the day they were ripped away | [leina rosado belvis]

Leina Rosado Belvis

Some will wake up and live out their daily routine, but four specific families will desire their ordinary lives to come back. It is impossible to believe that the most valuable things in life can be torn in a matter of seconds. Not knowing the reasons why. Four people woke up thinking that their life will go on normally, just like any other day. They were horribly mistaken. This was just the beginning of their worst nightmares. 

Family #1 
Evan got taken away from his family on January 2006. He was a father and a husband. An honorable man who worked fulltime, so he could “put food on the table” for his family. During nighttime he worked with computers, fixing different kinds of machinery.  It was unlikely for him to imagine that a day like this would come. It was around midnight when an army of men, wearing black combat suits, invaded his home taking away his wife and child. These men abducted him by drugging and dragging him to the back of their van. Evan, besides being under the drugs effect, tried to resist and fight back. During the struggle the soldiers restraining him gave him a second, higher, dose. Evan felt his body numbing and soon blanked out. 

Family #2 
In a cold month of February, a woman named Alyn would be the next victim of this “Black Army”. She lived with her two sisters in a small apartment in the city. The three of them worked hard to be able to get where they were, with the jobs they always wanted. The older sister was a nurse in the Central Hospital, the middle one was a secretary to the mayor of the city, and Alyn, the youngest one, was a teacher in an elementary school. They were having dinner when the “Black Army” stormed in and took the three sisters away. They forcefully drugged them and locked Alyn in the same van that carried Theo. 

Family #3
The following month, they took a baby that belonged to a recently married young couple. The couple were enjoying a vacation trip in Paris as the tragedy would unfold. It was in the hotel room when the Black Army came crashing through the window and took the baby from them. Both of its parents fought for their baby but sadly they weren’t strong enough. They didn’t drug the baby, but they did put it into a van as well. 

Family #4 
     The last victim, was a homeless woman. She lost her job as a doctor. Since she never managed to recover from a loss, she couldn’t get a new job anywhere else, not even in a supermarket. All she had for company was her dog and a few belongings. She never used drugs or alcohol. Her home was underneath a bridge in the city’s central park.  When the Black Army came for her, the devious act went unnoticed throughout the public eye. They drugged her and put her in the van, just like the many others before her. Her dog took advantage of this moment and jumped into the van to join her. Without the Black Army noticing, for the time being. 

     This “army” had their targets studied and observed, striking their victims with ruthless precision and perfect timing. This group works for a private company that receives government backing. With federal funding they can continue developing their own scientific investigations; but the government was unaware that the corporation was using human test subjects through an elaborate human trafficking scheme. They would find ideal targets and abduct them to further their research. Once acquired the test subjects they were to be classified depending on their sex, age, race, skin tone, and nationality. After registering and number branding the victims are herded into cells just like cattle. 
The central base of operations of this immoral corporation was located in a island that no one dared to enter due to its violent history and paranormal rumors. 

     During the XVth to XVIth century this land was used as a prison for pirates by Spain, where many were tortured and executed. Over the years, because of this gruesome history, tales of spirits, disappearances, haunted bridges and tunnels, and abandoned buildings emerged. The corporation took full advantage of these stories while building their central base, they thought that it would be the perfect front and that no one would suspect a thing. 

     Evan, Alyn, the homeless woman, and the baby met each other after one month of the abduction. They only got to eat twice a month. This was the only moment that the prisoners got to see each other. The prisoners were given one meal to be divided by four people, so they had to learn to share their food. This meal time lasted 24 hours. Why so long? They didn’t know either. In a year, the subjects established a closer relationship. The four of them, yes, including the baby, shared the same suffrage: emotional and physical pain, loss of family and loved ones, and despair. Although instead of feeling weakened because of this calamity, they channelled it as a source to fuel their strength. Their will to survive. 

     Therefore, during one of these “meal-days” they decided to prepare a plan for their escape. Each of them had a task: first they were to investigate the facility and learn about a way out, second plan the escape route, and finally search where to hide. The only part that wasn’t planned out was where to hide after their escape. No one had been outdoors, they only had rumors to rely on. 

     The big day arrived and their plan was ready. Evan’s role was helping the group escape even if it meant fighting their way out, while Alyn, taking care of the baby, brought the group’s stash of food, as for the homeless woman it was she who would lead them to the exit. After all the tension and madness, they managed to sneak out of the building. When they finally saw what the outdoors were like, they were left in a shock. Their surroundings were all covered in a heavy dark fog. You could feel that the wind didn’t blow, all you could hear was the echoing of strange noises. Creepy noises. They continued searching for the place that rumors amongst the prisoners suggested was safe for them to stay. It was horrible walking through here. This place had no sense of time, regardless if it was day or night, it always remained the same. After walking a long distance, they finally reached their destination. It was a tunnel underneath a bridge. This was good enough for the moment. They felt safe for the time being. 

     After a couple of hours passed, they felt that they weren’t the only ones in that tunnel. They could overhear some whispering coming out from the tunnels depths. All of sudden, a group of men emerged and werly came closer. They were all using the same clothes as Evan, Alyn, the homeless woman, and the baby. Apparently, these men made an escape a long time ago. Unfortunately, they never managed to escape from the island. They said that it was too much of a risk to find a way out. After a discussion, these two groups decided to join forces with hopes of finally leaving this damned island.

    A short while later, they heard bombs exploding. The army found out that they were missing. Both groups, ran as fast as they could out to the woods for protection. The army kept bombing them, to flush them out of hiding and it worked. The two groups kept running deeper into the woods trying to escape until they came across a large abandoned building. As the two groups entered, hoping that it would help lose their trail, they started to realize that some horrible activities happened in there. Inside, what remained of the abandoned rooms, you could barely make out on the battered and worn walls faded names along with their sentences. 

     As they walked through the building, they could feel and hear the bombs getting closer. The leader of the tunnel group told our four: “If someone gets left behind don’t come back. Keep going”. He looked at Alyn, Evan, and the baby feeling compassionate he told them to follow the winding stream out of the woods. It would lead them to the shore where an old abandoned raft was hidden. Though he wasn’t sure if it was still functional but it was better than nothing. Suddenly they noticed that the fog grew thicker as if it started to suffocate the life out of them. An escapee told the four to run! That this was a chemical poisoning gas that if inhaled, the person would be left paralyzed. The soldiers would use this weapon to bring back escapees into the central base or leave them to suffer and die alone in these woods.  They ran without looking behind. Blindly following the stream. 

     By the time the four got past the next bridge and away from the Black Army they realized they were the only ones left. Evan wanted to go back and help the others, but they knew it would be in vain. Alyn told them that they needed to get out of there alive and let the outside world know. It was on them to end this madness. They stayed under the bridge for a little while, until they had rested enough to continue. They knew that in order to get out of there, they would need to find that abandoned raft.

     They carefully kept following the stream till they were out of the woods. There out on the shore they found pieces of a broken makeshift raft. Evan knew he had to fix it, it was their only way out. That evening, Alyn took care of the two year old baby and went alongside the homeless woman trying to scavenge for supplies and food; while Evan toiled away trying to fix the abandoned raft. Sadly their activities were cut short as they heard the explosions again. With hurry they prepared their makeshift raft in hopes that it would set sail. Evan, Alyn and the baby stepped into the raft, but the homeless woman  stayed back to push them away, making their escape. As the raft sailed off Evan, Alyn, and the baby could see the island growing distant. As if devoured by a dense flaring fog, until vanishing from their sight.
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