Gather round, boys and girls, for the first edition of Fiction Fest 2014. Today’s episode focuses on Randy Lindsay’s “The Gathering: End’s Beginning,” which is an LDS last-days tale that’s sure to get you thinking about what lies ahead for humanity.
About the book:
Robert Williams didn’t expect an early honorable release from his mission, but upon his return home, he sees the reason for the surprise decision. Unemployment, rampant violence, and frequent food shortages have put the United States on the brink of another civil war. As the threads of society unravel, the Williams family must adapt to drastic changes as the long-foretold gathering begins to take place.
“The Gathering: End’s Beginning” will be released on Jan. 14, 2014, and is available for pre-order right now from online retailers.
There are four viewpoint characters in The Gathering. Robert Williams is the main character. In this excerpt, Robert is anticipating his first date with Sierra—a girl that he has just recently met.
It wasn’t that Robert planned to wake up early. His eyes popped open a good forty-five minutes before the alarm and once they did he couldn’t stop thinking about Sierra and his date with her that night.
He had free access to the bathroom while the family still slept. Without the need to hurry for the next person in line, he attended to the grooming details that got ignored on most days, took a leisurely shower, and shaved. Twice. He even broke out the cologne that his sisters had bought for him three Christmases back and made liberal use it.
Making an actual breakfast, rather than grabbing some vitamin fortified sugary food in a box, used up the last of his extra time.
The entire morning seemed to flow at a slower pace than normal. Most of that may have been due to the reduced employee and visitor traffic for a Friday. Having his thoughts constantly drifting toward Sierra accounted for some of it too. Either way, the morning passed by and was well into afternoon before he knew it.
No one gave him the evil eye during his roving patrols around the parking lot. No one had to be escorted off the premises. And Lloyd even let him escort a few visitors to their destinations within the bowels of the Healthy Partners facility.
Then time caught up with him. The last two hours of the work day crawled along like a dying man in the desert. His neck started to stiffen from the constant craning around to look at the clock that was mounted on the wall behind the guard station.
“You’re not anxious to get out of here, are you?” Lloyd laughed.
“A little,” said Robert.
“Woo-hoo-ho. Must have a big date tonight.”
When Rhonda Stafford asked if he could help carry some boxes out to her car, Robert jumped at the chance to do something that would take his mind off the tauntingly slow clock.
Then Bob Timmons had him check that all the doors on the second floor were secure and none of the vendors had been left behind after the big third quarter roll out meeting / party. When he finished, it was time to leave.
Robert had always adhered to the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared. To that end, he carried a spare shirt in the car. As soon as his shift ended he ducked into the bathroom and changed out of his uniform. If time had permitted, he would’ve gone home and cleaned up before his date. Instead, he hoped Sierra wouldn’t notice that his pants were part of his guard uniform.
He climbed into his car and after a quick calculation of the fastest route across town, he pulled out into the street and fought the urge to lead-foot it there.