WELCOME TO THE CONTROVERSY! "This nation cannot be overthrown by battle. It would never allow itself to be. America can only be overthrown by removing its reason for greatness, its exceptionalism and existence as a force for world influence for good and freedom. The driving purpose that led our brothers and sisters to shed their blood for a new country and which drove a people and a President to hold fast to the premise that the nation could not be divided into two in the bloody civil war. Our vision of defeating evil, which gives our men and women in the military valor and a willingness to sacrifice in each of our American centuries, has been freedom. The greatest force for freedom has always been the Constitution of the United States. Now, this government, of the people disregards the people. Now these rights, for the people, seem to have been invalidated by a force that has no constitutional right to do so." - Author Steven Clark Bradley

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"Open Your Eyes!" by Nimrod Rising Author Steven Clark Bradley

I do not write scary material for the sake of startling people. Many of the things that our scary world faces today are the results of things that happen over which men and women exercise little or no control.

In Nimrod Rising, I wrote about the final culmination of disaster after America had already turned it's back on the ideals and values that forged us into the most powerful nation in the history of the world. In my new novel, which is in its infancy, for now, I will seek to show many of the steps into darkness that America is even now taking and which will lead us to disaster if we do not take a sharp detour into sanity. I hope you will find the following chapter from my current project, "Quality of Life" not just scary, but revealing and challenging to make you think that just perhaps, we can still correct our mistakes and return to morality and live a true quality of life. Steven Clark Bradley

Quality of Life - Chapter 3 - Open Your Life

“Open your eyes, Sergeant Masters! Come on man! You’ve only got 20 minutes!”

Marine Corp Sergeant Jacob Masters opened his eyes, but only for a second, because the light was so bright that flooded his vision. His eye lids refuse to stay open. He heard his father’s voice, but it sounded so far away, but it gave him hope nonetheless.

“Come on Jake! It’s dad!” The Marine Sergeant could hear his father’s voice as though he was screaming to him in the middle of a hard-pouring rain, making it sound muffled and hazy.

“Jake, we’re running out of time here!” Jacob Masters understood the words, the meanings were unclear though. At least where he was, time marched on forever, it seemed. He had nothing but time and it was driving him crazy.
“Jake! Open your eyes now! They’re going to…”

Sergeant Masters could even feel his fathers hot breath splashing across his face. Then, his father finally shouted, “OPEN YOUR EYES, BOY!”

Sergeant Master’s eyes exploded open! He was staring straight upward. He saw trees, thick, green trees that were shrouded in rich glimmering light. Had he died and gone out of that dreadful place he had remembered being in moments earlier? Then it all came back to him. He thought his way through the maze of bewilderment his mind was racing through.

“Running! That’s right! I was running and firing and my men…they were screaming, yes I remember! They were screaming and…and falling…then it hit and I hit the ground!”

Masters had found his bearings and recalled it all as they had been on a recon mission. Basra, Iraq had been pacified, or so declared the President, the Pentagon and his direct superiors on the ground there. It had made a good pretext for the Britons to leave, having done a great job in their own right. There were still pockets out there who refused to lay it all down though and he and his men had done this task for weeks and it had become good exercise and a way to chat as he and his five men walked the trek with their guns drooped over their shoulders and their voices not muffled in the least. This war was over, right? They were simply bringing up the rear and keeping it all in place. The Brits were long gone, Al-Queida was at least mollified and gone off to lick their wounds and blowup some meaningless target just to let the world know they were still alive. The Iraqis had had enough and turned on their warlords a while ago. Now for Masters, this was nothing much more aggressive than walking the beat of some shopping mall and looking for children who had lost their mom or dad. Yet, he could here it, tracers of fire being fired overhead. He extended out his right arm blindly and felt the ground around him and his palm felt something laying next to him…a body…one of his men who was not moving. As Masters’ senses returned, he turned his head to the right, he saw the marine he had been chatting with when all hell had broken out! He was obviously dead. Masters felt his own chest and reached behind him and felt his back. He found three holes in his vest. He pulled his hand up to his eyes saw there was no blood. He had simply been knocked out by the impact of some large shells that had not penetrated the Kevlar inside the vest. He turned his comrade’s body over and his face was gone. He had taken a couple of the large rounds right to the face and had killed him on impact, “Thank God” thought Masters.

