You must log in or register to comment.

Nellthe t1_j9kkeip wrote

It was a day like any other when the earth shook violently and the skies suddenly turned bright. All around the globe same sight could be seen. People saw what seemed to be giant, glowing beings descending from the heavens, Angels. Angels were unlike anything anyone had ever imagined, with wings blindingly beautiful and an otherworldly radiance that seemed to emanate from their very beings. As they drew closer to the earth, people began to feel an unfamiliar discomfort.

Christians, true believers, were taken that day. Taken to eternal peace, while the rest of humanity was left to ponder their decisions. Angels circled the globe several times leaving an unfamiliar mark on people's foreheads as they left.

Everyone born after that day got the same mark. No one knew what it meant, the leading theory was that it branded them sinners, someone who would never be able to reach and experience what those people did on that holy day.

Since that day, Earth changed forever. Most people stopped looking for material success and turned towards Christianity. Years later first marks finally started disappearing and humanity found hope once again.

Five years later Angels returned once again, taking those whose markings had disappeared. That was a clear sign for humanity of what their goal should be.

Angels repeated the same process five years later and one of them spoke that they would continue to do so. Sins can be forgiven and people can be accepted and brought to heaven with them if they work hard enough, and devoted their lives to it. Almost fifteen years had passed after that holy day and humanity eagerly expected the return of the Angels once more.

All of this did not sit right with Marcus, a history teacher, who combed through every book he could find trying to decipher the strange marking. He found himself in Egypt, at ancient ruins, looking for the final clues, he was so close.

His children and wife waited for him at home, their markings gone almost a year now. His wife Vivian had begged him to leave this pursuit of his and join them, she could help him lose the mark, and become a believer. She could be his guide into eternal peace and ascension.

But Marcus could not let it go, he had to follow his gut. He brought his team of eight people with him to Egypt, and all of them shared the same feeling of uncertainty and eeriness that surrounded the Angels.

They combed through the ancient site looking for final clues, something was missing. Every translation they did reading the parts of the strange symbol made no sense.

“Boss,” Lorein yelled. “I think I have found it, come look at this.”

Carved into one of the stones was a part of the symbol that decorated most of the remaining humanity’s foreheads.

“That’s it,” Marcus said. “We have everything we need. Bring that whole block, we will have the symbol translated tonight!”

They spent the whole night translating the symbol and just before dusk they succeeded.

The message read: "Do not harvest, not fit for consumption."

It was a chilling revelation, one that sent chills through the team. The implication was clear: those who bore the marking were safe and the others were in grave danger.

Minutes later as the team was still proof-checking the earth shook once again and the sky became bright. The Angels have returned once more.

The feeling of dread and horror swept over Marcus, his wife, and children had lost their mark and he was on the other half of the planet away from them. He was right all along but he was too late, he had lost his wife and children.

One of the team members was unbothered by the revelation and angels returned and continued translating part of the stone they have found at the ruins. He finished the sentence that was written at the bottom of the stone:

“If they ever return, find me!”

part 2

part 3 - On my sub, easier to read/post as this post is getting pretty crowded.

part 4

part 5

part 6


Nellthe t1_j9labxl wrote

Part 2


Marcus left his crew in Egypt and flew straight home in a private jet that their financier Mr. White provided. His heart raced the whole flight as he was trying to convince himself he was wrong, but deep down he knew, those Angels, they were not who they presented themselves to be. They were monsters beyond horrific beyond human imagination.

Mr. White called him halfway through his flight.

"Marcus, what happened?" Mr. White asked, his voice calm and collected as always. "I have dozens of missed calls. Did you finally crack the symbol?"

"Yes," Marcus said, his voice trembling. "The mark means do not harvest, not fit for consumption."

"Oh my God," Mr. White said and went silent for a moment. "Why are you flying home?"

"My family has lost their mark sir, all of them," Marcus said, his voice crackling.

"And they have just returned," Mr. White continued. "I am so sorry Marcus, I hope they are ok. Rush to them and then call me."

"We have discovered something else on the stone that held the key for translation," Marcus added. “It translated to if they ever return find me!”

“Interesting,” Mr. White said. “Take care Marcus and call me.”

As Marcus landed at the airport, he could feel his heart pounding in his chest. He knew that he had to get home as soon as possible, to see if his family was still there if the Angels have not gotten to them yet.

As he exited the airport, he saw his brother, Jensen, waiting for him in the parking lot.

"Marcus, what's going on?" Jensen asked, his eyes filled with concern. Marcus did not explain to him what happened, only to be there as soon as he land.

"I have a lot to tell you…" Marcus said, his voice trembling. "But drive home as fast as you can, I’ll tell you along the way." Jensen nodded and left the parking lot with the screeching of tires.

They rushed to Marcus's house, racing through the streets recklessly as Marcus told Jensen about their discovery in Egypt. As they pulled up to the house, Marcus’ anxiety was at an all-time high. He hoped he would find his wife and his beautiful children there running towards him for an embrace, but something deep inside him told him he was already too late.

When they entered the house, they found it empty, devoid of any sign of life. Marcus rushed to his children's rooms, searching for any clue as to what had happened. But there was nothing, no sign of struggle, no indication of where they might have gone.

As they searched the rest of the house and the backyard, Marcus felt a sense of dread creeping over him. He now knew what it meant when the angels took someone, and with every second passing, it was more evident that his family had been taken from him. He felt a deep sense of loss, a feeling of emptiness that seemed to consume him instantly.

As he sat in his empty house, Marcus realized that everything was about to change, but he did not know where to start. The angels were not the benevolent beings that history and the stories presented them to be, but rather monsters beyond human comprehension. And now, he had lost everything he had ever held dear.

