Seth, Selena, Nick, Audrey, Drake and I had just arrived at my uncle's concert. My uncle's Travis Cottrell. As I was his favorite niece, we had gotten front row seats, backstage passes, and a meet and greet. I was excited to listen to my uncle's music again. We had come with our youth group, about sixty kids, ranging from ages ten to twenty. Tonight, I had a feeling that something big was going to happen, but I pushed the feeling aside and labeled it excitement. I didn't know how wrong I was. The concert was halfway through when the music stops. All the lights go out and I hear some people scream.
"Ryan, is this part of your uncle's new show?" Drake squeezes my hand and I can tell he's joking, but worried. So am I. This has never happened before. What went wrong? We soon get an answer as the doors are ripped off their hinges. More people scream as huge, muscular guards pour in and start arresting people. What's going on? Most of the younger people begin to quickly slip out unnoticed.
"Ryan, we need to leave!" Selena and Seth both agree and try to pull me towards the exit, but I stay put. Then, we see It. The Beast. To all non-Christians, he looks like their perfect idea of a role model, leader, and dream guy, anything that will get people to believe the poison that drips from his lips. To all Christians, we see him for what he really is: the devil. All four of us take one look as he begins to speak.
"I'm so sorry to interrupt your evening, but all of this is wrong! Why are you wasting your time worshiping a God that doesn't even exist? Turn to me, and you will have everything you ever wanted. Together we will purge the world of this blight!" I swear his red eyes are looking straight at me. I finally allow Drake to pull me away. The six of us manage to slip out before the guards find our exit hole. We run as fast as we can away from the nightmare that has just broken loose.
We stop on Broadway, just down the street from where all of hell broke loose. When we stop, we find nearly all the kids that we came with, along with a few extra. Seth steps up as the leader. Everyone seems to be asking the same questions: what happened, where my parents, friends, siblings, things like that. Drake and Nick get everyone's attention. Seth stands up and begins to speak.
"Yes, the thing you just saw was the devil. And now, we are left to wait until God comes back. You are welcome to leave and live in his lies, but just remember if you do, you'll be denying everything, including your Savior. You will live in pain and suffering until you die. Is that what you want, or do you want to stay with us? We'll live in Central Park until God comes back or help comes." Everyone just looks at Seth with hollow eyes. They've lost hope. Who can blame them? Then it hits me. Will I ever see my mom, dad, or uncle again? I turn towards Drake and bury my face in his shoulder. He holds me and tells me everything will be fine. How much better can a boyfriend get? On our way to the park, Seth sends some of us out to stores and restaurants to get food and clothing. We all meet at the park around midnight. It's late summer, and the moon is full. We build make-shift tents in the depths of the park, prepared to wait.
I wake early the next morning, thinking that last night was just a horrible nightmare. I look around and realize I was wrong. I'm still in Central Park, waiting on God. I walk outside to see Nick. He smiles and continues walking with his sister, Audrey. I smile back and go to find Seth. Wherever Seth is, I'll find Drake and Selena. After checking with what seems like everyone in the park, I find the three of them. Drake kisses me good morning. Selena hugs me, and Seth just smiles. I look at him.
"So chief, what's our plan of action?" He looks up and brushes a shaggy brown lock of hair out of his eyes. Drake comes up behind me and wraps his arms around my waist.
"I'm sure that there are still some people hiding out in the city, and today, I'll send some of the stronger, smarter, faster ones to find them and bring them here." I nod. "You're one of the one's I'm sending." I look up.
"You are?" I hear Drake echo my words. Seth nods. I shrug. What choice do I have?
In the city, every sense in my body is heightened. I feel like I can see and hear everything. I remind myself not to get cocky as I check everywhere for survivors. I see movement down a dark alleyway. I turn and run down. I see my dad.
"Ryan? What are you doing here? It's not safe! Go! Run!" I slowly shake my head. I can't leave him. Then, one of the Beast's thugs comes up.
"Join the Beast."
"No." My dad turns and looks at me, clearly wanting me to run.
"Then die." I'm forced to watch as the guard pulls out a revolver and shoots my dad. I turn and don't look back as I obey my dad's last wish: to run.