“Jake, they’re gonna pull the plug, my boy! It’s now or never!”

Masters heard his father’s voice again and he jumped up to his knees and looked around quickly.

“Dad? They’re trying to kill me, dad! Where are you?”

“Yallah…Yallah!” Masters heard the voices in Arabic calling out and trying hard to quickly find them. He pulled out a bottle of pills that he had already determined to take before falling into enemy hands and having his head slowly sliced off like a sacrificial lamb! Then, they were there, in the breaches, so close he could hear the leaves rustling. There’d be no way to run, not with their guns, that he’d already cheated death from once. His mind raced and he debated whether to swallow the pills and die quickly or to just pretend to be so. Before he could make up his mind, he saw the silhouette of one of the long-haired-bearded men break through the foliage. He saw the boots and heard them shouting orders back at each other. He poured out the contents of the bottle and pulled his automatic rifle under him and held his finger on the trigger. Masters lay flat on his back and extended his right hand with his palm open, revealing the deadly tablets. He quickly turned his head and saw only one of his men still moving. He saw the boots appear out of the brush and approach them in the opening where they had been attacked. Masters closed his eyes and waited.

The terrorist soldier walked slowly and radioed something back to his group. Masters understood nothing except the proverbial, “Allah Wakbar” at the end. He laid completely still. The Marine Corps training had kicked in, which amounted to being patient to live to kill another day! The Al-queida terrorist turned and headed in Masters’ direction. He knew it even with his eyes closed by virtue of the loud approaching steps that the terrorist overkill attitude had never leaned to be careful of. Masters tensed inwardly and gripped his gun solidly under his back. Masters knew that the timing was everything and it had to be just right. He was fairly sure that only one of his men was still alive from his group. He also knew that marine to his left was regaining consciousness, because loud grunts and groans were emanating from him. Masters’ task was not to get the hell out of there, but to take his comrade with him even if he had to carry him out.

The terrorist came close to Masters’ rigidly still body.

Masters started counting with 10 as the D-day number! When the terrorist came next to Masters, he looked down and started to bend down to check out Masters’ vitals. Just as he bent all the way down and when Masters was ready to make his move, the marine to Masters’ left groaned loudly. The terrorist stood upright quickly and hurried over to the groaning Marine. The enemy combatant saw the American flaying on the ground and took his automatic and pointed it at the still breathing Marine! As the enemy Islamic soldier of terror placed his finger on the trigger, Masters rolled suddenly to his left, lifted his automatic and fired four shells into the terrorist! He fell with a thud to the ground.

Shouts reverberated through the trees in the rich underbrush of the area of Southern Iraq, the most fertile area of the country; very close to where the forbidden garden sprawled outward at the intersection of the Euphrates and Tigress rivers. Suddenly, like the sound of horses’ hooves, Masters could hear what seemed to be hundreds of enemy combatants coming his way! Then, he heard the shots from their weapons firing as they evident ran in his direction firing at will as they approached! Masters stood up, or at least tried to. His legs didn’t want to cooperate at first, but he managed to lift himself up to a world the twirled in circles for a moment or two!

The shots that had knocked him out had also left him dizzy and out of focus, but he got his bearings soon enough. He looked at the other four men who were on the ground. Three of them were dead, he was sure, or hoped, because he’d not have time to check them out. He knew that one was alive and ran over to him. He turned him over and looked at him and slapped him lightly across the face as the pounded earth around him grew nearer and nearer!

“Baker! Are you with me Baker?”

Private Baker only grunted and that was proof enough for Masters. He very aggressively hoisted him up and threw Baker over his shoulder!

“Sorry dude, but no time for fear right now!” Masters stated as a bullet whizzed past his head followed by screaming and even faster movement from the terrorists’ feet! He lifted Baker over his shoulder and stood up to run! Then he heard it again!

“Sergeant, ten till twelve and after that little hand touches the big one, it’s all over but the deep six!” someone said who Masters knew was not his father! This voice sounded almost playful, sarcastic.

Masters had no time to evaluate it! He took off running deeper into the brush and foliage that grew thicker with each over-weighted step! It was almost like watching some movie he had seen before making a decision to join the Marines. He had seen the Hollywood heroics, but now here he was running for his and Baker’s lives and had no idea where to go, how to hide effectively. This was a movie without a screenplay!

