As I stood there alone, In the cold and the dark, I realized something. All I had to do was jump. Just jump and it would all be over. All the pain and the hatred, all the disgust and the filth. Could It really be that easy? Could it all be over with just a single, simple action? As the rain beat down on my back, making pools of water around me, I made a decision. I had to keep going.
The way I see it, the whole world is a lot quieter without all the excess. Well excess people, if they can be called people. All I remember is this, it was very quiet. Quiet. Social media, the press, our government, all extremely quiet. I guess they were all scared like the rest of us. As the whole world held it’s breath, no one knew what to do. When the hospitals closed, pharmacies were shut down, urgent care, emergency room’s, everything! All of that happened, quietly. When the government stopped broadcasting emergency messages, we kinda knew It was all over, that was the first strike. The next day, when quarantines were abandoned, sick people tried to leave the larger cities, because that's where it was the most, that's where all of the quarantines were. But traffic was horrid, bumper to bumper kinda thing. New York City, that was the first government message that really went through to the public. The government sent stealth bombers over the city. Let’s put it this way, traffic was no longer the problem there. Other meagerly populated cities followed, Los angeles, Chicago, Houston, all gone. You could tell the world was really panicking. That was the second strike from the government. People were still listening then. Staying inside their homes, waiting for everything to blow over. The only problem was, people had families in those large cities. People started protesting, the government had taken it to far, blowing up cities to stop the infection from growing. Yeah I said it, infection, that's what it really was. Well anyway, when people started protesting, things turned violent, we are talking about other people’s families, but the government was failing. So finally all over America the government went crazy. All protesters were gunned down in the street. The third strike. People started to realize that the government was going to “solve” this with their military. People started your “average” doomsday events. Looting, murder, rape, no laws. There was no nine-nine-one to call. There was no hospital to go to if you were sick, there was no place you could go to escape the eventual doom. Because when you got sick, there was no turning back.
My name is Chris Sanchez, I lead a pretty normal life I suppose. Notice I said lead. When everything fell apart, I couldn’t stop it. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t fix it. When my mom got sick, what was I supposed to do? Hope that she would live? Pray that she would live? For as long as I can remember, it’s just been me and my mom. When my family needed a new car, my mom took on a third job, things like that, for the longest time we were a team, but now I no longer have my teammate. My dad left us when I was very little, I don’t even remember his face. I guess that's for the better, but I still wish he was around. Not having a dad has affected me in many different ways, but right now being alone in this whole, new world Is, well scary. Nowadays there is nothing to do, everything went dark, and everything is quiet.
I had friends before the apocalypse, I guess that’s what I'm calling it, what it really is. It’s just hard to comprehend. Those sort of things only happen to people in books and movies. No one was prepared. I don’t know what to do. I can’t survive by myself. I don’t even have any food or water.If only my dad was here, we could survive this thing, I wouldn’t have to worry about my next meal. I live way out in the country, in a small town named Osage, in the state of Missouri, in the country of America. All of that, well all it is is, just labels, but I guess even In the apocalypse, they count for something. I remember when I was growing up, my mom would tell me stories of my dad. He had beautiful sparkly green eyes, a round plump nose, and a smile as wide as Texas, but his attitude wasn’t the best. He didn’t mean to but, I guess he got in a lot of fights with mom and all of that. The only thing is, those are just stories. And all I have are memories of those stories. I tried to leave my memories with my mom. I wanted to start a new life, being almost 16 and all. I could handle myself, but the memories, no matter how hard I tried, would always be there.