He felt a sense of despair wash over him, a feeling of hopelessness that seemed to envelop him. He knew that he would never be able to go back to his old life, that everything he had ever known had been taken from him. But he also knew that he had to keep searching, he had to get to the bottom of this mystery, so he dialed his boss.

“Sir, they are gone,” Marcus said, his voice a flat line, still in shock.

“I am so sorry Marcus!” Mr. White said. “I am on my way to Egypt, meet me there, the plane is waiting for you at the airport. We have a lot to discuss!”

“I am coming with you,” Jensen said and they rushed back in silence toward the airport.


part 3 - On my sub, easier to read/post as this post is getting pretty crowded.

part 4


DragonLordAcar t1_j9kmsh5 wrote

Sounds almost like doomslayer. I made a race like this in my own multiverse called the El except they are way more secretive an consume universes at a time.


maca77aq t1_j9krpnq wrote

Yikes. Is that available anywhere?


DragonLordAcar t1_j9ks7m2 wrote

Just about. They largely leave a universe alone for millions of years to build up critical mass and spread a religion to make innocence. Then they wipe it clean with just enough to repopulate and alter their memories to change how the apocalypse happened and then move on to another universe. They were made to mock the gods.


maca77aq t1_j9l9ssh wrote

I like this concept! Looking forward to it!


exodominus t1_j9lkct3 wrote

Work, fight, live. All the sweeter. Mind after mind will shape and absorb. In the end, all will be quiet with wisdom


TheAmazinAmazon t1_j9lnwnz wrote

OMG this (and part 2) is sooo good! I was completely enthralled - and anxious! Can't want for the next part! Thank you!


sadnesslaughs t1_j9jzx6i wrote

[Part 1 of 2]

“Do not harvest, not fit for consumption?”

Erica held her blonde hair up, staring at her marked forehead. How long had humanity hated this mark? Constantly cursing its existence. It was believed to be the mark of the devil, the thing that trapped all of humanity in the ruins that they once called Earth, but it was the opposite of that. It was a marking that saved humanity, well, saved the sinners.

“I can’t believe this. We were wrong about the rapture. That means our ancestors weren’t saved, they were slaughtered. This is incredible. I need to tell everyone.”

Erica knocked a few papers off her desk in her excitement, slamming closed the leather-bound book she had been writing in. She jumped up from her seat, turning around and freezing when she saw a well-dressed lanky man standing in the corner of her room. His blood-red eyes staring at her as he rubbed his pointed tail tip between his fingers.

“How about we keep your little discovery to yourself?”

Erica slowly reached back for her book, holding the heavy object in front of her, hoping that might deter the man from coming any closer. The man smirked, the smirk pushing his pencil-thin moustache towards his nose as he stepped forward, almost gliding with each elegant step.

“Who are you? If you don’t answer I’ll-“

“You’ll what? Whack me with a book? I’m not here to hurt you. If I were, I would have done it when your back was turned. I’m not a fan of a fair fight.”

“You’re the devil.” Erica muttered, as if she had just spoken the first thought that came to her mind.

“Really? Are you sure?”

“I’m sure.”

There was a tense moment between the pair as the man stood before her. His tanned skin releasing smoke from its pores, as if internally he was on fire. He said nothing, only pointing a clawed finger downward, motioning her to place the book back on the table. Erica hesitated for a moment before setting the book down, losing her only weapon.

“You’re right. I am the devil. Or whatever word you wish to refer to me as. I’m the original sinner, a man or, well, entity that sinned against my kind, being cast into a layered prison that was intended to drive me insane, and it certainly did that for a few thousand years.”

“You said you were a man? Are you human?”

“No, I think I just adopted this form because that’s how you humans kept envisioning me. Well, apart from a few strange humans that drew me in rather unique ways, but that was before your time. I was one of those harvesters, or what your kind refer to as angels.”

“An angel?”

Erica circled the devil, her curiosity setting in. She didn’t see anything angelic about the man or anything even that devilish. Sure, he had a tail, but a mutation from radiation could cause a similar effect. When she made her third rotation of the man, he pressed a finger against her forehead, stopping her from completing a fourth.

“Yes. An angel. I prefer the word harvester. It’s more fitting. My kind grow species, feeding off the good energy they produce.”

“Good energy?” Erica questioned.

“Yes, Here let me explain.” He snapped his fingers, pulling out two puppets. One appeared to be a version of the devil, although it was a little more muscular with a pair of sunglasses on. He gave her a smile, proud of his little creation, only to pout when Erica didn’t show any interest in his craftsmanship.

“Can’t you just tell me?”

“You have the devil performing a puppet show for you and you have the nerve to ask him to give you a boring explanation with just words? No, the puppets stay. Take a seat.”

Erica reluctantly sat, watching as the devil conjured up another puppet. This puppet was of another man made to look far weaker and less important than himself. With the two puppets prepared, he began moving them around, waving them through the air.

Part 2


sadnesslaughs t1_j9jzxuy wrote

[Part 2 of 2]

“Good energy works as follows. When a person says or performs a good action, one that they understand to be the right thing to do, it gives them good energy. So, let’s say Tony gives me a compliment.”

“Wow, devil, you’re looking awfully sinful today.” The puppet said, somehow giving a buttoned eyed wink.

“Oh, thank you. A compliment like that will certainly earn you a small bit of good energy. You also helped your grandmother with her taxes, right?”

“Oh, I did. Thank you for mentioning that, you handsome devil.“

“Can you please wrap this up? It’s getting weird.” Erica interjected.