“Improvise, Dude!” he thought.

He could see the forest, or whatever it was, thickening up ahead! In front of him, he saw a deep, rich green spread out as far as he could see to the left and to the right like no vegetative growth he had ever seen. It was a great place to hide, but would be an impossible place to find his way out of. He kept running toward it simply because the danger behind him was so much greater than that which loomed in front of him! Soon his mind seemed to have caught his second wind and his feet and mind simply took over. He felt the air rushing past his face and he knew he had reached a threshold of either collapsing right there or running faster than he had ever done in his whole life! Shots rang out behind him with screaming voices in Arabic that Masters could not understood in words but fully comprehended in the full weight of their danger they posed for him and Baker.

Baker suddenly roused and looked back at the scenery that grew smaller as Masters ran forward.

“Where the hell…”

“Just shut up, Bakeman! I’m getting us out of here! Don’t move or I’ll break stride! You still got that pistol?” Masters asked with fleeting breath.

“Yea, here under my vest.”

“Get it out and if you see one of the Allah suckers, send him to paradise!”

“Yes Sir!” Baker affirmed as he pulled out the gun and pointed out into the air whizzing past him.

Masters heard a shot and felt Baker’s body go limp and heavy! He knew that his comrade was gone! Masters thought he should carry him away, but his probably dead body was now heavier than ever with buoyancy at all! He wondered if he should lay him down on the ground and see if he were possibly alive, but that would only spell two kills for the terrorists! He was torn, but his own death, as selfish as it seemed, was far weightier at the moment than trying to save an already dead man!

Instead of stopping respectfully and lowering Baker’s body to the ground, he raised his right arm and without slowing down, he catapulted Baker’s body off his shoulder and it hit the ground hard and loudly! Masters didn’t let it slow him down! He ran faster than ever now. He felt the same way he always had as a child when he’d hold three bats and swing them before taking his turn at the plate. The loss of baker’s body from his shoulders made his legs feel all the more light as the terrorists followed suit! His stride broke into the quickest his sprinting his legs had ever moved. He had been told that fear and that innate pulse for preservation of life and limbs were his best friends in just such a situation! He looked forward and the thick stuff was right there ahead of him! He just needed to get ahead and run into the thick area and then break to the left or right and lay low and pick them all off either one by one or all at the same time. It sounded feasible! In reality, it was his only option! Five more feet and shots rang out! They couldn’t be more than thirty feet behind him! Then he heard their feet pounding the earth! Three more feet and he increased speed and then felt his body slam into some kind of invisible wall like a huge pane of pristine glass made his momentum come to a crushing and painful screeching halt!

When Master hit the barrier that was completely invisible, his body crashed and then was propelled backward about five feet! On his back, he looked up and saw nothing there, but strangely felt no pain and simply stood up and ran to his right. He saw about twenty terrorists running toward the imperceptible obstruction and felt his lips move into a smile! He wanted to watch them crash into it but he had to get out of sight! He gave all his attention to finding a place to hide. He ran and heard the combatants drawing nearer. Just ahead of Masters, he saw a cave. It was small, but the opening was large enough to crawl into and to get his breath and check his rounds and get ready to blow them all to hell!

After he had almost dived into the cave, he slid himself around and watched the terrorist as they got only about ten feet from the barrier. They were running and the first five slammed into it with such a crushing speed that two of them were killed instantly from the sheer trauma of the impact! Masters knew he had smashed into it with no less force, but he had simply stood back up and run! The others stopped and looked up and down, to the left and right and tried to feel what was there stopping them. One guard began to scream!

“Iblis! Shetan!”

Another pounded the butt of his gun into the side of the man’s head!

“Shhh! Dur!” he shouted!

Masters watched as the sounds that filled the forest grew deathly silent! He watched the area where the men stood! That thing, whatever it was seemed to change! It was not clear anymore and it seemed to form a spinning mass of molten colors that revolved and twirled until suddenly, in front of the terrorists stood a towering figure! His face shown like the sun at noon day and he extended his wings that appeared to cover the whole area of the entrance way! The terrorist insurgents looked up at him! He was beautiful and perfect to behold. He looked down at them and smiled and they bowed to him! When they looked back up into his face, his smile turned into a frown, melted into a grimace, transformed into a face of anger and collapsed into a visage of rage! The men rose to run away! The great strange entity reached behind him and pulled out a massive sword!

