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Prophecy or Science Fiction?
Alice C. Bateman
Oh yes, I forgot to mention my friend Christine, who was at an appointment at the Henderson Hospital when the water rose. Thank God, because her home was very close to the former shore. She's actually one of the few, other than John, who calls me by my given name of Katherine. Well, John actually calls me Katie more than Katherine, when he doesn't use an endearment.
Christine is a very close friend, and my younger five children had all been acquainted with her for most or all of their lives. She was a big help with the family. Sometimes children can be very demanding, and Christine was always there to lend a hand when she was most needed. It was she that we left all the children with while we went again and again to the new lakeshore.
As far as we know, Christine lost her children to the flood. She was very upset at first, but after a couple of years began to see it as the Will of God, and learned to live with her loss. I think that being around my children and grandchildren has helped her to heal from her initial sorrow. She travelled with us for years, until she fell in love with a man ten years her junior, and decided to stay with him on the farm he works in the hills of what might have once been Virginia.
I have to tell you, travelling was mighty challenging and difficult at first, too. Many times during our journey south, we despaired of getting around a body of water. We finally realised that if we travelled west into the heartland, we might finally find some dry land. We lost our original, gas powered vehicles very quickly, the first time we had to abandon them for a boat we found to cross over the water to get into the area formerly known as the United States.
There were miles and miles of walking to be done when we did reach dry ground, before we found two more vehicles that still had gasoline and no people around. There were virtually no cities to be found, since most of them had been built around one body of water or another. The rural areas that were high up in what were once hills were mainly now like islands until we got into the Midwest. We travelled by boat a great deal, going in to shore to hunt or forage for food as we needed it, smoking meat and loading supplies of potatoes and other vegetables when we found them. We just couldn't bring ourselves to eat fish from the waters, we had no idea what the decomposing bodies might have done to the quality of the fish.
It was always a risk approaching a home, because we never knew if it would be peopled by corpses or no one at all, or someone who hadn't recovered their wits and would greet us at the door with a shotgun. We never asked any living people for a share of their food, knowing they would need it all, but harvested from places that were left alone.
The younger children with us came to look upon our travels as a great adventure. Arthur and Dustin were both enthralled with the old story of Huckleberry Finn, and acted out their parts time after time, taking turns being Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. Kat's boy Tommy, also eight, played whatever characters they assigned to him, but her little girl, Annabelle, was always Becky.
Tommy often complained that he should get to be Tom Sawyer, because of his name, but the united brotherhood of Arthur and Dustin stood firm. They said they had always played Tom and Huck when they played by themselves, and him and Annabelle had to stick to being other people.
When we were still in Hamilton, the kids didn't understand at first that we no longer had a TV or VCR, not to mention a stove and fridge that worked. The microwave no longer heated up tea or hotdogs for them, and they just didn't seem to comprehend that we were without electricity to power all those things. They'd try turning on the TV time after time, and look for a cold drink in the dark fridge over and over again. But they actually got accustomed to their new circumstances pretty quickly once we were on the road.
It broke their little hearts to leave the vast majority of their toys behind, but there was no choice. We needed every inch of space in the three vehicles we had at the time for clothing and essentials like bottled water, which I had also thankfully stockpiled on an intuition.
Shortly after the floods, God showed me in a dream how to purify water with crystals. I have always had an affinity for crystals, always carried them with me, so the knowledge did not seem strange. And it worked. After the bottles ran out, we lived on purified water until we reached our new home, and settled near a freshwater lake that used to be high up in a mountain range.
I'm actually writing this looking out over the water, sitting in the reclining chair that John built for me many years ago. Even now, the very idea of water can at odd moments bring back the pathos of those early days after the flood. Maybe that's why I'm writing, to try and exorcise all of these feelings that I've carried around for so very many years.
The first time I saw any light after those dark early days was when I discovered that I was pregnant with John's child. I didn't even realise that I'd missed my monthly courses until one day when I felt the unmistakable sensation of a child moving inside me.
Somehow, it seemed like a sign from God that life would continue, and people would continue to exist. Shortly after, Karen discovered that she was also carrying a baby. John and Alex were as excited as myself and Karen; John amazed that at his age he could still father a child.
John still blesses every new day that he awakens. We don't know how or why we are both still alive and healthy at such an advanced age. We attribute it to the fact that we were spared by God for a reason of His own. We try to do something worthwhile every day to thank Him for our lives and the special circumstance of still being here while most of the former population of the world seems to be gone.
There hasn't been an airplane in the sky for many, many years. For the first while, we would still see the occasional small plane flying overhead, and wished we could find one to survey the countryside from the air, but when we did find one still in one piece, the fuel tanks were empty.
With no news broadcasts to tell us, we aren't sure what happened beyond what we've been able to hear or see for ourselves, but I think the rest of the world must be inundated by as much water as we are.
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