The Sky Grew Dark (The End of the Golden Age)

BOOK: The Sky Grew Dark (The End of the Golden Age)
5.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

The Sky Grew Dark



E. L. Montclair


Copyright © 2013 E. L. Montclair

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 10: 1492903248







To my husband, my children, and my fellow Americans.












Chapter Two



Chapter Three



Chapter Four



Chapter Five






To my wonderful husband, who has constantly supported my dreams. Always encouraging, always uplifting, reminding me to persist when I feel like giving up, and reminding me to stick to my story when I start to stray. To my sister and mom, who help with editing and story content, reading and re-reading. Lastly, to my boys. When I have my head buried in the laptop they give me my space








We worked as quietly as we could in the darkness. Sweat was running down my back on this cold night, the moon’s bright rays giving plenty of light for the task. Adrenaline coursing through our veins, we worked quickly, hoping we wouldn’t be seen.

I barely had time to feel remorse, knowing the time would come for that soon enough. When the hole was deep enough we hid the shovels and went for the body we had hidden nearby in some underbrush. We pulled it out; clothed with only a pair of underwear, we lowered him into the ditch.

We had only a moment. I looked across the darkness, searching my mom’s face. I had never seen her this thin or haggard in my life. She looked at me, tears making white trails down her dirty cheeks. She loved him as well as her own son. 

I wanted to say something, to somehow honor this man we both loved, but I knew we shouldn’t risk it. Tears blurred my vision as I silently retrieved my shovel. As quickly and quietly as I could I began burying my husband.

















5 months earlier

I hurried to the car with my groceries in tow, feeling pretty good now that the morning sickness had passed. The sky was cloudy and grey on this humid September day in Southern California. I anxiously looked around, hoping I had time to finish my errands before another storm hit.

I loaded up the car, quickly checking my cellphone to see if I had any texts or missed calls. I noticed something strange. My reception flashed from full bars to a circle with a slash, over and over again. I turned on the car, and began pulling out of the parking lot. I slowed to take in what I saw. A man staring at his phone. I glanced around. Everybody I could see was stopped in their tracks, looking at their phones with concern.

I started trembling uncontrollably. It was happening. I took a deep breath and tried to focus. I drove as quickly as I could to the house and tried to round everybody up. We all knew what the plan was. Anybody that couldn’t be tracked down within thirty minutes was left behind. They could try to meet up with us later but we needed to get to the shelter as soon as possible.

We grabbed the kit we had packed, a few necessities, and piled into the two cars. The cloud cover broke minutes after we got into the car, rain soaking the ground in seconds.

Hitting the freeway as fast as we could, we wound up the coast for about two and a half hours to the spot we had found. We unloaded our supplies and made our way down the steep side of the cliff to the large cave, hidden completely out of sight from an aerial view by trees and bushes. According to our plan the guys hid the two cars, one twenty miles away, and the other two miles, both driven off the road and covered with branches and leaves. We didn’t know how long it would be before we used them again.

We assembled in the cave and went over the plan.

The group consisted of; me, my husband Ian, our two sons; Seamus and Gaiden, with another on the way, my mom Sherry, my step dad Frank, my sister Lisa, my brother Joey, and my grandpa Emil.

We were part of an organization that was preparing for an attack. We weren’t preparing for Armageddon, we were preparing for an eminent attack. A friend in international communications had come to find out that a secret alliance had been made between Iran and North Korea.

We had tried to warn others, but many either chose to disbelieve or didn’t put feet to their fears. With all the ‘doomsday’ preppers around it was hard to talk to people about something like this seriously.

Based on the intelligence collected, aerial attacks were what we had planned for. We had only visited this cave once, not wanting to draw any attention to it, and we had prepped it as much as we could on that single visit.

The expected form of attack was biological warfare. Knowing this, we would have to be contained for three to six months, depending on how things went on the surface. We planned to wait it out in the cave for one month, not leaving for any reason, to avoid any contact with the contaminated air.

After one month, we would send one person to scout the area and see what was going on. At the three month mark, there was a designated meeting place to inform the refugees of any further information that had been obtained.

The plan had been to set up several areas that were stashed with supplies, but we hadn’t really had time for all that. This had happened much sooner than we expected. We only had one area prepped, and that was about eight miles away.

We quickly stashed our supplies and proceeded to close up the door of the cave as best as we could. Ian and Joey used a large camouflage tarp and tacked it to the side of the mountain. Then they covered it with branches and dirt and snuck in under one corner. This cave had been chosen for its proximity to the ocean; we hoped contaminated air would pass by us. It was also very large, going so deep into the mountain we hadn’t yet found its end.

The chart that the organization had made showed us how much water to bring, so we should have a sufficient amount of water to last us until the one month mark, then we could go find water. We didn’t bring wood because it wasn’t quite cool enough to require a fire, and if we all huddled together we should stay warm in the cave inside our sleeping bags.  We had brought propane and a camping cook stove to cook our food on. We had figured if we only ate one hot meal a day, and conserved the propane lantern light, we should be able to make it last six weeks.

              Then we waited.

We immediately set to work, trying to make this cave into a decent living space. The opening was about five feet wide and eight feet high. The opening faced the ocean, and was positioned on the side of a mountain. A steep cliff was just above us, and the freeway several hundred feet above that. The area where we were was mostly flat, and had a steady decline until it reached the water.

The cave had a wide opening that went into the mountain for about twenty-five feet, then it split off into four different directions. One ended immediately, while the other three we had not explored. Living in a cave wasn’t my first choice, but obviously it was better than trying to build something out here.