“Please, quiet from the audience.” The devil muttered before making his puppet talk.

“Not a problem, Tony. That action would have registered as a good act in your mind, thus earning you even more good energy.”

To represent the flow of good energy, he heated the puppet, giving its body a warm red glow, only for Tony to go up in flames. The devil’s eyes widened, watching the pieces of fabric fall around the room.

“Oof. I’ll have to apologize to Tony. That was a voodoo puppet. Anyway, did you understand that?” The devil said as his puppet tilted its head.

“Yes, yes. I understand. Well, kind of. What about the people that think they are doing good deeds when they are sinning?”

“Oh, well, it’s rare that a person can lie to themselves that deeply. Even the most stubborn of people would understand right from wrong, even if they claim ignorance and justify their actions. Although, you’re right, some people do genuinely not understand the difference and they still receive that good energy. Though, that is quite rare. It’s our fault for underestimating how complex humans could get. We didn’t assume such a thing would be possible when we created you.”

“Created us?” Erica opened her book, reaching for a pen. She had so much to write. Learning the history of her existence. Before she could even make an inky dot, he shut the book.

“Yes, created you. Our kind can’t die and we have a constant hunger for that energy, so we create other forms of life, letting them grow before harvesting the good ones and leaving the rest. Hoping that the rest will either die out so we can use their planet or turn good in time for the next harvest. It’s kind of like letting something ripen. Like a fruit. You still have fruit, right?”

“We do. So, the point of our existence is just to be consumed?” Erica stared at her book, not having any motivation to reach for it. It was a grim thing to write, how humanity had no purpose but to be eaten.

“Don’t be so down about it. You’ve heard of the food chain, right? Well, this is just the food chain except humans aren’t the ones on top. A silver medal is still worth celebrating, plus the relationships and lives you live are entirely your own. It’s just the end result that’s gruesome.”

“I guess that’s true.” Erica smiled, glancing up at the devil before a question popped into her mind. “So, why aren’t you eating us? Why did they cast you out?”

“Because I thought our hunger had turned to gluttony. We needed to eat, yes. But we were overindulging. In the past, we would only eat people as their bodies were about to expire, only eating the outer shell while leaving the soul intact. Unfortunately, the soul is now a delicacy. Any good person who dies doesn’t exist anymore. Their soul and bodies gone, leaving them erased from existence.”

“That’s horrible. Then if they are feeding on bodies already, why did they need a rapture?”

“They didn’t. The rapture’s just a feast, something they do because they can. That’s why I tried to stop it. I didn’t succeed, though. My attempt to save the first wave of humans failed, and they sent me to live amongst those that were deemed not fit for consumption. They assumed surrounding me with people that I couldn’t eat would drive me mad and for a few thousand years, it did.”

“What wave of humanity are we?”

The devil had to think about that. He raised a finger, then two, continuing this pattern until he needed a second hand, stopping on seven. He raised the hands towards her before lowering them again.

“The seventh. After about ten more generations, that marking on your forehead will fade and in about thirty, people will wonder if it even truly existed to begin with. Then, in forty generations or so, they will return and harvest your kind again.”

“Can we do anything to stop them? What if we all sin?”

“I’ve tried that in the past. I would go around and spread the teachings of sin, but that only ever led to pain. People took their sinning too far, creating places and cults nearly on par with the harvesters themselves.”

“So, we’re doomed?” Erica leaned back in her chair, staring at the man. It was a lot to take in, especially the news that so many other humans had already had their lives harvested. What would happen to her when she died? Would she meet these harvesters and share a similar fate?

“Mostly, yes. But I have a potential idea. What if humanity changed their understanding of good and evil? If you see good acts as evil and bad acts as good, it might change how the energy is received. It won’t stop them from eventually killing you all. They will probably kill you for the fun of it, but it will stop your souls from being eaten. Which means you will have sanctuary in hell with all the other discarded souls.”

Erica sank into her seat, her head resting in her hands as she thought about the impossibility of it all. Changing humanity’s way of thinking? Was such a thing even possibly? The more she thought about it, the more she doubted it.

“So, it’s impossible.”

“Perhaps, but you probably would have said it was impossible to meet the devil earlier today and you would have been wrong. It won’t be easy and it will take the coordination of a few generations, but it can be done. Not everyone will be convinced of your definitions of good and evil either, but you can’t save everyone. It’s your choice if you want to pursue it.”

“I have to do it alone. Can’t you help?”

“I’m helping by managing hell. If the harvesters find out I’m meddling again, they might kill me and let hell fall into anarchy. I have written a few names in that book of yours, people who also translated the message. I gave them the same idea that I gave you. Perhaps someone has made some progress. You could even try working together with them.”

“Can’t I just tell everyone to sin?”

“You can, but as I said. I tried that, and it was not a world anyone would want to live in. I hope you succeed in this, or at the very least, I hope to see you in hell. Stay safe and do your best. If I ever find a way to help you more, I’ll let you know.”

With those last words, the devil vanished. Erica quickly opened her book, seeing the name and details of a few other humans written inside. Each detail providing her a way to contact them if needed. It wasn’t much, but it was a start. A chance for humanity to get back some control over their existence.


(If you enjoyed this feel free to check out my subreddit /r/Sadnesslaughs where I'll be posting more of my writing.)


mvandeloecht t1_j9k25ud wrote

You just got a new sub OP, well done. I'd love to see you continue this tale, especially with such a charismatic Satan.


Verbal-Soup t1_j9kvhul wrote

This sparked something deep and philosophical in my mind and I sat here thinking about it for 5 minutes before my screaming 3 year old interrupted me.