“You have been judged and found wanting!” it cried out.

He raised the great sword over his head swung it from left to right! The blade connected with every fleeing neck and their heads fell to the ground followed by their bodies which took another couple of steps before limply crumbling downward! Masters watched with eyes that would not blink! He looked into the great image’s eyes and the face of fierce anger melted back to a peaceful and harmless smile. It waved its hand and the cave into which Masters had run became lit and bright and Sergeant Jason Master turned and looked at a massive expanse of rock and walls of stone! Then he heard it again, his father’s voice.

“Jacob, Jacob, you’ve got to come out of it, son! They’re going to pull the plug unless you…” The voice faded.

Masters walked over the cave wall directly in front of him. He saw a series of primitive drawings scrawled on the wall. It seemed like the drawings told a story like ancient hieroglyphics. Masters carefully started to walk over to the wall and touch the drawings. Then, it occurred that the light inside the cave seemed to be coming from nowhere. After what he had just seen outside the cave, the light seemed almost passé. He reached out to touch the wall and then hesitated. His hand was shaking and he felt a certain energy flow out of the rock and it produced a tingling sensation on his fingertips. He pulled his hand back and looked around the cave.

Though he had not noticed before, probably out of shock, amazement or sheer exhaustion, he realized that the cave was massive. It seemed like it had been carved right out of the stone. He turned and walked around the site. He could see where carved out stones had been placed in organized fashion, obviously ages ago. On the cave floor, next to a large flat stone that had clearly been used as a table, Masters saw a hollowed out stone that resembled a cup and flat slate stone plates scattered around the area. One of the plates had a primitive drawing on it as well. It showed two boys, one slightly taller than the other. One was tending the field in a field of vegetables. The other boy was slaughtering a lamb and draining the blood into a vessel of some kind. Masters placed the plate on the table. He picked up another stone plate and it too had a drawing carved into it. This one showed both boys offering there sacrifice to God and holding their hands high into the air. The taller boy’s offering was is fruit from his field of labor. The smaller boys offered the body of a slaughtered lamb and had poured the blood over the body and into a primitive alter. Masters looked over at the image of the taller boy and he picked up the plate and held it close to his face. He saw something drawn behind the boy. It was a bit obscured but he was sure he could make out the image of an angel. The wings were there, he was sure of it. Its face was grimacing and looked evil and cunning. Then a word filled his mind. He spoke the words quietly to himself that he had heard in his brain.


When he had mumbled the word, the light in the cave flickered and the cave shook slightly and dust and small stones fell to the cave floor. Masters bent down and picked up another of the flat stone plates. It showed the images of the two boys again. The smaller boy was smiling and still raising his hands into the air while the image of the taller one had his head drooped downward with a look of sadness and anger drawn across his face. Masters took the next plate and when his eyes met the drawing, he had a sharp pain fill his hand which crawled up his arm and into his head, forcing his head to snap backward. His eyes closed and saw it all happening before him!

Sergeant Masters looked and saw two young boys. One of them was younger than the other and busy feeding his sheep and herding them out into a large field. The other one was tending his garden and hitting the ground with a sharp tool in hard, aggressive, angry strokes. He kept glancing up at the other boy and stared at him. Masters’ eyes were fixed on the scene that appeared before his eyes. His eyes widened when he saw an image appear behind the older boy. It was tall, massive, like the angelic figure he had seen outside the cave. Only, this one did not shine. It was charred and black and had leathery wings with claw-like tips on its wings. Smoke rose up off its body and its eyes seemed to bleed hatred and death! It looked down at the older boy and watched him. The boy was oblivious to its presence. After a few moments it bent down and began whispering into the boy’s ear.

“God hates you, boy!” The boy looked up as though he heard a voice, but saw nothing. He went back to his work, striking the ground hard in anger.

“There is no satisfying such a hateful person as this one your brother seems to please so much. Look at him over there. He is happy…smiling…peaceful. Did God not accept his offering? Did he not reject yours?”

The boy looked up and over at his younger brother. His face grew angrier, to the point of rage!

“Are you going to let him rob you, boy? Did he work harder than you? Did he toil as you have and did you not put much more effort into your offering to this ungrateful creator?”

The boy looked straight up into the sky and raised his fist into the air. The beast behind him grinned and began to laugh.

