We’ve been searching for a cure for over six years now. And as much as we wanted to give up, we couldn’t.
The human race depended on it.
I remember the day the world ended. There was news that every country was getting hit one by one. It was a silent killer. Those who survived became barbarous.
And those who were neither dead nor barbarous became crusaders.
The crusaders were the survivors. The last of mankind.
We’ve been on the search for food and supplies every day since. Risking our lives to find that damn cure.
It was suspected that the deadly poison was airborne. Some kind of medical engineering gone wrong. But I felt there was more to the story.
Professor Wells, the only surviving biochemist, had entrusted me with a little secret. Whatever was released into the air wasn’t manmade. The remnants in the corpses he studied pointed to nature.
Some sort of spores released by the trees, and somehow, only targeting humans. The irony in it all, this deadly poison affected our ability to procreate. In other words, humanity was screwed.
But that didn’t stop everyone from having fun. I see why humanity was on the death list. Everything was a joke.
“Hey Nelly, want to join us tonight? I promise to be gentle.”
“No, thanks. I’d rather go outside at night alone than be with you. And stop calling me Nelly. My name is Janelle you jerk.”
Marcus was the prime example of why humanity was doomed. And possibly the reason why nature was trying to get rid of us.
I'm actually surprised this many of us survived in the first place. Wearing gas masks during the attack was the only way of survival.
I considered myself pretty lucky. When everything went down, I wasn't alone. But we had to run like hell. We managed to find a Military Surplus store with just enough gas masks.
Eight individuals, and only seven masks. We played rock-paper-scissors to see who would sacrifice themselves for the rest.
Let's just say we never played that game after that day.
What drove me crazy the most was that about an hour after we made that sacrifice, we managed to break into the back room of the store where there were a plethora of masks.
If only we could have reached that room sooner.
I hadn’t really been outside since the day I lost Amari four years ago. I’ve been in the lab almost every day with Professor Wells. I admired nature, but going outside only brought back flashes of what happened.
People suffocating. Others running. And a few others growling like animals. It was chaos.
Those who became barbarous were erratic. They didn’t bother, but one step on their territory and you were dead. That’s how we lost so many crusaders and the reason why I stopped going on those ventures.
But one day, Professor Wells asked me to join him on this very top-secret mission. He said that his grandson was in possession of something that could potentially help us find a cure. But it was a dangerous trip through some uncharted territory.
I was bewildered. He never asked me to go on his little ventures, let alone into some uncharted place. How important could this item be?
“Have you ever heard of the 7 chakras?” he asked. I nodded as we went off into the wilderness.
“They are specific frequencies within the human body, each responsible for different energies and different levels of consciousness. A few years back, I went to Guatemala and found this enchanting necklace in one of the pyramids. It glowed with such brilliance that it almost felt alive.”
He went on to tell me about how he felt that there may be a connection between the end of the world and that necklace. He mentioned that he’d been having dreams of the necklace and the number 777. It was some kind of angel number he said.
But that was it. He said nothing more.
Our journey was pretty tedious. Since it was just the two of us, we had to take it very slow and be very careful. Our efforts, somehow, proved futile.
We were being followed.
I wasn’t in the best shape. Despite being petite, my cardio sucked. And let me not get started on Professor Well’s athletic skills. This was a suicide mission indeed.
We couldn’t tell what was hunting us down. An animal? A barbarous one?
As we ran for our dear lives, we ended up at this two-story house. It was white with huge windows all over and vines with little yellow flowers grew on the walls. It was evident that the trees had protected it from weather and time.
The door was unlocked, so we didn’t hesitate, we ran inside. We hid and waited.
We could hear footsteps approaching the front door. Whatever it was, it hummed with the voice of an angel.
The door slowly opened, and from where I was hiding, I could see a pair of muddy boots making their way in. The humming continued.
Wait… I recognized that song.
I needed to see who was humming. I tried to move discreetly, but my foot slipped and an empty soda can fell from the coffee table.
