Suzy Harwood glanced up. The alarm clock had malfunctioned again, she now was an hour late for work. Skipping her normal morning preparation, Suzy threw on a plain pink dress and hurried towards the kitchen. Rich was eating breakfast, a smug expression on his face as he noticed his sister. “You’re late again” he snapped. Without hesitating, she answered, “Just worry about yourself brother.” Ever since he started his job with the Los Angeles Crime Unit, he was irritable and uneasy. Suzy couldn’t blame him, with all of the killing and bloodshed. But with the economy so tight, it was up to the two of them to support the family. Still...his edginess and outright rudeness bothered her at times.
Mrs. Harwood eased the tension. “Now let us not ruin the morning.” In her late fifties, the pleasant-faced woman looked ten years older. Rich got up from the table and responded. “No need to be concerned mother, I have to leave for work now.” Spitefully, he glanced at his sister and gave her a smug look. “I, for one, like to be on time.” Suzy ignored the comment as he exited and she then put her eggs into the microwave. Three seconds later they were done, sunnyside up, just the way she liked them. Of course, the young girl had to push away the thought that these were imitation eggs that were packaged in a two by two silver-lined box. Suddenly considering her tardiness, Suzy decided to eat them on the way. Leaning over, she kissed her mother on the cheek. “I will see you in a few hours mother and please remember to lock the doors and window bars.” As the elder Harwood was digesting the daily newspaper, she nodded slightly in response.
Suzy went in the direction of the living room, but hesitated when she saw her father sitting on the couch, gazing trance-like at the television set. It had been almost five years since he had spoken a word. Television seemed to be his life, but even that three-dimensional box ceased to bring out any emotion from him. She noticed the newscast and it was typical for the weekend; 35 murders, dozens of fires and literally hundreds of robberies of different sorts. Suzy hugged her father and as usual he was unresponsive. It was difficult to see him this way, especially remembering how close they were when she was a young girl. Many times thinking about the past brought tears to her eyes. Her ponderings were interrupted. “Aren’t you late dear?” questioned Mrs. Harwood standing at the door between the living room and the kitchen. Suzy snapped back reality and started for the door. As she said goodbye and began walking down the driveway, Suzy opened the door to her small compact car, got in and started it. Suddenly, and very strangely...her mother appeared in the doorway, frantically waving her hands! Suzy’s mind raced. What could be wrong! Another war announced on the news! Did her father just collapse with his final heart attack? The doctors warned him years ago. “Inside...quick!” yelled Mrs. Harwood. They ran in only to find Mr. Harwood, not laying unconscious on the floor by any means, but standing up, his face glowing! Almost in a lunge he grabbed his daughter’s arm and pointed to the television set. The excited man was actually smiling! So was the newsman on the set! Whatever could get this response? thought Suzy. She listened intently as the still-smiling newscaster spoke. “To repeat this special bulletin, the event will take place within the next two hours in the Tri-City Mall just north of Los Angeles.” Suzy could not believe her ears! “Dad...is it...” The older man interrupted, Yes honey it is...it really is!”
All in the room instantly became silent as the man on the screen continued speaking. “This is no false alarm ladies and gentlemen, this event has been verified.” Mr. Harwood caught his breath. “Mother you take the little car and pick Rich up and meet Suzy and I there.” Without delay the three of them were out the door.
Driving through downtown everyone was clearly excited. People of all ages, colors and status were cheering and shouting; some held banners and whistles and other party items. The dreariness and almost death-like appearance that had overtaken much of Los Angeles the last thirty years was somehow changed by the hysteria of this event. People that normally lived a life of depression and fear were now pleasant and happy. Even a few of the Bush people as they were called, could be seen entering from the wooded areas outside of town. The Bushmen had left society years ago due to its evils and wickednesses and were rarely ever seen.
