Seven: Chapters 95-100; Christ’s Return :: By Alice Childs



“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath” (Revelation 16:16-19, KJV).

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND Lord OF LORDS.

“And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

“And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh” (Revelation 19:11-21, KJV).



“Don know wha day. Huge earthquake, giant hailstones fallin. I pull Sarh outside. Will die abov groun.

Sar, look! Sy full of horses! Is tha Jesus? Can yu see?”

“I see Him, Boby. Are we dream?”



“Sarah and Bobby Thorpe, ARISE AND COME WITH US.”

“Who ar yu? Wha?”

“We are messengers of the King. We have been sent to bring you to Him. Gather your bag containing your records. You must bring those. Stand upon your feet, Bobby and Sarah Thorpe; we will carry you.”



“I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land… Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel” (Joel 3:2, 14-16, KJV).

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:31-41, KJV).


We are somewhere In Israel, I think. Yes, yes, I remember the two angels telling us we were being taken to the Valley of Jehoshaphat – to meet the King. It has been dark here wherever we are, but Sarah and I are together. I get the sensation that time has passed, like maybe weeks? I don’t know, but our bodies have been healed and we are fed. Oh! Wait! I see Light! I see his face! The scars in His hands and feet!

We fall on our faces before Him! LORD Jesus.


“BEHOLD, Bobby and Sarah Thorpe,” said the LORD before whom we were bowed.

As we lifted our heads, before us lay the most beautiful vista I’ve ever seen. Nothing in our past life ever looked like this! We were looking at Yellow Top, but it was Yellow Top as I’ve never known it – as anyone has ever known it! The lush green trees were filled with hundreds of multicolored birds all singing the sweetest, most beautiful songs any person has ever heard. I don’t think I ever heard birdsong like this, and the most amazing thing is we knew and understood that the music they made was praise and worship directed to the Lord! It was astounding to know that the songs the birds were singing were songs of worship and praise to their Creator!

The grass, a shade of green so deep and velvety that it looked like satin; it was of the most luxuriously soft and tender texture. There were flowers everywhere, abundant in both quantity and color, their fragrance filling the air with perfumed sweetness so fine and rare that all we could do was stand in awe and drink in the beauty of the vistas filled from horizon to horizon with multitudes of multicolored flowers blooming among a vast expanse of trees of every known variety, and many unknown to us. Our eyes could barely drink in the beauty, and our senses were filled with a delicate perfume exquisitely rare that all we wanted to do was to breathe deeply of the perfumed aromas of flowers and trees both known and unknown to us.

There were all manner of animals running, grazing, or sleeping on the velvety soft ground.

In the distance, we could both see and hear the voices of – everyone – EVERYONE who was part of our family of believers! I saw Grandma and Grandpa; I knew it to be them, but they were young; robust in body and filled with vitality. The same went for Clyde… and Big Mike, and our Izzy! Sarah saw her brother, her sister in law Kristen, and her little niece Claire, but Claire was no longer a little child. She was a beautiful young woman in the prime of life, yet Sarah immediately knew her and recognized that it was she. We could see Trail and Mitch…and David, and Will! And there was Mama B, young and beautiful and strong; and oh so MANY others! They were all young and strong and robust. They were dressed in normal clothes, but every so often their bodies would shimmer from the inside out in blinding flashes of light, shining with a splendor so bright and radiant that it hurt our eyes. Then in the next instant, they’d look just like themselves again.

It seemed that they could see us too because we could see them all waving to us and hear them shouting to us, calling our names. They were beckoning us to join them! They are beautiful! Of course they are! They are the immortal ones while Sarah and I are still in our mortal bodies – at least until the end of 1,000 years. Then we too will be given bodies like the ones they have!

I was thinking about Uri, when the LORD changed the view of this multisensory vision(?) and I could see Uri in Jerusalem standing with the other 144,000 on top of Mt Zion. Neither Sarah nor I have ever been to Jerusalem before, but now the LORD has recreated it after the devastation of the Tribulation. It is a city stunning in its beauty, in a land whose beauty cannot be described.

“You will see Uri,” said the King. “Every year when your nation comes to Jerusalem to worship Me, you will see him and have fellowship with him and he with you.”