In an instant, I could hear the stranger cocking a shotgun.
“Wait, son! Don’t shoot.”
I would’ve never imagined that the person we suspected to be following us was the Professor’s grandson. More importantly, I never imagined that his grandson was him.
Amari? He was the professor’s grandson?
I was mute. I could feel the words on the tip of my tongue, but they weren’t coming out.
“Janelle, this is my grandson.”
“Amari…” I was finally able to whisper under my breath. I could feel the tears building up in my eyes.
“Nelly,” Amari said.
That was the last thing I remembered. I woke up the following day to the same hum from the day before. Amari had such a distinct voice, pure and charming.
He explained to me that four years ago when we were attacked by the barbarous ones, he managed to escape unscathed. He found this house and made himself at home. He thought about me every day, as I did of him.
When humanity was attacked six years ago, I was only a sophomore in high school. I was sixteen then. Everything happened while I was at school. I didn't even get the chance to say goodbye to my parents or my little sister.
Amari was the only piece of home I had left. And when I lost him four years ago, I lost a piece of me too. He disappeared the day before my eighteenth birthday.
Professor Wells joined our crusader’s team a few months later. We found him looking for the glass viles without a mask. That's when the crusaders found out it was safe to go out unmasked.
Apparently, he knew about his grandson being alive. I understood now why the professor always went off on his own. This whole time he knew about me. About us.
He never told me his real reason for joining the crusaders. He was wasting time scavenging for food and materials every day on his own. By joining the crusaders, he had a team to do the dirty work while he focused on the cure.
He was two years older than me. We had agreed that on my 18th birthday, we’d finally try.
While everyone back at the crusader’s base was having fun doing it, I was the Virgin Mary. I got teased a lot for it, but I didn’t care.
When the professor went off on his little ventures, I'd spent most of my time near the river reading my favorite books. That was probably the only time I ever went out.
The professor spent days trying to figure out how to make the necklace illuminate like it did when he first found it. His efforts were to no avail. He kept stressing that we had a deadline. Something about 777.
He believed that we had to find a way to illuminate the necklace before the seventh-year anniversary of the attack on humanity. And time was not on our side. The seventh-year anniversary was fast approaching.
Amari and I took the liberty to spend some extra time together. We had four years of catching up to do, and a few birthdays to make up for.
“You look... mature,” Amari said with a smirk on his face.
“Thanks, you too.” I felt shy but comfortable. The same way I felt when we first started dating back in high school.
A few months had passed, and the professor grew ill.
For the length of time spent in the same house with Amari and the Professor, not once had I set eyes on the necklace that could save humanity.
It wasn’t until the day I had very important news to tell them that I finally did. It was a heart-shaped locket with seven colorful stones on it. Six stones, one red, one orange, one yellow, one blue, one violet, and one purple circled around a bigger green stone.
It was beautiful.
“Amari. Janelle. I don’t have much time. I will do all in my power to figure this out before my time is up. I no longer believe this necklace can help us, so I want you to have it.” The professor gave Amari the necklace.
“I have something important to tell you guys,” I said.
"Here, let me put this on you."
Amari put the necklace around my neck. And instantly, the necklace illuminated. Its brilliance was almost blinding.
“I don’t believe this. It’s glowing. But how?” asked the professor. “For years I had been trying to get it to illuminate. I couldn’t even get it to open. But here it is, glowing with life and unlocked.”
We all looked at each other.
“Please, let me see what’s inside,” he said walking towards me.
A primeval picture of Amari and I was inside. We looked different. Amari and I looked at each other in disbelief. Were we reborn in a different time?
“But how could this be?" the professor said.
Somehow the professor seemed more shocked than both of us. This was such an unexpected turn of events, I almost forgot what I had to tell the boys.
“Nelly,” Amari said, “what did you have to tell us?”
“Oh yes," I said while taking a deep breath.
About the Creator
I'm a writer, a dancer, and a photographer. I love being creative because hey, why not! Creativity sells, entertains, and inspires. And I am all for it! ;)
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