I'm an atheist at heart but I love stories that play on creation and gods and such. If I'm being honest I would love nothing more than to prove my beliefs are wrong. Would make the world more interesting for a while.

Anyway thanks for the food for thought.


chewonbanana t1_j9krwat wrote

Fantastic read! Satan reminds me of Sanderson's Wit from the Cosmere series.


Kveldson t1_j9ls9wo wrote

I didn't even realize it was you until you linked your sub.

Spectacular storycrafting as always.


ohnoverbaldiarrhoea t1_j9k6o87 wrote

>“You have the devil performing a puppet show for you and you have the nerve to ask him to give you a boring explanation with just words? No, the puppets stay.

Hah love it.


mvandeloecht t1_j9k1o8d wrote

I'm only commenting before I read the second part to say that the devil puppet show bit killed me, well done OP 😂


10KTeacupTigers t1_j9l11iv wrote

Strong Madoka vibes. Vague spoiler: >!Alien species using humanity as a renewable energy source.!<


Chlocker t1_j9k0m2s wrote

The year was 129 PR (Post Rapture)

Jacob was the 3rd generation born on Post Rapture Earth. It was 2 years after the Brand was translated and Jacob was on the Committee of Atheist Scientists whose sole purpose was figuring out what this means.

Jacob, specifically, was given the task of traveling across the Raptured Earth to find God to answer our unanswered questions. But there was no way for him to prepare for what he found.

Jacob trekked for 2 days to find The Spine of the Earth. A mountain range named for its tall but flat-topped peaks that looked similar to a human spine. The north end of the range forked in two giving it the shape of a ribcage. People said that God himself died and his body decayed here leaving just his bones.

Jacob knew better.

Jacob followed The Spine of The Earth north. Past the Ribcage mountains. All the way to the single volcano peak 4 days north of the Ribcage. This volcano had two caves at the very peak that often overflowed with lava like the mountain itself was crying fiery tears.

But Jacob knew better.

It wasn’t until Jacob started his descent into the left eye cave of the volcano that Jacob found what he was looking for.

God himself, walking amongst us on earth.

Jacob froze and took in his God. It shocked Jacob to his core. His god was not some immortal being: he was covered in scars, cuts, burns and rashes. His god was not a benevolent God either: bones littered his lair in this volcano.

His God was not a celestial human: His god was a dragon.

Jacob, son. You came a long way from your village yonder. Why y’all trek all the way out here? Yahweh doesn’t speak. Being a god he doesn’t have too. He puts speech into your mind. But with a curiously thick southern drawl.

“Oh, wise and merciful god! I have come looking for answers!”

Well, if y’all got questions then shoot.

“What is the meaning of The Brand oh merciful god!”

Oh. Y’all aint real tasty and that dopamine y’all make from all them sins is poisonous you see. Y’all are like those Japanese pufferfish. Full of poison. Can't cook it out of y’all either. Tried smokin’ em, boilin’ em, grillin’ em, bakin’ em, broilin’ em, shoot I even tried flame grillin’ yall. But I juss can’t make y’all edible, y’all all taste just funny as all get out.

“Wait. So what have you done with all the good Christians that you Raptured?”

Oh them? Oh I ate all them I reckon and some of them never done any sinnin’ their whole life tasted so dang good it made me wanna slap my mama. See they didn’t commit any sins. I wrote that book. The uhhhh bible? Yeah the bible. I wrote that so y’all would stop doing all them things that make y’all taste so nasty tasting. Sinnin’ makes the meat all grimy and stringy. I wouldn’t feed some y’all to my hound pups. When I wrote that book I didn’t think all y’all would believe it. Just a couple of folks here and there that I could fly round and snatch up quick like. But I got real tired of only eating once a week or so. Im a hard workin fella and I get a hankering for meat. Been using this new cajun dry rub on the thighs and shoo that’s some good eating. But you got me running my mouth. I just put that stamp on some of y’all because y’all aint good to eat. Says so right on your forehead. I ain’t my fault y’all dumber than a box of rocks and think big things about what it means.


Jamaican_Dynamite t1_j9kdk09 wrote

Everyone remembered it like it was yesterday. Christmas, 1999. The more technophobic branches of society were busy fearing Y2K. Some apocalyptic events due to a computer bug.

Everyone wished they were that lucky. A quick death via the Walmart version of Skynet. What a time to be alive.

But no. Instead, the apocalypse came in the fashion many were unlikely to actually believe. Everybody's religious until actual angels are spotted. That's what happened. And then, people disappeared. Remember all those religious texts about The Rapture? God's chosen people ascend to the heavens and the rest of us are left behind to confront the apocalypse via legions from Hell.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world vanished in an instant. Which in the grand scale of things is already problematic enough. But it's not the people that was the problem. It's what those people were in the middle of doing, at the moment of being connected to God's Wi-Fi.

Vehicles crashed. Multiple infrastructure services, and resources collapsed for a couple of weeks. And generally the world shut down for most of a month. This isn't including things like mass panic, small civil wars, and generally idiocy that tends to occur when people assume it's the end of the world. You know, the usual.

Eat your heart out Y2K.

Then supposedly there would be several years of societal collapse and destruction before the second coming of Jesus.

"Well, Jesus never showed up. And neither did Satan or any demons. So I'd say we're in the clear." Parker said with a grimace. The irony wasn't lost on him.

"That's what I'm saying." Vinay agreed.

The pair continued scanning the various things around the room. In the 25 years since The Rapture, science had truly taken the wheel. Our differences were much more trivial than figuring out what actually happened that day. At least to learn why they each wore a cryptic symbol on their heads from that day forward.