What am I to do with these journals, Lord? I thought but didn’t say. He knew my thoughts before I could speak them and answered me.

“You have been my scribe. You were one of many throughout the time of judgment that I called to bear record of what you witnessed. I have called you and others like you to record what has occurred in your lives during the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. Each one of you who has been called has archived the events as you have lived them. These are records; tablets of remembrance to be taught to your children, your children’s children, and their children’s children unto the end of the kingdom. You, like the others, have I called to be record bearers. You will teach your children and show them how the LORD has brought you through so that future generations may know of the faithfulness of the LORD.”

The scene before us changed again back to our home on what once was Yellow Top, North Carolina, where all our family and friends are gathered laughing and talking, waiting for us to join them.

“How will we get there?” asked Sarah.

“My two messengers who brought you here will carry you,” replied the King.


Without us knowing how or even when it happened, Sarah and I find that we are home! In the distance, we can see all our loved ones coming to greet us! The sky is a shade of blue I’ve never seen before, nor can I describe it. As I said, the greenest grass I’ve ever seen feels like silken velvet beneath our feet. The air is so clear and sweet we can actually taste its sweetness. A stunning wolf followed playfully by a tiny lamb gamboling along beside it is loping towards us. This great wolf lays at our feet, offering us his belly. We stoop, laughing as we pet this stunning creature, and laugh as we play with the tiny lamb that frolics around the wolf.

A shimmering cardinal of the deepest crimson alights on Sarah’s shoulder and sings into her ear. We watch amazed and utterly delighted as the giant wolf gently licks the tiny lamb tenderly with his great tongue while the lamb snuggles close to the wolf, peacefully and trustingly falling asleep snuggled against the great grey beast with absolutely no sense of fear. We watch as the wolf gently and with care curls his body around the sleeping lamb and closes his eyes.

In the distance, a throng of those whom we love and had lost are calling to us from a meadow bursting with flowers serenaded by a symphony of birdsong. All the pain and loss; all the sadness and horrors of the Tribulation have melted from our hearts like snow in springtime because we are home, home in the Kingdom! We are in the Lord’s Kingdom reunited forever with all of God’s family and ours!

As we arise to join our loved ones, we hear the voice of our precious, beloved Lord once more call to us:

“Bobby and Sarah Thorpe, welcome to My kingdom. Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.”

Hand in hand, laughing like children, Sarah and I run to meet our beloved family who are running to greet us, calling our names; welcoming us Home.



I began writing SEVEN in 2018. The idea for the story came about one day in the spring of 2018 while my husband David and I were sitting in our favorite rocking chairs on the front porch of our little house. We were enjoying a beautiful blue sky that day and talking about the rapture. The thought came to me: how might our city handle the aftermath of the rapture? I asked David how he thought our city council or our county seat might respond when the rapture happens. We talked about that for a while, then I began to speculate how the rapture might affect the multitude of little towns that surround us. And that was it. The seed for SEVEN had been planted.

I began the book, but then set it aside after I’d written the first chapter. I left it simmering, not knowing at the time how I wanted to go forward with the story. However, it was always there, brewing on the back burner of my mind. Then, earlier this year, I felt compelled to take up the narrative again and see what I could do with the story.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think anything would come of my little foray into the literary world. In writing the story, my only goal was to try to write as good a Christian-based story as I am capable of writing, and to stay as true to scripture as possible even if no one but I ever read it. I don’t know if I’ve successfully accomplished either goal, but I do know that the Lord has had His hand in directing this endeavor in ways I could have never dreamed possible.

No one takes on a project this involved by oneself. I want to thank everyone who has supported me, encouraged me; everyone who has critiqued me, challenged my thinking, shared my book, and most of all, prayed for me. This includes both Todd Strandberg and Terry James at Rapture Ready. Rapture Ready so kindly agreed to publish this book as a chapter serial. As I said, I never dreamed that anyone other than myself or possibly my family would ever read the story. I cannot thank Todd and Terry enough for giving my story such a huge readership. I am beyond grateful to them.

