Linda Gonzalez was born in Mexico but ended up growing up in Canada. She is obsessed with books—which is one of the reasons she started to write. She writes mostly romance and fantasy, a bit of science fiction and a few dramatic short stories. She speaks three languages currently but wishes to become fluent in Japanese and to travel to Japan one day. If you wish to read some of Linda’s other stories, you can find them on Wattpad.
August 18, 3016
“Class E students are over there,” informs a snotty Class C adult once he lays his judging eyes on us. He gestures towards a group of underfed caramel-coloured children surrounded by their scrawny worried parents. I stop my eyes from rolling and nod politely at the rude man who acted as if he was a Class A citizen. Rhorp stands his grounds, so I stop short while motioning for Sevra to head to our assigned group. I spin on my heels just as Rhorp is about to leap at the man with outstretched claws but before I can stop him, a sudden crashing noise and a series of ear-splitting screams interrupt me. The ground shakes violently under us without warning, causing everyone to lose their balance. I see Rhorp collapse awkwardly onto the Class C man who in turn collides with another parent.
As I drop to the ground, my leg is thrown against something sharp on the ground—a rock. My pulse quickens when I hear Sevra’s shriek behind me; then my blood turns cold when she howls in pain. “Sevra!” I call out as another set of rumbles shake the world around me, knocking down a giant tree in the process. I yell out as the pressure of the log smashes my leg against the sharp rock. For an instant, everything is silent, nobody screams nor cries and I think that the worst is over. Then all at once, it starts up again.
The ground above my head smashes into the back of my neck. The last thing I remember before darkness is a Class A student crying over his dead Mama sprawled in front of him.
August 19, 3016
I blink back the vivid images of the day before and am relieved to see that the tree has rolled away to free my crushed leg. It was still stuck in the rock and I couldn’t move without it being painful, so I assumed it was broken, apart from the huge gash on the side. Everything stays silent and everything is destroyed around me. Nothing remains standing, not even the indestructible clock tower which could be seen from anywhere in the city. My stomach lurches violently as I peer upwards to the sky and see a layer of the atmosphere that separates the sky and space has a gaping hole, as if space wanted to swallow Earth whole. I heard on news that the ozone layer had a hole, but I guess now it’s reached its limit. The Earth finally wants to destroy us. Even without any knowledge of what an apocalypse was, I knew that this was it. The end of the world.
The sun beats down (harder than ever, thanks to the hole) on my exhausted body and if I keep sweating like this then I will surely die of dehydration or maybe starvation, whichever comes first. I’m unsure of how long I’ve been dragging myself. My cracked lips smack against each other as I slide my dried tongue out to try to moisten them.
“Water,” my voice barely comes out as a croak—I don’t recognize my own voice. I try craning my neck and squinting around my surroundings but there isn’t much of a view—dirt saucers sticking in the air. I collapse onto the ground, defeated as I clutch my chest where my lungs are having trouble sucking in oxygen because of the dirt filling them. I don’t know when I start shivering, all I know is that it makes no sense and it’s not normal. It’s 47 degrees Celsius outside, one should not be shivering. I’m dying. I close my eyes slowly. My children are probably already dead. What’s the point of living?
“Hey!” The voice is distant, urgent and one I do not recognize. “Wake up!” Did I just feel them shaking me? “Wake up!” I don’t know where I am so all I can do is follow the voice. “That’s it.” The voice is closer and gentle now. Something cool collides with my lips. “Open your mouth.” I obey. Water. I sit up, take the bottle from their grasp and lap thirstily until my stomach is full and satisfied. I wipe my arm along my chin and realize I have a leg wrapped in a dirty white bandaid.
I take a peek at the person who had just saved my life. The breath gets caught in my throat when her beautiful curious hazel eyes-the only thing that didn’t get damaged-stares back at me. She waves while smiling warmly and I notice the same material wrapped around from her fingers to her elbow.
“What’s your name?” I ask sheepishly, staring at her arm in dismay. “That must be a long cut.”
“Lyva. Class A,” she answers, then moves her elbow upwards. “It is, but so is yours. Which is why we’re going to the centre of the city to get on that ship.” She extends an arm towards where the middle of the city is and stands up quickly to help me up. I hesitate while my eyes drop to my wounded leg. “I’ll support your weight,” Lyva offers as she curls her arms around my back and stomach. I smile at her in thanks which she returns.
“We’re almost there,” she huffs as she steps over an arm missing its body. Lyva turns her gaze towards me to make sure I was listening to her, which of course I was. She had an angelic voice that anyone would stop talking just to hear her.
I nod quickly before filling the silence that had hung over us, “Vrock. Class E.” I bow my head in shame as I recall she is Class A, we shouldn’t even be talking.
“Nice to meet you, Vrock,” she chirps, smiling and ignoring the fact that I was a lower class than her. As if she had read my mind, she adds, “I’m not your average Class A.”
