I want to make it clear, first of all, that these words weren't written for my financial gain, nor do I hope to become famous on account of them. This book is a manual--in my mind, at least. I'm sure it'll be regarded as something else altogether. I can't prevent that, unfortunately. All I can do is say right now that my purpose for writing this is to warn those few "good" people out there of what's to come. That is, what has already come, and is sweeping its vile way across this planet. I want to prepare them, to make them aware of what to expect, when their time comes...
Of course I'm talking about Armageddon. It's taking place right now. It isn't what we've been led to believe; something we may wake up in horror to find--an obliterated world outside our front door. We won't be judged, left to either die or be saved depending on our belief in Christ. I want you all to know that Christ is taking no part in what this world has become. Consider His hands washed of us earthly beings. The earth is now run by the devil.
Let it be known to all that I thoroughly believe in the devil--I've seen him. I don't mean I've seen signs of him in the depravity that is now our world; I've actually seen him with my own eyes. You wouldn't be wrong in thinking he's a frightening sight--I was terrified when he made himself apparent to me for that instant. I can't begin to describe him. He was everything that any prior incarnation presented us; hooved, horned, tailed, fanged, and so on. And yet, he was so much worse. He was a feeling... a sense of crippling terror that one might get when they know they're about to die.
That was how I felt. I thought that, at that very moment, I would have my head torn savagely from my neck, then pierced by the jagged fingernails of this horrendous creature. But then he was gone, and once my fear followed, I was left only with the burning desire to destroy him. Nothing that savage, that hideous, should be allowed to lurk within the shadows of this once bright, and brave, new world...
__________

I was working the day my parents were killed. I remember waking up that morning with a tremendous headache, starting from the back of my neck and shooting up the left side of my face. I was tempted to call in sick on account of the pain--it was making me nauseous--but I would have felt guilty staying in bed, unproductive.
So, I downed about four aspirins, kissed my mother goodbye (my father had already left for work) and began the short walk to the gas station. It was one of those with a small convenience store built-in, so after filling their tanks, customers could come in to waste money on junk food or cigarettes.
I want to mention that from that time to this very moment, I've despised both cigarettes and cigarette smokers. Prior to my days working the register in that gas station, I wasn't exposed to many smokers. All that changed, though, once I found myself being taken advantage of by my coworkers, who "needed" a cigarette break every halfhour. Each of these breaks would last ten minutes, which meant that they were working eighty minutes less than they should have been throughout their shift, while I worked twice as hard to cover for them.
And oh, the cigarette buyers! I'd guess that eight-out-of-ten people who entered that station did so for the sake of a nicotine fix. I decided much later that this is one of Satan's more subtle methods of enslaving the human race--by exploiting their weaknesses, he's free to move in at his leisure with greater temptations.
I didn't sell any cigarettes that day. We didn't even get many customers, aside from people needing gas. The person scheduled to work with me had called in sick, on account of a bad headache, so I was alone. I get bored easily, so I tried to stay busy by cleaning the store. I found several halfeaten candy bars stashed behind the others, and an empty juice bottle at the bottom of the cooler. What's wrong with people? I thought.
Then the door chime rang, announcing the entrance of another customer. I turned toward the counter and saw a dark figure facing it. As I approached him, I turned on the charm that I was getting paid for.
"Hi, there! How can I help you?" I asked.
The person didn't move. I saw that he had long black hair, which hung loosely over his broad shoulders. He wore a black leather trenchcoat, and silver rings adorned each of his fingers. I stepped behind the counter--and saw his eyes.
They were milky white. I immediately thought they were rolled back in his head. Upon blinking, I noticed pinpoint pupils in the center of each. I assumed then that he was wearing contact lenses, or that he was an albino, but I know better now.
He was grinning maniacally at me, his pearlywhite teeth gleaming in the center of his thick black beard. He ran his tongue over them, like this was some toothpaste commercial. I just stood there in amazement, gaping at him. I'm sure I looked no less strange.
Suddenly from within his trenchcoat he pulled out a wicked, medieval-looking knife. The blade was curved, and extended at least eight inches long. What should have been the dull edge boasted thorn-shaped serrations, which pointed in the direction of the handle. This weapon wouldn't just stab... it would take one's flesh with it as it was pulled from their body. The handle itself was quite impressive; it was gold, and linked around each of this character's thick, hairy fingers. Four golden spikes jutted downward from its end.
He tilted it slightly, and the blade caught a ray of sunlight--reflecting the glare directly into my eyes. Suddenly, the pain in my head became unbearable, and a sound like a thunderclap exploded in my ears. I closed my eyes so tightly that I thought they'd never open again, as I dropped to my knees. I thought I heard him laughing, but I can't be sure. At that moment the pain dissipated, and I was able to open my eyes. I looked up warily. He was gone.
I got to my feet and looked outside for a car, but there was none. It was eerily peaceful. I didn't know what to make of what just happened, but something told me to call home. I had this sinking feeling that my mother was in danger.
I dialed the number and waited. No answer. That feeling intensified, and the nauseation returned. I hung up, scrawled a quick note that read something like--CLOSED FOR NOW--and taped it to the window. I locked the door and ran as fast as I could toward my house...

2001 Mark Baranowski