In particular, I want to thank my husband David. He truly is a history and science scholar, even though he doesn’t possess degrees in either of those disciplines. All of the historical, geological, or scientific parts of the story I gathered from his knowledge and tutelage. He spent weeks pulling out maps and atlases; hauling out our globe and pulling up images on his laptop, showing me, for example, the routes and paths earthquakes might realistically take, or describing the effects of volcanic activity on the atmosphere, climate, and food production. He practically taught classes in science, geography, and history. He spent hours going over the history of the Babylonian and Assyrian empires, as well as taking me through the history of ancient Greece and Rome.

David has, for all intents and purposes, been a collegiate professor with a student body of one. His patient teaching along with literally hours and days of “lectures” in our living room, at our kitchen table, or on our front porch have been invaluable to me. In addition to all that, he has also been my advisor on military tactics, weaponry, ancient history, and warfare. For the parts I wrote where I got the science or history right, he is the reason for it. If I missed the mark on anything, then it’s because I stupidly ignored his lessons. In addition to being my teacher, he is also my greatest critic. Every chapter I wrote, he would listen to me read aloud. Each deserved critique and each “well done” from him motivated me to keep trying to do the best I am capable of doing. I could not have written this book without him.

I also want to thank and acknowledge the tremendous help my children, Kristen Rogers and Mitchell Childs, have been to me in writing this book. Mitch has been my tech advisor. Anything related to computers or technology such as the technology of what is likely to be the “mark of the beast” system or the basics of Artificial Intelligence, information on VPNs, TOR or the existence of the deep web – anything technological including keeping my manuscript safe and backed up, Mitch has patiently helped me navigate. I never understood 100th of what he was talking about, but what little I did grasp well enough to write about is because of him and his expertise and patience. All of that and more has been his invaluable contribution. As a side note, the character of Mitch Graham in the book is very much based on my own Mitch.

My daughter Kristen, who is in nursing school, has been my medical instructor and advisor. Any medical knowledge that I needed she has provided. She has been so graciously patient in providing all the medical expertise for the book. I don’t know how many times I have called or messaged her to ask about some medical procedure, diagnosis, or medical issue, or to ask her how one or more of the medical characters would handle a particular situation. If the medical actions taken by the characters Trail, Lilly, and Sarah ring true, it’s because of Kristen’s knowledge and expertise.

My kids in law, Casey Rogers and Sarah Childs, were also very helpful as sounding boards on weaponry or in giving their honest opinions on whether a plot line was good and realistic, or stank like last month’s meatloaf. I want to thank Sarah especially for allowing me to use her full maiden name, “Sarah Arrowood,” for one of the main characters. I just love her name, and she lovingly allowed me to use it.

I also want to acknowledge two women who have been on this journey with me from start to finish: Ronda Lane, and Cindy Snead Nuara. Ronda, who is very close to going Home after a long, bravely fought battle with cancer, has been a constant sounding board for me. She has been my go-to person for all Biblically prophetic passages. We have spent years together studying the prophetic scriptures “as iron sharpens iron.” We’ve not always agreed on every prophetic point. We do have minor interpretive differences on non-essential issues, but we are both rock solid on the major doctrines of the faith and the major prophetic doctrines such as the pre-Tribulation rapture of the Church. I could not have written this book without Ronda.

And Cindy Nuara: how can I even begin to put into words the help she has given me! Cindy, who is not only the dearest “sister of my heart,” is also my editor. Cindy has been the one who has figuratively held my hand and helped me navigate the tricky undercurrents of writing dialogue, arranging plot sequences, and time frames, in addition to dealing with my plethora of syntax issues and my myriad typos. In anything I write, Cindy is the one who keeps my literary hair brushed and my writing literate so that I come across as a much more polished writer than I really am. She will have a multitude of stars in her crown for her patience in dealing with my hundreds of typos alone. She always edits in a gentle, loving manner.

Finally, most of all, I want to acknowledge my Lord and Savior. He has blessed me far beyond what I deserve. Writing a book has always been my lifelong dream from the time I was a little girl. I am absolutely humbled into the ground in gratitude for the Lord giving me the opportunity to have my life’s dream come to fruition. My greatest prayer is that He will use this story in whatever way He sees fit to bring the lost to salvation; both before and after the rapture, and that He alone will be glorified through this endeavor.