“How easy they are! With no effort at all.” the Watcher thought.

“Look at your hand.” The watcher told the boy. You need to take that tool in your hand show your brother that you won’t tolerate such disrespect! Are you not the eldest? Should he not bow down to you?”

The boy looked at the sharp tool he had been using to break open the ground.

“Take that thing and strike him down!” The Watcher instructed the boy. Show him you are the leader of the clan! Show this God that you demand your rights!”

Suddenly, Masters saw the taller boy turn, with the tool in hand, and walk slowly toward his brother. The older brother’s murderous thoughts were interrupted with memories of their childhood. He told himself that he loved his brother! He remembered playing outside the cave of treasures and learning the life that their father had been given since the great fall. He stopped walking and lowered the tool in his hand to his side. Then the beast appeared again.

“He’ll grow up and take it all away from you! He’s not your brother! He’s your enemy! Your mother loves him far more than she does you. He’s smarter!”

The boy raised his head and stared at his brother. His softened expression stiffened again and anger crossed his face!

“He’s blessed and you’re cursed!” the beast whispered to him.

The boy raised the tool again up to his eyes.

“He has to die or you’ll have no future!” The boy started walking again to his brother. He hid the tool behind his back.

“You have a right to defend yourself!” The boy walked faster.

“He’s plotting against you! He’s a thief, a liar, a…”

The boy took off running towards his younger brother. The younger brother looked at his older one and smiled at first and then saw his brother’s face with an expression he had never seen before!

Endangered, When he got to where his brother was standing, he stopped and stared at the boy he had grown up with, the one he had lived with his whole life until that very moment.

“Why have you lied to me?” he asked his younger brother.

“Lie, what does that mean? I have always been with you. What is mine is yours as well! Come, let’s sit and eat of the lamb I offered to the Lord today.”

The words enraged his older brother!

“See, he’s mocking you!” the evil Watcher, Kasadya taunted the older boy. “He is belittling you! Have some pride boy! Take that tool from behind your back and slay the little bastard!”

“I don’t want your filthy meat! You are mocking me!” the older brother declared. “I don’t want anything from you!”

He gripped the tool and his little brother looked very perplexed and did not understand why his older brother seemed so vexed at him.

“My brother, I love you. I’d never mock you!”

“He’s a liar! The Watcher insisted. “He’s going to destroy you! Take that tool and strike him down!” The boy hesitated.

“DO IT NOW!” The demon from hell roared inside the boy’s head!

Suddenly, with one swipe of his hand, the older brother swung the tool! Just before it entered his skull, the younger brother cried out.

“Caine, NO!”

The smaller boy fell to the ground and blood was gushing from his head; mixing with the lamb’s blood that had only hours earlier been sacrificed to God! The Watcher laughed out loud and the boy seemed to hear it, looking around and then finally down at the sight of his younger brother, the brother he had always loved, lying dead on the corrupted Earth. He bent down and cried out and took his brother into his arms and screamed when he heard a voice from the heavens.

“Caine, what have you done!”

The image before Sergeant Master’s eyes disappeared and he heard the word again that he had uttered earlier.


That voice again…those voices, this time, again filled his ears.
“I won’t let you do it! He’s my son and he’ll pull through!”

“Sir, in exactly seven minutes, it will be the law of the land! We have no choice. Look at him, he’s dead anyway, he’s dead anyway, he’s dead anyway, he’s dead…dead…dead…dead…”

Sergeant Master grabbed his ears and turned around to see who was there, Even though, he really had known, there was no one! He looked over at the far wall and the series of drawings there. He recalled the feeling of energy that had coursed through his fingers as he reached out to touch the drawings. He walked back over to the cave wall and extended his hand again and touched the first of the drawings. When his flesh touched it, there was nothing. Perhaps he had imagined sensation, but he knew he had not imagined the visions that had appeared before his eyes when he held the plates in his hand. Had it a case of shell-shock or had simply been in shock. He was disappointed. Then, that same sensation that had radiated through his fingers, up through his arm and into his mind when he picked up the plates again forced his head to jerk backward and his eyes to firmly shut and images began to fly past his closed eyes like a movie playing on the back of his closed eyelids.

