The Dates

June 8, 2017
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They say bad things happen in threes. Most are not firm believers of this theory but in statistical analysis, catastrophes often deliver themselves in groups of three. Why there is an affinity for the number three is uncertain, but it is safe to say when one bad thing occurs it’s smart to be on the watch for two more on the way.
Today, it seemed as if nothing special was to happen. The sun rose at 6:02, the birds managed to croak out their songs despite the impending pollution, and the streets slowly woke up as more and more tired faces zoomed by in their cars, but today Jeremy Peters was not one. After snoozing his alarm to the last possible minute, Jeremy forced himself to roll out of bed and put on his uniform, but it wasn’t until he was brushing his teeth in front of the mirror that he noticed the three numbers on his wrist. Upon closer examination Jeremy realized it was today’s date. Weird, he thought as he began to scrub his arm with soap, but the black ink wasn’t budging. He scrubbed a little harder before giving up. Jeremy looked at the time and realized he was going to be late, so he ignored the date and continued to brush his teeth before racing out the door. After one step out the door, Jeremy discovered it was raining buckets. He turned around and ran back inside to grab his umbrella before continuing out to the car. Relief rushed over him as he began to dry off in the safety of his car, Jeremy had always hated water.
Later that day, just after 2:00pm, when the unlucky kids who got themselves enrolled in summer school were dragging themselves home, and Jeremy was peering up from his cubicle to the clock thinking “just four more hours”, a grade five tsunami slammed into the eastern Florida coast. The wave destroyed boats, buildings, bridges, cars, trees, telephone lines, power lines - and just about everything else in its path. Once the wave knocked down infrastructure on the shore it continued to travel for several miles inland, sweeping away more trees, buildings, homes, and cars. But the worst effect by far was the number of deaths as well as the injured who were left to suffer from grief and depression after their homes, businesses, and loved ones were taken from them.
Jeremy didn’t hear of this until he flopped down on his couch after the long work day and switched his tv on. After hearing the words “3243 were killed and 2305 left injured after this devastating wave…” he became sick to his stomach. He put his head in his hands with sorrow when he caught a glimpse of the date on his wrist, remembering that morning’s events. Was it simply a coincidence that a disaster occurred on the same date, or was there a deeper meaning? A connection possibly?

  On July 8th, as Barbara Clay woke up her 6 year old daughter, Jessie, for her first day of summer camp, she noticed a black spot on Jessie’s wrist.
“What’s that?” Barbara asked her daughter, figuring she had mistakenly gotten magic marker on herself while coloring.
“What do ya mean, Mommy?” questioned Jessie, confused about what her mom was talking about.
“On your wrist, honey.” She looked down at her wrist to find “7/13/17” printed neatly as if it was typed in black ink. Jessie and her mom looked at eachother with puzzled looks on their faces, neither knew how the date had gotten there.
Barbara guided Jessie to the bathroom where she began to scrub at the date, trying to wash it off but after 2 minutes no progress had been made. They abandoned their mission to erase the black ink after aimlessly scrubbing for what seemed like forever and went on with their days, Jessie off to her first day of soccer camp and Barbara to work. They both ended up being late, but not due the time wasted scrubbing. They were forced to take a detour because a restaurant on their normal route had caught fire.
“I hate fire, Mommy!” exclaimed Jessie. It was her biggest fear.
Each day leading up to the 13th they kept trying to cleanse Jessie’s wrist of the mysterious tattoo. Barbara confided within her friends trying to find out why the date was on her daughter’s wrist and how it got there. One of her friends relayed a story she had read on facebook where a man in Pennsylvania received a similar date on his wrist, coincidentally the same date on which the Floridian tsunami had occurred. Barbara didn’t pay any attention to this tale because she refused the outrageous idea that there was any correlation between the date and the natural disaster.
Five days after the appearance of Jessie’s date, July 13th had arrived. Unlike her mom, Jessie was worried for what might come on the 13th. She had a right to be because at 4:43pm while she was at her last day of camp and her mom was working, a massive explosion rattled the country.
A wildfire near a dynamite producing facility got out of hand and spread to the factory, catching it on fire and detonating 3,200 tons of dynamite. The explosion shot two planes out of the sky and triggered a chain reaction that detonated nearby refineries as well. The blast sent a white plume billowing 20,000 feet into the sky and flattened thousands of acres of the surrounding forest. The factory had been located in Oregon but dust blanketed the land all the way to central California. This caused an accumulative casualty count of 2000 people.
Barbara was at work when she found out. She could tell something was up when her coworkers began to stop working one by one, and hushed voices grew to louder conversations, filled with stress. Suddenly her phone started lighting up and buzzing with news notifications. She counted to ten before looking, to prepare herself for what she was about to find out.
“Freak Accident Leads To Thousands of Lost Lives” was the first headline she saw, running across her screen. Her heart started racing, it felt like it was going to beat out of her chest. I have to find Jessie, Barbara thought. Five minutes later, Barbara was screeching out of her office’s parking lot. She cut the time it took to get to Jessie’s soccer camp in half by going well over the speed limit and running red lights. After she picked Jessie up and they were driving back to their house, Jessie asked what was wrong.
“There has been a terrible accident, sweetie, and I think it was somehow related to that date on your wrist..”

