“M-mom? Mom!” A child shouted; his voice joining the brewing cacophony in the background while his skinny little arms cradled the bloody corpse of his beloved mother. Her face was stuck in an expression of fear and pain and her emerald eyes had already lost the light of life within it.
“Dad? Come back!” Another child yelled, tears flowing, as her innocent blue eyes scanned the fiery scene before her; hoping to get a glimpse and be reunitied with her lost family. The fire crackled as it devoured the former home of the little girl. “Please don’t leave me all alone…”
Cries of sorrow and anguish shook my ears while I looked around and witnessed people of all ages weeping and begging for their dead family members to return to them. It was as if chaos and death had caressed the area as a joke and it left innocent souls to be damned for all eternity. My heart ached with each passing moment and with every scene I came across, the humanity that resided within me started to die little by little. There was no doubt about it.
This was hell on earth.
I glimpsed on my right and saw an elderly woman struggling to crawl and free herself from the pile of concrete that had crushed her legs. Her small brown eyes stared at me with fear as her dry, saggy arms reached to me for help. As my body moved to approach the old lady in need, a group of panicking people came running; stepping on her as if she was nothing but dirt and she breathed her last in the process. My hazel eyes widened as it reflected the rotten image before me; a bile threathened to exit my mouth while my legs quivered before I collapsed on the dirty ground. Placing my hands on my mouth, I processed wha had just happened to the former old damsel in distress.
“Stop, please. Don’t hurt her,” a trembling voice pleaded. One glance on the scene and I was left to witness yet another act of inhumanity. “Please, I beg you. I’ll do anything! Anything. Just, please don’t hurt my sister.”
A blonde girl used his brother as a shield to protect herself from the malicious eyes of a group of older men. Both in their teens, they proved to not be a threat to the number of male enemies circling around them. The older of the two knew the men were up to no good, but he knew he wasn’t strong enough.
It was a battle that has already been decided from the start and he would instantly be annihilated.
Desperately, he looked to his sides in an attempt to draw pity from the strangers near the scene, but, alas, it seemed that the world had forsaken them and nobody would come to their aid.
I bit my lips and clenched my fist upon realization that nobody would help them no matter how hard they prayed for it. The sad reality was every single soul that littered the once beautiful city had given up in life all together. They had decided to live inside their own minds and pretended that everything was fine; some were eaten alive by their own demons and selfish desires while some had committed suicide on the very spot they were standing. Everything was too much for them to take in and they chose to protect themselves from it one way or another.
Everywhere I looked, those five danced around as if there were no tomorrow; poisoning the minds of the feeble humans and tempting them to fulfill their evil desires.
“I can’t accept this,” I mumbled to myself. “Fight–I must fight to save them. I need to be strong enough and save them.”
Right when I came back to stand on my own two feet and with the illusion of bravery blazing before me, my name was muttered and carried by the wind accompanied by a voice that sounded like music to my ears. The bravery was extinguished that instant while I called all the angels and gods above for their guidance. I wished that I wouldn’t see her in a state that would make me succumb to the darkness for good.
Slowly, as if taking my time would drive the unpleasant thought away, my head turned to look at the direction which the voice came from. There I saw her, my beautiful Liliane, dragging her feet and creeping towards me. Her grey eyes stared at me intently, her face kissed by dirt, and her lips trembled before showing a subtle smile. On her arms, a baby was being carried as she made attempts to hush and coo at the silent infant.
“L-Lilliane!” I scrambled on my feet and rushed towards my hope, “love, I’m glad you are all right.”
“I am able to save our baby, Elliot. She is safe, look.” Her expression turned soft and shifted her attention to our baby with adoration. Her pale hands wiped the dirt from the face of the little angel and she kissed the top of Mary’s forehead.
“Thank goodness. I don’t know what I would do if something were to happen to you two,” I breathed with relief. I was definitely happy indeed. Despite the evils of the world that were clawing at us at this very moment, I was able to keep what I hold deer in my life. Slowly, I moved closer to Liliane to catch a glimpse of Mary when I noticed the blood-soaked dress that the baby was wearing for her first birthday. No matter how I looked at it, Mary wasn’t breathing anymore.
“Liliane, she–Mary–is not breathing.”
“What are you talking about?” My wife asked gently followed by a gentle laugh. “You must be imagining things, Elliot. Our little angel’s fine, she was just sleeping. She became tired while trying to keep up with the events after the disaster.”
“No… she’s dead.” I stared in disbelief.
“Lilliane no matter how you look at it, she–”
“Shut up!” She snapped. “One more claim of Mary being dead and I swear to god you will wish you have never opened that filthy mouth of yours.” With that, she returned to cradling the baby and humming for it to not be awaken by her sudden outburst.
Closing my eyes, I accepted the fact that my wife has succumbed to the hug of madness. I lost both of them forever; my child’s life and my wife’s sanity.
Opening it, I saw a different scene before me. The alarm clock beeped; displaying the time: 6 am. My wife shifted her weight under the covers of the blanket and slithered her arms to envelope me into a hug.
“Good morning, love.” She kissed my right cheek. “We’ve got a long day ahead of us. It is Mary’s first birthday today.”
Fear creeped into my veins upon realization. I was cursed to see a disaster or accident in the future but I could never prevent it. I had interfered in the past and reduced the severity of the outcome in several occasions. This time, however, I knew I could never do anything to change what I saw.
I was destined to face a nightmare as a reality but this time, I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.
I was to become a mere bystander.