The tall dead grass is swaying in the wind as far as my eyes can see. My muscles are aching, and my mouth is parched. It is midday, the tenth day of my traveling. I feel no symptoms of homesickness, even though I am extremely weak physically. I was so desperate to get out of there, so I just did it.
I’m sure you want to know what I’m talking about, so I will explain. Hi, my name is Cameron. A couple years ago, 95% of the United States’ population was wiped out by the bombings of “them”. They came, and left, leaving behind millions of people dead, and I happened to be one of the few survivors. The bombings were supposed to clear us out as well, but one of the nukes failed. The one place left in the whole country with survivors happened to be my city, Orlando, Florida. My immediate family was away at the time at a soccer tournament with my sister. The tournament was out of state, and I decided not to go because I am extremely studious and I would have missed some school. After I found out that my family was dead, I fell under a heavy cloak of depression. I was devastated for weeks, it took me days before I could eat, and weeks before I could talk. I lost most of my friends as well. Having absolutely no where to go, I was forced to live with my aunt. My aunt is emotionless, she doesn’t have any sympathy for me. Ever since “they” bombed us, she acted like it never happened. After being forced to live with her for two years, I decided I had to take action, so I left.
I would much rather be dead, than be one of the survivors. Although, I believe that this happened for a reason, so I might as well not give up now. I am seeking revenge for “them”. That’s why I left my aunt’s house. Nobody knows who “they” are, and everybody is afraid to find out. If they wiped out most of our country’s population with absolutely no problem, it keeps everyone wondering what they are actually capable of doing. I’m not afraid of “them”, I just want to know why they chose us.
“Hello!” I call out, hoping for an answer.
Nothing. I have been stuck out in the middle of nowhere for ten days, living off of whatever was left over from the bombings. If I get lucky, I will find a house that is somewhat intact. The only food that is safe to eat is canned food, and that is extremely rare. I take one good look around me to see if I missed any potential shelter for tonight, and I see a house. I never noticed this house when I was walking, and I seemed to have walked right past it. Just like every other house that I have spent the night in, it is not in very good condition. About half of the house is burnt down, but I notice one room that is untouched.
I take a few steps forward, just to inspect the house further so that I am positive that it is safe. I manage to catch a glimpse of myself in the partially broken window, and I don’t even recognize myself. As I walk inside, roaches scatter everywhere. These bugs make me feel a bit uneasy inside. My legs shake a bit as I feel the floorboards cave underneath me. I am glad that I will actually have somewhere to sleep for the night. I find a cabinet and look through it. Luckily, it is stocked with cans of food and bottles of water. I am wondering how this part of the house is completely untouched by the bombings, when the other half of the house is burnt down. To the left of me, there is an old, dusty couch. This will be my bed for the night. I lay down and immediately fall asleep.
My slumber is interrupted by a series of beeps. I quickly sit up, and check my surroundings. Everything seems normal, except for the odd beeping noises. I stand up, and my bare feet touch the cold wooden floor. I look out of the shattered window, and see that the night is still young. It can’t be after midnight, seeing that it is pitch black outside, and the stars are still twinkling. I hear the beeps again, and they seem to be coming from below me. Slowly, I bend down and put my ear to the ground. Voices. My heart skips a beat, and I automatically start to feel nauseous. This is what I was waiting for, so I can’t run away now.
I am trying to decipher the voices, but I can’t figure out what they are saying. It’s a bunch of mumbling from so far away. All of a sudden, I realize something. There might be an entrance to below the house in the doorway. When I first walked in, I noticed that the floorboards were a little unstable and they caved in a bit. I slowly walk to the doorway, trying not to make much noise. I get on my knees and feel around for a trapdoor, and my hand comes across something metal and rigid. This must be a latch of some kind, leading to below the house. I turn it, and a section of the floorboards come up, leaving an entrance. I look down, and see a spiral brick staircase.
The beeping gets louder, which I assume is happening because I opened the trapdoor up and the sound is traveling easier. I step down onto the stairs, and my hair gets caught in a spiderweb. Quickly, I shake it off, and continue walking down. There is no light, so I have to feel my way down the stairs. The walls are moist, and I could only imagine how much mold and mildew is growing down here. I look up, and there is a huge iron door in front of me. There is a small crack underneath the door, and you can see lights blinking from underneath the door. The beeping sounds grow louder, but I still can’t decode what the voices are talking about. They might even be speaking in a different language. All of a sudden, I have a realization. These are the people that bombed us, the people that killed my family. I should be mad right now, but I am so tired that my emotions are messed up. I am basically emotionally numb to the whole situation. The door handle has gathered dust, but I open it anyways.
“Hello?” I mumble
In front of me is a huge panel of controls and buttons, that are all lighting up and beeping. In front of these control panels are a ton of tall figures. They turn around. These things definitely aren’t human. Their skin is a dull gray color, and it almost looks rubbery. Their faces are long, but their eyes are bright blue. All of their eyes were staring at me, expecting me to say something. I am beyond the point of terrified right now, I have no idea what is going on.
“Hey Cameron!” One of them said, but the voice is what shocked me.
Tears start to well up in my eyes. That was the voice of my mother. Their faces start to morph, into my family, my friends, all the people that I lost.
“Mom, dad, hello?” I stammer.
I wake up, in a cold, firm bed.
“Wake up honey” My aunt says.
I look over at the clock, and the date was the morning that I left the house. I will forever question if this was only just a dream, or a warning from “them”.