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The Day The Dying Screamed

by Colleen Millsteed 15 days ago in Short Story
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Listen carefully and take heed

Image courtesy of Pixabay

“Doctor, how long does my mother have to live,” I ask softly as I’m trying to keep my sobs at bay?

The Doctor touches my hand in kindness as he gives me his best guess, “Two hours, maybe less.”

I nod my head and slip back into my Mother’s room to wait for the inevitable. How will I survive losing my best friend?

I sit quietly, holding Mum’s hand, when an hour later she sits up suddenly, grabs my hand and begins to talk to me urgently. “Shelley, you cannot marry Mark. If you do he will murder you after four years of marriage. Promise me Shelley. Promise me.”

I am speechless. Mum has always had nice things to say about my fiancé, Mark. Why the sudden turn around. “Mum, why do you say that? I thought you liked Mark.”

“I do but I can see a bad future for you if you marry him. Please Shelley, promise me,” Mum begged.

“Okay Mum, don’t stress. I promise you I will never marry Mark,” I respond, with my heart tearing itself to shreds.

I can’t promise one thing to Mum and do another, so I have just sent my love affair with Mark to the end of time. It can never happen now. Oh, how my heart breaks and I’ve still got to find a way to tell Mark.

On hearing my promise, Mum lays back down, squeezes my hand and takes her final breath, here on this world. My best friend is no more.

I quietly sit sobbing, unsure of how I will survive these losses. My Mum and my love, both on the same day.

Meanwhile, in a small town 500 kilometres away, a similar experience is taking place between Sam and his wife of thirty years, Prue.

Prue has been battling cancer so it’s no surprise to either husband or wife, that the end is nearing. All anyone can do is keep Prue as comfortable as possible and be there when she leaves the mortal realm. Sam is honoured to do this but knows he’s going to miss his wife dearly. She has been the love of his life.

He reaches over to take his wife’s hand as she rests quietly, when suddenly she opens her eyes and for the first time all week, is totally lucid.

“Sam, you mustn’t sell the house after I’m gone. If you do it will burn down, killing a young family of four. Promise me you’ll hold onto this house until it’s your time to come and join me,” Prue whispers urgently.

Sam is speechless but would promise his wife the world, if it was what she needed. He had no hesitation in promising Prue all she asked.

Prue gave a small smile and passed into the spirit realm. Her days on earth are done.

Across the other side of the country, Peter is taking his last breath, trapped in his car, wrapped around a tree. He grabs the policeman’s shirt, pulling him closer and mutters, “Don’t go to the bank tomorrow. It’s going to be robbed and you will be killed.”

With that he surrendered his life to the other world.

In another country, Frank has just had his throat slit by a serial killer. As he bleeds to death, he states matter of factly to the killer, “You will be executed for this crime in for three months time and there’s nothing you can do to change that outcome.”

Frank’s heart stops beating immediately after this speech.

Sybil dies after falling from a boat in the middle of the ocean but before succumbing to her watery grave, she yells up to the boat, “get to land quickly, a hurricane will be here in 48 hours. It will sink the boat.”

Her last words as she sinks beneath the water.

People all around the world are dying, which is nothing unusual. What is unusual is that they all predict something about the future before they leave their mortal bodies.

There is one up and coming young journalist, Rodney Keys, that has picked up on this weird phenomenon and is travelling the world to gain the knowledge needed to write his biggest expose.

He has just arrived in Italy, where it is rumoured that a famous painter is on his deathbed. Until now he has only heard the stories of the future predictions but this time the painter’s family agreed to allow him into the death room.

Rodney stands quietly in a corner of the dark room, when the painter begins talking. He listens as the painter tells the room that in 18 months the world will become a weapon of mass destruction.

After the painter finishes this sentence, he quietly passes over.

20 kilometres away a woman is dying in childbirth. Rodney arrives at her humble abode and is let into the house. As the woman is minutes away from dying, she repeats the exact words he had heard the painter say and then she dies.

Rodney’s next stop is at the deathbed of a four year old child, who is dying after being beaten by his father. At the moment of death, he too makes mention of the world ending in 18 months.

From there, Rodney attends the passing of six more people, all uttering the exact same words before they pass. The world will become a weapon of mass destruction.

Rodney finds himself a comfortable hideaway as he begins to write his article. More and more he is hearing that people are predicting the end of the world from their deathbeds, so Rodney has begun to research how this prediction can possibly play out.

As he continues his research over the next year, he realises there are two real possibilities that could cause this prediction to come true.

Nothing had changed while Rodney dug deeper, all deaths have noted the same prediction being made.

Rodney can’t help but believe there is only six months left before some catastrophe befalls the earth but what could it be. He is sure it will be one of two scenarios, either a terrorist attack or a supervolcanic eruption.

Days pass and Rodney is desperately sending his article, with all the research, to every online and offline publisher, in an attempt to warn the world that they may only have months to live, if this prediction does come true.

Like anything of this nature you’ll find both believers and disbelievers. Rodney is trying to reach the disbelievers, hoping to cast doubt on their determination in an attempt to bring the world together to fight or prepare for such a catastrophic possibility.

Article after article hastily written and distributed, never giving up on his goal, when he began hearing snippets from the science community.

Rumblings are being heard from a Supervolcano in Indonesia. Evacuations are currently being actioned.

Data from Canada is showing their Supervolcano is waking.

Both Utah and Colorado are suffocating in a haze of volcanic smoke.

Chile, Bolivia and New Zealand have put out calls to the world leaders for assistance, as lava begins to spew forth.

Argentina has gone silent. They did put out calls for help over the last week. Calling on other countries to help evacuate its people but now no one is making a noise. It is believed the supervolcanic catastrophe has wiped out the entire population.

Rodney listens to all the rumours and news in disbelief. The deathbed predictions are coming true and it is only now, when it is all too late, that the naysayers have had a change of heart.

Too little, too late. The world’s tomorrows will survive but there’ll not be a single human being left to live out its future days.

The world never listened to all that Rodney had to say and the world leaders condemned the human race to extinction in their foolishness.

The world wide indiscriminate cleansing of Earth has now begun!

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Please click the link below my name to read more of my work. I would also like to thank you for taking the time to read this today and for all your support.

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Originally posted on Medium

Short Story

About the author

Colleen Millsteed

My first love is poetry — it’s like a desperate need to write, to free up space in my mind, to escape the constant noise in my head. Most of the time the poems write themselves — I’m just the conduit holding the metaphorical pen.

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Comments (3)

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  • Alex H Mittelman 3 days ago

    I like this a lot! We should all be better listeners!!!

  • Heather Hubler3 days ago

    I loved how you started out slow with the first prediction and then it really took off! I got chills when the end of the world ones started up. Great suspense!! Excellent story :)

  • OMG! The fact that you finished your story just like that tells me that indeed the whole world would be wiped out. I loved your concept of people predicting the future in their final moments and also the supervolcano. It's even more scarier because there are chances this might happen. Very well done my friend!

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