The Coming of the End

by Pamela Collazos

Stony silence quaked the ground, like a quiet shudder as the world exhaled its fear. Who was this that shook the earth without care, and flattened the rolling hills into valleys?

Luksa did not wish to hear the answer. It spoke in whispers to her mind, saying, “I am here. Below you, tied to you, bringing you down to my depths.”

Was this madness? Or was what she heard the real mutterings of an other-worldly entity? It was nothing. It couldn’t be.

And yet the ground beneath her cracked, and the birds wailed and screeched, and the waves roared at the coming steps of Doom—their Doom, for was not the earth shared between them? And who would rise when great Atlantis sank beneath the power of their shared calamity?

It couldn’t just be her.

It couldn’t: they clutched their hearts also, and their knees blistered as they hit the ground, and—was she falling, too?

It was not of this world—it was a threat immemorial. And yet, why did it feel so familiar, like an old ache in her bones or nightly acid in her throat—? She knew it. Somehow, she knew this threat that was almost as old as the earth and rising again to grind them into powder.

It was of this world. It was too much a part of it: its horror bled into every heart, every beat of life, and every tooth and claw of nature. It stained all red. It touched all alive. The curse rang deep in her and tugged.

The sky was creasing, like an old paper that one crumbled before tossing in a bin. The heavens were ripping at the seams, and little holes grew large within minutes, and she wondered what would creep in. The voiceless horror suffocated them all.

Cold hands of flame were on her throat. On all their throats. Those who tugged themselves free for long enough cried to the boulders, “Fall on us! Better to be crushed than this!” And were soon silenced.

This was their Doom. Their doom, their doom, their doom—it stalked them like a lion, and devoured them whole, starting at their riotous spirits, and then down to the last inclination and thought of their minds. It would come for her. Soon, it would come for her. Something in her bones knew it to be so.

 Their eyes were turned to darkness. The night was upon them. Dark shadows raged and the emptiness of space broke through, stealing their breaths.

The people looked to the boulders, and another cry rose above the enforced silence. “Fall on us!”

Luksa screamed—but how could she scream? She clutched her throat as her swollen eyes cracked open.

It was a dream. Only a dream. She exhaled and ignored the dread clutching at her heart. Just a dream. One silk sleeve rubbed against her tears as she gave herself a moment to settle. She tied her curtains and let the light filter into her apartment complex. Nothing but a dream.

Then she rose to her morning oblations: a little toothpaste, a little water, a little rinsing of the face and neck.

“The nightmare’s passed,” she whispered. It was a nice lie to tell herself, and she repeated it religiously, combing her hair till her fingers stilled and the steadfast naivete that protected her sanity renewed itself.

She remembered she was a rational person, and she did not believe in such things. Just neurons firing blind—nothing more! And if she had to clear her throat and drink honey and tea to soothe the ache, it was just a cold passing through her system. It was that time of the year, was it not? And if her neck was oddly tender, it was just phantom spasms and pains of a subconscious horror.

Nothing more. Why should it be? The world was prospering. Thriving. Growing in its ability to experience pleasure.

There was no Atlantis, anyway. It was myth and legend. Talk for children and imaginative dreamers—nothing more!

“Babylonia,” it whispered in her ear. “Babylonia rises from the deep.”

She’d had too much ale before sleep, she told herself. And too much wine and hard liquor this week. She was stressed—that’s all this was! Stress and liquid peace curdling in her belly. A simple reason, really. A cool glass of water from her fridge would do her wonders. And perhaps some eggs and bacon to settle her stomach.

Yes, that would do it. She’d have a nice brunch, and the whole morbid dream would disappear with the light of day.

And thus, she shut her eyes, and she shut her ears; meanwhile, great Atlantis sank into the deep.


Hours later and half a world away, Ruya lived a nightmare. There were flares and bombshells raining from the skies, and the heads and limbs of her slower neighbors rolled beside her feet.

The children were crying, and what comfort could she give them? The earth was fire and poison smoke, and she clutched her babes to her as she and her eldest son ran for refuge.

The night was long. If she derived any comfort from this darkness, it was that the militants couldn’t spare enough night goggles for all their members and were thus likely pursuing her as blindly as she and her family were fleeing from them.

A nearby refugee cried out, and a thump resounded to her left. She prayed the poor soul had not sprained an ankle, but she couldn’t afford to stop. She had a family. She veered right and kept running.

It mattered little to her that she might die. She was tired of running, tired of waking, but her children…  her children needed her. Her beloved Nuruddin was dead, the survival of her family-friends was in question, and the jihadis bombed the camp to dust. Only she was left behind. So she endured.

The sounds of bullets receded into the distance, and they ran a little farther till they were as sure as they could be that the sounds of war were behind them for now. Her eldest, Fikri, squinted and signaled he’d scout ahead, and Ruya clutched her little ones to her till he’d returned with news of a hideout and led them to a little nook at the foot of the mountains.

Fikri received his younger siblings from his mother, settling them with ragged blankets and a bit of bread as Ruya scavenged leaves and sticks to stitch a makeshift curtain. She grabbed a few stones for weapons—in case—then slid back to her hideout where she hummed a lullaby to the little ones as she hid them from view.

Fikri sang, as lovely as his father once did, though he lowered his voice to a whisper in case unfriendly ears were nearby. Ruya tried to smile instead of cry at the memory of her dead husband, but she was couldn’t help her relief when Fikri quieted and fell to sleep himself almost as soon as his siblings drifted off.

The moon was gaining power. It was luminescent on such a dark night, and she wished she had the energy to admire it as she once did. But alas, the past was the past, and she tossed and turned as she prayed for relief and peace, before unwillingly sinking into a restless sleep.

The dream was strange.

It was the dream of the Doom, as the American saw, but she saw it as from above the heavens, out of reach of the great dread and almost out of sight of it. The Doom made her tremble—how could it not?—but she was not new to the dark.

And she saw further than Luksa. Further than the struggling and man’s succumbing to the cold fire that clutched their throats and unmade the world. She saw beyond: that the dark would come before the dawn, that the unraveling would give way to the endless meadows and the crystalline stream that flowed from a throne of gold-that-is-more-than-gold, on which sat the king-that-is-more-than-a-king. The last unmaking did not scare her, for all its horror. For the second making followed at its heels, and she was there. Her family was there. What more could a spirit want?

The children woke her from sweet slumber, asking for her to fill their hungry mouths and provide them with hugs, and despite the lone bread they shared and the stiffness of her joints, she embraced them with a smile and a growing dawning of hope.

The Doom was coming, and the Morning Light awoke in her heart.

Pamela Collazos is a Christian writer who has been published in AerieThe Author’s Chair, and the Creation Club Magazine. She enjoys working on her personal blog, The God Blog, watching Star Wars, eating more chocolate than she should, and working on the next great American novel. You can find her on TwitterFacebook, and Amazon.

2 thoughts on “The Coming of the End

  1. Wow, this was incredible! I love the contrasts and parallels between the two characters. One has a peaceful life, ignoring the horrors of her dreams. The other has it so much worse on earth, but she knows the hope that comes after.

    Great read!


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