Sarah Kelly had been laying in her bed doing chemistry homework when she received a text from her best friend that read “Dude omg turn on the news right now it’s just like your date”. So Sarah hopped out of bed and ran to her living room where she jumped on the couch and turned on the tv. She began to watch an interview on CNN, with a little girl who looked around six. “Now Jessie,  when did you first notice the date on your arm?” asked the reporter.
“It was a week ago when my Mommy woke me up for soccer,” replied the girl.
Holy crap, thought Sarah, that’s the same day I got mine. The camera panned to a shot of Jessie’s wrist, the tattoo looked identical to Sarah’s except Sarah’s read 7/19/17 instead of 7/13/17.
“One week ago, this odd date appeared on Jessie’s wrist, and even with Jessie and her mother’s greatest efforts, would not come off. What makes this even more weird is that on the specified date, the dynamite facility blew up. One other similar anomaly has come to our attention. On the same day, one week ago, Jeremy Peters woke up with a date matching Jessie’s except that his specified date was 7/8/17. On that day, the grade 5 tsunami killed thousands and left years of recovery for Florida and Georgia. Is it a coincidence that these disasters have been occurring on these mysterious dates? Or could it be more? If you or someone you know has a similar date on their wrist, contact us immediately.”
Sarah was freaking out. What was going to happen on her date? After contacting an employee at CNN, she was notified that they would get back to her in a couple days. I can't wait for a couple days, she thought, I need people to know about this now, maybe we could prepare somehow. Sarah couldn’t think of anything else to do in the meantime but try to make her story go viral. She decided to reach out to Jeremy and Barbara, Jessie’s mother, to discuss what their next step should be. Only one hour after Sarah flipped open her laptop, the three of them had come up with a plan of action. They were going to write out what had happened to each of them, post the stories on every social media they could think of, and wait for the internet to do what it does best-
By the next morning, thousands of people had written in, reposted, commented on, and shared their posts. The public was baffled by the connection between the dates and the recent disasters that had occurred. They were also worried and scared for the third and final event expected to come on the date printed on Sarah’s wrist, four days from then. As the Dated stories began to spread and become more and more known, the public began to form a plan. This plan called for everyone to seek shelter in their basements when the 19th arrived. If someone didn’t have a basement, they would be welcomed into their neighbors. They theorized that a lower elevation and more protection would give them a better chance of surviving the third date.
The news of the dates had blown up across the internet, but if anyone somehow still hadn’t heard by the 18th, they surely had after Sarah’s interview on CNN. Once again, she shared her story and explained the previous events that had occurred. Many had come up with ideas as to what natural disaster the third date would bring, ranging from tornadoes to avalanches, but the general consensus was that the event was unpredictable and it would be impossible to prevent.
The catastrophe was expected to occur the next day, and was inevitable. The only thing left to be done at that point was to prepare for the worst. Grocery store shelves were left barren after hoards of people fought each other to take anything capable of sustaining them and their families. Fights broke out in the streets, there was no store window left un-shattered.“Doomsday Prepper” was now a term that could describe most. An event most thought would unite the public was instead tearing them apart, leaving wounds too deep they could never be healed.
It was now the 19th. The United States had an eerie feeling, almost as if everyone had been suddenly erased off the surface of the planet. Streets and highways were grey, blank lines weaving through a deserted land. The lack of people, normally crowding every downtown block, turned towns into ghost towns. Cities appeared to be abandoned, but a quick dig through the surface would reveal the truth. Millions of people tucked themselves away in the bosoms of their homes, in the deepest, darkest basements, but little did they know, this was the opposite of what they should have done…
At approximately 1:06 pm, an earthquake shook the country so badly not one building was left standing. Homes collapsed on themselves, crushing those seeking refuge within, and fires spread due to gas pipe explosions. The tectonic plates shifted so much that volcanic eruptions were triggered and landslides were initiated, destroying whole towns in a matter of minutes. The ocean floor was jolted so violently that massive tsunamis were unleashed upon the U.S., drowning any citizens who had possibly lived until that point. After three hours, the country was unrecognizable, all that was left was a burning, flooded, smoking pile of rubble.

