Risen From Ashes

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Chapter Three

April 7, 2028

Blackbird’s Diary

I hear the guards complain every day. I may have the face of a good-looking Frenchman, not to brag, but my Russian roots allow me to understand what they are saying…

Okay, okay, my grandmother always spoke to me in Russian, when I was younger, and when she was still alive.

Anyway, the guards complain that they are not involved in the fight against the United States. They are, as they say, “Ordered to observe me day and night.” One guard is continuously stationed in my room on the orders of the demented man. I have to be escorted to bathe in cold water every day or to use the facilities. It gets annoying because I constantly tell them to turn their backs. That is probably why I never played sports in high school. That whole idea of changing in front of strangers was and still is spine tingling.

Three times a day, small rations are brought to me; it is always cold, processed food. Between the diary and myself, I think our maniacally insane friend wants me to be weak so I cannot fight back, but fed just enough so I can live. The way I am guarded, you’d think I was royal, but no satisfaction.

This really is torture!

Growing up in the States, my family had a wonderful nursery and fruit farm. We had rows of orchards, shrubs, and bushes, with any fruit or plant you could name, save bananas, obviously. People from miles around would come to buy our products. They picked the choicest greenery and fruit themselves. We let them and helped them. Now, it is just another small part of history like everything else.

The farm was not directly hit from the explosion, but the impact of the fire burned everything. Even my home crumbled to the ground. We had a few jars of jam and fresh fruits saved, but they are all gone now.

I am glad my little brother was not there. He had succumbed to pneumonia years before the loss of my family and the loss of my farm.

Since so many lands, like my family’s farm, were destroyed, the president persuaded congress to pass a bill that rationed food. It was a good idea since many of the United States imports were cut off. Sometimes, it is so hard to imagine that this is real.

For five years, I have not tasted real, fresh food; everything has been canned or processed junk. The one thing I do miss, the one thing I crave, is the sweet, seductive flavor of an apple. They were and still are my favorite fruit. I hope every day that the war will be over soon, or that I may be free.

Assuming I am still alive and able to move then.

It’s funny, writing by candlelight. The flame reminds me of better days, free days, when good people were trying all they could to make this world a better place. Now, I only see a ghostly corridor. I try to find my way through this maze of agony but I fail and fall every time into a pit of darkness.

I just remembered I dreamt of my cohort again last night. We were best friends growing up. He and I scraped our knees and got into trouble, but we always had each other’s back. Then, he joined the military and I never saw him again.

Except once. However, I could not talk to him. It was when he was in New York and I was forced to watch Phoenix, my enemy, destroy the city.

I wonder where my friend is now; he has probably forgotten me. I just hope he stays far enough away from me. There is too much at stake.

Beside the fact that we were two peas in a pod, we always had a way of unintentionally hurting each other. I guess that’s because of the way we met.

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