Scorched Earth and the Prophet’s Silent Voice, by Kally Jo Surbeck (flash fiction)


For years Nana and Mother talked about our gifts. They spoke of how they were to be kept a closely guarded secret for there were those out there who would take our visions, our dreams and turn them against us. But oh, what a heavy burden that is to lay on a young child.

Yes. We believe you. But tell no one, because they might kill you—or worse.

Just what is a child to do with that?

Growing up in a big city, it was easy to get lost among the nameless faces.  Exist in my own world.  Walk down the street with my hood up, eyes forever watching for danger…and the others, but never making eye contact with anyone.  The earbuds firmly in my ears blasting past the traffic and the incessant chatter, but still never quieting the voices.  The voice always present and always whispering words of warning and prophecy.

The Bible itself said it.  In the end-times we would see visions and dream dreams. The old would prophecy. But that book, along with many others with wisdom, had been thrown by the wayside in the pursuit of a logical, self-made future.

One Hell bent on destruction.

Mankind cannot live without war.  I know I’ve seen the line in movies.  Supposedly in times of old Utopias were said to exist. However, human nature being what it is—always outs.  Someone wants more.  The less need more but the more don’t want to give what they have. Someone wants power.  Some want power to leave them to exist.  Strife and confrontation are in the human genome it seems.

Why was that never modified? They have a pill or procedure for everything else.  But I digress.

I have kept my silence on what I witness. But I no longer can. Besides. In a few days, it will no longer matter. We’ll all be dead.  The Earth’s core has risen too high.  In turn the temperature of the world has exponential grown. And in that heat so has mankind and their angers risen…inordinately.

Seven days. The number of competition.

Last Sunday the heat index had us over 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  Insufferable.  The body count, in my town alone was four hundred and fifty seven dead.  Those from exposure alone.  This does not factor in the increase in crime—any crime.  This does not factor in the increase in domestic altercations.  As we all know temperatures soar, so do attitudes. Four hundred and fifty seven souls from my town dead due to the weather.  Monday was worse.

Monday the Mayor announced we were in a state of emergency though no official status had yet been claimed.  He said to stay indoors as much as possible, but save on power and electricity-only running the fans and air conditioner if absolutely necessary.  Of course people thought this warning applied to everyone but themselves.

Tuesday we had a state-wide power outage.  Only old school AM radio broadcast got through. It was a recording.  It stated that the President had declared a National emergency.  It was more than our town, our state.  But, of course, I knew this.  The voices grew louder and louder.  They begged me to shout the end was coming. But who was I to shout it to?  Who would hear me? Who would care?  A solitary voice in the maelstrom of civil unrest, anger, and the beginning of full-blow terror. I would not be heard. I could have done it. I should have.  That’s what Prophets do, right?  But did I answer my calling? Did I herald the end?


Wednesday I huddled in my studio and listened to those who were lucky enough to have a roof over their heads.  They still lived.  If you called what was happening living.  Some even tried to carry on.  They went to work, vainly reaching for that last dollar.  Others, feeling they were more practical in nature, turned to stocking their supplies.  Another empty effort.  I knew.  I even gave several of my supplies to the single mother living next door.  The voices thundered in my skull.  They begged and they pleaded. Answered only by my silence.

Thursday was oppressive. All but minimal sound and the shouting voices in my head were heard.  The crying, the begging God – the Universe – whomever to stop the heat – the anger – the pain, had died to a few pitiful whimpers.

Not much longer, I consoled myself. Even the voices had died down.  They were abandoning me as I had forsaken them. As I had forsaken mankind to its fall. Had I said something, had they known, would anything be different? I could not wrap my mind around any form of miracle that could save us now.

Friday came bringing with it the stench of decay and loss of life.  Had we fallen so fast?  Tuesday public fighting and rioting in the streets and now Friday deafening silence? I can taste ash in the air though I know not caused such a fire to reach here. Though I am happy there is a thick haze over everything and it looks just like winter as the ash falls.  Tomorrow is the endgame. Tomorrow the world will rest.  We all will be gone. With raspy breath I try to call for the voices, for anyone, but there is nothing. We all die alone.

Kally Jo Surbeck is a multi-award-winning best-selling author of several genres.  She has over thirteen books, including participation in several anthologies.   A few of her accomplishments are Colorado Author of The Year, the EPPIE (Excellence in electronic publishing) Action category.  She is also the winner of the Daphne duMaurier in thriller/suspense.  Her poetry was her first writing sale.  Her works are in several different anthologies, commemorative additions, and one is even in the Holocaust Museum.

Posted on July 19, 2016, in Issue 18: Mark My Words: Prophesy Signs & Portents and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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