Parker remembered the hours after it scratched itself in on him. A fun thing to occur immediately after losing your family. His mother and brother vanished, his father was killed when their driveless truck hit a retaining wall.

Vinay didn't fare much better. Famine visited his part of the world when much of the local farming community got deleted. Most of his family who didn't disappear starved.

"You know the thing that gets me." Vinay began, as they began working on the large skeleton in front of them.

"Hmm? What's that?" Parker agreed as they let the AI program begin reconstructing the odd symbols they found in the clothing.

"It didn't just take Christians."

Parker sighed. "I kinda' assumed that. The whole world doesn't believe in the same things. That'd just be vanity to think that."

"I know." Vinay continued. "Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims. Mormons."

"Exactly. The whole world got affected. Plenty of people told me their loved ones and friends got taken. Even people who didn't believe."

"So what does that tell you."

"Angels, God, or not..." Parker assumed. "It picked us at random."

"Like tending to a crop." Vinay explained as he checked the scans of the clothing. The symbols matched language used in the symbols on their foreheads.

"What does it say?" Parker asked from the skeleton.

"Do not harvest." Vinay paused. "Not fit for consumption."

The reveal was only a couple of years earlier. But the world erupted in confusion yet again at its translation.

"We're just food for them." Parker theorized.

Vinay continued reading what he could see. "We don't necessarily know that."

"If it was a rescue, you'd say it was a rescue. Unless we're talking tuberculosis, there's usually only one other meaning for the word 'consumption'."

Vinay grimaced at the idea. "We're the flock, they're the shepherds. Did I get that right?"

"Close enough." Parker brushed off. "So what happened to this guy? Thought they weren't able to be killed."

"You'd think that." Vinay said as he checked a work tablet. "Turns out being hit by a 747 at cruising speed does the trick."

They both looked over the shattered bones. The fanged jaw slack and broken. The wings that had been reduced to fragments.

"World's largest bird strike." Parker answered.

Violeta, their team's photographer, circled the body incessantly. She was busy snapping photos of the bones for later research. With new technology, came new chances to investigate past discoveries. She was there to document it all. She wasn't a fan of banter however; and so she continued silently despite their observation.

"Everything that comes in here just suggests what we keep talking about." Vinay said as he rested against a counter. "We're just food."

"What concerns me." Violeta spoke. "Every child born has the mark too."

"Not fit for consumption." Parker repeated.

"Yes." She said before setting her camera down. "But what if someone is born without it? After all this time?"

"...Be prepared." Vinay said as he looked at the bones again. "Because I think they're coming back."

Little bit of eldritch horror. Just a little. r/Jamaican_Dynamite


BreachAndClearV2 t1_j9l4x6x wrote

Before the rapture, there was a constant debate between practitioners of different faiths over who had the right idea behind creation. Of course, the only way to know for certain was to die and for most people, this was out of the question. When you really take a look into many human religions, however, you begin to notice a pattern.

This pattern was angels. Across the globe, many ancient religions adopted the idea of heavenly mediaries between humans and whatever god or gods they believed in. Many of these beings even took the form of human beings and walked among them.

Now how is it that these ancient cultures, separated by thousands of miles of land and sea, came to such similar conclusions? Who were these strange beings, and what was their divine purpose?


The day the rapture came began like any other but by noon the world was in chaos. It was all over the news. Beings of pure light, descending from the sky to take away the faithful. Planes fell from the sky, cars stopped in the middle of the street, and in hours essential services began to falter as billions disappeared from the Earth. By the end of the day, the rapture had ended. Cities across the globe were frozen in time as their inhabitants were nowhere to be found.

By sunrise the next day, it was clear, though, that not everyone had ascended. Those that had remained bore a mark etched into the flesh of their forehead in a language no person could read.

These people began their work piecing back together what remained of society, and the question of what the symbol could possibly mean was put on the back burner for the first years after the end.

In Christian theology, it is said that the faithful would be taken into God's kingdom before the end times. But the remains of humanity still had among it even the most devout of Christians. In fact, it had become apparent that those taken during the rapture had nothing in common. They came from different races, classes, religions, sexualities, and cultures. Yet the only common denominator they shared was that they were human.

This puzzled theologists and scientists alike. What set them apart from those who were raptured all those decades ago? Years passed, society was rebuilt slowly, and the human race began to flourish once more. As the population began to rebound, it was discovered that every new child conceived after the rapture was born with the same symbol on their head. Perhaps this cruel scar the survivors possessed had some clue as to why they were not chosen by God.

The question of what the symbol meant came to the forefront of the greatest minds humanity still had to offer. Ruins and temples around the planet were scoured for any clue of what it could mean.

The answer came deep in a burial site in an isolated area of the Valley of Kings in Egypt. In the central chamber of the tomb, massive paintings containing horrific scenes covered the walls. In the images, what looked like angels harvested crowds of people like a farmer would harvest a field of wheat, as people with the mark fell to their hands and knees in worship. The angels also bore a mark on their heads, similar to the one found on the survivors. These marks were found in various other areas of the chamber surrounded by other unknown symbols and more familiar hieroglyphs.

With the knowledge that the hieroglyphs and the symbols were somehow related, humanity's last remaining linguists set to work on translating the foreign glyphs. Slowly the pieces began to fall together, until the two symbols and their meanings were deciphered.

With the language fully translated, the symbol's meanings were presented for the first time at a summit of the world's foremost religious and scientific leaders. One of the linguists fed the symbols into a machine and the screen in front of the auditorium came to life. Horror filled the room as the symbol on their heads was translated as "inedible" or "do not harvest, not fit for consumption" when used in the phrases found in the chamber. The mark the angels bore, was loosely translated as "Otherworldy" or, "not from this planet" in context.


