Authors: Terri Blackstock
1 | Last Light
2 | Night Light
Cape Refuge Series
1 | Cape Refuge
2 | Southern Storm
3 | River’s Edge
4 | Breaker’s Reef
1 | Private Justice
2 | Shadow of Doubt
3 | Word of Honor
4 | Trial by Fire
5 | Line of Duty
Sun Coast Chronicles
1 | Evidence of Mercy
2 | Justifiable Means
3 | Ulterior Motives
4 | Presumption of Guilt
1 | Never Again Good-bye
2 | When Dreams Cross
3 | Blind Trust
4 | Broken Wings
With Beverly LaHaye
1 | Seasons Under Heaven
2 | Showers in Season
3 | Times and Seasons
4 | Season of Blessing
EPub Reader Format
2006 by Terri Blackstock
This title is also available as a Zondervan audio product.
Visit www.zondervan.com/audiopages for more information.
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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the
Holy Bible: New International Version
. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
The Scripture quotation which is on page 141 is from the
New American Standard Bible
, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means — electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other — except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.
Cover photo © Guy Grenier/Masterfile
Cover design by Michelle Lenger
Interior design by Beth Shagene
This book is lovingly
dedicated to the Nazarene.
Table of Contents
IVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT ENDED ON
one knows why.
Some mysterious force has caused all electronics on the Earth to fail. Plumbing doesn’t work because the water treatment plants run on electricity. Trucks and trains don’t run, so stores run out of food. Generators no longer work. In this major meltdown of life, people are left stranded where they are, with no transportation, no power, no communication. People are left with a choice: will they hoard what they have until it all runs out, or will they share with those around them who are in need?
The Brannings are a Christian family who pride themselves on their righteousness. But in the wake of this disaster, they respond like everyone else at first: they hole up at home, hoarding their food, paranoid that interacting with others will force them to share the few provisions they have. The children are angry that their lives have been disrupted. They’re bored without visual and audio entertainment. Deni, the twenty-two-year-old, explodes at the idea that she won’t be able to get across country to start her new job on time. But word is slowly making its way to them that the power outage is far-reaching.
After a couple of days waiting for this to pass, Doug reluctantly concludes that this may not be temporary. He breaks down before God, realizing that he’s not equipped to function without technology. How will he support his family? How will he provide food? How will they survive?
Time passes — and the Brannings, along with all of their neighbors, try to learn to survive with what they have. Everyone works hard just to eat. Everyone is on edge. The Brannings start a church in their home. Doug, who’s been a stockbroker for twenty years and has never even taught a Sunday school class, suddenly becomes the preacher.
Oak Hollow, the upper middle-class neighborhood where the Brannings live, where neighbors barely know each other, gradually becomes a close-knit, cooperative, and supportive community. But not without hardship. There is, in fact, a near-total breakdown of society. There are killings, robberies — and a family’s most important possessions become their firearms.
Tension grows between Deni Branning and her parents until she runs away to join her fiancé — and instead finds herself in the clutches of a psychopath.
Finding food and clean water continues to be a daily struggle. Government barely functions, and although rumors abound, information is hard to come by.
And still the power outage continues, without explanation …
— forty-seven, father of four and husband to Kay Branning. He’s a successful stockbroker who’s never known failure until technology comes to an end, and he’s forced to provide for and protect his family from the dangers surrounding them. Though the circumstances of life threaten to defeat him when the power goes out, he manages to find the character and strength to do what needs to be done.
— forty-five, Doug’s wife, mother to Deni, Jeff, Beth, and Logan. She was a spoiled soccer mom before the outage, living in a four thousand square-foot home with all the bells and whistles and driving a brand-new Expedition. Now she faces a daily struggle to feed her family and help those around her who have less than she does.
— twenty-two, Doug and Kay’s spitfire daughter. Just before the outage, she graduated from Georgetown University in broadcast journalism and landed an internship at the NBC affiliate in the Washington, D.C., area. She is engaged to Craig, an attorney who works for a prominent U.S. senator. Just before the outage, she comes home to Crockett, Alabama (a suburb of Birmingham), to plan her wedding. When the power goes out and transportation and communication are shut down, along with all electronics, she feels trapped. She misses her fiancé and longs to hear from him.
— sixteen, Doug and Kay’s son. He’s the star pitcher on his high school baseball team, a true jock, and a popular kid at school. But he doesn’t much like hard work. He’s a Christian kid but has moments of rebellion. Saddled with a lot of adult responsibilities since the outage, he finds the weight of the world on his shoulders as he tries to help protect his family from the evil surfacing around them.