The Child of Armageddon

Short Story

This world is full of violence and malice. Some of us blind ourselves to what is happening, concentrating on the screens that dull our minds. War has left parts of the planet scarred and nations divided in what they believe. The date is the 29th September 2020 and although we did not know it yet, all that we know is about to come to an end.

Technology has advanced drastically within the past few years, however our main fuel source has become obsolete and we need to find something new to power our civilisation. The only sustainable power we have managed to achieve is nuclear power on a large scale, however the leaders of this world are at war with one another leading them to direct all of their funds into nuclear weapons, which leads us to the story I am about to tell you.

The date was the 19th September 2020. I woke up one morning like any other, I sat down to the table with my breakfast and turned on the television all was well until I was about to leave for class as it was an early morning lecture. Every channel suddenly had the same sentence, "We interrupt your entertainment to deliver this emergency broadcast." My heart was suddenly in my throat, the palms of my hands were sweating and my gaze never broke from the television set. Suddenly my housemates burst into the room confused to why their phones were showing the exact same message. My anxiety became unbearable as the television beeped like ringing in my ears.

The sound of breathing filled the room as all of us were waiting anxiously to hear what was happening. I could not believe my ears when the broadcast began, everything was going to change and there was nothing any of us could do about it. “In the early hours of this morning, a terrorist organisation launched a warhead containing an unknown substance on British soil.” The broadcast was cut short by a ringing sound accompanied by strands of colour across the screen. The room stayed silent. I felt an intense heat fill my chest as it became hard to breathe.

As the news began to sink in, I could hear screeching of tires in the streets outside. I ran towards the window and saw people running in one direction. All of my instincts were screaming at me to hide from whatever was causing all of the commotion outside, then I heard a terrifying rumble. As I glanced out of the window for a second time people in the streets started to pass out. Thick yellow waves of a smoke-like substance began to sweep through the air like tentacles.

With no signal or internet telling us what to do we could no longer blind ourselves to the world around us. We collectively decided to stay indoors as all we could see through the double-glazed windows was multiple bodies lying in the streets. In the few hours that had passed the only thing that seemed to be constant was the feeling of numbness. As a few more hours passed everything remained silent and I began to think about what I should do next as I was fearful about the notion of leaving the house. As the day went on I noticed all of the bodies that previously littered the streets seem to have scattered to the wind.

Due to the streets being free of sound all that seemed to concern me was the strands of yellow smoke flowing through the air outside. As the sun began to sink into the distance I decided to go to sleep, however this wasn’t easy due to the circumstances. Every sound I heard was like an explosion amongst the quiet, even the movement of the sheets resembled an avalanche in the distance. With a blink the day began, my thoughts where scrambled and I didn’t know what to do.

Suddenly the signal had returned to the television set. All of us gathered around to read the message flashing upon the screen, “Stay inside your homes, lock all of your windows and doors. God help us all.” After a few moments, the signal was lost and the electricity was cut. I looked around to find that the window had been open the whole time. I raced to close the window and suddenly realised that if the gas was toxic it would have already killed us all.

As my fear of what had happened subsided, I became curious to what caused the rumbling sound the day before and whether that sound and the deaths of the people in the street are linked. Suddenly the rumbling sound occurred once again but this time it seemed to be muffled by the distance. The yellow smoke like substance returned and this time it resembled a fog that covered as far as the eye could see. Suddenly I could feel a heaviness in my chest and a ringing in my ears, everyone around me began to fall to the ground and I began to panic. The fog seemed to push itself against the glass as it became a more intense yellow, soon after; everything went black………