It’s only been a week since strike three, and i'm already out of food. I haven't stepped a foot outside of my house since they stopped broadcasting, where to go, where the food handouts are, just how to survive. I have to make the journey outside now. It sounds stupid, “the journey outside” but that's really what It was. I don’t have any weapons, and even If I did I wouldn’t know how to shoot them. This trip would be just to the store and back. I had just gotten my learners permit a couple of months ago, so I had that going for me. As I sat down In my ford F-150 I heard gunshots. Not the kind of gunshots that are from a measly bb gun, but real, hard gunshots. The noise sent a chill up my spine. I didn’t know what to do. Would I be shot for my truck? Is this what the world was really coming to. My stomach had started hurting from lack of food. I really needed some bad. Maybe I could go to my neighbors and ask for food. I hadn’t thought of that. To be honest, I thought all my neighbors were all dead, I hadn’t seen them In a while so can you blame me? I decided that going to people I know for help might be my best option, so I got out of my truck, and jogged across the street to my closest neighbor. Her name was Mrs. Angelo. I don’t know her full name but I didn't really need to. She was a plump old lady that lived by herself in a two story building. As I was jogging across the street, I noticed all the window shades were down. I stood at the door. I knocked once, twice, three times. Nothing. I went around the side of the house because I knew she was in there, Mrs. Angelo never leaves her home. As I got to the back of the house I saw the back door, as I turned it I found it was unlocked! I stepped in and- what was that horrible smell? It smelled like someone left a carton of milk out in the son for two years. I started snooping around, calling out Mrs. Angelo every now and again. I feared what I might find, but I prayed that the smell was just here milk spoiled because without power, her fridge would be, well out of power. As I walked up the stairs, I took a left. I still regret doing that today. I see and smell the body on the other side of the room, not moving, not breathing. Laying there on a bead. I didn’t want to look at it anymore. I darted downstairs and out the backdoor. As I start to sprint to my house, I am filled with dread. I look at the driveway and my truck is gone! I must of left the keys in the ignition! As I start to curse under my breath, more gun shots. Closer this time. I knew I couldn’t stay here, there wasn’t anything here left for me. I needed food or I was going to starve, and the only thing that I had going towards getting food was now gone. I needed a new strategy, but all I could think about was how peaceful Mrs. Angelo was, and the fact that it was so quiet.
I started walking, in no particular direction, but I figured anything is better than sitting in my home waiting for the government to either shoot, or save me. I needed a plan and fast. I thought of going towards town, but then that's where the gunshots were coming from. Being alone really does suck. I wish my dad was here. He is the only one left that's a family member, at least I hope he is still alive. I haven't talked to him in, well forever. My uncle died of a heroin overdose, and my mom had been devastated ever sense. Many times I thought of calling my dad, to get in touch, maybe he was a really cool guy, but did he even want to see me? He had walked out on us, and I had to remember that. I was thinking about that, thinking about a lot of things, then I heard it. An earshatering scream!
I snapped out of my crazy and looked around. Everything seemed normal. Almost as if none of this had ever happened. But I quickly realized that nothing good ever stays long. About 100 feet away, there was a couple of men, and my truck! There was a small child on the ground crying. I couldn’t just leave him there. Sticking to the fences of other houses, I snuck up to the group. There were three men there and all of them were just plain out harassing the kid. He looked to be around 12 but I wouldn’t know for sure. As he lay there on the ground, the three men kept yelling at him. Eventually after five minutes of this one man took out a gun and pointed at the boy.
“Ok this is getting old.” The tallest one laughed.
“Dude you can’t just shoot him, he’s just a kid.” Said the third one quietly.
“Why not? We took everything we needed.” Responded the tall one.
“Then let's just leave him, if he doesn't have anything we don’t need to waste a bullet on him.” Retorted the third one.
“No? Fine then let’s waste a bullet on you” Dared the tall one. Then out of nowhere he fired. The third man crippled down. When he lay still the two men turned their attention to the boy.
“Now does anyone oppose the death of this man?” The man said to himself. And just as he said it, I darted across the street behind a tree.
“No one? Well that's a shame” The man was back into a good mood, somehow. He had just taken a life yet he was fine with taking another one. I couldn’t stand it, I also couldn’t help that when I stepped out from behind the tree.
“Wait, don’t shoot the boy!” I screamed, and as the man turned to face me, I realised just how dumb I was.
“What did you just say?” He looked at me disgusted.