Snowdog1967 t1_j9lkt6a wrote

It didn't happen exactly like the Bible said it would. Funny that way, right?

It took time to figure out what had happened. There were rolling blackouts overnight that "day". People who were left behind had hours of time they couldn't place where they were. Of course, many were home, in bed, but some others were in their cars driving, or even on planes. The cars were stopped, the planes resting various places that were not airports.

Billions were missing. There, then gone. Some were the only ones left behind from families, some homes completely emptied, others everyone passed over.

Those left behind had a weird tattoo type mark on their foreheads. The Mark of the Beast it was called. That was a somewhat joking description of it. It had odd circles and lines that looked like no human language, even the ancient ones. And ALL who were left had it, branded into their forehead. No traditional removal techniques would make it go away. Skin grafts would slowly bring the language up. Makeup wouldn't stick to it.

In the years afterwards, some babies were born with the mark, others not. With such a small section of the language to try to decode it, it was so difficult to figure it out.

Scientists worked day and night to decode the simple mark. And one day, after years of AI and Human intelligence alike, it was decoded...

"Not fit for Consumption. Do not Harvest"

It could have said other things, of course, but it didn't.

Now, we worried in fear, you see, approximately 200,000 babies had been born since the first incident who didn't have the Mark. They were on the menu. We needed to figure out something, some way to prevent the next harvest, whenever it might occur. This is what rallied humanity together like nothing else.


PicnicAnts t1_j9m9rfd wrote

If anything, the discovery of what their marks meant had made humanity bold.

A dig in Greece, of all places, had turned up the equivalent of a second Rosetta Stone, allowing for translation of an ancient long forgotten language and thus, the marks every human now bore on their arms.

After the rapture, humanity had basically just milled around in small towns, abandoning the larger cities in search of more manageable resources. Keeping the power on for a small town was easier than figuring out city grids and those towns usually had nearby water, the land required for growing food and wildlife to hunt.

But now, almost 300 years later, with a substantially larger population, they were returning to the cities in droves. Those that had stayed in the cities - in hospitals, hardware stores and the like - were not altogether welcoming, but a shared goal as big as this was enough to convince them to let others in. Especially when the others brought fresh livestock like cattle, chickens and sheep.

The ambition now was to record history and to create it. The long obsolete space programs were re-ignited and globally, every country began to organise armies.

There had been a lazy peace, with 4/5ths of the population gone. More than enough resources for those who survived. Each community largely policing itself without the rules that had previously prevented them from say, killing a rapist or pedophile. Life was safer in a number of ways. Although getting hurt badly was effectively a death sentence without the infrastructure to support a full medical staff. Passionate people pursued their passions undisturbed. Progress ground to a standstill and education was just maintained. The most valued skills now were practical over intellectual.

However now humanity knew they weren’t alone. They understood at least some of the language of the creatures that had done this to them. And the thought that there was no point in killing them had rallied them back into their previously held notions that they were powerful. In control. Indestructible. They were angry for their ancestors. For the lives they might have been able to live. But mostly, humanity was indignant. Who exactly thought they could harvest HUMANS? And just walk away like it was nothing?

The space race was on, and not just by way of shuttles. Humanity collaborated and bickered and toiled. They referenced old sci fi shows for inspiration. What they had lost they clawed back, and the world surged back into an era of progress. They stayed QUIET. They studied, they learnt, they bred. The untied globally, and agreed against war. They had just one battle in mind. One really big battle.

For the next five hundred years humanity refused to leave its own galaxy. Even when they were entirely capable of it. Even when their weapons could obliterate everything in its path, even when their shields could block everything, or contain nuclear blasts. Even when every scouting mission came back safe. Even when every indication was that they were ready, humanity toiled for more.

They had lived for thousands of years without anything like this, so they felt they should have thousands of years more. But the thought these god like aliens could return any time drove them. They would not be satisfied until they were their own gods. Until they could find them with their scouts and go undetected. Until they could learn their weaknesses fully.

They would not be satisfied until they could send a message back to the aliens in their own language. We are coming.


Nomyad777 t1_j9n7tq9 wrote

"This is an automated emergency message from the SCP Research Foundation. An XK-class end-of-the world scenario caused by a ZK-class reality failure is attempting to occur across Earth. Proceed to your nearest XK-bunker system with haste."

The SCP Research Foundation. Founded after the Christian Rapture occurred, to investigate and stop it from occurring again. Humanity would move on, when it was ready. This belief was only reinforced when the markings left at every landing site were translated: "Do not harvest, unfit for consumption."

The SCP Research Foundation had discovered that they were talking about souls; souls that believed in Christianity were somehow edible, but it was quite clear that the souls had been stripped from their host bodies and used.

Now, they were back, fifteen years after the fact. A trap set by the SCP Foundation was about to spring.

>Attention mortals. I am God, Father of Jesus, and creator of the universe. You will bow before my might, or I will make sure your race never survives the cataclysm.


>Submit to my will. Pray for my forgiveness, or the will sin the worst sin of all: Disbelieving.


>You mortals think you can tell an omnipotent being such as myself what to do?


>You dare!?!


>I... What are you doing to me?


>You... help me... I.. this race....





excerpt from the First Galactic Terran War, shortly before discovering the entire galaxy fed on the souls of others.


ProjectEpsilon1 t1_j9m72ki wrote

"It says What!?"