Alice Johnson Childs April 2018 – December 2019

Seven: Chapters 90-94 :: By Alice Childs


Journal Entry: Sometime late October 2025 (I think?)

“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory” (Revelation 16:8-9, KJV).

Well, Journal, here I am finally; and the irony is, I’m not sure of the day or date. We tried to keep up with the date by carving notches into the rock wall of the cave’s ‘great room’ so we could keep up at least with the date if not the days, but there’ve been a few days we missed either because we forgot or mostly because our days now are filled with the dawn-to dusk-efforts of simply trying to survive.

We arrived at the cave on August 3 (the cave we have jokingly named Qumran), and on the third day afterward, the next bowl judgment began.

As it’s recorded in scripture, this judgment is centered around our sun. The heat and intense burning of the sun has made it nearly impossible to venture outside even to hunt for the food we so desperately need. I cannot imagine how the rest of the world is faring. Scripture tells us that the lost and already damned reprobates – those who are the bearers of Draken’s Mark of the Dragon – are gnashing their teeth in pain. The intense heat and scorching rays of the sun are now frying humanity through a destroyed ozone layer that once protected and filtered out the immense heat and deadly solar radiation. The intense, burning heat with the excruciating pain coming from the suppurating sores caused by Draken’s mark have driven the earth dwellers even further into demonic insanity and hatred.

Neither the scorching heat nor the near-total lack of uncontaminated water, not even the open, running sores that are eating their flesh from the inside out resulting from the effects of the injected ‘mark’ – none of these judgments has caused the earth dwellers to repent. Indeed, the marked ones cannot repent. They only grow more vile, more depraved, and more wicked day by day; just like the ‘god’ they worship who is Satan in the guise of Lucius Draken. There is no hope for the marked ones. Their eternal fate in Hell is sealed as surely as if they were already there.

Then there are the believers like us who are also suffering, but with the great difference being that we have the hope and the surety of Jesus’ soon return. As badly as we are suffering, we are even now filled with joy and hope, because the end of the believers’ suffering is in sight. But for those who are eternally damned, their suffering is just beginning. Their torment will never end; not in this life or in the one beyond.

Once again, we can see in retrospect the mercy and provision of God. I’m sure that for the great multitude of suffering believers, God uses physical death as a means of rescue and release from the torments of this earth. For the few believers who will make it to the end alive, God provides for His remnant. He always has.

In our case, the cavern protects us from the worst of the heat. We have our little underground spring that gives us fresh, cold, uncontaminated water, and something else that we discovered. About a week after we were here, we found another… what do you call it… tunnel? fork? I dunno. I can’t remember the word… in another cavern tributary, we found another cavern; this one a bit bigger than the great room. But what makes this chamber so important and miraculous is that it has within it a wide, deep underground pool or small pond that is teeming with life. In this underground pool are all manner of fish, frogs, crayfish, beetles, salamanders, earthworms and such. All of these creatures are blind. There is food here; it’s just that much of it is not what we’d want to eat. Still, we don’t dare turn up our noses at anything edible that God provides because the time may yet come when we will gladly eat worms or bugs if the alternative is starvation.

We still go out and set our snares in the cool (well… the meaning of cool is relative now, but in the cooler evenings) and check them at daybreak. So far, we’ve managed to still catch a rabbit here and there, and once a feral piglet, but nearly all the game is gone because almost all vegetation and water is either gone or almost gone.

Even in what we’re sure is either late October or possibly early November, the heat is still more than we can stand, although, praise God, it does seem to be easing up. Perhaps over the last two months of this year and early into the next, this intense, suffocating heat will eventually decrease to something survivable.

We don’t move much. We try to conserve our energy, what little we have left, by going deeper into the cave to sleep during the scorching daylight hours. We try to hunt in the evenings. We do, however, have plenty of water from our little spring, and it is blessedly cold!

I don’t know when or if I’ll be able to write again. I’m sure going to try, but if there’s no entry for a long while, or if ever, then I know the Lord will have someone find these journals. After all, He has had a purpose for my keeping them ever since the beginning. I just don’t know what that purpose is or will be.

Till next time, Journal; if there is going to be a next time.


