything that goes on around the earth.” He said.
“So, who is William Stone?” Maddy asked.
“Can we go inside?” Paul asked, “It will be a long story.”
“Years ago,” Paul explained, “I ran into a man who was an ambitious man. He was cleaver, good looking, and overall handsome. But this man was evil. He became an evil person who lured people into his traps and made them do anything that he wanted.”
“How long ago was this?”
“Five years ago, earth standard time.”
“One hundred years ago.”
Maddy whistled and looked at Paul.
“So, you are a time traveling bounty hunter who is from the future?” Maddy asked.
“No, I am not that.”
“Then, who are you and who is William Stone?”
“William Stone is evil and I am good.”
Paul gazed down and sighed.
“Maddy,” Paul said, “I know that this is going to be hard for you but, your father didn’t kill himself.”
“He didn’t?” Maddy asked.
“No…” Paul said, “He was murdered, William Stone murdered him to be here.”
“What?” Maddy asked, tears forming in her eyes.
Paul Smith nodded.
“In order for William Stone to invade a time period,” Paul explained, “He needs to take a life in that time period and then, he’s golden.”
“So, he murdered my father?” She asked.
“Yes, he shot your father with your father’s shotgun.”
Maddy then felt her eyes explode with tears. They fell like a river and wet her cheeks. Patting her shoulder, Paul bowed his head in sorrow.
“I truly am sorry.” He told her.
Sitting back, Paul watched as Maddy continued to cry. Tears fell like a water fall from her eyes as she buried her face in the dirty table cloth.
“Maddy,” Paul spoke in a sort of a rush, “I need your help.”
Maddy looked up at him with red eyes.
“I need you to help me destroy William Stone.” Paul spoke, “I can’t accomplish this task by myself; I need your help.”
“What do you want me to do?” Maddy stammered.
Looking down at his feet, Paul smiled and then frowned.
“I’m dying,” He told her, “And my last task must be destroying William before he takes hold of you as well.”
“But he hasn’t,” Maddy protested, “I am perfectly fine.”
“Maddy, he has killed your father, your friend, and now he is trying to kill you.”
“It’s true!” A voice called from behind Maddy.
Spinning around, Maddy suddenly stood up. Standing side by side and holding each other’s hand was Jessica and the little boy that she saw at the graveyard. Smiling at her, Jessica and the boy smiled.
“Hello, Maddy.” The two spoke in unison.
Maddy looked at Paul, who nodded and turned his attention back to the children.
“He stole us, Maddy.” They spoke, “He stole us. We didn’t follow him and now we’re dead. He stole us, Maddy and he will steal you.”
“N-no,” Maddy spoke, “How did you die?”
Jessica looked at Maddy. Her eyes were black and shiny.
“He stole us from our beds,” They spoke, “He came in the night and stole us from our beds, from you. And then, he buried us in the deepest part of the lake. He shut us away with our parents…and with you.”
Maddy backed away as the children began to walk closer.
“Paul!” She cried, “Make this stop!”
“It has stopped.” Paul said calmly,
Looking at him, Maddy pointed to the children.
“Them!” She shouted, “Make them stop!”
“They did.” He replied.
Looking back, Maddy saw nothing.
“You see,” Paul told her, “We must stop him from taking them all and doing away with them; and you.”
Maddy looked at her feet and calmly nodded.
“I’m in.” She told him.
“I’m telling!” The Bratty Boy shouted.
Alice rolled her eyes and glared at the newly placed security cameras. Counting the cameras over and over, she sighed.
“Twenty-nine.” She said aloud, “Twenty-nine cameras.”
“Stop talking!” The Bratty Boy said over the P.A. system.
At once, the entire camp, including the bodyguards heaved a frustrated sigh. Smiling, the Bratty Boy turned off the speaker and sat back in his chair, watching the T.V. monitors. Stuffing his mouth full of doughnuts, the boy chewed with the mouth open, not aware that his hand was on the ON button to the microphone.
SMACK! SMACK! MASH! CHEW! CHEW! The sounds of the boy chewing his food echoed throughout the camp as people began to clench their fists.
“Shut up!” One boy shouted.
Suddenly, everything went quiet. Staring at the one man, everyone waited until the sounds of heavy footsteps drew near. TUMP! THUMP! THUMP! The man’s blood ran cold as William, dressed in a purple cloak, descended the hill and approached the man.
“Have you got something to say?” William asked.
Frantically, the man shook his head.
“Good.” William snarled, smacking the man.
Gripping at his stinging face, the man felt tears come to his eyes.
“Aw,” William asked, “Are you going to cry?”
Laughter emerged from the bodyguards and the Bratty Boy. Glaring at the camp, William climbed the hill and then turned around.
