Chasity knew this day was coming for a long time, ever since she was a little girl and only six years old. She could still see, and remembers the Pastor’s face all those years ago when he told the congregation about the
Mark of the Beast. She remembers her reaction and what she did. She recalls it wasn’t a good feeling and how strong her worry and fear was. And now as a grown woman in her mid thirties, her fear and worry are even worse. Especially now that it seems like things have actually begun. Oh she knows that signs of the end days and times have started showing themselves many years ago, but only now has this new nine o’clock p.
m. – five o’clock a. m. curfew been issued. Nothing like this has ever occurred in the modern history of the United States of America. She even looked it up on the internet and saw that the only thing that comes close to this event is when the government rounded up all Japanese people and placed them into internment camps during World War II. And also slavery, that happened at the beginning of this country’s birth, and continued to manifest itself throughout the civil rights’ era. And especially because of the dreams she has been having. This is what she’s thinking this early morning standing in the same kitchen she grew up in.
Chasity knows that she and her childhood friend are both having the same dream, even though she has not seen nor spoken to Asia since
that time when they bumped in to each other on the corner of where she lives. She knows it because she can feel not just Asia’s vibes but many, many others as well. This brings back the de ja vu feeling Asia always talked about as a little girl. There are thousands of other people running with them, away from the beast. And she can sense they are also frightened and confused about this horrific event now coming to fruition. She continuously thanks the heavenly father and his son for favoring her with the knowledge and gift of being able to preach the gospel, and she says a prayer out loud, “thank you Jesus for saving me throughout my whole life!” She’s glad that she has known all her life that the Mark of the Beast was to come. Oh she wasn’t exactly sure how it would manifest itself and in what form, but she knew it would happen, and this seems to be the beginning of it. And the dreams are reflecting how she first interpreted how the beast would act and what would happen to people. She remembers telling her friend that she didn’t know what she would do if they tortured her little brother, Denny, by cutting off his fingers. And she still feels this way now, even as an adult. She believes her brother Denny along with her own husband, Harry, are also having similar dreams like this one too.
Chasity shifts from leaning too heavily on her right leg, to her left one in order to take a little pressure off of it. Her right, and bad leg has been acting up and bothering her for some time, and it’s really hurting her now. The devil has always been busy and now he’s really going to be even busier. She’s been trying to do what the doctor has said and lose some weight, but it seems to be so hard for her to. Over the years, the pounds have just piled on, and now she is larger than she should be. Well, she’s certainly much larger than she wants to be and she knows it’s not a good thing. She has always enjoyed eating good food. Heck, cooking and eating all kinds of food is her hobby. And she never really was one to exercise. She grew up going to church most of the time, and they did a lot of eating in her church, so she sort of became addicted to food. This prompts another prayer out loud, “Lord, please give me and my family the strength we’re going to need to get through
whatever may come”. Her husband, Harry, comes into the kitchen as she’s praying. He puts his hand on hers, bends his head, and says, “Amen”. She opens her eyes, looks at her husband, and says, “thanks”. He gives her a loving peck on her cheek.
“Are the kids still sleeping?” She asks her husband, who’s staring up at the ceiling. Having his head up makes him appear even taller than he already is. For Harry is six feet five inches tall in his bare feet. He is a large man because he also likes to eat and doesn’t get much exercise either. Harry is a big man weighing over four hundred fifty pounds. His bulk and Chasity’s just slightly smaller bulk takes up most of the room in their small kitchen. Chasity knows this is what her husband does when in deep thought. “Chas, only make me three eggs this morning because I have to start learning how and training my body to want less.” His booming voice wakes up their eight- year old daughter, Caitlin, and after using the bathroom, she squeezes into the kitchen to hug her parents. She hugs her father first because he’s the closest, and then she hugs her mother who’s standing at the stove cooking. “Where’s your brother?”, Chasity asks her. “I don’t know”, she answers back, “he must still be sleeping”. “Go wake him up”, she instructs her daughter. Caitlin does as her mother says and goes and wakes up her brother who is ten and two years older than her.
Chasity and her present family live in the same apartment, in the same building, and in the same projects in the Bronx, where she grew up in. Like many other Blacks and Hispanics, she never really ventured far from home. There were one or two times when she, her mother and brother traveled down south to see relatives, but that was only twice. She met her husband in the church when she and he were both young. Everyone knew Chasity and Harry were destined for each other. It was their ordained destiny to be husband and wife. As a boy, he and his family lived in the building across from Chasity’s, and they all went to the same church. Thus they saw, and grew closer to one another because of a secret which mainly Chasity and Harry only know. That most other girls didn’t really talk to Harry because
he was always large since a little boy, thus making him unattractive to many, and most other boys didn’t really talk to Chasity either due to her large size. Anyway, they mostly didn’t care because both Harry and Chasity liked and cared for each other, so they were happy they had no other competition for each other’s love. And Chasity’s single mom who lovingly raised she and her brother, Denny, alone, approved of Harry because of all these acceptable qualities. Chasity’s mother got sick when Chasity turned eighteen and asked she and Harry to marry each other before she died. They did and were able to get her mother’s apartment when she passed away, and they’ve been there ever since.