Journal Entry – date??? (sometime well into the new year 2026 as best as we can figure)

God brought us through the worst heat any of us has ever experienced. I don’t know how the rest of the world is doing, but here on the mountain, the awful heat is finally over. Although it’s still warmer than normal, it’s nothing like what we’ve suffered ever since August of last year. As best as we can figure, it’s probably around early February of 2026. We’ve tried to do better at keeping track of the days, and I think we’re close to being right, but who knows? None of us remember whether or not this is a leap year; not that it matters.

Since we have no way of knowing what’s going on outside of our little cave, we’re not sure what’s going on with Draken and Gulden, although we must be getting very close to the destruction of Babylon. I think what I’ll do is just write out the next two judgments if for no other reason than for me to be able to check back the next time I make an entry.

Before I do that though, I need to say that blind fish and crayfish taste just as good as sighted ones. We’ve not had to resort to eating bugs and worms; not yet, but it won’t be long until we will.

We only eat one meal a day now. All of our food rations from Yellow Top have long been gone, and the last game we caught, a squirrel, was at least a month ago. Even though there are fish in the underground pool, they are nowhere near as plentiful in number as they would be in an above ground body of water. All this, though, has only strengthened our faith. We have seen and experienced firsthand God’s care and provision for us. We are so near the end. Come what may, the end of these last seven years is in sight, and beyond that, the kingdom where we will meet our Lord face to face, and at last be reunited with our redeemed family; all of them.

Anyway, since we can’t know what’s happening elsewhere, I’ll write out what scripture says the last bowl judgments will be. I’m sure we’ll know when the last two commence, though.

“And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (Revelation 16:10-15, KJV).

“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies… For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities…

“Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,  Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

“The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

“Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.  And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;  And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth” (Revelation 18:1-3, 5, 8-11, 15-18, 20-24, KJV).


Journal Entry: Date???

I can now report that bugs, worms, snails, and grubs are all edible even if they’re not very good. One can even eat a rat, although we all gagged the first time we had to.

We’ve been subsisting on all these things for a while now, plus the occasional fish we can catch from the pool. I think we have about caught all there is to catch in our underground pool. There are a few fish left, praise God, but not many – not enough for more than a couple of months; time. There is one huge old fish we’ve been trying to catch. If we can catch him, he’d feed us all well for a day or so, but so far we’ve not managed to catch him. He’s a sly, elusive old codger. He keeps giving us the slip.

All joking aside, our food situation is critical. All of us are starving to death. We continue to set out snares and traps every night, moving them from here to there, but there’s just nothing to be caught. Trail and I go out hunting every day, but there’s no game to be found.

We grow weaker by the day, but Trail and I are particularly worried about Sarah. She’s always been small, but now she’s lost so much weight that she is truly emaciated. Although she tries her best to keep up, she’s barely able to move. Last night she fainted. Thank God she didn’t hit her head or break a bone. I fear that if she doesn’t get some substantial nourishment soon, she’s not going to make it. Trail and I have been praying fervently, discussing between us what we ought to do. Trail is really worried, and if he’s worried, that makes me doubly worried. We both think it would be worth the risk for him and/or me to go back to Yellow Top and see if there’s anything left there that we can forage or catch. There’s no way Sarah is strong enough to make the trek back to the cabin. Whatever Trail and I decide – stay or go – the decision means life or death for Sarah; for Trail and me too. Still we have to try something.

I’d gladly give Sarah the last drop of blood in my body if I could, if it would save her life. I’ve told Trail that I’ll go alone, and he’s offered to go alone, but the truth is that neither of us is in much better shape than Sarah is. If he and I go together, we could hunt more efficiently and watch each other’s backs, but doing that will mean leaving Sarah behind and alone for close to two days; probably more. The brutal truth is that neither of us can move nearly as fast as we could last year. It will take us a longer time there and back, and all the time we are gone, Sarah will be here alone. What if she faints again, or falls and hits her head? What if she loses consciousness and goes into a coma? Oh, the endless possibilities of what ifs! They torment my mind!

I’ve got to stop this train of thought. If I don’t, despair will paralyze me. Lord help me to trust Your perfect will whatever that may be. 