“I have given you all sanctuary!” He barked, “You all had better be grateful that I was merciful to do so! I could have left you to die! Now (he motioned for the Bratty Boy to come) Nick here is Big Brother, he is your protector. If you don’t like it…”
William held up his scythe, warningly.
“…come talk to me, privately.”
Nick smiled and raised his shrill, annoying voice.
“Yeah, I’ll tell on you!” He shouted.
“You’re not Big Brother,” Alice muttered, “You’re little sister, tattling on everything that doesn’t go your way.”
Gazing up to the sky, Alice paused. The gray rain clouds were now turning black and the wind was picking up.
“There’s a storm coming,” William shouted, “I hope that you are all prepared for it.”
Walking into her tent, Alice sat down on the cot and looked around.
“Psst, psst, ps-pst.” She whispered.
Listening, she heard a faint humming.
“Are you there?” She asked.
“Yes,” Came a response, “Why am I here?”
“I need you to round up the people who are in charge of making the fire,” She told him, “We are going to need large rocks and logs for the storm tonight.”
Lying on her cot, Alice looked up at the dirty tan canvas roof. The once heavy rain was now a mere foothill of what it once was. Smiling to herself, Alice listened as the winds began to pick up.
“There is a storm coming.” She chuckled to herself.
“Are you sure about this?” Maddy asked.
“Yes.” Paul replied, “We need to see this.”
Sitting up in the tree, Maddy watched as the sun began to set on the camp. A booming fire rose from the center of the camp as everyone worked, underneath the leadership of Nick; who was being bratty as usual.
“That’s not right!” He shouted, “I want it that way, THAT WAY!”
Cringing at the sound of his voice, everyone busily worked and watched as the sky turned jet black. Thunder and lightning rocked the sky as the wind blew, nearly causing the six foot high fire to go out. Blowing the flames perpendicular, the winds began to blow harder and harder. Shouts and cries echoed throughout the camp as tents suddenly broke loose from their ropes and poles. Flying into the air, the tents sprayed the belongings inside everywhere. Alice watched as people dropped what they were doing in order to help the person whose tent had blown away. Suddenly, Nick stopped yelling. Gazing up, Alice watched as the wind blew the copy of Julius Caesar up into the air. Landing at Nick’s feet, the copy seemed wave around, begging for Nick’s attention. Picking up the book, Nick smiled and looked straight at Alice.
“I’m telling!” He shouted.
Suddenly, lightning flashed, thunder crackled. Seizing up on of the spikes that belonged to one the tents, one of the boys raced up the hill towards Nick. Suddenly, the fire went out. Screams echoed throughout the air as people began to rush around wildly. Suddenly, there was a high pitched cry that pierced the air.
“Get him, get the monster!”
Nick struggled with the canvas tent which had fallen on him. Kicking and screaming, he removed the tent form on top of him. Throwing the canvas off to the side, Nick heard a little girl scream.
“It’s the monster!”
Winds began to pick up, blowing the tent up into the air. Flying high up, the ten began to descend as lightning split the sky.
“I see him! He’s landing!” They shouted at once, “The monster is landing!”
Rushing up the hill, everyone watched as the canvas smacked into Nick.
“Get it!” They shouted.
Grabbing logs, stones, and spike, the mob rushed towards the monster. Darkness filled their vision as they groped around for the canvas. Then, one of the boys looked up.
“I see him!” He shouted.
Peering into the darkness, everyone saw a boy climbing towards the tent of William Stone.
“Get him! Get the monster!”
Rushing forward, the multitude yelled like banshees and charged at the monster. Snatching the monster by the arm, the man threw him backwards, towards the edge of the hill. Landing hard on the ground, the monster struggled as five boys leaped forward. Jabbing the monster with their spikes and casting down their stones, the boys ignored the shrill crying of the monster: “It’s me, it’s me!”
Grabbing a large stone, one of the boys stood back from the others as he watched the monster break from their grasps. Charging forward, the boy brought the stone forward and smashed it into the monster’s head. Yelping in pain, the monster fell back, falling off the edge of the hill. Tumbling down the hill, the monster came to stop at the shoreline, where the water lapped on and off the shore.
“We’ve killed the monster!” The boys shouted.
Suddenly, the weather began to grow worst. Hail started to fall as the multitude ran down the hill and shoved themselves into what available tents that they could find. Alice stood next to a boy, who smiled and nodded at her.
“Nice book.” He whispered to her.
“Thanks.” She responded.
“No, thank you for letting me read it.” The boy replied.
“Alice…” William read off.
“Here.” Alice stated.
Placing down his list, William smiled. The midnight rain fell steadily as William nodded.
“Good job,” He told them,”You all are good help to me.”
A few people nodded but most of them glared at William.
“Now,” He asked, “Where is that book?”
Scanning the crowd, Master began to walk back and forth among them.
