Resurrection 2027

by J.G. Eccarius


Sorry, Sold Out

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Chapter 1

     "Blessed be Mary the Mother of God! Children, wake
     The bell clanged in Mother Elizabeth's hand and Ann,
already awake, tossed off her bedsheet. By the time the
bell stopped her feet aimed her down the path between the
row of beds. Despite her bed's distant location she moved
quickly enough to not have to stand in line in the
washroom. A few robed bodies had managed to get ahead of
her, but most of the girls waited behind her. A few had
to be slapped by Mother before they came to, the same as
every morning.
     A long shelf with a dozen holes in it served as a
toilet. Across from it stood an equally long metal trench
with a dozen faucets and tiny mirrors of varied shapes
mounted above it. There were also showers, but the girls
were not allowed to use them in the morning. Ann took one
of the toilets, then waited behind Mary Johnson in order
to use a sink. The water touched her with shocking cold
when she washed her face. In the mirror her hair
reflected light brown, her eyes blue, her skin a
mushroom's paleness. She liked her face, it was long and
had a fine nose.
     She walked back, made her bed, and changed into her
school uniform: blue pants held up by a tie-string and a
long sleeved white shirt with buttons going down the
front. Since she was skinny the clothing hung very
loosely on her. She wished she could go straight to eat,
or at least get in the front of a line to leave, but the
rule was that all the girls had to stand by the beds
until they had passed the first of Mother Elizabeth's
daily inspections. This involved seeing that the beds
were made properly and that the girls were clean and
properly dressed.
     In the cafeteria line she received her bowl of hot
cereal. Tomorrow, she reminded herself, was a sugar day,
and there would be sugar with breakfast. She thrilled to
think of it. She was so lucky; before the Apocalypse and
the Resurrection people had not had sugar but perhaps
twice a year.
     The first class of the day was history. This year,
for the first time, they read history as a topic separate
from Remembrance or Theology. Mother Katherine Ann taught
it in overview, from the beginning of time when God
created the earth up to the present. Halfway into the
school year they studied the Middle Ages. The first half
of class consisted of reading the textbook; the second
would be listening to Mother Katherine Ann, answering
questions, and writing a short essay. Ann quickly skimmed
over the section they were supposed to read; she had read
it carefully weeks earlier. Then she went on to read
ahead in the book. That was against the rules, but she
did it anyway.
     She was excited because she was almost to the second
half of the 20th century. Soon she would read up to the
year of her birth, 1970, and read about the world she had
lived in so long ago. Of course she already remembered
quite a bit about her life before Resurrection; that was
what Remembrance classes were for. She had been raised
from the dead in 2013; she was 14 years resurrected.
     The ancient struggle between Good and Evil, God and
the Devil, Mother Mary and the Anti-Christs had come to
a head during Ann's prior lifetime. In the preceding
decades the atomic bomb had been invented and the
ecocrisis gathered in intensity. Even in God's chosen
nation, the United States of America, the contest was
severe. Christians divided into many sects, most led by
bad men. Anti-Christs were everywhere, including in the
Government. Few people were prepared for the Apocalypse
and the Second Coming. People watched Anti-Christ
preachers on Television rather than obeying Mary the
Mother of Christ and her priestesses. Technology was
advanced by men guided by Satan and bent on destroying
the world. There were many wars: Korea, Vietnam, the wars
in the Middle East and Africa. Communist-atheists, agents
of the devil, took over the island of Cuba. The
government of the United States persecuted, imprisoned
and tortured Christians. The Bible could not be taught in
schools, and Christians had to pay taxes to support the
government's anti-Christian propaganda campaigns. Still,
many people were true to the faith, or tried to be true
despite their confusion.
     Before Ann reached the years between her birth and
the Apocalypse the time for reading was over.
     But her teacher pulled her outside of the classroom
at the end of the lesson.     "Ann, Mother Mary Rebecca
wishes to speak to you. Please go straight to her
office," said Mother Katherine Ann.
     "Yes, Mother." Ann was instantly terror-struck. I
must have done something wrong, she thought. Had Mother
Katherine Ann seen her reading ahead in the history book?
Had God told them her secret thoughts, the ones that she
tried not to think?
     It was not a long walk to Mother Mary Rebecca's
office, but Ann examined almost every thought she had
during the preceding few days.
     Mother Mary Rebecca was a tall woman; taller than
Ann and most of the teenage Children in Ann's class, even
taller than the other Mothers. To Ann she seemed very
old. Ann was sure that when Christ and Mother Mary came
to earth to end the Apocalypse Mother Mary Rebecca had
been one of the witnesses. As head Mother of the Holy
Redeemer School and Womb of Mary VII Child Care Facility,
Mary Rebecca functioned as its ultimate disciplinarian.
     The Head Mother's body sat enshrouded in the same
clothing all the Mothers wore: a loose black robe that