I remember those survival reality TV shows that were all over cable TV back before the rapture. The guys and I used to laugh at the clowns on those shows. Oh, some of them were good survivalists with great skill sets, but the truth was that all those programs were artificial situations. Those guys had camera crews, and more than likely, medical crews on hand. They always had at least a couple of 4-wheel drive vehicles nearby, and first aid on hand or even medevac choppers available on standby should any real emergency occur. If any one of these guys got seriously injured, there was always someone nearby to render aid. Truth is, those ‘reality’ show ‘experts’ were rarely in any real danger, and none of them were ever in real danger of actually starving to death either.

The situation we and our fellow believers everywhere else who are still here face is genuine starvation. For us, our situation is not some fake reality show. Our situation is life or death.

Leaving Sarah here alone while Trail and I, both starving and weak ourselves, make a two-day journey back to Yellow Top is a huge risk, but is it a risk worth taking? Trail thinks it is. He’s worried about Sarah’s physical deterioration. He says she’s barely above comatose now, and that if we don’t find some nourishment soon for her, she’s not going to live much longer.

We have prayed and agonized over this decision for the past couple of days. I am becoming more and more convinced that Trail and I going back to Yellow Top is worth the risk. If we go and nothing is there either, then we can come back and all die together, knowing we will have done all we can. But if we go and can find anything, then maybe whatever we find will sustain us for a little while longer; maybe until Jesus returns if we’re that close.


We have lost all track of time. The scorching heat has eased up considerably, but the skies always remain ashy. It is always dark and gloomy. The weather seems to be getting colder. Could it be that we’re into winter already? I just don’t know.

We do still have that one last option that we can try for Sarah’s sake before we leave. There’s the big old fish that lives in the pond that we still haven’t managed to catch. I’m not sure what kind of fish he is, but he goes a good 4 lbs., maybe more. Like I said, we’ve been trying to catch him for a long time, but he’s a wily critter. He may be blind, but his other senses must be sharp because he’s eluded us every time we have tried to catch him. We call him the Ghost King because he’s stark white, he’s the biggest thing we’ve found in the pool, and he’s elusive. He seems to dart through then disappear. We wonder often where else this pool goes. How far beneath the earth? This entire cavern is a mystery.

Anyway, this big old fish rules this underground pool. If we can catch the Ghost King, then that would be enough protein to bolster Sarah’s body long enough till we got back. Trail and I would eat just enough to boost our energy, leaving the rest for Sarah to sustain her until we get back. If the worst should happen and Trail and I don’t get back, then my Sarah will die by herself in a dark cave underneath the ground. Of course, the Lord will be with her. She wouldn’t really be alone, but it tears my heart to think of her left alone without me, or me without her, or both of us without Trail.

Oh, Merciful Lord, how close are we to Your return?? Father, if we must die, let us die together. Please. 

As I knew, Sarah was not at all happy with this plan when we told it to her. Both Trail and I talked to her, but it was Trail that finally got through to her; not as a friend, but as a doctor.

“Alright Little Sass,” Trail began solemnly, using his own version of Clyde’s ‘Little Lass’ nickname for Sarah, “the arguments are over. I’m not talking to you as your friend, your brother in Christ, or your elder, all of which I am. I’m talking to you now as your doctor. The bottom line is that you are dangerously malnourished and emaciated. You’re barely conscious. Your pulse is thready and weak, your heartbeat is arrhythmic, and your body is consuming itself just to keep your vital organs functional. To be blunt, if we don’t find some food soon, your vital organs are going to shut down. You’ll go into a coma, and you won’t come out of it.

“Now I know,” said Trail holding up his hand to forestall her weak protest, “I know that we’re all starving, but the plain truth is that Bobby and I are not in as bad a shape as you are – yet, so this plan is simply non-negotiable. If we can catch the Ghost King, he’ll give us all a much-needed protein boost, but you are going to stay here. You’re going to eat that fish if we can catch him, and you’re going to rest. We need you to stay with us, Sarah. Think like a nurse.” Trail said.

“Alright,” she finally acquiesced. Frankly, she was too weak to put up much of a fight about it. That scared me beyond words.

Trail and I renewed our efforts. One of us stayed by the pool at all times. I caught a fat crayfish and baited the hook with it. Trail, having always been a better fisherman than I ever was, sat by the pool, patiently jigging. His patience paid off. Within a day’s time, God delivered the Ghost King right onto the hook. The next day, our bodies strengthened by the fresh fish God provided for us. Trail and I ate just enough to take the edge off our hunger. We left the majority of the fish for Sarah.

