This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
It all ended today... Just... Ended.
They showed it all on the news when it happened to other places. How the cities and towns were torn apart... Others, just.. abandoned.
Destroyed by what? The remainder of humanity is yet to find out.
If there is anyone left.
My town is now one of many that lay in ruins. One second I’m doing something perfectly normal and watching the news. The next I’m pulling myself from the rubble. Buildings had collapsed, huge cracks ran through the roads. Small fires had ignited on some of the wreckage. It looked like it was snowing ash. I can’t stop seeing it all. It’s now burned into my memory, but I’m not going to exactly miss it.
So you must be asking in your head ‘what the hell did she do?’
Well, I did what any sensible person would do. I left. Grabbed my shit and booked it along with my dog River. My house was one of few still standing. With no reason to stay and a little overjoyed to leave that godforsaken place behind, I did. So you must be asking what the hell I am doing now. The world basically ended and I’m doing one of the most pointless things on earth. I’m writing and keeping a journal.
What the literal hell.
I know, sadly I know myself. That is also good that I know how my mind works.
I’m one of those people who thinks for the future in pointless situations. So think of it like this: you’re still reading aren’t you? This could be for when people finally decide to get their shit together. This can tell what happened, show a different side to what happened after everything went down. To tell a story... or stories.
I have River with me but there is one fact that makes itself very clear in my mind.
I am completely, utterly
“Well whatever it is, it’s causing a considerable amount of destruction worldwide.” The news lady -I’m pretty sure her name was Elise- told and looked at her partner.
“It makes it look like the start of world war four.” Numskull decided to pipe up.
Thank you idiots. I thought as I rolled my eyes at the TV screen.
Those two were going to get people riled up. After the last war most news channels were good for was stirring things up. This was probably a story where they were making things seem worse than what it was. As I let out a scoff and set my cheek back in my knuckle the lights flashed off. When they came back on the TV screen was nothing but grey fuzz. I held in a snicker but failed. Served them right. Sadly it came back. Through all the static I heard along with everyone else in the cafe that there was something about power outages. Standing from my empty round table, I glanced out the wide front windows of the place. Several children chased each other around the playground across the street. Looking away I shifted my gaze toward the back.
“Hey Misty-” I was cut off as I turned.
It happened in a matter of seconds. First the ground trembled like an earthquake. The glass in the cafe shattered out of nowhere.People’s screams were drowned out by an ear piercing roar of thunder that caused everyone to hunch over. My knees buckled as I covered my ears and squeezed my eyes shut. Through my eyelids a bright light washed over everything. Grabbing onto the leg of the table I pulled my body under it.
Just as quickly everything around me crumbled, and I was engulfed in black...
It was dark as I opened my eyes. As I shifted I could feel rough slabs walling me in. It was cramped as I tried to look around. A warm liquid rolled down my cheek. There was an odd feeling of something that felt almost like dust between my fingers. Shifting again I could feel one of the walls move. Suddenly I could breathe better as a small light shone through to me. Blinded, I turned from it causing another slab to shift more.
Am I dead?
Not waiting to find out, I reached up. My hand pushed through whatever was above me and gripped the top. I could feel it. I could actually feel it! There was a warmth on my skin as my lips turned into a wild smile. Even though every part of me ached I pushed that aside for the moment and pulled myself from the ruins. Somehow I expected someone to be there. So caught up in all the joy of releasing myself from what could have been my grave, I didn’t realize there were no other sounds.
“Hey! I’m-” My smile dropped as I got up to my knees.
Eyes wide, I couldn’t look away. This place had been a quiet town mostly. But now it was just, gone. Entire buildings lay among the rubble while others were near collapse. Smoke rose from had-been business places across the cracked street. From the mountain of concrete that lay around me, I could see there was hardly any structures standing. That was when something else came to my mind. To get home.
Climbing out of the rubble I made my way to my neighborhood. The normal almost ten minute walk was cut to four. Maybe because there was nothing to look at, nothing to pull me to the side. No gossip happy neighbor to stop me and tell me things I already knew. It was a ghost town.
Standing in front of my house, I find out it’s one of a few that still stood. Windows were broken, the front door was swinging from it’s top hinge. But for the most part, still intact.
“Of course.” I mutter, looking at the small fire burning on the front lawn.
Stepping through the front door gave me the feeling that things would be different. The clicks of my boots echoed through the empty house. One of the picture frames on the staircase wall slammed into the steps and tumble down the stairs. Not giving it a second thought I continued on to my room. I always hated that picture anyway. “River,” I whistled.
I was greeted with a bark and a curious nose when I open the door to my room.
“Hey there bud. “I scratch the blue heeler’s head. Looking around I found my room mostly how I left it, besides a few things on the floor.
“Good thing I always had a bag ready.” I muttered to myself.
Underneath my bed was a backpack that I had always kept packed in case my father decided to ever show up and take me with him; or if I ever decided to give running away another try. Behind the bag lay a mahogany handmade bow, and a quiver full of arrows. A gift from the very man who left me behind with my mother almost 9 years ago.
Setting the two objects on my bed I thought of anything else I might want to take. Going to my dresser I picked up River’s leash and collar. In a moment of hesitation, I toss the two objects on my bed. During that moment I picked up my watch and horse necklace my father had given me. Wrapping the necklace around one wrist I attach the watch to the other. Running over a mental checklist I went around my room to find each of thing, and place them on my bed.
