Katherine hit the brakes, bringing her jeep to a snow skidding stop. The act was just in time. Outside, just above the snow caked trees, rose a brilliant golden light that all but blinded her.

At first, she thought it was the sun. Except that the sun didn’t rise in the north. A quick glance at her watch also told her that it didn’t rise at one in the morning. The sun wouldn’t be up for hours.

Fear slid down Katherine’s spine which she found ironic. She hadn’t been afraid when people all across the planet–her mother included–had inexplicably banished. She hadn’t been afraid when people had started turning on each other. And she hadn’t been afraid when freakish storms–the likes of which had never been seen–started hitting the world with abandon. But, as Katherine stared at this impossible light which only grew brighter and closer, she had to admit that it frightened her.

Katherine considered her options. She could continue down the mountain. While the light refracted off of the snow packed road with blinding intensity, Katherine could still see well enough to continue onward if she went at tortoise-like speed. A better option would to simply turn around and go back the way she came. She’d be able to see better, not to mention she’d get a better use of the skinny peddle on the right. But her feet were frozen, as was the rest of her. She couldn’t move because there was nowhere to run.

Katherine had thought her mother silly, shaking her head at the women’s insistence on attending church every Sunday like her life depend on it and memorizing Scripture like there was no tomorrow. Katherine had tolerated being dragged along until she was sixteen, and when she was eighteen she ignored her mother’s pleas altogether. She was tired of the snide remarks from her friends and the sheer inconvenience of it all. Besides, she was young and had years ahead of her. She could always be ‘saved’ later.

“Many who plan to seek God at the 11th hour die at 10:30.”

Her mother had been fond of quoting that and Katherine had given an exasperated sigh each time she’d heard it. The notion was simply ridiculous. She wasn’t dismissing it now though, because Katherine realized that it was very true.

For the horns were blowing. The half hour had come.

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