All my years as 3rd legion commander of the Separatist Insurgency Nations could have prepared me for... that. After about 20 years of fighting for reconstruction of the world after all the good people left and the world broke, a rather leading figure in our RnD department came to me. See, he was the top of the line in attempting warp travel in both short distance and long. And he had a hobby. After the rapture, the angels left a few artifacts in their wake in an attempt to completely obliterate the rest of humanity... it either didn't work or hasn't started yet. And on these artifacts were inscriptions. Most of them are intangible, but some of them are bible verses that can be reversed translated... well this scientist came to me with a deciphered alphabet as way to encode messages to and from as an added touch of security.

As he was presenting this to me, I brought the aspect of the stamps on all of our foreheads to mention. After all it's the Same language, and I'd feel rather proud about putting the Matter to rest after all these years. He looked at me and opened his mouth, then closed it then flipped the whiteboard he had to present the cipher on to its other side and started translating....

Which brings us back to here.

"Yes... I-it says 'd-do not harvest, n-not fit for--"

"I heard you the first time dammit." I didn't to get stern at the mad doctor, but the revelation was a little much, even for me.

The doctor sulked a bit. I let out a breath of fatigue and apologized "Sigh... I'm sorry doctor... it's just... all this time we all thought that they left us because they were destined, or they had earned it... not... Not to be culled like cows."

The silence that left was heavy



"P-perhaps we could avenge t-them?"

"I don't follow"

"You've n-noticed how some of the angels artifacts look like portals?"

Given that I was looking at the head of the field for our own portals, I think I can trust him "go on."

"Activate one of their portals, take the fight back to them"

I stood up and looked out the window, a training ground for troops doubling as a watch point due to its close proximity to the ocean... an ocean permanently stained red, and a blackened sky with no sun, a giant snake like monster breaking the depths for but a moment, daemons either of monsterus proportions, or of rather humanoid appearance, both with intelligence rivaling our own. Contact with the devil had made and a treaty had been made, for even his ultimate evil had felt sympathy for us, for hell had just expanded and we had been plunged into it all.

We had nothing left to lose and everything to gain.

We will not let this cycle continue again.

I grabbed the phone on my desk and rang HQ. "Get me Arch commander, I have a message for her."


ohmeohmyohmuffins t1_j9nyw1q wrote

The year was 2029, the end of an awful decade that somehow seemed to keep getting worse. Plagues, famines environmental disasters one after the other after the other. Humanities hope in any higher power was dwindling across the globe , In retrospect I guess that’s why they acted so soon. It was bright day in an increasingly hot august, the sun outside melting the asphalt, the heat inside melting me. I heard a loud noise, a high pitched unnatural scream followed by a blindingly inescapable golden light. The whole neighbourhood had the same idea as we congregated on the driveways, eyes wide at the scene unfolding above us. A bright, piercing golden light was hovering about 100ft off the ground, a human silhouette shrouded within. Two blurry protrusions stuck out at either side, moving back and forth in a familiar fashion. To anyone who grew up with weekly church outings, nightly prayers and those poorly done paintings of baby Jesus hanging on every wall it was very obvious what this mid air creature was.

An Angel.

I hadn’t been to church since my parents passed but it was still there in me, a belief in something more, something greater, and a hope of a heaven beyond death where I could see them again. My body filled with a warmth, a relief almost as I collapsed to my knees in reverence, Palms pressed together in front of me. My neighbours followed suit as the angel slowly descended. I’d never believed in angels, and knew that if by some chance they did exist they’d look nothing like the beautiful, sculpted creatures from the imaginations of the likes of Michelangelo. But as it got closer, as the glow started to dissipate and the figure within it came into focus that is EXACTLY what it was. Flowing hair, white robe, unimaginable beauty, this thing even had a halo. It didn’t speak a word, it didn’t have to, it just held out it’s palms to those around it beckoning all to come closer.

We gathered around it, tightly packed in a circle all pushing and shoving to be the closest one to it. The light was expanding from it, our bodies disappearing beneath us, we were going somewhere, we were going home. I reached out my hand towards it, I just wanted a touch of the divinity of this creature before my chance was lost, but as my hand passed through the golden particles that should have been flesh it’s eyes shifted towards me. Gone was the warmth and hope, it’s eyes were cold and endless, an unfeeling void of despair . It’s eyes were death and I had gone there willingly. What had I done what had I —

I awoke to screams of anguish and horrors beyond my darkest imagination, a scene from no horror movie as no human could possibly imagine the atrocities that were occurring in front of me. The once angel had shed its golden glow, replaced with the cold sheen of wet flesh and sharp angles, it’s unnaturally long limbs cracking back into place as it returned to all fours.

A group on my right ran for it, there was no discernible exit in sight but it can’t be worse than staying here. But before I could get to my feet they were gone, smeared into the flooring in a paste of flesh, bone and cloth fragments. A human patè. I quickly sat back down. Cold eyes caught mine and It—

I don’t know how many years have passed but I know I’m never leaving here. It’s only a matter of time before I’m processed. I hope it’s quick.

The above is an excerpt from ‘Papers found on a Harvester ship’ found over twenty years ago in the time of the great rapture. Much of its contents has been embellished, some too horrific to be included. Since discovering the true meaning of the sin mark, a mark the remaining were scarred with, rescue missions and harvester recon have discovered many journals and scribblings like it. “Do not harvest, not fit for consumption” were the marks words, translated too late for the 3.2 billion lost souls. This young man’s body was never found.


theratthief t1_j9mu4s8 wrote

As a wisp of frosty wind ran through the streets of San Francisco, everybody was disturbed. People of every background could see but could not fathom what was set before their eyes; a figure standing in the mist, twisting everybody who saw it into a raving lunatic. Figures like this were appearing across the globe, shattering the minds of the unworthy. Whenever a devoted christian laid eyes upon this Stygian beast, however, they would prostrate themselves and begin praying to the lord. They then began to ascend into the sky and frolic in the wind, experiencing a sort of nirvana.

