A novel my friends and I are writing, please enjoy!
A shot rang out across the ruins of what once was a miraculous city full of life. Now, as more shots echoed through the black, dead night, New York lay destroyed. Erran Cameron sat on the edge of his sagging bed and stared at the book he held in his hands. That book had been hollowed out to hold his money stash and now... Now, the book was worth more than the useless currency it contained. Hurling the book at the ground, he watched the silent, billowing puff of dust rise up from the cold concrete. He had long since accepted the loss of his family and friends, according to the notches forever etched in his wall, it had been a month since The Destruction and he had not seen a living soul in that time. Forget about trying to leave, Manhattan was surrounded by raging water that he wouldn't dare traverse. He could not recall what had done this, he couldn’t even recall much of his old life except for several detached feelings. He hated whatever had done this, killed his family, his mother, his father, his sister . Disturbingly, Erran did not recall having a sister until he found a decapitated doll that had once been hers. He wanted to know more, he needed to know more. Laying on his side in the old bed, he let the squeak of the springs drown his thoughts. Erran always slept on his left side, it allowed him to view the only intact wall of the room where he lived. Tonight however, he slowly rolled over, facing the gaping hole where the office building wall once stood intact, and let his eyes drift from his minuscule room on the seventh floor of a partially demolished structure, to the pure devastation that lay outside.
How had this happened? The world used to be such a beautiful place, and now this. Ruins. Rubble. Everything gone; destroyed, burned. What had happened? Where was his family? Questions flooded his brain, but Erran thrust them out of his thoughts and tried to rest. Sighing, he lay down on the hard, uncomfortable mattress. “I won’t get any sleep tonight,” He mumbled to himself. He had been doing a lot of that lately. “I’ll probably look for more survivors.” Though, he knew he most likely wouldn’t be successful. He slipped out from under the tattered, useless covers and felt the cold night air nip at his skin. He pulled a thin, light blue hoodie over himself but it was no match for the bitter cold. He clambered to the ledge of the seventh floor scouting out from above, but all the black night allowed him to see was the torn up, destroyed streets of Manhattan.
Turning from the window in disgust, Erran headed to the door. Well, what used to be a door. All that remained were the hinges, the actual door was long gone. Stepping into the hallway, he examined what was around him. A new piece of rubble had fallen through the floor, making a hole in the ground. He sluggishly skipped over it and moved on, approaching the stairs. Erran stopped. Am I safe? He wondered. Well, the building’s the safest I could find, so I guess I am. His rational reasoning won out. Cautiously situating himself on the staircase Erran slowly descended the crumbling steps. As he reached the base of the stairwell, he could feel the breeze gently flowing through the night air. A hatred welled within him. It had no right to blow calmly as if nothing had happened. Erran Cameron staggered through the decimated streets, avoiding jagged shrapnel as, like a zombie, he wandered the streets in no particular direction, looking for some remains of his former life.
Goddammit, Carter thought. What happened? He remembered his family, his friends, they were all gone now. He choked back tears. The world was destroyed, sure, but why should that stop me from enjoying my life? “Gahh!” He released his anger “I can’t play mister damn optimist anymore! Hell, I don’t have anyone to help by smiling like an idiot, they’re all dead, I don't even have my girlfriend! I’m talking to myself and I don’t even want to hear me!” Purposefully Carter strode to the ledge where the fifth floor crumbled away. By his calculations, his body would hit the pavement in 6.87 seconds, assuming it was not impaled on various I-beams and rubble. About to jump, carter heard a noise. He spun around and picked up a bat which he kept close, as he listened to something coming near.
Carter gripped the bat in his hands until his knuckles turned white. He heard the approaching noise from a distance, and assumed it was a living animal. Real food. Ever since… he didn’t even know what to call it, he had been living off of Spaghetti O’s and stale bread. He heard the footsteps approaching closer, and by his calculations it would take about 13.67 seconds for whatever it was to reach him. This is all I have, give me time to work on it.
