Asia opens up the refrigerator and begins putting away the food that needs to stay cold like the eggs, milk, butter, cheese, fruits, fresh vegetables and salad stuff. She checks the condiments already in there
like the mayonnaise, mustard, tartar sauce, and salad dressings. There are also olives and artichokes. There are a few opened cans of sauces, and some left over chicken and fish from dinner two nights ago because they were at the funeral yesterday. Even though the funeral was only yesterday, it seems like it happened much longer ago. She says, “Junior and Beary put all of the water bottles, flashlights, and candles under the dining room table. Junior, count each one and write down how many we have of each kind.” “Okay mom”, he replies. Then says, “Beary, hand me each thing I tell you to, one at a time”. “Okay, Junior”. And the little brother hands his big brother each item he is told to. As they work, Asia begins humming a hymn she often hears in church. “God is the love and the strength of my life. He gives me the strength through misery and strife. Never to hurt me, never to leave me, He’s gonna be with me through the end of all time”. She then sings it out loud. Over and over again. This seems to help all three of them relax as they work. She opens up the big freezer that sits next to the back door and puts away all the frozen products making a mental note of how much of each food she has. She also goes to the backyard, gets the huge four ice chests, turns on the back water hose and fills up each cooler until they are all full to the top. “That’s a good idea”, Troy says
as he returns from their bedroom to the front and watches his wife. “I know”, she replies. “I’m trying to think of as much stuff as they said to do from that t. v. program about planning for Armageddon. What’s the name of that program? The name is right on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t seem to remember”. “It’s called Doomsday”, says Troy with a look on his face that is saying oh shit is this really happening?
Asia breaks his thought by saying, “what did your brother say?” Troy’s brother is a state trooper so she’s hoping that he knows more about what’s going on than they do. “He said that all he knows is that all the officials have to enforce this curfew. He was just called into work because he had taken an extra day for the family death too. He’s going to call me back when he gets to work and finds out more information”. Troy says this with his eyebrows still in a downward position. Asia turns on the t. v. to watch the news for updates. She then goes back to working on her doomsday preparations. Troy turns up the volume on the t. v. just in time for all of them to hear the newscaster say, “People everywhere are urged to obey the curfew and not leave their homes after nine o’clock p. m. until five o’clock a.m. Once again, only officials will be allowed out “. Junior asks, “mom, what about us kids having to go to school?” “That’s a good question”, Asia replies. “They have to start explaining the details of this curfew because I’m perplexed.” ”What’s perplexed mean mommy”? Beary asks with a confused look on his face. “It means that mommy is very confused about what to do and how this curfew is going to affect us.” At that moment, the newscaster said, “here are some of the details we have been provided with”.
All four of them stop what they are doing and go into the living room to listen to the updated information. Asia sits down on the couch opposite the window with the plants, Beary sits next to her, Troy remains standing, and Junior sits on the other couch. Their eyes and ears are glued to the t. v. screen again. Holding a piece of paper in front of him, the news man says, “here are some updated details that have just been given to us. Everyone is expected to try to resume every day normal activities. Children will go to school, including attending any after school activities they have already been involved in. However, it is strongly recommended that no new activity be started. All persons will also be expected to go to work as usual. However, every civilian must make sure he or she is in doors before the nine o’clock p. m. curfew and remain in- doors until five o’clock a.m. Only officials on official duty will be allowed outside past the required curfew time.” The news man began repeating himself saying, “once again I repeat………” This time a list of things appeared on the screen as he went over the specific details. He concluded by saying, “police are told to arrest anyone who defies the new curfew law. Stay tuned to this station for updates”. And then a car commercial comes on cutting off the news report. Asia just sits there on the couch in silent thought. It seems like all of them are in silent thought for no one moves or says anything for a few moments. Americans living here in the United States are not used to any kind of government demanding curfews of this kind. So this is something new which millions of people have to get used to, not just them, the King family.