Masters saw a garden that had been planted in the east of a plush, apparently new Earth, on the eastward border of the world beyond that which faced the sun’s rising. He could only see water that covered the whole world and seemed to extend all the way up to the borders of the heavens. To the north of the garden, he saw a sea of water so clear and pure that it gave a powerful yearning to taste it, and though he did not, he knew that it had to be unlike anything else he could ever taste. Masters could see a man washing himself in the water and he began to glow by virtue of the brightness that the pure water gave his skin. Masters knew that it was a place of great pleasure for a creator. For, the creator knew what the man He would form would do and how he would rebel against the plans of the Most High. Masters could see the man and his wife taking what was forbidden and banished and forced out of the lush, glorious garden, on account of their transgression.

“Oh, my master, please let us flee to the border of northward side where the waters are pure and we can bathe in the waters of the sea where we can wash ourselves in it and be cleansed from the wrongdoing we have done and no longer remember what we have committed in our disobedience and be free from our punishment.”

The creator would hear nothing of it.

“Then, we beseech you, oh Master, allow us to establish our dwelling to the southern side of the garden. Then, when the wind blows from the north, it will bring us the delicious smell of the trees of the garden. Will that not be a great punishment and give us at least the pleasure of its wonderful aroma without the ability to partake of it?”

“My child, the sweet smell of those trees would render them too ready to overlook your transgression and to find consolation for what you both did by taking delight in the smell of the trees and yet remaining in your transgression."

Sergeant Masters lifted his hand from the drawing and felt completely compelled to step to the next one, partly because of his great anticipation, but there was a force around him. It was like some entity pushing him to rush forward to the next primitive drawing and slam his hand against the stone wall and watch the day that man was forced out of perfection and into a corrupted world that would become viler and viler until the day of his life when men no longer communed with God, but only did what was right in their own eyes. Masters placed his palm against the drawing and felt the same force rush to his mind, but ever so much more powerfully than the previous two.

Against the protests of the man and his wife, God brought forth a great hail-force wind and drove the man and his wife toward the western border of the garden, which was very broad, and commanded them to live there in a cave in a rock below the garden.

When the man and his wife went out of the garden, they walked the area around them and feared greatly, not knowing where they were walking. They came to the opening of the gate of the garden, and saw the Earth spread out before them. It was covered with thorns and great stones, both large and small, and with sand. Their hearts began to beat fast with fear and they trembled, falling on their faces because of the fear that had come over them, and they were as dead.

“Oh great Father, until this time we have been in the garden land so beautifully planted with all manner of trees. This is a strange land, which we do not know…have never seen. Please return us to the garden filled with the grace of a bright nature before our hearts turned toward earthly things.” They both fell to the ground as dead and ceased to breath by virtue of the great fear that overcame them!

The Creator had pity on them; and when He saw them fallen before the gate of the garden, He sent His Word to them and raised them from their fallen state. The man and his wife came to themselves and awoke from their stupor crying out in sheer and bitter anguish that they were being forced to leave the garden. It had been the only home they had known, until that bitter hour. The man looked at his flesh. It had changed, which caused him to cry out bitterly. He and his wife recalled what they had done in disobedience and lamented their wrongness. Slowly and with great trepidation, they walked and looked in every direction and crouched in response to every sound that was different from that to which they had been accustomed while in the garden. They looked back at the garden gate from which they had been expelled. It was gone, with no trace at all. There was no sign that a garden had ever been there at all and it brought great terror and sorrow over them. They shook in horror and went slowly and warily descended down into the Cave of Treasures. As they came to it, the man cried out to his wife.

“Look at this cave that is to be our prison in this world, and a place of punishment! What is this? He has condemned us to death! Why did you give me the transgression!”

“Me?” the woman declared. “Why did you take it? Now, look what you have done to us!”

“What is this crowdedness compared to what we had in the garden?” the man lamented with tears flowing down his cheeks; wet droplets that he had never seen before. He wiped them from his cheek and looked at the substance flowing from his eyes. He looked at his wife and saw the same flowing water from her eyes. They both began to shake and it seemed as if a river riveted from them. The man looked around at the merciless surroundings and wondered out loud.

“What is this stony place and what are these vines?” he wondered as he reached out to touch them. Pain gripped his hand as he grabbed hold of thorns that he had never witnessed before. Red blood spewed from his fingers and he had only seen such a thing when the creator had slain the animals of the garden since their disobedience. He began to cry out in assurance that there fate would be the same as those animals that had died to give them sustenance.