reached from the neck to the ground. Except for her
height she was recognizable only by her face, a long oval
set with a small nose, eyes and lips. Her eyes flashed
pale blue; piercing as only those whose authority is
unquestioned can be.
     "Ann, angel, come in."
     "Yes, Mother Mary Rebecca."
     Mother Mary Rebecca gazed at her a while, saying
     "You have done very well in your classes, Ann. God
has blessed you."
     "Yes, Mother Mary Rebecca."
     "Before the Apocalypse you were a nurse." Mother
     "Yes, Mother Mary Rebecca."
     "Do you know what a nurse is?"
     "Yes, Mother Mary Rebecca. A nurse is a woman who
takes care of the sick, following a doctor's orders."
     "That is correct, Ann. But there are many things
about nursing and medicine that you have not recalled
yet. To be a good nurse or doctor requires the study of
the human body. You have already made those studies in
your past life, so it should be easy for you to recall
them. However, you are not to become a nurse, at least
not now. God has ordered that the pace of Resurrection be
increased. Resurrection is one of Mother Mary's miracles,
but we act as her servants in this process. For more
resurrections, there must be more servants. You have been
chosen for this special service. Tomorrow morning you
will be sent to a special school in Resurrection City for
this great purpose. Now it would be best if you go to the
chapel and pray for guidance until lights out."
     Again Mother Mary Rebecca paused.
     "Yes, Mother Mary Rebecca."
     "Why did God resurrect you, Ann?"
     "To know her and to love her."
     "That is correct. One way you will learn to know her
and love her is through doing her work. You may go."
     The Chapel was large enough for all 400 students at
Holy Redeemer to sit in at once. Ann knelt there alone.
She had never been there alone before.
     She thanked God for resurrecting her. Then she went
through some standard, memorized prayers: Thanks to
Jesus, Mother Mary's Prayer, Cast Out Wickedness, and
others they had learned at the school. But then she
started wondering about her history book: why had things
been so bad before the Apocalypse? And why had she been
killed, martyred, only to be resurrected 15 years later?
What would it be like in the special school? Maybe her
questions would be answered.
     She already had new questions. Why was not she
resurrected as an adult, since she had died as an adult?
Why did only teachers ask questions, why not the
students? Why did God resurrect people a few at a time,
rather than all at once, and why more now than before?
     She had no basis to answer these questions, no
knowledge of anything outside of Holy Redeemer and before
that the Womb of Mary VII infant care facility, nothing
beyond the companionship of her sister Children, the
books they read, and the authority of the Mothers. She
felt, was sure, something major was missing from this
life, but believed that God, through the Mothers, would
supply it at some point, just as they had supplied her
with all of her needs. After all, they had rescued her
from death itself.
     The next morning her day started as usual, but was
quickly interrupted. Mother Elizabeth asked her to wait
in the bunk room when the other girls went off to
breakfast. A short time passed and Mother Elizabeth
returned with a woman dressed as a Saint. She wore a
yellowed, long-sleeved shirt and a long yellow skirt that
hung loosely about her legs. She was not one of the
Saints who worked for the Mothers at Holy Redeemer.
     "This is Ann Swanson. Ann, this is Saint Mary Jones,
who will take you to the Temple of Resurrection. We are
all proud to see you go, and expect you will be a glory
to Mary the Mother of God."
     "Yes Mother Elizabeth."
     "Pick up your things." And while Ann went for her
tiny bag of belongings Mother Elizabeth left.
     "This way, dearie," said Saint Mary Jones.
     Ann wanted to ask why Mary dressed as she did, but
she had never asked anyone a question aloud in her life,
so she just followed the woman. They went through a door
that led to the kitchen, but bypassed the kitchen and
went though another door down a long hall. Mary started
rising into the air. It took a moment for Ann to realize
that Mary was walking on ... something ... Ann raised her
foot, focused her eyes on the step, set her foot down,
moved her body up a step, saw Mary receding, and took a
second step up, unsteady. Mary looked back, smiling.
     "Have you been up these steps before, dear?" Mary
     "No. Is this a staircase?" Ann asked the question
without thinking, and to her surprise Mary did not seem
to notice.
     "That is right, dear. You will be seeing stranger
things. Move along now, I will be in trouble if we are
     Ann negotiated the steps up to Mary only to have
Mary start off again in the opposite direction, around a
turn. There were several flights of steps and Ann's legs
hurt long before they reached the top.
     They emerged through another door into a room almost
as big as the chapel. A large metal machine dominated the
room; after a moment, following Saint Mary Jones, Ann
realized there were two separate machines. Mary opened
one up.
     "You have to get inside, in the seat," she said.
     Ann looked into the machine, saw a seat, and managed
to get into it. Mary closed the door and Ann saw small
windows she could see out of. Before she could get her
bearings Mary opened the machine from the other side and
got in.
     "It is old," Mary said, "but it runs. Do not worry,
it is not a long trip."