Hesitating, she looked once again upon the reinforced door of the cave.
Would it truly be safe to finally venture outside? She wished her father was there to make the decision. That was not to be so. They both knew from the beginning that although he started the mission, Destiny would be the one to complete it.
Her dad died much sooner than either expected; only days after the doors had closed, leaving the young Destiny to lead the two hundred people who had taken refuge from the evil that raged outside.
Staring at the door, she recalled the first time her father had spoken of what was to come.
She was only six, but already she realized her life was different than others...
Those who did not simply ignore her family were relentlessly making fun and harassing them.
After a particularly hard day at school, Destiny came home crying. Her father took Destiny into his study and began to explain.
"The world is changing, Dear One, and not for the good. There will come a time when we will need a sanctuary,a place to ride out the evil that is to come.
God told me this was so. He still has hope in those he has created. It is not yet time for us to join him. Those who have the courage to believe will be saved."
"But why are they so mean to us?" Destiny interrupted, trying to wipe away the tears that were flowing from her eyes.
"Because Little One , I have begun the preparations and those who don't believe think I am crazy. Those who believe may still be unsure or lack the courage to speak up. But we must be strong."
Over the years, Destiny had slowly learned what was to be expected of her.
As time passed only a few came to help build the fully sustainable refuge in the cave, with water and air recycling and generators, food garden and candle making. They even had a small library, rec-room, school and chapel.
A smile crossed her face thinking of all that they had accomplished, all that she at only six-teen had become leader of.
It was her that God had spoken to, telling her it was time to take those who believed and hide away. In the end, two hundred came.
The smile faded as she thought of those final days. Up until minutes before she closed the door her father was still trying to convince others to join.
Now, she had been told it was time to open the door. Yet she had doubts; once again she wished her father was there.
"Heru was a good man." Startled out of her thought, she saw that it was Henry who had spoken. "He has truly been missed."
"Yes, dad's leadership would have been much better than my own." She replied mostly to herself.
"That is not what I meant," Henry looked troubled.
"Not once have I wavered in my belief of your leadership and not once have you let me down. You do those who have chosen you an injustice when you put yourself down."
"Oh Henry, what would I be without you? If God has chosen me for this task then certainly he has chosen you to make sure I have someone to complain to. Not that I ever complain." she smiled.
"Oh no, never, not you." Henry smiled back.
For a brief moment the task at hand was forgotten,then with a blink it was gone. It was the weight of her pack that reminded her of the journey ahead.
It was time for her to leave, to go out into the world, tp see how they where to start a new beginning. What she worried about the most was what she would find.
Silently the two left the entrance of the cave, moving to a more private corridor. Destiny found herself facing a smaller door, hidden in the carvings on the wall.
Adjusting her pack so that both hands were free, Destiny grabbed her staff in both hands. It had been her father's and had only become hers after his death. Turning the engraved bulb tip like a combination, it clicked open revealing a secret compartment. Taking the key from its hiding place she then replaced the lid.
"I guess I'm ready," she said, looking at Henry.
Henry then embraced her in the biggest hug she had ever received. Reluctantly he broke away and watched as the young woman disappeared behind the hidden door.
He had faith she would return. His only fear was what she would find and prayed she would have the strength to endure it.
Standing for a moment with only a flashlight to penetrate the darkness, Destiny could feel the safety of the door behind her, beckoning her to return. In front of her,the Unknown. Without hesitation she unlocked the door to where she was told she must go. It was the only hope of her people.
The last sound she heard was the unlocking of the door in front of her.
Destiny had never truly understood the saying "silence is deafining' until that moment.
Not a sound could be heard, except the thrumming of her heart beating in her ears.
Falling to the ground in despair, tears filled her eyes, blurring her vision. A blessing at the moment for as far as she would be able to see,in every direction, there was nothing. There was no sound because there was nothing to make a sound. No grass, no trees, no animals, nothing but hard dirt and sand and so Destiny's sobs echoed into the emptiness.
"What now?" she screamed through her tears. "What am I to do? What do You want from me?"
"Much more," a voice whispered in the breeze. "You're destiny has just begun."