Chasity finishes cooking the eggs and bacon she made for her family this morning along with ten pieces of toast, and she and her daughter bring the food and drinks over to the square table in the tiny living room where they all eat. The table takes up a majority of the living room. There is a sofa bed and lounge chair on the opposite side of the table. Nothing else can fit in there. Harry and his son Jacob are already sitting at the table waiting for their breakfast. After Chasity and Caitlin join them at the four seated table, they all bow their heads and Chasity says a prayer. “Dear Lord, we come together today as a family unit in prayer to ask for your wisdom, your guidance, and your favor in these last days and times. We ask you to deliver us from evil, especially from the Mark of the Beast, and lastly to thank you for providing this food for us, this part of our daily bread!” Harry, Jacob, and Caitlin all say, “Amen!” They dig into their food, silently eating non- stop, and not saying a word until everyone is finished. All four of them eat until their plates are clean. Not one morsel of food is left on either of their plates. Harry uses his last bit of bread to scoop up the last of his eggs into his mouth. He then licks his fingers clean before he belches saying, “excuse me” out of habit and respect to his family. Both Caitlin and Jacob are over- weight children like their parents. Caitlin is only eight years old and weighs over seventy pounds. And Jacob weighs over one hundred at ten.
She and her family being over- weight never really bothered Chasity before, but now she thinks it will harm them. Oh she knows that being
overweight is not healthy and can restrict many of your abilities to do things, but she never felt it to be such a tremendous liability until now. She knows that the devil can and will use all your weaknesses against you, and food definitely is one of her family’s weaknesses. She knows that with praying, wishing, hoping, and using any other positive ways, she and her family are going to have to begin changing. Anyway, they have already felt the sting of not being able to get as much food as they wanted. As soon as the curfew started, people in the city started going crazy. And sometimes she thinks crazy doesn’t even do justice in describing the way many people reacted. They went bananas by leaving their jobs and homes, going to the stores, and buying up everything. Thank God, she and Harry were able to buy as much groceries as they did. The Lord put favor on them as they both fought through all the people shopping in Pathmark. This was a time when their weight was a plus for them for it was hard to push them around that day. And that day was only three days ago, even though it seems so much longer.
Chasity and Harry have kept their children home from school since the start of the mandated curfew. Chasity works only part time at the community center and she told her job she wouldn’t be in, so she can stay home with the kids. She is very scared for her children to go to school, at least for now. It seems to be downright dangerous going out in the streets, so she’s not taking any chances. Her husband, Harry is the only one from their family who is venturing out to go to work and continue getting supplies for them. Chasity sympathizes and says a prayer for all the people, children and adults, she sees as she looks out her eleven story window. She rests her hand on the black metal child protective bars and sighs as her son Jacob comes up behind her and asks, “mommy, is everything alright?” “Yes everything’s alright with me, but no, everything’s not alright with this world”. She says this with a sad face. “Yeah, I know mom”, he replies with a very serious voice. And Chasity thinks he is growing up very fast and knows that he’s going to have to. Her daughter’s going to have to grow up fast too. Many children will have no choice but to grow up fast in order to better survive in today’s society. All these thoughts and more are twirling around in her head as she sits her children at the table and has them read and do school work. She takes out her bible, sits down in one of the chairs next to her daughter, begins reading and studying it, and writes down verses she will use in her preaching.
Jacob fidgets with his smart phone under the table as he reads from one of his schoolbooks. Caitlin is quietly sitting next to her mother also reading a book when Jacob’s phone makes a weird, loud sound. All three of them look at each other like what’s that? Chasity realizes that her phone must be in the room because she doesn’t have it nor hear it. And her eight- year old daughter, Caitlin doesn’t have a phone because she is usually not that far away from Chasity. So it must be Jacob. “What’s that?!” Chasity asks, looking at Jacob. “It’s my phone mommy”, Jacob responds as he jerks his hand up from under the table, taking it out. He touches the beeping app and they all hear an official voice say, “all citizens who are not already out in the streets are asked to remain in their homes and indoors at this particular time”. I repeat, “all citizens who are not already out in the streets are asked to remain in their homes and indoors at this particular time”. Hearing this makes Chasity glad she’s been keeping her children at home during this mess. And she once again says a prayer for everyone.