Under shattered skies a psychopath murdered over fifty people in a ritual sacrifice, using the energy released in their deaths to capture a daemonic archetype and make himself more than human.
Under shattered skies a man sworn to protect his people seeks to comprehend what is happening as his town goes crazy around him and murderers walk the streets with impunity.
Under shattered skies a man of god, mad with delusions and ensorcelled by a psychopath, becomes the hive mind of his church, preparing to deliver his flock to the monster he calls his savior.
Under shattered skies an outlaw makes a stand against the military and Homeland Security, pitting his family and the residents of a run down trailer park against a monster.
Under shattered skies a mother tries to cope with the savagery of her husband and the disturbing prophecies of her troubled son.
Under shattered skies two boys flee into the desert to escape the psychopath they witnessed murdering a truckload of illegal immigrants.
Under shattered skies a wife beater promises to betray the monster, and then waits for that monster, which has already infected him, to claim his life.
Under shattered skies a mother worried for her children turns to a faith that threatens to devour her.
Under shattered skies a woman who immigrated from Mexico finds that racial hatred exists in every corner of this land, fearing for her little boys as they are made targets of this hatred and for her sister who disappeared on her way from Mexico.
Under shattered skies a pregnant woman about to give birth hides from the monster she sees all too clearly, a woman who sees the true essence behind all facades and who can reach out to touch that essence, a woman whose sight makes her resistant to the touch of the monster.
Under shattered skies two sisters who have been interested only in partying, men and money must stand with their family and neighbors against an evil that is sweeping through the world and a monster who would feed on them all.
Under shattered skies a minstrel finds the voice he lost after being defeated by his nemesis, reliving the pain that drove him to hide in the priesthood until he can hide no longer but must arm himself with his neglected muse to face the nemesis that has grown into something truly daemonic.
Under shattered skies that boil with a chemical stew, people all over the world fear to raise their heads and cast their eyes upon a rotting firmament tainted in sickening shades of red, yellow and orange, as though the heavens were one overreaching pustulant wound destined to burst open and drown all in its corruption.
Under shattered skies people struggle along in desperation, striking out at each other as they try to survive in a bankrupt and impoverished world.
Under shattered skies people are enslaved, herded into prison camps where their sweat and blood feeds none but their masters, while those who remain free must prey upon each other or stand by as their lives dwindle down to nothing.
Under shattered skies all who live wait in dread, overshadowed in foreboding while overhead looms the certainty that very soon all of mankind will pay for what they have done to this planet.
This is the story of the little town of Heater, Arizona. Situated in the Sonoran Desert south of Phoenix, this little town was given a unique perspective on the events that have forever changed our world, largely due to nearby Ridgepoint Air Force Base, Project Rise and Shine, and the ominous presence of Deputy Director of Homeland Security Martin Ross.
In the wake of the cataclysm that has overtaken our town and the entire world, I have taken it upon myself to talk to the survivors and piece together the story of what transpired. As a priest I would have been bound never to report these confessions. Yet those who spoke with me were not seeking confession. They knew I had removed my collar and taken up my fiddle. And they had greater respect for me now than they ever had for the drunken priest I had been.
They told me their stories because they were trying to make sense of what happened in their own minds. They did this knowing that, as a minstrel, I would weave their accounts together into a history that would help us all to understand how the world broke down and the desolation and madness that resulted.
Since the thinning of the veil, I have been approached by many who did not physically survive the ordeal. Without their input, there would be large gaps in this account. So much of what is recorded here stands as a memorial to those who have shed this physical existence.
Thus, while I am the narrator of this history, it is not my story alone. It is the story of what transpired in Heater, Arizona and neighboring Ridgepoint Air Force Base. As a bard, I have taken liberties where necessary to make the narrative flow smoothly, while sticking as close to the witness accounts as possible.
Allow me the right of a bard to paint this picture as I can, choosing my colors as I see fit. Everyone has a different view of reality, which I have woven into the tapestry found here, inevitably imbuing it with my own perspective. This manuscript may not be a completely accurate account of what has happened, but it is a faithful representation of reality, as I and others perceived it.
This history began with the mass murder of fifty-eight Mexicans in the desert near the town of Heater, Arizona. The events surrounding that mass murder dominated the first portion of this narrative. Yet this is the story of mass murder on a global scale.
The murder of those poor people may have been where this story began, but their murder led all of us to the apocalyptic events to be recorded in the remainder of this history. So far those earth shaking events have only been hinted at in the artwork of a troubled boy, in the investigation of murder suspect Deputy Director of Homeland Security Martin Ross, and in the disturbing skies that loomed over all.
Already a madness was sweeping through the population. Sheriff Elliot Pierce and his men spent the night running from one crime scene to the next as neighbors turned on neighbors and once respectable citizens embraced robbery and murder. Meanwhile the McCready family and the residents of Loveland Manor built barricades and prepared to face the military and the Department of Homeland Security. Elsewhere Lorraine Howell and the congregation of Reverend Chassey’s Holy Redeemer Church holed up in their newly built Salvation Hall while they waited for Christ to come and lead them through the end times. Maria Diaz gave birth in an earth kiva under assault by dæmonic forces. And Kevin Howell’s sleep was disturbed by nightmares of a monstrous presence reaching out to touch him where he slept in a cave beside his friend Bobby Deering.
Yet before we return to any of these good people, I must relate what transpired with me in the study of the rectory, as I stayed up all night fiddling for an unseen audience. In that night I threw off the costume of the Church I had hidden behind for so long. I played the fiddle all night long, stretching muscles long atrophied, regaining my identity and a talent that had lain dormant.
In that one night, I regained much of the considerable skills that had been tossed aside so long ago. Within hours my fingers regained their dexterity and my fingertips their calluses. Within one night I regained my virtuosity over the violin and became a whole person once again.
Normally, it would have taken months, if not years, to achieve what I accomplished that night. Yet I am sure it was no miracle that transformed me back into the musician I had once been. It was necessity — my own necessity, the necessity of the community in which I lived, and the necessity of the world. Necessity gave me back my ability, my talent, and the past I had long ago suppressed. And my unseen audience aided me in this transition.
The spirits of nature called me from my stagnant sanctuary and supported me as I relived the tragedy that sent me running to hide behind the collar and the church. Once I was strong enough to venture forth, these spirits reminded me how to sound out the world with my music. We danced through the desert to the voice of the fiddle.
And out there, they led me to where a dæmonic force sought to claim a young woman and her newborn daughter. There I found the nemesis that had so long ago defeated me, silencing my song and killing the woman I loved most in all the world.
There in the desert, I was able to befuddle my nemesis and send him packing for the moment, rescuing the woman and her child.
But the confrontation wounded me as well, bringing up all the pain I yet denied. And so I returned to reclaim my own past, building my strength until I was ready to face the tragedy that silenced me so long ago. Memories long denied resurfaced with all the power of fresh experiences as I sat in the study fiddling through the night under shattered skies.
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