Asia and her husband both run their hands over their faces in a kind of wow state of mind. Troy then walks toward the t. v. to turn it off and Asia stops him and says, “no, hon, please leave it on so we can continue to hear all updated information”. “Okay”, he says rubbing his hand over his face again. “I’ll just turn it down so we can continue to discuss our plans”. “Alright, so what’s next?” Asks Junior now standing in the middle of the living room with his hands folded across his chest. And his mother replies with, “that’s another good question”. She turns and looks directly at him and says, “well one of your questions was answered when you asked about school. You heard the news man say that children should continue going to school, and everyone should go about our normal every day routines. So you and your brother should start getting your school clothes together and make sure all your school work is packed up in your book bags.” She then turns to Beary and says, “Beary, you get in the tub and bathe first”. “Okay mommy”, he replies as he slowly peels himself off the couch and heads towards the bathroom to get started. “I’ll assist him”, says Troy and he follows Beary to the bathroom. Troy starts the shower as Beary pulls his shirt over his head and his father helps him take off the rest of his clothing. They go through Beary’s bathing routine with Troy soaping up the wash cloth and scrubbing his son from head to toe. He then rinses him off, and finally dries him. Junior then goes into the bathroom and also showers after his dad is finished with his little brother.
Asia whips up a quick meal of chicken nuggets she puts in the oven to bake, makes mashed potatoes, and some broccoli for their vegetable. There’s already some fish made from two days ago and she heats that up for Troy for he is a vegetarian. She will eat a little of both meals. She glances at the watch on her left arm. Time is going quickly now because it’s already seven thirty in the evening. She wants to make sure that they have everything they need. She can’t imagine not being able to get in the car and make a quick trip to the store if she runs out or just wants to get something. Shit!, she thinks, what are other people thinking and then realizes she has not spoken to her family or friends. Her head snaps around as she hears a loud knock on their front door. And she says, “Lord you work fast”. Troy hears the knock too and leaves the towel wrapped around Beary and heads toward the door. He always goes to the front door when someone knocks and he always answers the phone when it rings. Asia is so glad because she is often very busy with so many other tasks that she sometimes doesn’t have the time to do it. Troy is also a very protective man. Sometimes a little too over protective, but nevertheless she is extremely grateful that he is.
Troy looks through the crescent moon shaped glass at the top of their front door and says, “it’s Karla, Jamar’s mother”. He opens the door and lets his neighbor in. “Karla, how are you?” “Are you kidding me!?” She says sounding exasperated. “Not alright. Do you see what’s going on?” She continues not letting Troy say a word in response. “Jamar and I are so scared. We don’t know what to do. We don’t have cable so we can’t see the news. We only hear what people tell us and what we can get form the computer and our phones. Do you guys have any more information?” By this time Asia walks into the living room, greets Karla by giving her a hug and saying hello. Karla bursts out in tears as soon as she sees her friend. “Oh Asia what are we going to do?” “Well, Karla, the news said that everyone is supposed to go along with our regular daily routines. The kids have school tomorrow and people need to go to work”. Troy says, “yeah, I just bathed Beary and Junior is in the shower now. We’re getting them ready for school tomorrow.” “I’ll do the same for Jamar. But we’re not prepared for anything like this”, she says this with fear on her face. Asia and Troy exchange glances when Karla says this. Troy responds with, “Karla this is new and scary for all of us. But we can’t panic. We just have to try to do the best that we can under these new and difficult conditions”. Asia loves how her husband tries to stay calm, cool and collective when dealing with stressful situations. This brings a small smile to her face. Troy continues, “We’ll help you and Jamar as much as we can”. This seems to calm Karla down. “Okay she says”. “Asia breaks into the conversation saying, “Karla, it’s getting late, you’d better return home so you’re not out after curfew”. “You’re right”, Karla responds. “I never imagined that this country would ever have something like this, never in my wildest dreams!” She hugs both Asia and Troy before leaving to walk around the corner where she and her son lived.