I freeze in my tracks when my eyes catch sight of a giant black spaceship with streaks of white and yellow on the sides. EOS 2 is scribbled in red letters on top of the ship. Surrounding the ship, are humans waiting in line to board the ship. There’s a timer displaying thirty minutes beside the ship.
“What’s this?” I demand with my mouth gaping open in shock. ”
It’s EOS 2—Escape Ozone Ship two,” she replies matter-of-factly. She pushes me gently to continue to make our way towards the group of people.
“Two? So there’s more?”
“Yes. The first one has already left to one of Jupiter’s satellites. The shakings will keep coming on Earth, that’s why we need to leave.”
The line shortens surprisingly very quickly so we make it to the entrance of the ship in less than twenty minutes.
“Class A?” a broad guard demands sternly. Lyva nods confidently but the man isn’t looking at her. “You’re not.” He jabs a fat sausage of a finger at my chest. “We’re leaving Class E here to die like Class C,” he hisses.
“Class C is gone?” Lyva shrieks frantically with her eyes widening.
“Everyone in Class C is dead.” The guard shrugs.
Tears stream down Lyva’s face immediately. “No!” she cries out in a strangled voice. “Sprov! I love-”
“Enough,” the guard hisses before gesturing towards another guard who grabs a squirming Lyva by the shoulders and drags her forcefully inside. Without having her as my support, I fall to my knees only to be kicked in the stomach. “Leave and don’t you dare come back.”
I calm my nerves and hold back the sense of nausea every time I come across a dead body and hope it isn’t my children. I hadn’t found them yet and I had almost lost my voice from yelling so much-all that was left was a hoarse sputter of indecipherable words every time I open my mouth. I had found a walking stick to support my weight while dragging myself away from the ship. I peer over my shoulder to the timer to regain my sense of purpose. Eleven minutes.
I kick a pebble in frustration and watch it knock into a random head before rolling backwards. As I’m walking towards it, I recognize the dead snotty Class C man—the one Rhorp had almost attacked. If he’s here, then Rhorp should be around here too!
I spend the next five minutes shoving pieces of rock out of the way and peering at every limp body’s face. I grow restless as I feel my time running out and I still haven’t found anyone yet.
“Rhorp! Sevra! Sprov!” I repeat over and over for two minutes. When I look at the timer there’s only four minutes left. My calls become more urgent and rushed as I ditch my walking stick and limp around. Adrenaline pumps through my veins furiously making me immune to the pain in my leg. Two minutes. I feel like my head is going to implode.
“Help-” a strangled voice comes from a few feet to my left. Instantly, I claw my way through the rocks and dirt to get to the source of the voice. I didn’t know who was under there, but I didn’t care. I was growing impatient and if I could save at least one person then my purpose will be fulfilled. I grunt as I heave the cement rocks one by one until I finally find a fidgeting arm. Yes! I continue until I finally find a face and I almost break down in tears.
“Rhorp!” I scatter the other rocks away from his body and am thrilled to see that he only has bruises and a few cuts, but nothing serious. He does seem disorientated and confused though so I ignore my pain and put his arm over my shoulder for support. I have less than a minute to get him back since I don’t have enough time to search for Sprov nor Sevra. Stress and fear of not making it on time crowd my mind as I eye the ship and the timer beside it. 50 seconds.
“Dad?” Rhorp whimpers, lifting his head which bobs as I limp-run towards the ship. “Where’s Sevra?”
I almost trip over his leg at the mention of my six-year-old daughter. “She’s—Uh . . . S-She’s not with me . . .” I regain the pace I had earlier except this time my adrenaline is running out. I scan my gaze towards the pebbles and rocks blocking our path-it’ll take at least a minute to get to our destination. “Rhorp, we have thirty seconds! Can you run?”
Rhorp glances over at me, his gaze darkening as he realizes the meaning behind my words. “I’m not leaving without you or Sevra,” he affirms, dragging me along with him for a while. I go along with it until there’s only 10 seconds left.
“Rhorp! GO!” I bark while I drop on a flat stone. Rhorp slows down to encourage me to continue.
“Rhorp, don’t make me repeat myself.”
“Rhorp,” I beg as I let tears pool in the corner of my eyes but don’t let them run down my cheeks. Rhorp hesitates before turning his back towards me so I smile encouragingly. “You’re gonna be a great man. Take care of a woman named Lyva for me, would you?” I think I catch a sight of a tear reflecting on his cheek as he mouths something I don’t catch. He spins on his heels and runs faster than I’ve ever seen him run before.
I know he makes it because he isn’t there after EOS 2 takes off to the skies. I say a silent goodbye to Lyva and Rhorp as I glance towards the evening sky. When I sit back down on my flat stone, a screech gets me back onto my two feet. At first I think I imagined it, but then I recognize the second scream.