Pocketknife, check. River stuff, got it. Already have the bow and quiver. Leather jacket, good. Extra clothes, in a second.
Standing in the middle of the small space I had to call my own, I thought harder. I needed things more for the long run. When I had convinced myself it was a good idea to keep a bag ready for whatever and whenever, I packed it like I was going camping. Only that camping trip would last a long while.
Well, I guess I deserve a vacation anyway.
Picking up a tennis ball, I held it with the tips of my fingers as I turn back towards the dresser. When I looked up, something in the cracked mirror caught my attention. Stepping forward I tilted my head as my reflection stared back. Just a 15-year-old girl. Her rich copper brown hair hardly reaching past her shoulders. A few light freckles dotted around her cheek and nose. Someone would have to really look to even know they were there. Bright blue eyes look back. There was a hint of silver along with Amber. Brushing strands of hair out of my face I looked at the one thing that never failed to remind me of everything I should forget. The very tip of the scar peeked up at the top of my left eyebrow. If the stupid mark was to ever fade it would leave behind a bare spot through the middle of my eyebrow. There would always be a reminder of what happened. The threaded mark ran to the left and it’s end was a small pink dot below my eye. It wasn’t uncommon for people to stare. Not out of the ordinary for people to assume I was standoffish. Nothing new for anyone to find me to be more intimidating.
They weren’t wrong.
I raised my head, holding it high has my hands balled into fists. From the corner of the mirror I watched some of the glass from my broken window along with the one across the street fall from the frame.
This world had changed in under a week. Bring it on.
What no one ever thought, me especially, that scar could mean much more. For the good. For the bad. It was a reminder of so much. As I took a hold of my bag, setting the quiver inside so it stuck out the top, I decided one thing. Sliding the strap over my shoulder as dry lightning cracked over the sky and putting my bow around me. It was then I turned away from the place I hated to say with my home. Things were changing and so could I. The scar? It may always remind me of what happened. But it was proof. Of all the storms, wars. Now it had a new meeting. I smirked as River and I walked away from the city. Leaving behind the ruins of our old lives, we were set free.
Whatever part of the sky that wasn’t overcast by clouds was turning dark as dusk set in. The city tiny from miles behind us rumbled from the storm that now hung in its near future. I scoff as I took one last glance at it. Following the yellow dashes away from what things used to be I kept along the interstate. Saying I miss that place, would be one of the worst lies I could ever make up. Up ahead was large store. It was like a miniature sized mall. Only half way between Roadside behind me, and I Everfalls, it was still closer to my home town than the larger city. The building itself still looks pretty good.
When I pushed open the front door my eyes scanned over all of what was in my view as the small bell echoed throughout the place. Some shelves were knocked over. Items that have once been on some of the ones still standing were scattered on the floor. With a sigh, River and I made our way up the stairs to the second floor. In the back corner the small glow of a lamp shone over near the books. As River and I went over to it I glanced at the notebooks. Leaning down I pick up a brown one. The black design on both front and back made an interesting look of a Celtic cross. A matching brown ribbon attached to the spine along with the paper to make a placeholder. There wasn’t any other that resembled it. Picking up a pack of pens and pencils I took the bag from my back and sat down in the corner beneath the light. Crossing one leg over the other out in front of me I opened one of the packages. The other I set aside in my bag. River lay next to my legs. The dusk sky shown the day’s fading colors through the window and displayed on the shelf. For everything quite literally crumbling down half a day ago, nature still went on with taking someone’s breath away. Assuming there were other people still. An idea came to mind as I open the notebook. At the top of the first page and marked It as the first entry, along with it being the start of the change. As a last touch I signed my initials. River perked his ears as he looked up at me.
“Why the hell not, right bud?” I ruffled the fur on the top of his head.
As he lay his head back on his paws I started writing. For whoever could be reading this one day. For society when it decide to get its shit together. For something to get my mind off things. Deep inside me I had a feeling I was just stepping onto the world’s wildest roller coaster. It probably be a great roadside attraction. My gut was never wrong.
As I glanced over what I wrote, the lamp flickered off. With a small smile I move the place marker closing the journal. Once I was comfortable, and my arms around my dog I close my eyes.
There’ll be someone to read this someday. I know that.
Eventually I may write a thing or two of how things use to be in my life, but I can’t exactly say it was all sunshine and rainbows.
But one thing about me now: I am a person who learned that my gut is never wrong.
If only any of us can tell what the future has in store for us. That would save everyone a hell of a lot of time. But that’s the thing. It doesn’t make for a good story if you foresee yourself being hit by a bus; and you just stayed home that day to avoid it. It lacks a lot of good and stupid qualities of life.
So that’s just it. The road ahead of me is going to be rough, maybe even a few smooth stretches. Overall I have no idea, just like you, on what the future holds for either of us my friend. That means I have no way to sum up or warn you on what these coming chapters are going to hold. So read on, or pass it onto a friend. Whatever is in a chapter, no matter how long or short, it will be a story worth telling.
Oh. Yes, the scar I mentioned earlier? It will serve on reminding me of what you and I are now.
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