“Well?!” He asked, raising his voice, “Where is the book?!”
“What book?” Someone asked.
“Don’t give me that crap, you filth.” He sneered, “I know that one of you has a book and when I find you, I’ll…”
He took his scythe and slammed it into the ground.
“…Kill you.” He growled.
Ripping the scythe out of the ground, Master turned his back and marched towards the hill. Following him, the bodyguards stopped as he turned around once more.
“Oh, if any of you see the ‘monster,’” He stated, “Kill it, good night”
Nodding, everyone looked around as Master traveled up the hill.
Soon, the camp was still and everyone was asleep.
Far below the hill, the water snuck underneath the body of the small child. Gently lifting the small body up, the water carried the dead body of Nick out to the far reaches of the hill. Sinking beneath the waves, Nick’s body fell peacefully downwards towards the blackness below.
Early in the morning, the wind blew. Snatching up the canvas, the wind tossed it towards the heavens and carried it out towards the sea.
“Why did they do that?” Maddy asked.
“Fear,” Paul responded, “There was fear and when there is fear but no leader, there is chaos.”
The sun rose up and poked its head over the horizon. Smiling, Maddy watched as Paul brought forth a white sword that gleamed in the sun.
“So,” Maddy asked, “We’re going to walk into the camp and you are going to kill William?”
“But for your own safety,” He added in, “You may want to stay in the tree that we were at last night.”
Maddy nodded and looked around her house.
“Are there other people out there?” She asked him, “Will I see anyone else besides those who are at the camp?”
“There are great people,” He spoke, “People who are rich famous and people who are poor and humble. You are not alone.”
Maddy looked at her house and nodded.
“But will I be alone?” She asked.
Looking at Maddy straight in the eye, Paul sighed and smiled.
“If you could live anywhere,” He asked, “Where would it be?”
Maddy closed her eyes and began to think.
“I would want to live in a small house,” She told him, “somewhere in the country with rolling hills and an ocean in the distance.”
“Are you sure about that?” Paul asked.
“After this, you will be rewarded with that house.”
“Well, let’s go.” Paul said, walking out the front door of Maddy’s house.
Pausing, Maddy looked back at her house. Once a nice welcoming place, the house was now empty and dreary. Red drapes were now turning paler and the once golden floor was turning brown with scratches carved into the wood. Straightening out the rug, Maddy walked past the broken door and walked out into the world, forever leaving behind her old house.
“Wait,” She asked Paul, “Tell me, will I be alone?”
Paul stopped and looked at her.
“I’m so sorry,” He told her, “But you will be alone, for the rest of your life after this.”
“Maddy,” Paul called, reaching his arm out, “please, don’t give up now.”
Looking back at her house, and then a Paul; she took in a deep breath and took hold of his hand.
“Is the projector set up?” Alice asked.
“Yes.” Replied a boy.
Looking at the projector, Alice felt her heart beat faster and faster.
“I’m going to die for this.” She said, plucking a video camera out of her skirt pocket.
Paul Smith marched through the camp as Maddy followed nearby. Moving out his way, everyone stared as Paul stopped and looked up at the hill.
“Who is he?” Alice asked, looking at Maddy.
Inhaling a deep breath, Paul opened his mouth.
“William Stone!” He shouted, his voice was as loud as thunder.
Suddenly, everyone drew back. Rising into the air, Paul rose up to the hilltop.
“So,” William called, his voice like thunder, “you come to me again, don’t you…Paul Smith?”
At once, the entire camp gasped. Smiling, Maddy watched as people began to point their fingers and gaze upon him.
“That’s him!” Alice shouted, “That’s our hope!”
Emerging from his tent, William Stone held his scythe in his hand. Glaring at the sight of Paul Smith, he growled.
“You!” He barked, “Leave me and take you false hope elsewhere!”
Paul shook his head.
“You have gone on long enough!” Paul shouted, raising his sword, “Now, give up or suffer my wrath!”
Sticking his hand into his pocket, William smiled.
“You are an old fool!” William shouted, “You actually think that I will fight you? Well, I have one word for you, my friend.”
Pulling a pistol out of his pocket, William raised it and fire. Zipping through the air, the bullet slammed into Paul’s face.
“No!” Maddy screamed.
Falling downward, Paul landed in the mud. Sticking into the ground next to him, his white sword grew black.
“Yes!” William shouted, “I’ve won!”
Clouds began to gather and turn black as William danced on the hill. Tears fell from the bodyguard’s eyes as they watched the lifeless body of Paul Smith turn black.
“There is no hope!” William shouted.
Tears stormed down Maddy’s cheek as she looked at her last dead friend. Anger gathered in her soul as she grasped the handle of the sword. Tugging at the sword with all her might, she strained as she found that the sword would not budge.
“Maddy!” William called.
