It was Hank. He had hesitated at the railing for just a split second. It was as if the water had risen up and smacked Hank down into the depths, only a splash to mark his passing.
Everyone knew that there was more than just water in the attack, the things had been caught from time to time. They moved in and with the water, it seemed that they had some control over the water so that it enveloped them when they rose above the surface. They changed color like a chameleon, so, it looked like the waves were personally there to kill you. They seldom missed and there were very few that escaped to tell the tale.
Rose silently prayed, both in mourning and in thanks at once. Mourning for Hank, whom she had only just met, but he had seemed nice, and thanks that she wasn't drowned and eaten by the things. The people had refused to name them because of their most striking feature. Each of the things had once been human. They had been made during the Episode.
Rose had been six during the Episode ten years back, so, her memories of it were children's memories. The short story is that God is real and he is vengeful. So is Satan. This was part of the ancient knowledge and no matter how the religious tried, people slowly forgot that they were being watched and fell into depravity. God had finally had enough when the Purge began and he burnt all of the governments in an instant. All the soldiers on all sides of every war, gone in an instant. Local, county, state, and federal agents and agencies, gone in that same instant. All of the people serving on the side of evil, the ones partaking in the Purge, became the things. The things were not mindless beasts. They took only the ones that had evil in their souls. They too became the things, but, only after being slowly eaten.
Rose had fear of the things, as any would, but, they would not harm her. She was an innocent. She was a believer and she walked a straight path, but, she had a little doubt and that heightened her fear. She didn't doubt God, she doubted herself. She doubted that she had been good enough to be forgiven, so, she feared the water as any murderer or rapist would. She worried that that doubt was bad enough to get her taken by the things.
The now smaller group got away from the shore as fast as they could gather their gear, which had been thrown from the boat by the crew. They headed west on a wide path that would bring them to Smithville, in what used to be Virginia. Nobody used state names any more though.
In Smithville, Rose would meet up with her older brothers Gage and Alex. From there, they would travel west together. They were going to find their younger sister, who was out near former Colorado, as far as they knew. They had been instructed in their dreams to gather with their families. This was how God talked to everyone, in their dreams. Unfortunately, Satan had picked up on this and tried to do some of his own dream instructing. This led to many bad things. The good could tell the difference, but, the ones that were unsure were very susceptible to the evils that Satan commanded.
The good all seemed to be on the same mission, gathering with their families. The bad seemed to be on a mission too. Stop the good from doing His bidding. Oh, and stay away from open water larger than human size. The bad were handicapped by that rule a lot of the time.
Night was fast approaching as Rose got to the edge of town. Smithville was a quaint little town straight out of the eighteenth century. It had a beautiful church in the center which was surrounded by old homes and businesses. There were many fires going both in the houses and outside. These people used to play like they lived in simpler times only to now thrive since the power went out. The town was bustling and they had surrounded the entire place with a deep moat. One had to cross water to enter the town. That was a great way to keep the evil ones out.
Rose hoped she would pass the test. Her brothers assured her that they were doubtful the first time they had crossed as well, and they surely couldn't be as good as Rose.
"After all, remember the way we teased you, that wasn't good." Gage supplied.
Rose relented and made her way to the entrance.
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