After Karla leaves, Asia sighs, “Karla is right. We’ve never had to deal with something like this in this country before. I’m now starting to know how people in the Middle East and other third world countries feel”. “You’re right, Babe”, Troy responds. “I believe this is the beginning of the Mark of the beast story your friend told you about when you were a little girl”. Asia just stares at her husband with wide and frightened eyes. Beary comes out of his room with his pajamas on. Asia is glad he didn’t come out when Karla was here. She’s also glad that Junior is in the shower. It just would have upset the boys and made them even more frightened. Heck, she and Troy are scared and they are trying to somewhat plan and prepare themselves for what is to come. For Asia knows this is just the beginning. So she can’t even imagine how other people who are either not able to prepare themselves or have just not prepared themselves for these unfortunate unfolding events feel. She says, “Troy, if I can’t leave out of this house until five o’clock in the morning, then I have to take a later bus”. Her mind has been racing at one hundred miles per hour since they heard the updated news report. She usually wakes up at one o’clock in the morning to get ready to catch the first three thirty bus out of Pennsylvania to New York to get to work by six o’clock a. m. She will now have to take the five thirty a.
m. bus. This means she will risk being late to work. Surely, all of these unfortunate logistics will have to be worked out and dealt with by the government. At least she hopes so. Troy actually says something to this extent when he says, “well, Babe, it seems like we can only do what we can now. I have a feeling things are going to get worse”. “I know. I have the same ere felling”. And at that they all sit down at the kitchen table. Troy says, “bow your heads so we can say grace and bless the food”. They bow their heads, Troy says a prayer just not blessing the food, but also asking God to bless and keep them safe through these trials and tribulations of now and what’s to come.
After dinner, Asia and Troy get the boys ready for bed. By this time, it’s nearly nine o’clock. They all hear a siren go off. Troy says, “that sounds like the siren they use for a fire code”. “Yes it does”, responds Asia with a dumb founded look. “I was wondering if they were going to use a signal to let people know when the curfew was beginning. I guess this is our signal up here. I wonder what they are using in the city? I’ll find out tomorrow, God willing”. Just then, the phone rings and it’s Troy’s brother again. Being a cop gives Troy’s brother John, many official rights that civilians don’t have. Asia wonders if the curfew is affecting making calls after nine o’clock too. She still hasn’t called her mother and father nor her brothers. She’s kind of glad that her sister has already been taken up into heaven and is now with the Lord. She doesn’t have to deal with the Mark of the Beast and the Rapture and who knows, except for God, what other horrific events that might take place in these last days and times. Troy takes the phone to the front of the house to speak to his brother in privacy. Once again, Asia thinks this is a smart move so as to not arouse the boy’s fears any more than they have already been aroused. Beary asks, “mommy can I sleep with Junior in his room?” And Junior answers, “Yeah little bro, you can”. Heck, they all are scared she thinks. “Okay boys you two go to bed now. We need to get as much rest as we can so we’re as alert as we can be”. “Okay “, they both say in unison and go into Junior’s room. Junior has a bunk bed and he gets in the bottom bed as his little brother climbs the short ladder to the top bunk and then lays down.
Troy gets off the phone and joins Asia in Junior’s room as the boys are getting comfortable in bed. He says, “let’s pray you guys before going to sleep” and he begins saying a prayer as Asia, Junior and Beary bow their heads and fold their hands in a steeple position. At the end of the prayer they all say, “Amen”. Asia then goes to she and Troy’s bedroom and Troy closes the boys’ room door. As soon as Troy comes into their room she asks, “what did your brother say?” Troy first sighs before beginning, “John said that there has been some sort of terrorist attack threat on the U. S. The government had to create this curfew in order to protect as many American citizens as possible. He can’t indulge any of the specifics of the threat as of yet, but he promises to keep us abreast of all changes. That’s it for now.” “That’s it?”, says Asia incredulously. “What are he and his wife and kids doing?” “They’re doing exactly what all of us are doing – obeying the curfew and the laws.” “Are they preparing for Armageddon like us?” “No, they don’t believe anything more is going to happen”. Asia gives her husband that disbelief face again. “What can I say?”, Troy shrugs his shoulders as he begins taking off his clothes and watches his wife do the same. They pull back the sheets and both get into bed. Troy turns on the television in their room but does not put on the news. He instead turns to the Trinity Broadcasting Channel-TBN- and he and Asia watch Joyce Meyers preach. This helps to settle them down a little and when Joyce is over, Troy turns off the t. v. and they go to sleep.