To who ever finds this,
I hope you are safe.
I hope the hoards of dead have perished and you will not suffer the same fate as me.
I cannot remember a time before this.
I remember my childhood when my parents tried to give me as normal of a life as they could under the circumstances.
I remember us living in a tiny one bedroom apartment in old New York. In sector 6 among the rest of the scavengers, living off rations I ran to retrieve every morning.
I remember my mother singing 'Carry on my wayward son' when she put me to sleep, her gentle voice softly coaxing me to a slumber over the distant moans and gunshots. Or how she read to me to keep me calm while my father was away.
My mother taught me to read and write while other children learned how to fight and scavange.
But later on her attempts at an education were overshadowed by the threat which was so immenant, and I had to learn to fight.
In a world so desperate for guidance, for normality, one man rose, accepting the role of our leader. He was Stephen Diego and he was merely twenty five years old, or so my father tells me.
The group began small, merely a hand full of survivors who congregated over a small pile of canned food. But grew into thousands, and soon a part of the city was once more inhabited.
I was thirteen when the new order was put out. When Diego ordered all young boys, sixteen and up to commit to mandatory military service.
The girls had it worse.
My mother said he was no longer our leader, but he was a dictator, a tyrant.
My parents wanted to leave the city, escape to the desert where there were romored to be rebels, defying Diego's rule. But I was holding them back.
At fourteen I was vulnerable, naturally I would be able to defend myself, but God forbid anything happened to my parents, I would be alone in a world I did not know.
After the earthquakes that nearly leveled most cities, and reports of a continental shift, older generations believed that the geography of America had shifted. And they hoped it would mean the end of the Apocalypse.
It had been fifty years since the first outbreak, and thirty since normal life had ceased.
My mother told me I was born in a Post Apocalyptic world, but to me there was no other. This is my life.
I'm sixteen now, my time for service has come. My parents are talking about leaving the city, leaving before they come find me.
I'll be able to protect myself now, survive on my own if I need to.
I will not follow their orders.
I will not return to this city until I find a way to end Diego's reign.
To whoever finds this, I am Micheal Ferro, and I will live.