I had Seamus, who was seven and Gaiden, who was five, begin collecting any debris on the floor of the cave. Leaves, sticks, moss, and rocks, and sort and stack them against one wall. Seamus was tall for his age, and thin, and seemed to be eating everything in sight these days. He had
short brown hair and hazel eyes, just like me. In fact, he looked exactly like me at that age.  He was sweet, and very smart, but didn’t talk much.

Gaiden was the spitting image of my husband. He had lighter brown hair and pale blue eyes. And he never stopped talking. I was concerned about him being out here and the fact that we would need to keep quiet sometimes. He argued with everything I said, always thinking he knew what was best.

I took a deep breath and tried to focus on what needed to be done around here instead of worrying about the kids. There were a few things that needed to be taken care of right away. Namely, what we were going to do about a bathroom. We selected the arm of the tunnel that ended to designate as the place, and dug a hole about three feet deep. Every three days we covered it and dug another in that area. Problem solved. It really didn’t smell that bad.

Another item on the list: we had brought rabbits and chickens. Since we really didn’t know how long all of this would take, we had brought them to start providing additional food in the future- meat from the rabbits, and meat and eggs from the chickens. We had them in two little dog carriers, but that wasn’t going to work after a week or so. My brother Joey decided to dig two different tunnels in the wall. He made them U-shaped, and big enough that he could fit his body all the way through, if barely.

For now we would keep all the hens together and the rooster in the dog carrier. After a bit we would let him fertilize some eggs if we needed to. The same would go for the rabbits. The male would stay separate of the female unless we needed them to breed. We used the leaves and mosses the boys had collected to line the rabbits’ and hens’ nests.

Our other supplies consisted of matches, a few tools, seeds, two hand guns, fishing poles, sleeping bags, lots of canned food, water, a bag of chicken feed, a bag of rabbit pellets, one set of dishes/utensils per person, and one change of clothes per person.


We noticed almost immediately that the propane was running out faster than we had planned. We cut down the time we used artificial light, relying on the dim light that came through the cave door for any activity, and going to bed as soon as night fell. We also decided to eat cold food one day a week.

Then there was the fact that I was carrying a baby. We had tried to pretend we were all ok with it, but everybody was a little nervous. I had a few minor complications with each of my other pregnancies, but nothing big. The delivery was always fine, and I was pretty sure I could do it without an epidural. One of my cousins had all three of her kids at home, and I felt we could handle it. I had brought a book about home birth, and I proceeded to study it as often as I could, preparing Ian for what part of this was his responsibility.

When the Strike happened I was 23 weeks. We had just found out we were having another boy, so we focused on names. My brother thought we should name him something significant, due to the fact that life as we know it would probably never be the same again. Something that sounded straight out of a Tolkien book, like Aragon. That would be a no.

My husband, on the other hand, wanted to name him Axel. Seriously? I didn’t care that we were in the middle of nowhere, and we could actually change his name if we wanted to later, Axel wasn’t going to happen. I made a few suggestions, but then the oversized boys got stuck on another name: Maximus. We left the name thing alone and focused on other things.

It had been determined that we should leave our cellphones and chargers in the cars, in case they could be traced. Not that they would do us any good if we had them with us. It was unbelievably odd to be without any kind of electronics. No games, weather, news, movies; nothing.

Everything seemed to be going well. The chickens were laying eggs. The rabbit was pregnant with her first litter, and should deliver within two or three weeks. Even though I longed for a hot bath, things really weren’t that bad. We ate, we drank, and most importantly, we lived.


The day before the one month mark I started having contractions. This was not good, putting me at only 27 weeks. I went on unofficial bed
rest. Basically, I didn’t do anything, but tried to drink plenty of water. With our water being rationed out, that was a little bit of a problem.

I quickly found something to do. I had the boys bring me leaves and branches from the cave, and I bundled them tightly together for use as fire-starters later on. I also had a little secret. I had stashed my violin in my blanket roll, and hid it as soon as we got into the cave. I wanted to have something to bring some comfort and pleasure if we were out here for a while. There was so much unknown before us. We could be out here for weeks or even months, and I wanted to have something to enjoy.

We all slept near the mouth of the cave. My dad and Ian closest, the women and children in the middle, and Joey and Grandpa on the opposite end, toward the belly of the cave. The first few nights I had difficulty sleeping. All I could think about was spiders. It was pitch black, and there was no option of light unless I wanted to use up the propane. I tossed and turned and freaked out at anything I thought or thought I felt all night long. I finally settled down and started getting some rest after I noticed there didn’t seem to be any spiders living in this cave.

At the one month mark my dad and husband were going to go out and see what was going on, trying to get our extra rations if possible. It had been estimated that the greatest threat should be over. We didn’t really have much of a choice. We weren’t prepared to last much longer than this. The eight mile journey would probably take an entire day, if not longer, because of the terrain. No one was really sure. We packed them rations for two days, and hoped and prayed that they would be back quickly.

We closed the door tightly behind them, and they covered the entrance again, trying to take extra precautions.

Two days went by, and none of us got very good sleep that second night, expecting them to show up any time. The next morning we began to grow uncomfortable. The supplies were just about out, and the kids were complaining about being hungry, but none of us really knew what to do.  We went to bed hungry, hoping for the best, fearing the worst.

The fourth day was pretty chilly. It was now into mid-October, and there were just as many cool days as warm days. Luckily the cave stayed fairly warm, especially when we all huddled together at night. I had barely had any water the day before, and felt a lot of contractions with any movement.

My grandpa looked concerned, and came over and checked a few things. He was a nurse in the army during WWII so he had a bit of experience with these things.

BOOK: The Sky Grew Dark (The End of the Golden Age)
5.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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