Trail ordered her to eat every bit of the fish and to drink plenty of water. I made sure her bed was as comfortable as I could make it, and Trail filled her canteen and a couple of jars that had once contained our honey with fresh water. Trail ordered her to stay put and rest and to not go wandering off. Very early the next morning, Trail and I set out for our last trip home to Yellow Top.


Journal Entry: Day???

We started at first light. It took us all day to get to Yellow Top. We frequently had to stop and rest. We just didn’t have the energy reserves to make the trip before nightfall. We got to the woods behind Yellow Top after it began to get dark. We slept in the woods not far from home.

I had brought with me my bow and quiver which I never went anywhere without. We carried only one backpack with our knives, a candle, matches, and both our canteens filled with water from the cave’s underground spring. We knew that if anything unforeseen should happen and we were delayed for any protracted period of time, we could easily die of thirst before we could get back. There was nowhere that we knew of to get fresh water except back at the cave.

We took the time to set a few snares along the trail in the hope that something might wander through.

We got to the cabin early the next day. It was heartbreaking to see it burned. It wasn’t burned to the ground; the shell of it was still standing, but it was very obviously destroyed. We have no idea what caused the fire. I don’t think the drones, if that’s what they were, could have started a fire, and we never heard any aircraft flying overhead. In retrospect, the sounds didn’t seem as deep as aircraft, so we’re thinking they were drones.

I think it’s most likely that a stray ember from the fireplace that may have ignited the hearth rug caused the fire, or it could have been a chimney fire. Trail and I had been talking about needing to clean the chimney since we kept a fire going almost year-round. It could have been either of those things or something else entirely that started the fire. We will never know.

If we’d had time, we could have put out the fire before we left, but the fire was already going strong when I went out to bring in more wood, and the drones or whatever were approaching fast.

Since we always kept the fire going all the time, I guess this was all part of God’s plan to protect us from being discovered, and to send us to a place where we’d have water and some food.

Whatever info and data the drones gathered, we feel sure that, except for the smoke coming from the chimney, the place looked abandoned. We also knew that the dense trees in the woods would be good cover for us once we were into the woods and among the trees.

When we made it home, we didn’t see any evidence that anyone else had been here, so whatever the drones were doing, apparently no one has taken notice or has bothered to investigate. There are probably abandoned homes all over the place. I don’t know why the smoke from the chimney didn’t catch anyone’s attention, or maybe whoever reviewed the drone footage or data just didn’t think it was worth bothering with. For whatever reason, the multitude of drones that were swarming all over Yellow Top that day found no trace of us. Even if the drones hadn’t come, we couldn’t have stayed in the cabin anyway. There was absolutely no water anywhere except what we’d stored, and that wouldn’t have lasted us long. God led us to the only place within 20 miles, likely more, where clear water and food could be found.

My heart goes out to the people who were discovered by Draken’s forces, whether by EP drones or soldiers, or those who were betrayed and turned in by former friends or even family members. I imagine many people were found out and rounded up or else were killed like fish in a barrel using technologies such as Directed Energy Weapons. (I wonder…could a DEW have started the cabin fire?). At any rate, all those people trapped in towns and cities stood little chance; none of us did without God’s divine intervention. I wonder how many people have died during these seven years? We keep reminding each other that surely we are only months away from Jesus’ return when all of this will at last be over.

Trail and I decided to check out the other buildings first and the cabin last. I was putting off looking at the ruin of our home for as long as possible. I think Trail realized this. He sort of followed my lead and let me choose what to check out first.

The barn was intact. It was still full of the wood we’d filled it with. Standing there looking in, I couldn’t help thinking about Balaam in his stall, and the chickens in their stall. We kept the chickens in the barn with Balaam when the ash was really bad. I got a bit teary-eyed thinking of faithful old Balaam; the hens too. Balaam ferried all our things up the mountain from Norrisville to the cabin. He made many trips pulling the buckboard up this mountain for our sakes. He plowed our garden, and saved Uri’s life. The hens fed us and provided feathers for our pillows. Standing there looking into their empty stalls, I wondered how God rewards His creatures for their loyalty and faithfulness. Somehow, I believe He does.

