By Cheri Gillard
The students are laughing because he expressed his fear to their teacher. But the broadcasts everywhere warn disaster is coming. Even his new girlfriend laughs at him.
Racing through New Market, tearing past the merchants who curse him as usual, Bhavin runs home. He rushes inside, upending a metal pot.
“Slow down,” his grandmother says.
“The pandemic is coming,” Bhavin spits out. “It will reach us within days!”
The pandemic is raging from the U.S., sweeping across Europe. The Super Bug. The Death Bug, they’re calling it. Resistant to every antibiotic, worse than the Black Death in the 1300s, the newsmen say. But this is 2016! This shouldn’t be happening.
His grandmother looks grave.
“We’ll leave the city, Nani. I’ll get you out of Kolkata and we’ll go where there are no crowds.”
Finally she speaks. “I’ve been waiting for this day. It was prophesized to me long ago. You will leave. You will escape.”
She reaches up to her shelf for her box he is never to touch. The key around her neck
unlocks it. From inside, she pulls a gleaming jewel set in gold. Astonished, Bhavin can’t believe they live in such poverty with that in the house.
“This will take you.”
“We’ll sell it for train fare. We’ll escape.”
She shakes her head. “Only you. It was foretold.” She hugs him longer, tighter than ever before. “Go forth and be fruitful.”
Her words confuse him.
Taking his hand, she places the pendant in his palm, and cups his other hand over it. He
would take it to market—
A bird chirps not far away. No other sound.
He stands in a wide, empty street.
He’s never heard such silence.
No one is anywhere. The doorways are empty, the streets desolate. Slipping the jewel into his pocket, he steps forward, moving slower than ever before.
He wanders to New Market, one sheep and two pecking chickens the only other movement. A bent bicycle lies in the road, broken and twisted. Deserted stalls exhibit scattered pots. A rusted taxi with shattered windows and no doors slumbers on its rims. Never has it been so still, so silent. He hears the wind for the first time.
Fast footsteps break the quiet and spins him around. A girl his age charges at him. He braces for her attack.
She jumps at him, embracing him. She sobs, clinging to him in desperation.
“What took you so long?” she cries. “My nani promised you’d come!”
Bhavin takes her arms and pulls her away to look at her.
“What happened? Tell me what you know.”
She holds up a jewel like his. “We’ve been sent from the Pandemic. We alone have
“Where is everyone?”
Tilting her head, she is quiet. “Your nani didn’t tell you?”
He shakes his head, fear threatening his composure.
She steps back, touching her palms together and breathing deeply, composed now.
“Namaste. My name is Navya. This is 2060. We are all that’s left.”
Copyright 2016 Cheri Gillard
Thank you so much to author Cheri Gillard for submitting her story to the 2016 Micro Fiction Writing Contest!
About the Author
Cheri Gillard has been a freelance writer and editor for nearly twenty-five years. In addition to a slew of freelance non-fiction books and projects with major publishers, plus the three volumes of the Nephilim Redemption Series, her stand-alone medical thriller, The Clone’s Mother, has debuted to numerous five-star reviews. She lives and writes in Colorado. For more about her award winning fiction, and to follow her daily blog about raising quadruplets, visit cherigillard.com.
Check out her upcoming release!
Chloe’s Odyssey: Book 3 of the Nephilim Redemption Series
The perfect story for the holidays—experience with Chloe the first Christmas in a gripping, emotional adventure. Travel with her on an historical journey and feel the tension and vulnerability as she enters into a shaky alliance with her former enemy to try to save her own timeline. And hold your breath as she takes on a daring rescue mission, one from which she’s uncertain she will ever return.
RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 28, 2016
Curious about book one of the series?
Chloe’s boyfriend cheats on her and she just wants to die. But it’s not so easy to end it all. An amazing winged creature swoops in and saves her mid-jump. The angelic intervention must be a sign her troubles are over! But things only get worse. Missing her plane, losing her passport, crashing her car are nothing compared to when gangbangers jump her on a dark, empty street. She’s too paralyzed with fear to even scream for help. But her amazing half-angel creature reappears and saves her again—flying her right up through the heavens!
But they soar directly into more trouble. Horatius, her Nephilim savior, has a heap of his own problems. His beer habit doesn’t help a bit when he has to fight against his demon father, who targets Chloe with his evil rage. Chloe needs to be protected, and Horatius transports her to sixteenth century Scotland to hide her. But a curse renders him powerless and medieval Highlanders kidnap Chloe. Separated from Horatius, she has to depend on her own wits to escape and survive, and then negotiate with demons to get back to her own time and life.