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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2236480
The year is 2024 and Halloween has no trick or treat, just death

          The date is the thirty first of the tenth month in the year twenty-twenty-four, and the night is darker than usual. A new moon participates in this very auspicious occasion, along with something from the darkness that will appear. The soul gatherer has gathered their fill just for this night, this particular time. The color for this time of the year is orange and black. The exact colors the soul gatherer will use to blend in. The soul gatherer gets their sustenance just milliseconds after someone passes. They are usually ones who do not believe in anything or waffled in and out of beliefs. It is becoming easier to fill their appetite towards these end days.

         The job of the soul gatherer is to collect unblessed and unsuspecting souls just after people die. They are held and protected from freedom until the day of release. While in captivity of the phantom, all souls become tormented with not a moment's rest. When the time comes, these souls will be full of rage and angst. They will wreak havoc on the earth until all is the way they want it, lonely, separated, and full of anger.

         After the casting out of Lucifer from heaven, some say the soul gatherer's creation came about. Lucifer themselves did not understand the severity of their actions that was started with anger in their hearts eons ago. The results are declared to correlate with the second coming. Scholars and theologians are still unsure and in disagreement with the truth in this tale. Missing or left out books from the creation of the Bible are uncovered every generation or so. Many scholars believe it could be to slow Earth dweller's knowledge or discovery. Or because Lucifer or God themselves made this decision. All questions asked through time will be answered in the end. We are in for a world of hurt from what is in the found scribes at tales end.

         Millennia have gone by with leaders, governments, and countries disappearing and then materializing and forming new ones for the next run of humanity. No one knows when it first appeared, and there are no documents of its discovery. The discovery of the soul gatherer's existence happened many years ago in a cave riddled with ancient petroglyphs inside and out. The drawings thought to be of an individual in a dark, loose fabric, which could be a ceremonial dress that it appears to fly from the fires heat or the updraft when one is standing on the cliff's edge. Scholars and theologians studied alongside the scientist to decrypt these drawings on the wall inside and outside the cave. The illustrations include a sizeable orange sphere behind the ominous dark figure. Around the sphere, there is a slight gap with another circle encompassing the gap. Illegible characters make up the outer ring. Patterns are visible, but the outer ring has never gotten deciphered and may never will.

          In eighteen hundred and ninety-nine, two Italian spelunkers Gesepi and Vito Guarniero, discovered a set of scribes in a collapsed clay tube in the country known as Iraq now. Legend has it that both stayed in the cave next to an oil lamp for five days and nights reading what they found. Legend also claimed although the two never studied graphology before, they seem to have the ability to understand what the words meant in the scribes. The deeper and deeper they both made into them, the more and more concern came over them about humankind's future.

         The day of release kept reappearing in the writings. Both did not yet entirely understanding the phrase's severity. The legend continued that the only reason the two left the cave-dwelling is the oil ran out of the lamp. Other than that, they both seemed so engrossed by new knowledge and new information they were reading. They did not eat or drink for those five straight days, as part of their story goes. Search parties went for them on the second day of their disappearance. On the seventh day, the two spelunkers found wandering the desert and having anxious looks on their faces when found.

         The two spelunkers regained their collections after leaving from being rescued. They decided to find the highest and most prestigious archeologist center in the area. Once there, the two would not let the professor have a word in edgewise. They were running on and on about their newfound knowledge, along with some concern too. The professor somehow became as committed to these scribes as the two discoverers were in the cave. Professor boonbots immediately called for a conference of more prestigious people that he knew. From that discussion, intrigue moved to concern, and that is when the suggestion to get theologians of different faiths to make sure all interpretations of the writings will be the same outcome.

         Moving forward to October twenty-first, two thousand and twenty-three, a little more than a year left to the calculated day of release, or so the translations say. According to the scribes' interpretation from over a century ago, it is likely that time is quickly running out. Still, no one is sure that this is even real or that the calendar date is correct. To ensure the date's accuracy, mathematicians try to calculate the time shifts of the scribes' supposed date of creation. Decades of studying could not pinpoint the time of zero-hour. It could happen within a two or more-year window or not at all. No one even knows the part of the world in which the event will occur, and it is not part of the translation nor believed intended. The scribes did not get fully interpreted with exact times and descriptions of any events.

         The last date in any record is October thirty-first twenty twenty-four. Now we know when zero-hour is, it is now, and the whole sky is black. Not only is the darkness from the new moon, but it is also from the soul gatherer, expanding to an inconceivable size over the world and blocking out the stars from the night sky. An orange orb appeared behind it. It is breaking through the darkness while revealing the true scope and size of the ominous beast. All hope quickly dashed within seconds of the appearance of the orange orb. The orb's brightness allowed the world to see the release of something at the base of the beast.

         From a distance, at first, it looked like shooting stars. However, we were gravely wrong. What looked like fireworks coming down to the ground turned into what looked like skulls, human skulls at closer examination. Everyone started to run in every direction, trying to avoid these haunting objects falling from the night sky. No one is paying attention to the sky anymore. They are just trying to survive now, and the pestilence that became the day of release has come to fruition.

          No one ever recorded how long this moment lasted. The suffering of every living thing has now started. According to the scribes, it will not end until the second coming of the Lord. No one does not know when this will be, do to the obscurity of the Bible and not allowing us to understand the details. Governments, countries, money, food, and all other amenities are something of the past. People were dying of shock, stress, and by the hands of others. The dead lie in the streets, becoming rotting corpses blotting and popping with the fluids running into the drinking water. Angry, hungry dogs are feasting, causing rabies and other diseases to spread like wildfire. Most people wish only to die of their own hands now, and they do, adding to the horrific body count already done.

         The released souls are getting into everyone's head and driving people and animals alike mad. As more die, more souls are brought back to the soul gatherer for conditioning and then released on those who remain on earth. Days of dark skies and souls stayed a countless number of days, months, years, or even millennia, no one knows. No light, only darkness, and suffering, it is now genuinely Hell on Earth.

Word count 1360


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