Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Witness: First Strike

My classmates (Fatima, Charmaine, Ida) and I went up a memorial shrine one evening and we were just enjoying the nighttime view of the city when it happened...

From the beginning, I had this foreboding feeling in my stomach. The city view was quite pretty, it looked like it was sparkling from where we were, and the night sky was dotted with stars all over. But this did nothing to settle my uneasiness, an uneasiness that twisted the knot in my stomach tighter and tighter.

I soon forgot about it when Charmaine and Ida came back with our food and we gazed silently at the night sky while Fatima went to the shrine to pray. There were a few other people around and normally, one would consider this a glorious evening.

However, our solitude was suddenly broken by the sound of Fatima's running and we stood up to face her.

"What's wrong?" we asked her. She was panting hard, but I could read from her face that there was something really wrong and the knot in my stomach returned with more intensity this time.

Images of fire, our surroundings being destroyed suddenly flashed in my mind. I don't know if I was merely imagining it, knowing how hyperactive my imagination is, but the next images I saw made me stagger.

I saw myself and many other people being swept away by raging waters that came out of nowhere. The thing that bothered me the most was that in the back of mind, I somehow knew that the images I was seeing will happen the next two days. Honestly, I started to panic. It was happening all over again! It was just like that dream I had a few years ago, it was like a premonition. To see how I was going to die and to know when, I hated it. I didn't want it.

Fatima's voice broke into my thoughts. "We have to take shelter! It's not good if we stay out here any longer," she said and led us to a small mausoleum that was made of cement. "This should be enough," she said, which confused us.

She kept looking up at the sky so I wondered, "What are you looking at?"

Fatima then pointed to the sky and when we looked up, it was no longer the star-studded sky that we were gazing at earlier. In its place was an overcast, red blanket of clouds that swirled in raging terror. The heavens looked angry. But that wasn't what she was pointing at. I looked closer and my eyes widened at a blazing object that was falling at tenfold speed.

Charmaine asked, "Is that a meteorite?"

No one answered but in my mind, I knew that wasn't a meteorite. A moment too soon, there were now hundreds and even thousands of those blazing objects falling everywhere. Smoke started rising from various locations in the city below us and fire started spreading like a hungry carnivore, devouring everything in its path. We took shelter in the mausoleum as we watched our surroundings burn before our eyes. It was a horrible sight to behold and I wished I wasn't there to see it. The concrete mausoleum protected us from the raging fire but my heart was pounding when I thought of all the people who weren't prepared. I didn't have my family with me.

A priest from the shrine was with us that time and he was holding on tightly to his Bible. In a quivering voice he told us, "HE is coming back."

And that was when I remembered it. This was just like what they had pictured would happen when HE comes back. It was like one of the ten plagues of Egypt. My heart raced, my mind blanked and my knees shook. The only thing that I can think of is "I'm not ready." I'm not ready. I couldn't even begin to describe what I felt that time. I was nervous. I was terrified. I was scared.

I closed my eyes and prayed. I prayed like I have never prayed before. I silently called out HIS name, asking for forgiveness. Tears fell from my eyes.

But no sooner than the rain of fire started did it stop and the clouds parted to reveal the night sky once again. I opened my eyes and looked around to see what was left of the place we stood upon. The grounds were strewn with burnt objects and the city below us looked like a ghost town. We all cried at the most pitiful sight we had ever seen.

Not long after, when my friends and I have recovered a little from that experience, we went our separate ways to our homes, hoping that we will find our families safe. As I went my way, I couldn't relax just yet for that this was only the beginning of what I know would be a series of traumatic events and calamities before the day HE will set foot on Earth again...

to be continued...

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