After some days, which felt like centuries to the ones below, the beings began to glow with a divine light, and unify in a speech that not even the most cunning scholar could begin to understand. Along with the glowing beings, all of the devout vanished from the sky and left no trace of their existence.After this incident, the ones left on the earth suffered greatly; many of the holy men had generous positions, and thus left many to starve. An everlasting winter also diminished the world population to nearly three billion. The survivors (And their descendants, at that) were all left with a strange calligraphic marking on their forehead, in a language never before read on the Earth.


Decades later, there were still humans living on, albeit in harsh conditions. The past calamity, as I will henceforth refer to as the Rapture, for many people understood it to be so, had scarred society and every person who lived.

The Rapture and its lasting effects almost completely halted scientific research, leaving it at a sloth-like pace. Using the voice samples and limited written samples, some scientists were able to make a very basic cipher for the language, although the human tongue could not produce the sounds required to speak it, shrouding the Rapture in even more mystery.

On the exponentially colder streets of New York, a young man struggled to walk through the ice. His name was Frank Williams, and he had been forced to live in the difficult life of a human on the new Earth. He was uncannily smart for his generation, and was a contributor to the Angel Cipher, as some called the attempt to understand the language of the ones who ascended the worthy.

part 2 probably coming soon


AutoModerator t1_j9jdi13 wrote

Welcome to the Prompt! All top-level comments must be a story or poem. Reply here for other comments.


>* No AI-generated reponses &#129302; >* Stories 100 words+. Poems 30+ but include "[Poem]" >* Responses don't have to fulfill every detail >* [RF] and [SP] for stricter titles >* Be civil in any feedback and follow the rules

&#127381; New Here? &#9999; Writing Help? &#128226; News &#128172; Discord

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.


catticusbutticus t1_j9kb570 wrote

This is an Adamtots comic


Achatyla t1_j9kcloe wrote

This is exactly what I thought, I've seen this before.


Radiant_Exit_9250 t1_j9lf02t wrote


catticusbutticus t1_j9llyf2 wrote

Yeah, the post you linked to is apparently where the prompt came from. He credits it in the comic!


Watfleking t1_j9jrzk7 wrote

I remember a priest talking about how modern “rapture” got it twisted. At the end, Earth and Heaven become one. This means those who disappear are actually the non-believers, as those who do believe would go to heaven, which is now Earth. The modern idea of the rapture, only came about just over a century ago. (I haven’t fact checked the Priest). He also went on about a side tangent about how we would know the Apocalypse was coming, because it has very clear signs.


superanth t1_j9lzo7l wrote

Honestly any core of religion has been warped over the years by priests saying "Do what God says, or else!" and the Rapture was the end-all-beat-all of threats.

If there is a God out there, I believe they're a benevolent one.


dragonadamant t1_j9kbqpy wrote

Anecdotally I'd heard that interpretation too, to say nothing of how, if the world really were ending (and it didn't happen after smallpox or the World Wars), we wouldn't have to guess or speculate.


Teslok t1_j9mqtwl wrote

Only we were so evil that what actually happened was the Crapture, when Earth and Hell become one. And we're in it now.

... *scurries off to shittywritingprompts* ...


Ray2024 t1_j9kma62 wrote

I've been interpreting it as the Earth and Hell become one hence the need to remove the faithful.


[deleted] t1_j9jooq1 wrote



[deleted] t1_j9jr0zz wrote



Phelpysan t1_j9k0d7x wrote

Cool idea, but translating that little text isn't possible


dragonadamant t1_j9kbwdd wrote

I agree on principle, but I guess that's where the story is supposed to fill in the gaps (we meet the alien civilization and slowly learn their language like an exact reverse of the Covenant from Halo).


Cinelli t1_j9lgbod wrote

So Arrival, essentially.


dragonadamant t1_j9lh5j6 wrote

I never saw that movie but always heard great things about it and I love Denis Villeneuve. Happy Cake Day!


Ginger_cat13 t1_j9kpwob wrote

This is pretty forward against Christians though…


IsNotPolitburo t1_j9m8wbg wrote

Not really, Christians are clearly innocent victims in the prompt.


inexplicably-hairy t1_j9oqv1l wrote

in the year 2076, the strange message left on peoples forehead post the rapture was finally translated. it said 'do not harvest, not fit for consumption'. but it was a bit late. humans were already being harvested and consumed on a mass industrial scale. you could buy a human sandwich, a human ice cream cone, and controversially, a human hummus.

the lord of neo-humanity, fulwick poltergiest, sat and pondered the message whilst eating a foot. he decided it was gods sick twisted joke, one final poke in the eye. he cursed god and threw the foot to the ground, where it was quickly feasted upon by his famished slaves. 'i will have my restitution, he said'. he ordered 100 new human farms to be built, and for the number of humans bread for consumption and harvesting to increase 100 fold.

but it was too late. once the human livestock had heard that the rumours about the forehead message was true, they immeditately went into open revolt, rioting through the farms and the hummus factories and destroying equiptment. they took several hostages and demanded fulwick stand down as lord of neo-humanity. falwick stood firm, and kept the rebels guessing by using mind control laser beams from his neo castle. in the end, the livestock gave in to hunger and started to cannabalise themselves, in a twist of bitter irony.