A short time later, Mr. Harwood and Suzy were at the Tri-City Mall...along with a few thousand others! Finding a parking space on the grass, the two of them hurried out. The doorways were packed. The Crime Unit Police sent for riot control had abandoned their posts and were trying to get as close as they could to where the “event” was going to take place. This was similar to the old sporting events, thought Mr. Harwood. The gathering of the masses to see the players. In fact, the enthusiasm was much the same. But this certainly was no game! Everyone was waiting and anticipating. And surely not just those here, but those throughout the whole world! This was the day and the Harwood family would be here to see it!
Suzy spotted the area where it looked like everyone was gathering. “Over there Dad” she said, nodding her head. They got as close as they could. Suddenly a stranger appeared. Having edged through the crowd as all the others, he ended up directly next to Suzy. It was one of the Bushmen. Due to his strange garb and somewhat dirty appearance. It was obvious that he was one of them. The man was also very tall, much more so than anyone else in the room and Suzy took advantage of that. “Excuse me...do you see anything?” The man responded by giving a strange stare. It was not often one of the Bush was spoken to, when they were even seen, that is. “Yes, what do you see?” added Mr. Harwood excitedly. Both of them were like children at a birthday party. The man of the Bush answered, “Well, there are many lights...it is hard to see anything clearly.” He glanced in the direction of the Harwoods. “What is going on here? I saw all of the vehicles...and decided to come and see what was occuring.” Suzy momentarily ignored his question and pressed him again. “Do you see anything at all...you’ve got to see something.” Trying even harder to inch up, the stranger peered as best he could to get a view of the excitement. “There” he stated, “I see some doctors I guess...about ten of them...and a...computer-that is all I see...and they seem to be surrounding something...a table I think.” He relaxed his body and questioned his nefound friends, “Now will you please tell me what is going on?” Suzy instantly calmed, her mood became one of seriousness. “Remember during the seventies of the last century, a law was passed that allowed a woman to terminate her pregnancy?” The strange man nodded. “Yes, I read it in the history books. My grandfather also told me that the trend got worse and worse.” “It did” Suzy stated. “By 2015, over 50 million babies were...well...put to death. The poor young lady sobbed, trying to control her emotions. It had been so long since she had shed a tear. She struggled for words. “By 2025, 80% of the babies being born conceived were aborted, cruelly killed by surgical means.” Suzy could not go on. Her father brought his arm up to her shoulder.
The Bush man responded. “I could never understand how anyone could take the life of their own flesh and blood. This practice was one of many reasons why my ancestors left the old world.” Mr. Harwood stepped closer. “I could never grasp it myself, young man. Many people gave reasons of simple convenience, others just lived immorally...and yet others were purely selfish.” The stranger shook his head, greatly distressed. He looked over the increasing crowd before him. What did todays excitement have to do with these horrible events of the past? Suzy then spoke up. “Then a few years later a disease appeared. It only affected children.” The dark man listened intently. “I knew nothing of that. We stopped our contact with the old world about twenty years ago.” Suzy continued, “About 75% of all children died as a result of this disease, but then in 2032 something happened...” She glanced at her dad, who nodded in her direction as if to give her some strength. “Because of everything, the terminations, the disease...women...well...built up sort of an immunity to...well, to become pregnant. They could have no more children.” Suzy, as if still in disbelief, dropped her head in despair. Mr. Harwood stepped in. “No one quite knew what had happened. But with all the little ones gone, life seemed to dwindle away. The joy of comforting a crying youngster and teaching an infant to take that first step...were no more. People became bitter because there were no children to love.” Suzy’s face was red now and tears were streaming down her cheeks. Slightly louder, Mr. Harwood spoke again. “Perhaps this event will bring the joy back. Look at those around us-they are are full of happiness and joy! Perhaps after today, this world will treasure life and never interfere with God’s gift again.” As the older man comforted Suzy, he saw Mrs. Harwood and Rich approaching them through the immense crowd and both were smiling. As the two of them got closer, it looked as if Rich was starting to speak, but then he was interrupted. One sudden sound cut through all the chatter and noise. It was the sound of a newborn baby’s cry.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
“Give them, O Lord: what wilt thou give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.”
“Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.”