“What is the darkness of this cave, compared with the glow of the garden? The woman asked in deep grief. “What is this hanging ridge of stone to refuge us compared with the mercy of the creator to cover us?”

The man looked out at the land before them. “What is the earth of this cave compared with the soil of the garden?” He bent down and took some of the soil into his hand.

“It is strewn with stones! Is there nothing here like that planted in the garden? Are there no delicious fruit trees?” the man cried out. “Look at us. We have seen the angels singing praise in heaven and now we are alone. Our eyes have changed, our flesh has changed, and our hope has dwindled!” the man cried and fell to his knees.

“I hope you see what you have done!” the woman screamed at the man. The man looked up at her and saw her sorrowful face turned angry and he glared at her!

“Our eyes have become of flesh and that is because you deceived me!” the man screamed.

“Now, we cannot see as they did.” He said to her. “What have we become? What is this body compared to that which it was before, in the garden?”

After this, the man did not want to go into the cave, under the overhanging rock, but he bowed to God's orders; and told himself,

"I have to go into the cave, lest I again make the creator angry by my disobedience.”

Sergeant Masters saw the images fade. He was enthralled by the story being recounted to him. He shook his head and quickly moved to the next image scrawled across the wall.

He saw the man and his wife enter the cave. They stood up and cried out to the Lord. Masters looked at the man and the woman as they raised their eyes and saw the rock and the roof of the cave that covered him overhead. This prevented him from seeing either heaven or God's creatures. So he screamed in agony and pounded on his chest hard, until his heart stopped! Masters watched the woman as the image played before his closed eyes. She fell to the cave floor and wept bitterly! Then sprawled out on the cave floor with her face to the floor and spread her hands toward God, pleading to Him for mercy and forgiveness!

"O God, forgive me my sin, the sin which I committed, and don't remember it against me. For I alone caused your servant to fall from the garden in this land of judgment. My evil took us from light into this darkness; from the garden of pleasure into this prison. O God, look at your servant displayed in sadness; your servant fallen and broken in guilt. I pray you, bring him back to life, so he too can cry out to you and ask your forgiveness of his sin. Please do not take away his soul. Let him live that he may stand cleansed before you and carry out your desire. Yet, if you do not bring him back to life, then, O God, take away my own life that I may be with him and not alone. Leave me not in this hole all alone. I love him and want to be with him only.”

Sergeant Masters then saw the same evil figure that had appeared between the two brothers when he was holding the stone plates. It appeared just behind the woman and looked down at her with a diabolical smile spread across its face. It bent its height down and whispered into her ear.

“You don’t need God’s help. You can do this yourself. You can simply find a jagged stone and ram it into your heart and surely you will join your husband in a better place.”

The woman’s head rose and her eyes livened and she knew what she would do. She started looking all around the cave and saw a sharply pointed stone protruding upward from the floor. She determined to throw herself on top of the stone and leave the evil place where she stood all alone.

“That’s it!” the evil Watcher whispered to her.

She looked down at the sharp point that could be her escape from her plight that had left her terrified and alone.

“Now plunge yourself down on it and end your suffering! This is no quality of life. This life is not worth living! Do it now!”

The woman positioned her chest over the sharp stone. She was ready to pull herself down onto the stone. She was afraid to live and afraid to die. Her eyes again were leaking that watery substance. The demon again taunted her.

“What are you waiting for? This no way to live! Don’t you want to be with your husband?”

“Yes, I miss him and he protected me and…” she thought to her self as she drew closer until the point was pushing down against her covering. She felt the point ready to pierce her chest and enter her body to get her out of the evil place! As she determined to herself to die, she heard a voice. It was her creator.

“Why do you listen to this evil Watcher, Kasadya? Was it not one just like him who caused you to sin the first time?”

“O God, did you not cause him to fall asleep, and you took one of his bones from his side to form me? You formed me from that bone, and made me a woman, with heart of reason, and speech and in spirit like him in every way except in body. Now, oh Lord, I and he are one, and You, O God, are our Creator, You are he who made us both in one day. Please allow me to reason with you, O God, why will I want to live without him? I beg you to give him life so he can be with me in this strange land. If you will not give him life, then take me, even me, like him; that we both may die the same day.”

