The curfew and many other happenings that are signs of the end days and times continue to occur. Troy never got a chance to go back to his construction job because his boss, Jake, and the three co-workers who
moved the Big Foot creature all died. This was another horrific event, and people in the area were frightened that some kind of contamination could occur. The medical examiner is still unsure what they died of. There was an investigation and Troy was asked numerous questions that he answered to the best of his ability. But he could only tell the officials so much because he did not help them move the creature so he doesn’t exactly know what had happened. And because Troy and other people who came into contact with the dead men never showed any symptoms, the contamination theory was ruled out. Troy knows the Lord favored him by having him go home that day and not do anything associated with the creature. He is so glad that he listened to the holy spirit. If he didn’t, then he would probably also be dead. The pastors of the church he and his family attend said as much too. He credits and thanks the Lord for saving his life.
This was one year ago to the date. After that incident, he began working as a free- lance, self- employed home improvement renovator. This has been working out pretty good for he and Asia. Asia is still teaching, commuting back and forth from the mountains to the city, but on a modified schedule. She only travels three days a week, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Administration on her job doesn’t like the
idea, but they had to conform and approve it due to the circumstances created by the curfew. Every business, institution, and facility had to modify their times to fit within the curfew laws. People had no choice but to assimilate in order to cope and be in compliance, thus many began getting used to it and fell into place.
People still face many challenges dealing with the curfew. Jails in the country are full to capacity, overflowing to the brink with people breaking all kinds of laws, but especially the curfew. There is a group of lawbreakers who refuse to obey the curfew laws. They are continuously in and out of the slammer protesting against the new ordinance. They claim that the government uses the threat of terrorism as an excuse to keep the curfew going so it can be used as a form of control. The officials can only hold the curfew law breakers in the penitentiaries for so long because there is no more room. They are a part of a revolving door system where they are constantly going in and out of jail. This has been an ongoing frustration and conflict across the nation. Many people are starting to believe the protestors. Asia and Troy are among some of the believers. And because of this, Troy made sure he worked on the secret room beneath the basement of his home.
Troy has been able to work on the secret hideout room a little at a time. He uses his new flexible job as a renovator to his advantage. He splits up his time, working one half of the day on a customer’s house, and the other half on the room. He already possessed the necessary tools and has the acquired knowledge of how to build structures from when he worked in construction. He also was a maintenance man for a housing complex and learned how to repair and fix almost everything you can imagine. So he has many skills. He is also gratefully lucky that he and his family live in the mountains on a two- acre piece of land. This affords and gives him the privacy needed to build in secrecy without anyone knowing what he is doing. The children have been told not to say anything about the room to anyone. They have been sworn to secrecy. They are not even allowed to speak about it to their close friend, Jamar and his mom. And so far, both boys have kept their
family’s secret. Troy and Asia have not even told any of their own family members. And because of this, Troy’s work has been right on schedule. As a matter of fact, the King family’s secret room is actually completed except for a few more finishing touches Troy wants to put on it. He has been working on this room basically throughout the late night and wee hours of the morning, doing a little at a time. He opened up the left side floor of their basement because this is the side right next to the woods adjacent to their house. Part of his plans was to make a kind of escape tunnel that leads into the woods so they’ll have a way to flee if the need arises. They haven’t really worked that out yet. It has taken him a year because he has to first dig, then bring the dirt up in buckets, and finally discard the dirt in the woods. He’s been doing this by himself by hand. He only uses machines when it’s necessary. Asia and the boys try to help him, but he doesn’t allow them to do much.
He does the majority of the work alone. And this has taken some time to accomplish, but he feels he’s almost done.
All the amenities of the room are complete. Troy and Asia continuously discuss and talk about what the room should be like. There are vents strategically placed around the expansive area that have special filters which will allow fresh air to circulate, but at the same time keep all types of pollutants out. There is plumbing that provides running water and a sewer system which runs to their own septic system. And there are also several generators around the house and in the woods that are conspicuously hidden that can provide electricity when needed. The room is built to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Thus allowing their family the ability to live and survive in it during any season, and at any time of the year. A small bathroom with a tiny shower has a wall that separates it from a kitchenette which contains a sink, a freezer, and a small oven. Asia came up with the idea of keeping a barbeque grill and charcoal hidden in an outside container next to the tunnel. Something more is added every time one of them comes up with a good idea.
It is Tuesday and Asia is home on this particular day. She is helping
with what she and her family have dubbed the survival, living, storage plans. Troy built shelves up against the walls of the secret room and she is stocking them with the nonperishables, going up and down the stairs putting the items in water proof containers. The boys are still in school, but Troy will be home soon and she’s looking forward to them having a little quiet time alone. This has been difficult because of all the stress and tension they’ve been going through. The wishful thinking is shattered the moment she turns on the t. v. Something was telling her to turn the television on and she has ignored the nagging thought all morning until now. There is another breaking story being reported. There always seems to be some kind of breaking story when she turns on the t. v. and today is no exception. Thousands of Midwesterners are homeless due to dozens of viciously reoccurring tornadoes. A plethora of fatalities have already been reported and it is predicted to get worse. Only today, the breaking story is affecting her. The meteorologists are predicting a hurricane to hit the eastern part of the United States. A tropical depression located out in the Atlantic Ocean quickly gained strength, turned into a hurricane, named Heidi, and is now headed directly for the northeast.
