New Earth’s Foundation: Prologue

They have been fighting their way through the bushes for several hours. “Let’s keep moving. We are almost there now,” the father says, trying to keep his nerves under control. He knows the soldiers are approaching.

“Are you sure this is the way?” The mother asks.

“Yes. Look,” the father shows her a piece of paper. “We just passed these checkpoints here. According to the instructions, we should now keep moving north, and we will be there in less than one hour.”

“Dad! I am hungry,” one of the twins says.

“And I am tired,” says the other one.

“Okay, girls. Let’s take a break,” the mother says.

The father takes out his backpack, grabs two cereal bars and a bottle of water from inside it, and hands them over to his children.

“Here, girls. Eat something,” the father says. Then, he turns to his wife and speaks softly, being careful not to be overheard by the girls. “We have been deep into the woods for hours. Who thought of this plan to meet out here in the middle of the forest? It makes little sense, don’t you think?”

“Do you remember when the brothers warned us, saying that the instructions would not make sense at first? Just like when Moses fled Egypt with God’s people and….”

“…and they took a route that got them trapped between mountains and Pharaoh’s army when the sea was opened, and they survived. Yes, yes. I remember that. I love that story too, but….”

“Calm down, babe. We are going to be alright.”

“Okay. You’re right. I just don’t like to be out here with you and the girls.”

“Don’t worry. We have all we need in our go-bags. And, as you said. We are close to the meeting point now. We will be fine.”

“Okay, then. Let’s continue,” the father says when suddenly the cry of some startled birds focuses his attention in that direction. Something is coming through the bushes. “Quiet!” He demands with a whisper. “Do you hear that?” The mother holds the children and hushes them. The sound approaches slowly, carefully, coming from the same direction they had come.

“Quick! In here,” the father says, leading them into a hole in the ground behind the bushes. Once inside the hole, they flatten themselves down. The father watches through a veil of leaves almost as dense as a green curtain and waits. The sound is coming from boots crushing the vegetation beneath them. Soldiers dressed in black fatigues move through the woods like skillful hunters. There’s no way to know how many they are. The children are scared. Their mother covers their mouths, closes her eyes, and starts praying silently. One soldier stands a few meters from where the family is hiding. He pauses, almost on top of them, drops to his knees, and studies the ground. The soldier shakes his head several times as if he is confused. The father holds his breath. The soldier’s eyes scan the floor and shift their focus towards the family. But the soldier’s eyes, the only thing his mask doesn’t cover, stop before he finds them. The father’s instinct is to run and lead the soldier away, but he doesn’t have to. Inexplicably, blind to all of the clear trails that lead directly to the family’s location, the soldier moves away. The crashing sound of the forest underneath his boots fades away with every step.

“I think he is gone,” the father says.

“What about the others?” The mother asks.

“How in heavens did they miss us?”

“Heavens all right. God must have blinded them.”

“Okay, girls. I think it is safe to come out now. Let’s keep moving,” the father says.

Marcel and his family finally arrive at the meeting place where the brothers and sisters from their congregation are camping. At the same time, the soldiers also find the camp, but it is too late. As soon as they get there, the sky suddenly opens, and the most bright light comes from the heavens. A loud sound like thunder echoes through the forest, and then…”

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