Jumping from the top of the hill, William landed and began to approach her with his scythe in hand. Dashing towards the projector, Alice picked up a knife which she left there and placed it in her pocket.
“Where’s your Paul Smith now?” He asked.
Maddy tried to bring the sword out of the ground. Nearer and nearer, he approached. Raising his scythe, William prepared to hit his mark.
“Stop!” Alice called.
Looking at her, William growled.
“What do you want?” He asked.
Alice said nothing. Instead, she pressed play on the tiny video camera. Instantly, the side of the hill was filled with images of William and his bodyguards watching the others in the streets. Sensing what was going to happen next, William pushed Maddy aside and stormed towards Alice. Bonding together, the crowd formed a circle around William and forced him back towards the hill.
“Watch!” Alice called, “He killed Austin!”
At once, all eyes were glued to the projection. Hatred and anger filled the air as William picked up the shotgun and shot Austin.
“He killed him!” Alice shouted, “And he killed Kenny and George!”
“And Tom!” Maddy shouted.
“That-that was not me!” William called, wrapping his purpled cloak around him, “That was the bodyguard, yes! He sat on the log and he sent that truck into your friend! I did not do that!”
“What?” One of the bodyguards whispered to the other.
Glaring at their Master, the bodyguards approached him. Snatching up his scythe, William swung it and jabbed the tip into the chest of one of the bodyguards.
“Tell him!” William demanded.
“You,” the bodyguard started, “You didn’t tell us…”
“See?!” William asked, “You now know that I am innocent!”
“What happened to do what ever we wanted?” Someone shouted.
“Yeah!” Everyone else shouted.
Suddenly, the black sword began to glow white as Maddy listened to what was happening.
“No!” William shouted, seeing the blade, “Stop!”
Storming over, Alice brushed past the two bodyguards and grabbed William.
“If you just tell the truth then…” She stared.
Snapping his hand back, William slapped Alice across the face, slamming her into the side of the hill.
“I am the truth!” He shouted.
Gripping the handle of the sword, Maddy pulled. Rocketing out of the dirt, Maddy swung the sword and attempted to point it at William.
“The thing that you forgot,” She said, “Is that everyone thinks, whether you like it or not.”
“No!” William shouted, “I am their leader!”
Rubbing her bleeding face, Alice drew the knife out of her pocket and snarled like a dog. Jumping up, she screamed and drove the blade into the upper back of William. Gasping, William’s hands shot out as he tried to desperately grab his scythe. Leaning back, William stared up at the sky as he whispered his final words.
“Vae Victis…” He gasped.
Jumping up as one, the mob of followers grabbed pieces of shattered glass, metal, and rock. Leaping upon him, the multitude began to stab at their former Master as he brought his purple cloak up and over his face. Maddy watched as the blade suddenly shot out a ray of light from its tip. Letting go of the sword, Maddy watched as it calmly rose into the air. Disappearing, the sword vanished from her sight as Maddy watched the multitude moving away from the worthless body of William Stone.
“You see,” Paul Smith spoke, “The good will always triumphant over evil.”
Jumping up, she looked to the side. Standing there, dressed in white, was Paul Smith. His skin glowed as he smiled at her.
“What will happen to them?” Maddy asked.
“They are a fading memory,” Paul spoke, “They will fade away with time.”
“What about me?”
“You are the time keeper, now. You need to keep this is as a record.”
Looking at Paul, Maddy watched as he gazed back. The forest behind him suddenly parted, to form a tunnel which led to a small house that was near a beach.
“What about books?” Maddy asked.
“You don’t recognize this place?” Paul asked.
“This is the cottage that your mother grew up in. All her books, journals, and diaries are in there.”
Walking forward, Maddy smiled and looked back. Staring at the cheering mob, she still watched them as the trees closed them out.
Sixty Years Later
Maddy listened to the calls of the seagulls from her open window. Closing her old notebook, she smiled and leaned back on her old rocking chair. Sighing, she looked at her books that she had on her tiny bookshelf. Old journals and diaries filled the dusty old shelf. Sighing once more to herself, she sat up and looked around her small cottage. The kitchen was tiny along with the dining room. Several dishes were piled high in the sink as she nodded.
“I’ll wash you today.” She told them.
Rising from her old rocking chair, she shuffled along the wood floor. Opening the back door, Maddy allowed the ocean breeze carry through her isolated place. Inhaling the sweet scent of the ocean, she then turned around and disregarded the dishes in the sink. Instead, she sat down at her desk and grabbed some pieces of yellow paper. A cloud of dust hit her in the face, causing her to sneeze. Laughing, she picked up her old pen ad began to write.
Nodding in satisfaction, she then pulled out an old journal. Gazing at the pictures that she took years ago, she began to write in the black journal.
The End of the world began with the banning of books