While Asia is standing in her living room holding a small radio and batteries, listening to the t. v., she hears her husband pull up into their driveway. She opens up the front door and waits for him to reach her. When he does, they kiss and hug. “Hey Babe”, he says. Asia smiles and replies back, “hey honey, how was your day?” ”Not bad. I fixed Shane’s water heater, unclogged Bruce’s sink, and then continued working on Ms. Mary’s house, you know, the usual”. They both laugh at his last words because nothing these days is just usual. Things are instead the opposite, they are mostly unusual. “What’s that you got?” says Troy looking at Asia’s hands. “Oh these are just some things I’m bringing down to the room. It’s a radio and some batteries”. And as soon as she is about to say something about the hurricane, he points to the t. v. and asks, “there’s a hurricane coming”? “Yes, I was about to tell you this”. He picks up the remote, turns up the volume, then heads to the bathroom.
“Hurricane Heidi has just been upgraded from a category two to a category three hurricane with wind gusts reaching up to one hundred and twenty-five miles per hour. It was a hot Summer and now it’s a warmer than usual Fall creating the best conditions for stronger hurricanes to occur”. Leaving the bathroom door open, Troy listens to the weather forecaster while peeing, and Asia listens as she walks down the basement stairs. The weather man continues, “the intensity of a hurricane is measured on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. This scale measures the wind speed and air pressure of the storm. Based on these characteristics, this storm is now ranked a category three hurricane. It is expected to get worse by the time it reaches Delaware, New Jersey, and New York where it is expected to make landfall by tomorrow evening”. He continues, “Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and other surrounding areas will also be affected due to its five- hundred mile diameter. The storm will produce heavy rains which can lead to flooding, so a flood watch is in effect for all of these states”.
Troy comes out the bathroom as Asia is coming back up the basement stairs. She says, “do you hear this? Do you think they’ll close down the schools when the hurricane hits?” “They just ought to”, Troy replies back. “I should see if I can get some money out of the bank”. “Well you’ll have to do it tomorrow because the bank is closed, and I heard the ATM machines ran out of cash”. Looking lovingly at her husband and giving him her proud of you look, she continues, “Troy, I’m so glad you built the secret survival room for us. It seems like these types of events are never ending!” “Yeah, I know what you mean. I’m glad you thought of it and we all chipped in to make it a reality, but you also know that everything is in God’s hands. No matter how much we plan, we need to keep the faith because He has the final say.” They once again smile at and hug one another just as they hear the boys coming up the driveway. Junior puts his Key in the lock and opens up their front door. His brother, Beary is right behind him when the two of them walk into their living room and catch their parents hugging and kissing. Beary runs into his mother’s arms gleefully saying, “mommy,
mommy, and then, daddy, daddy”. Asia and Troy greet their sons and they are greeted back by everyone hugging and kissing.
“Boys, go put down your book bags and wash up in the bathroom”. “Okay mom”, they both chime back in response. “Try to get all your homework done before dinner, and by the way, how was school today?” Asia says all of this as she ushers them into the dining room to help with their homework. She’s thinking she’s so grateful she has good boys, and as soon as she thinks this, Beary suddenly bursts out with, “Junior got in trouble in school today”. “Shut up blabber mouth”, Junior yells at his brother. “You don’t even know what happened!” “I do too”, Beary yells back. “I heard you telling Jamar what happened on the way home”. “What did happen, Junior?” Asia asks with her hands on her hips glaring at him. Just then her phone rings and it’s Junior’s teacher. Asia flips it up and says, “hello”. Troy has been listening all this time but had remained quiet. Now he’s at Asia’s side, looking back and forth between she and Junior. Junior is standing there now seething mad at his little brother. And Beary says, “see it’s your teacher and mom and dad were gonna find out anyway”. Asia waves her hand for them to be quiet and they do so.
According to his teacher Ms. Hatfield, Junior has been talking too much in class. It is disrupting her lessons and she needs it to stop. She’s calling because she’s surprised he’s acting like this. It is so out of his character. Even though they have only been in school for a month, she knows him to be a good boy from what she has observed of him in the past. Tightly holding the phone to her ear, Asia says, “I know Ms. Hatfield, I’m surprised too. My husband and I will definitely talk to Junior and get to the bottom of this. He will not disrupt your class again”. She pauses, then replies, “and thank you, okay, goodbye”, and flips her phone closed. Troy is already speaking to and questioning Junior, as Asia sits Beary at the table to assist him with his homework. She sighs, rests her elbows on their kitchen table, folds her hands in a steeple position in front of her face, and tries not to get involved with her husband’s disciplining. It seems to work because she waits until
he is finished before jumping on Junior’s case herself. “Junior, we’ll continue this conversation after you’ve completed your homework! Sit down here, boy, and take out your books!” Junior does as he’s told, sits down and mopes through his assignments.
The trials and tribulations continue on. CNN reports all kinds of elevated crimes, terrorism, economic turmoil, sicknesses, and natural disasters. There’s a list of other fears as well but Asia doesn’t want to even acknowledge, let alone focus, on them. Her hands are already full with her own problems. And right now, two of them are her son’s misbehavior in school, and Hurricane Heidi. Troy cooks dinner as Asia does homework with the boys. They all listen to the latest news on the hurricane. The projected landfall time has been moved up to tomorrow evening, and the wind speed has increased to one hundred forty miles per hour now upgrading this hurricane to a category four. It is expected to be a category five by the time it actually hits the northeast. Mandatory evacuations are in order for all shoreline communities and outlying areas. A severe flood watch is also in effect. Asia looks at Junior and watches her son as he listens to the reports. He looks very nervous and has a frown on his face. He’s also biting on the eraser of his pencil, as he pulls at a corner piece of his hair. She notices the signs of fear and apprehension as she watches him. She then looks over at Beary and sees similar things in his demeanor too. And she gets an Aha moment, which gives her the de ja vu feeling. She realizes that just not her sons are frightened and afraid, but she and Troy are as well. And she can just imagine how many other people are scared too.