1 A Second Chance

'The human race fell in 2030. That's a fact.

'We thought that we could last longer, but we didn't. 11 years was all it took. In the year 2020, Doomsday suddenly dropped upon us. We weren't ready nor aware at all. 

'The old Mayans had once predicted that the end of the world would be in the year 2012. Many religions and cultures believed in it, but they got it wrong. Judgment day began in the new year of 2020.

'During the first week, more than 80% of the world's population died. It all started with a plague then it brought death and sorrow, but it also gave us, the survivors, special abilities.

'Afterwards, the dead rose and more than half of the human survivors died in the second week, less than 10% of the original human population was left to walk the earth.

'When we thought that there was no more hope they came, 1008 Pillars descended from the sky and planted itself across more than 100 countries. These Pillars became our home. It gave humanity a safe haven. It gave us a chance to resist. We started to fight back.

'But we were fools. We thought we could actually win, but we only lasted 10 years. All big nations; America, China, Europe were obliterated in 5 years. 

'After 10 years of constant struggling. We're now standing in one of the last Pillars in a small country at the corner of the world…

'My name is Alex, and this is my final note. They're already here. They're coming closer. The screaming, the heavy trembling steps. Those things took everything from me! All my comrades, my friends, my family... they're all gone!

'This mysterious ball is the switch to self-destruct this pillar. At the very least, I will bring down all of those bastards with me!'

Alex hastily wrote on a crumpled old paper when the door tremored. He looked at the glowing ball behind him, and within it, saw his reflection, a weary face. Looking through it, memories from the distant past resurfaced. "In the end, there are only regrets. If we only knew what was coming. If we only prepared. If we only… there really is no point when it already came to this."

Alex took out a piece of a picture from his pocket. He smiled at it warmly. He held it close to his heart and tears began to fall from his weary face. It's a picture of the past; his family where they were all smiling. "Goodbye…"

The mysterious ball shone blindingly and everything it touched slowly turned to ash.

Everything was white, but then, a figure floated in front of Alex.

He squinted and tried to recognize the person in front of him, but it was just a blurry grey figure.

Alex, the human race has failed. You are given one last chance. Don't waste it.

Alex roared as if he was being crushed by a 100-meter waterfall bearing down on him trying to flatten him but then the pressure disappeared, and everything became black.

Talking, laughing, the smell of a long-missed delicacy, he slowly opened his eyes and the big rectangular box with moving pictures played an old comedy movie he had used to watch a lot. Looking down, the white mug filled with brown liquid on top of the table formed a vapor rising into the air.

He dumbfoundedly stared at the TV, it had been years since the Doomsday started and after it began, all electronic devices weren't working.

Alex looked around and saw the bookshelves towering in the corner and the computer sitting on top of a desk beside the shelf. The TV on the wall, the glass table in front of him, the couch he was sitting on.

Everything felt familiar as if these were things he had in the past, he then came to a realization. "How do you like your coffee this time? Does it have enough milk in it?" 

He was startled and blinked several times at the woman from his distant past smiling at him. He couldn't believe what he was seeing.

Then, high-pitched giggling sounded as the wooden floors thudded because of the two little kids running around.

"Mommy! We are gonna be late for school!"

"Ok, let's go! Daddy, we are going first!" The woman chuckled and left with the two little girls.

Alex's words were stuck in his throat, he tried to remember the memories stored away in the far corners of his mind, but before he even got to say a word, his wife and 2 daughters already rushed out of the house. He wanted to speak, but no words came out, he couldn't even move his body. Everything, all of this, felt like a dream to him.

He stared blankly at the TV screen for what seemed an eternity and finally calmed down. He switched to a news channel with a newscaster reporting about the weather. 

On the lower corner of the screen, it showed the date. December 1, 2019. It was 30 days before the end of days started.

He tried to make sense of what just happened before everything went dark. He recalled the blast, the grey figure, and the message. Alex finally realized that he just got reincarnated and now he got a second chance.

With eyes full of determination, he stood up and clenched his fist. "This time, things will be different."

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