Hell Ascendant Episode 1
A Story of the Apocalypse
Edmund de Wight
Copyright © 2016 Edmund de Wight
According to Jewish legend, there are in each generation 36 righteous humans, the Lamedvavnik, who prevent the rest of us from being destroyed. Through their extraordinary good deeds and their love of the divine spark, they save the world over and over again. They’re not famous saints, though. They go about their business anonymously, and no one knows how crucial they are to our well-being.
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I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red — Revelation 6:12
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“The world never has less than thirty-six righteous men who receive the Divine Presence every day, for it is said, ‘Happy are they that wait lo [for Him]‘ and the numerical value of ‘lo’ is thirty-six.” - Talmud, Succah 45b”
The apocalypse arrived without fanfare and with the dawn on April 1st.
It sounds like a joke, but when Satan himself shouts April Fools it’s pretty serious.
Anyone who has ever lived near the sea has heard the old adage: red sky at morning, sailor take warning. On April 1st the sky certainly turned red. Blood appeared to be flowing up the shafts of sunlight. The blood spread over the horizon until the entire sky was a wavering red color. The sun dimmed behind the bloody pall. In the end it appeared to be nothing more than a dull cinder. It barely shed enough light, even at noon, to give the appearance of deep twilight. That’s when the gates of Hell opened on the Earth.
Lucas Devereaux flashed back to the exact moment the world ended. The ground had shaken exactly as it was shaking now.
He had been on Route 7, westbound through Virginia from the District of Columbia in his tow truck. He had slept off the evening’s excesses in the cabin of the grease stained vehicle. He was racing the coming dawn back to Purcellville. He hoped his boss didn’t notice that the truck had never returned from its late night tow. The sun had crested the horizon and the ground began to shake. It reminded Lucas of an earthquake from a few years earlier. This one was longer and stronger than the one that had cracked the back wall of the garage. The few westbound vehicles skidded across the blacktop as the road heaved. His truck had stalled and rolled to a stop as the blood began to fill the sky. His attempts to restart the engine did not elicit even a click from the starter. Every car in sight ha died at the same time. This temblor was not as violent but he knew it was equally portentous.
“Oh God, now what?” Veronica Chin screamed from further down the slope.