Horror and Thriller Fiction posted January 12, 2018 Chapters:  ...24 25 -26- 27... 

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A chapter in the book Family 7

Never Turn Back Time

by Barb Hensongispsaca

I can't believe I'm still alive. No one is going to believe my story ... not in a million years, because, who would I tell anyway? No one would listen, everyone is dead. Everyone but me, that is.

'It seems like yesterday'. I remember reading a lot of stories and books that started that way. Now, I am starting this journal that way. I'm rambling, but then, I don't have a time frame in which to write this. So I suppose I can ramble all I want. Ramble, ramble, ramble, ramble ... guess that's enough rambling. I must be going crazy. Well with what I've been through, I have a right to.

What is the last sane thing I remember? Oh, yes, I think I know what it was. It happened about a year ago. I was feeling sorry for myself ... kinda like now. The stock market crashed and I lost my job. I lost my family and my home, too. Oh, no that's not right - I lost my home then my family. I have to remember the progression and keep it right in my head, don't I? Isn't it important to remember? I just don't know.

Anyway, that's when 'he' came to me. I don't know who 'he' is ... was. Oh, I'm so confused. Yes ... was. They were all gone. Everyone. I remember now - 'he' told me I could have it all back. 'He' was offering a lot of 'chosen' people a chance to get their lives back. Homes, jobs, families - everything. Do you understand that this was a grasp at sanity? You are right - I jumped at the chance.

But, I don't know how I got it all back. I went to sleep and woke up with my life back. I had it all. I was not living in the shelter anymore. I had my house. I woke up in my bed next to my wife. My kids came in and jumped on the bed. My wife handed me my lunch and rushed me out the door to my car and my job. It was all there. And it got better, I got a promotion, a huge raise, a bonus, a larger house, a bigger family. I was so happy ... for a few months. Then it started.

The world began to go crazy. There were earthquakes, sometimes four a week. They were not tiny ones. Oh, no, they were rated 6.5 and up. Tidal waves were wiping out islands. Volcanoes started springing up in places where there were none before. Strange fires started that consumed more and more of the planet. The temperatures started to rise all over the world. In a matter of months, the oceans dropped over twenty feet. People were dying; but, when the power failed, people died in masses. Heat, thirst, blood boiling, skin scorched, bodies burning ... the smell was maddening.

I could not save my family. They died when our house burned around them. I was gone looking for water and when I got back ... oh, no, it is all coming back. I heard them scream - someone screamed - maybe it was me. I don't know. I can't remember anymore. I watched them burn. I couldn't help. It was too late.

All I remember is trying to run, but it was so hot. I could feel my blood start to boil. I felt like I was baking from the inside out. My throat was parched and I had no moisture left in my body to cry or scream or swallow or sweat or ... .

My head hurt so bad as I felt my brain cook. I wanted to die, but for some reason I couldn't. I could not even beg for night because it stayed daylight ... everyday... all day. The constant heat and the smell of burnt bodies was driving me insane.

That's when I found this cave. It goes back into the mountain for a long distance. It is cooler than outside and I don't feel like my insides are cooking. Someone has been here before me. There are a few supplies, so maybe someone will be back. Then again, maybe not. I saw some burned bodies at the entrance. Guess I'm getting immune to them now; there are so many of them. This cave goes back quite a way and I plan to find out where it ends. Maybe I'll find someone. I have to be sure that I am the only one left alive, but I'm so tired. I need to sleep for awhile.

No, no, I can't let myself sleep. The last time I slept, the nightmares came and they were so real. I feel I am living them all over again - my family dying, the earth shaking, the fires, the constant heat. I can't stand to see the bodies and they are always there in my nightmares, haunting me. Sometimes I see the bodies chasing me. Then they turn into my family. My children are holding out their arms to me. They are burnt so badly. My wife is ... her face is melted. Her arms are bones with burnt meat hanging from them. Her beautiful hair is gone. Oh, how I miss them. I can't sleep. I can't stand this. I don't know what is going on. Am I the last one alive? Is there anyone else?

I see 'him' in my nightmares. 'He' is always standing there watching me. 'He' watches my family burn. I remember, 'he' was there when I found them dying in the house. 'He' was crying. No, that's not right. 'He' was laughing - at me! I made the decision to change my life. I reversed everything only to make it worse. Now, I have to live this for eternity. Now I remember.

I sold my soul.

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