Jeremy Peters
His eyes were sealed shut, his tongue was dry and inanimate in his mouth, he could hear nothing but a sharp ringing in his ears, his head pounded so brutally he almost mistook it for the beating of his heart, and the pain he felt in his body was indescribable. Jeremy was burned, beaten, crushed, and singed, but he was a miracle. A miracle because he was alive. Jeremy had somehow managed to make it through the 19th.
It took all the will Jeremy had in his body to drag himself out of the large pile of debris surrounding him. Tears stung his eyes as he pushed through the pain, but it wasn’t until he lifted up his hand to wipe them away that he noticed the date on his wrist had vanished.
Jessie Clay
She didn’t know where she was, nothing was familiar. The cozy basement she had been snuggled up in only hours before had seemingly vanished. Her surroundings were something from a nightmare. Splintered wood lay strewn across the earth, and there was no sky to be seen, only dark smoke enclosing her like a dome. Jessie wondered how she had gotten up to the surface of the land, but her question was quickly answered when she realized she was floating in a pool of filthy water.
Jessie attempted to scream, but only a sputtering noise came out. The smoke was so thick she could hardly breathe. She splashed her way over to the edge of the basement, now a basin, and held onto the wall. Something seemed off to her as she reached up to grab a precarious, metal bar. After getting accustomed to the black date on her wrist for almost two full weeks, she noticed it was blank. Her wrist was clean.

Sarah Kelly
Everything was white. She blinked. White. She tried again, and the world slowly came into focus. It didn’t look like any world Sarah knew though. She didn’t live in world where dust rained from the sky, or where there were no buildings. This was not the world Sarah knew, but it was the one she would have to get to know.
Suddenly, the previous day’s events rushed back into her thoughts. She remembered holing herself up in her basement, crying because she blamed herself for what was about to come. She glanced down at her wrist to take a glimpse of what had killed millions of people, but it was not as she had remembered it. Instead of reading “7/19/17,” her wrist now displayed a new date - 7 days into the future.
It has previously been a superstitious belief that bad things come in threes. Certain statistics have even supported this, but the events that have occurred in the last twenty days should be more than enough to prove it. But what comes next is the true mystery, how does life continue? How does one move on from such catastrophes? What good events could possibly follow? That question is left to be answered by Jeremy Peters, Jessie Clay, and Sarah Kelly.

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