We went next to the shop. Half of it had burned. There wasn’t any point in going in there; we left it without entering. It bothered me to think about all those wonderful old tools my great-grandfather Whit had hand made. All the tools which Grandpa so lovingly preserved were likely destroyed, at least the wooden parts of them would be. I could remake the handles and such, of course, but it wouldn’t be the same; and after all, what would be the point anyway?

We decided to see how the root cellar fared. Trail went in first and came back out, his hands filled with two quart-jars of honey and a big grin on his face.

“Let’s open a jar and eat some honey for lunch,” said Trail. “We can take both jars back to Sarah. Honey will do us all good”

“Awesome!” I said, pulling the mess kits and canteens out of our backpack and opening one of the quart jars.

We both ate a few tablespoons of honey and drank some water. The sugar and protein in the honey was like a shot of adrenaline to our starved systems. We immediately felt better. We cleaned up our sticky fingers with just a tad bit of water, but not much. The water in the water barrels wouldn’t be safe now after all this time.

Finally, there was nothing left to look at but the cabin. I wasn’t sure that we should even bother, but we both wanted one last look at our home before heading back to Sarah with nothing more than two jars of honey for our exertion, but even this is more than we’ve had.

As we approached the cabin, we tried to decide whether to go in through the back door or the front. As far as we could recall, neither door had been locked. Sarah had opened the front door and merely shut it when she heard what she thought were airplanes headed our way. And as for the back door, I had been the last one out. I knew I’d just hastily closed it, not bothering to lock it. I told Trail that since the fireplace was in the great room that the fire had likely started in there. It would be safer to come in through the back door in the kitchen.

The heat had warped the door, but we managed to get it open. There was still a faint undertone of smoke and burned wood in the air that we could smell even after a year’s time. There was a lot of damage. We could see into the great room and knew it wouldn’t be safe to even try to navigate. It was gutted. The fire, of course, had burned upwards. There were great holes where we could see into the upstairs. Black, greasy soot covered everything.

“There’s no point in going further. It’s not safe,” said Trail.

“I agree. Let’s go home,” I said – for the cave is our home now; at least until we die or until Jesus returns, whichever comes first.

It could have been either one of us. We were both standing in the same spot, but it was me who turned to go first. I hadn’t taken more than three steps when I heard a tremendous CRACK. The floor shuddered, and I heard Trail yell, then go silent. I turned around to see him caught half in and half out of a huge hole in the floor right where we both had been standing only seconds ago. His top half was still in the kitchen, but below his chest, he had fallen through the floor. There was blood everywhere, but worst of all, there was a huge splintered piece of wood that was sticking in his chest.

TRAIL!” I screamed, “Hold on! I’m going to get you out! Hang on, buddy. Hang on! Oh, Jesus help!” I was screaming and crying because my head knows a fatal wound when I see one, even though my heart was not accepting what I knew was inevitable.

I knelt by Trail, not knowing what to do, when he groaned and opened his eyes.

“Not going to…” here he coughed, and a great gout of blood gushed from his mouth, “… make it back… Bobby,” Trail gasped.

“Don’t talk nonsense,” I babbled; “I’m gonna get you up and outta here; just hang on.”

“Bobby… stop. It’s okay. I’m going… Home. I’ll just get there… a little bit before… you do. Gonna go see Mama and Mitch and every… one. Gonna see Jesus. I… love you, Bobby. See you… in the kingdom. Bobby… check the traps.”

And then he was gone. Just like that. His body quivered, then slumped. He gave out one last sigh, and then he died. Trail went home.

I sat on the floor as close as I could get to him until his hand began to grow cold in mine. Then I got up and made my way out the back door. I grabbed the backpack with its two jars of honey, and headed back into the woods towards the cave and my Sarah. On my way back through the woods, I checked the snares like Trail with his dying breath had told me to do. In two of the snares were two fat rabbits. Where they came from, I have no idea, but I took them and thanked God as I made my way home to my wife. Now, if Sarah was still alive, we were the only two left out of them all. Oh Lord Jesus will this ever end?