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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2180188-The-Storm-of-Reckoning-----Winner
by brom21
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Environment · #2180188
The people of a corrupt city are warned to flee or be destroyed by a horrific storm.
Don stepped out of his gun shop to lock up for the night. It was 9 P.M. He was feeling good. But what he should have been feeling was extreme guilt. He recalled the last person that had bought a firearm, was a felon. Don didn’t care though. As was his manner, he had accepted a bribe from the felon. But hey who was he to judge?

He walked down the street and passed a woman who was crying on a bench.

“Why are you crying?” Don asked out of petty curiosity than concern.

“Someone stole my car! I have no way to get home!”

“I see. Sorry to hear that.”

“It’s this whole city! It’s so full of evil!”

Don knew she was right on the money. The city of Stalewart was full of debauchery and corruptness. But why should he change? He’s only one person. And it had been that way for some time.

“What do you expect? This isn’t heaven sweetie.” Don shook his head and moved on. Suddenly, the sound of shattering glass came from across the street. A man dressed in black had thrown a brick through the window of jewelry store. Don just chuckled. “That poor store owner should have had put bars on his window. Oh well, too bad for him.”

Don walked past an alley where a teenager was mugging an old man. Don walked on. He began to feel hungry so he stopped by the nearest grocery store to buy a cold wrapped sandwich. When he entered, everyone was staring at the wall mounted TV. He approached the group of people and addressed one of them. “What’s up?”

“Some religious nutcase is saying that Stalewart will be destroyed by a horrible snow storm tomorrow. He says that God will punish the city for its evil and warns people to leave this place or be destroyed with it.”

“He’s right! And it’s been long in coming!” said an old man with a frown.

“What’s your deal?” said a teenager in a tank-top and torn jeans.

“I’m skipping town tonight, that’s what!” returned the old man. The old man had a cart full of unperishable cans of food. “The nearest town is Wrethmire and it will be a long trip. You all can freeze if you want!”

Don snuffed at the man. “You silly old fool! This preacher is marbles!”

“He’s not crazy! Cal it divine intuition if you want.”

“Are you one of them religious types?” asked Don.

“Darn skippy! And as a devout believer, I urge you to heed this man’s warning!” With that, the man went to the checkout counter, got his items scanned, bagged and left in a hurry.

“What’s this town coming to?” asked Don out loud.

“Really huh?” said a man in a pharmacist’s jacket.

Don noticed a blond in a sweater and jean shorts fidget with her fingers and sweat slightly. Don addressed the woman. “You seem distraught mam.”

She looked down and cleared her throat. “It’s just…I…I…had a dream.”

“Excuse me?” said the pharmacist.

The woman shut her eyes, clenched her fists and gritted her teeth then glanced at the man squarely. “An angel visited me in a dream last night.”

Don and the pharmacist traded looks and cracked up.

“Say what you will! The angel told me this would happen before the street preacher even showed up! He’s not mad!”

“So you’re going to leave town too?” asked Don with a raised eyebrow and a scoff.

“I’m not well off enough to go on my own. In truth…I have been living out of my car.”

Then a man in brown coat came from behind the woman and put a hand on her shoulder. “I believe you miss. I’m a man of faith as well. You can leave with me.”

The woman hugged the good stranger. Then the two exited the store.

“Has the whole world gone daft!” exclaimed Don.

“You said it!” replied the teenager from before.

“I’m getting my sandwich and leaving before any other cuckoos show up!” said Don. He left the store and swore under his breath. His house was only a block away. When he arrived, he unlocked the metal grated screen, opened his door, walked in and laid on his couch then fell asleep.

Don awoke to the sound of screaming from outside. He jumped up and opened the door. He froze with wide eyes. The entire street was being barraged with snow and hale. People were being bludgeoned and wounded all over their bodies as they fled about in a mad scuffle.

“I don’t believe it!” the dumbfounded man said. He slammed the door and backed away. “Oh heaven forgive me! What have I done?”

The freezing cold wind was like a hurricane as it uprooted signs and turned over cars and trashcans. Don could hear the sound of large snow hale smash into his door screen. He didn’t know when or if it would stop. For hours all he could do was stay with his back on the wall behind him. And for the frost time in his life he was genuinely sorry. But it was too late. If the storm didn’t stop he would starve to death or the huge hale stones and wind would break his screen and door down. But deep inside, Don knew he and the town deserved it.

© Copyright 2019 brom21 (ion_7 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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