The woman turned and ran over to the man and fell upon him and wept openly for him.

“Fear not, for your husband and you shall live. My love has not failed for you, and I shall keep you and watch over you. Only, do not listen to the speech of the evil Watchers. I have now placed a barrier between you and the Watchers. Listen to the voice of your creator alone and no evil shall beset you.”

As the woman lay atop of the man and held him tightly, she felt warmth fill his body. His chest heaved and his eyes blinked and he opened them and the woman’s heart filled with excitement! She looked into his eyes and he at her.

“I miss you and am afraid to be without you!” the woman said. She took his head and cradled him and they thanked their God that day and rose up and began to tend to the barren land.

Masters’ opened his eyes as soon as his hand left the drawing on the cave wall. He stepped to the left and touched the next one. Again, he felt the rush of power force his head to jolt backward. He saw the man who had been forced from the garden, but could only hear his wife, as she screamed in great pain and travail, then became very quiet. Sergeant Masters heard it. It was the sound of a newborn, screaming out as the first painful breath of air filled its lungs! Men should be born in the earth. Among them would be righteous ones who would die, whose souls God would raise at the last day; when all of them will return to their flesh, bathe in the water of that sea, and repent of their sins. Masters saw the man walk over to his wife. He picked the first child to be born in the Earth and held up to his eyes.

“You are Caine!” He declared. “It is for you to possess the whole Earth!” smiled the man in amazement at the sight of the first fruits of his loins.”

Suddenly, the image before Master’s eyes was gone. His hand was still touching the cave wall and he looked down and saw something stuck inside an opening at the bottom of the wall. It looked like a scroll with seals surrounding the object. Masters carefully pulled on the scroll. He pulled it out and heard it all again.

“I’m sorry Mr. Masters, but the time has passed and the new legislation is now in place.” “You can't pull the plug now! He fought for this country! He gave his life almost.”

Sergeant Master stood in the cave and could not figure out what the voices were about. He knew his dad’s voice and the others he had never heard before. He pulled out the scroll and looked it over. He saw the seals on it and when he touched them, they crumbled. He unrolled it and it was in some kind of writing he had never seen before. Then the cave started rocking! He felt like an earthquake had started, but it seemed different than anything he had ever felt in California. Then the rocking stopped and he stood there getting his bearings. To the cave floor, there right in front of him, something fell from the ceiling. It was black and like tar. It seemed to pulse, almost like breathing! Masters tried to step backward, but he was against the cave wall. Then, from the rocky walls of the cave, arms formed and took hold of Masters’ body and held him tight! One arm wrapped itself around his head and another forced his mouth open. The black tar began to grow and form. Masters could only see it looking straight down and straining his eyes because he could not move his head. The sludge like black tar formed around his feet as great fear filled his being! A head rose up out of it and the tips of its claw-like wings oozed out of the sticky mess! After the head, it rose up and as it dripped its residue to the cave floor, a sulfur odor filled the chamber with sizzling hot steam rising and burning at Masters’ nose. Slowly, the creature that rose up out of the sludge took on the appearance of a charred angel, just like the one Masters had seen in the visions. The face formed and turned toward Masters! He froze outwardly, but every organ in his body shook in ultimate and all-consuming fear! He saw the face and the extended wings and Masters’ mouth uttered the word, “Kasadya!”

“You are now my vessel Mr. Masters.” The fallen Watcher declared. “Your kinds are now ready for a few more blows of death I have not taught them yet.”

Kasadya liquefied and poured itself down Sergeant Jacob Masters’ throat. His mind went blank and his surroundings went black.

“Sergeant Masters? Are you with us?”

Masters opened his eyes and found himself lying where he had smashed into the invisible wall before running into the deep green area. He saw everything in a haze and then felt something moving inside his head. Then he saw it, that evil beast in the corner of his eye.

He began it scream! “Get it out! Get it out of me! Now! Please get it…”

Masters went out as fast as he had awakened. The sound of a hovering chopper replaced his pleading! The Culture of Death had been unleashed!

I hope this sample chapter of my ever growing new novel, Quality of Life. I hope it spoke to you of our world's need to find its moral high ground once again. Thank you for reading. You can also get your own copy of my three published novels at the the fine stores linked below.


Thank you for reading! - Author Steven Clark Bradley

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