“Well I said, don’t kill the boy, also umm, you have my Truck and I want it back!” I said with unknown bravery.
“This your truck?” The second man said, speaking for the first time.
“Yes, why do you ask?” I replied, acting like I could take them both.
“I ask because I think that’s a dumb fact, obviously we have the truck, making it our truck.” He replied with a smug look on his face. I can't describe the two men because I hadn’t been looking at them. Just the small boy on the ground. Before I could think better of my actions I ran at the men. What did I expect to accomplish? I don’t really know. But I guess they were too shocked to move, as I ran into the one with the gun. As the gun hit the ground, it fired at the second man's leg. He fell to the ground with a yell of rage. The first man, doebbeling me in weight, pushed me off of himself. He reached for the gun, but it wasn’t there. The kid had it in his hands, pointed directly at the first man’s head.
“Hey kid, give me the gun and I won’t hurt anyone.” Whispered the man. He was obviously afraid.
“You don’t even know my name!” Spoke the kid that until then had not said a word. As the kid stood there, the first man was about to speak when we heard a car start. We looked over to see the second man, not in my ford, but in his original car. He pulled away and with a screech left.
“You're not going to kill me right?” Pleaded the man.
“We aren't going to kill you” I said. I have never killed anything, and I am not going to start with a man, I thought.
“What are you going to do with me?” He asked with so much fear in his voice.
“We are going to leave you here, and we better not see your face ever again.” I replied with a cool head. I started towards the truck, and as I got in, the door opened and the kid hopped in. I had forgotten all about him. I couldn’t just leave him, and he had a gun. I guess you're coming with me. He shut the door and we took off. We drove for a while not talking, until he finally said, “Hunter, my name is Hunter, I just needed to say thanks for saving me back there.” I turned to him and he had tears in his eyes.
“Who were those guys?” I asked him.
“The dead guy is my dad.” He replied softly. Softly and so quiet.
As we drove I told him my story, just where I had gone what I had done. We talked for a while, driving in no direction when I saw the next road sign. Woodberry. Woodberry was the town that my dad had gone to make a living. Maybe there was hope for a happy ending, maybe. As we drove I started to worry about gas. We finally stopped at a gas station. I got out of the truck hoping there was still gas in the pumps.
“Pumps are dry.” I said, annoyed.
“What now?” He asked. Truthfully I didn’t really know. So he got out and we started to walk. I told him that this was the town where my dad was hopefully. I shouldn’t of told him that because his eyes started to tear up. He seemed like a tough kid, his dad had died and he wasn’t shutting down. We were walking around looking for signs of life, because luckily this town seemed small, even smaller than mine. We came upon a cliff overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks. I turn to start walking and I see lights go off on the road. I grab the gun from Hunter’s hand. We crouch down and move forward to investigate. When we got close we saw the same two men we had come in contact with. There was a new guy though. They were talking to him, laughing at him.
“So you have not seen a white ford go through this town?” Asked the killer, yeah I think I will call him that, a killer.
“No I swear, please I don’t know anything!” Screamed the guy.
“What's your name?” Asked the second guy.
“My name? Brian. Brian Sanchez.” Replied the guy on the ground
“Well Brian, Brian Sanchez, we know that two kids came through this town. And you're not telling us anything.” The killer said as he pulled out a knife.
“You shouldn’t lie.” The killer said cooly, then without hesitation, well you get the picture. As brian lay there dead, I connect the dots. I cry out with rage. I jump from my position, gun In hand. I squeezed the trigger, and it's all over. I had killed. For the first time in my life. I had taken lives from this world. I walk over to the lake view. In any movie, when a main character dies, it starts to rain, and that’s just what happened. And as I stood there alone, In the cold and the dark, I realised something. All I had to do was jump. Just jump and it would all be over. All the pain and the hatred, all the disgust and the filth. Could It really be that easy? Could it all be over with just a single, simple action? As the rain beat down on my back, making pools of water around me, I made a decision. I had to keep going.