Carter gripped the bat harder and harder as the thing approached. He knew that he only had one shot at this, if he missed the animal could surly out run him. If he didn’t hit it hard enough then it would fight back. One shot, one shot at a decent meal. He could almost taste the juicy succulent steak he had an eternity ago. Never before had he wished for something more than now. Reality snapped back into place as he realized the thing, that Carter was certain to be his next meal, was only a few feet away from his position. Now was the time. Jumping out of his hiding place he was taken off guard, the thing he was about to club was a human. It was to late, the bat was already on it’s way, the boy shouted as the bat landed a hefty blow to his left temple knocking him out instantly.
“Now just remember we are trusting you to not do anything illegal, and don’t go getting a virus.” Emily’s mother nagged her for the thousandth time.
“Yes, mom, I know, you have given me this lecture a billion times before. Emily an average ninth grader sat in the back of a purple hovering converti-craft with the forcefeild down. Her dark red hair shimmering in the hot sun as the breeze gently passed through it. She enjoyed the sun, she knew that she didn’t have the perfect tan everyone in her school had so she always rode with the forcefield down. And besides, she enjoyed the feel of the warmth radiating off her skin.
“Mom, Emily asked, just where is this Magic corporation thing anyway? Where is the chip thing going in my head? Is it going to be bulging out of my neck? What does it.–” Emily’s mother cut her off mid sentence.
“You’ll find out when we get there...” She said tolerantly.
“I love ya, mom.” Emily playfully her mom on the shoulder.
“I know you do honey, that’s why your father and I decided to get this for you, now we can all have the latest hip technology!”
“Mom,” Emily pleaded laughingly, never, and I mean never, say that word in public!”
Mrs. Michel's laughed tossing her hair to the side. Her hair seemed to slow suddenly and hung in midair. Everything stopped. Emily shielded her eyes from the sudden bright white coming from where her mother sat.
“Mom” She shouted, drowned out by a deafening nothingness, everything went dark as the car careened off the side of the road.
• • •
“What happened?” a confused Emily rubbed a huge lump on her head from the crash. Was her mother okay? she wondered to her self. Despite what had happened she decided to just sit and wait for the authorities to come and take her away in an ambulance. As she closed her eyes she realized that it was now dark no longer the perfect sunny day it once was was. Something told her that a lot of time had passed. She was unable to react as she slipped back into unconsciousness and realized she needed food, now.
Emily’s eyes slowly opened and she quickly remembered her hunger from when was it last night? It was mid-day now, her red hot sunburned skin proved it . The air was full of the smell of fast food french fries. Last night she had been so quick to complain about the stench and taste but now with a growing hunger she wanted no more than to bite into even just one fry. “Where were the authorities?” She screamed into the empty air. They had to be here soon, but what if they didn’t come, what if no one ever came she would die here all because everyone in the world was to lazy to help her! Emily was smarter than that, she knew something terrible must be happening for her mishap to be ignored.
But what could be so bad to prevent anyone from helping her? She decided that if she was going to survive she would need act quick and feed her growing hunger. It took all of her will power but she managed to open the door and crawl out. Crashing to the pavement below, she proceeded to crawl out into the torn up road, something was not right about this. As her vision slowly returned, destruction came into focus. The once lively, -sort of- peaceful and ever busy city was now in ruins. As far as her eye could see, buildings where crumbling, I beams protruded from once tall skyscrapers. Shocked and amazed by the horrific yet eerily beautiful sight she was torn away from it when a grumble from her empty stomach reminded her of the imperative task at hand. Emily managed to stand and catch one more glimpse of the destruction before she spun, hair whipping in an arc around her head, and took off as fast as she could in her weakened state, limping towards the nearly obliterated fast food joint. There had to be something inside, anything, anything she could eat. She ran up to the doors and pushed phlox the handles, the door wouldn’t budge.
“Why won’t it open?!”she shouted as loud as she could into the destroyed city. Only to feel stupid when she realized she had neglected to read-the sign that had managed to remain intact-the sign read “pull”. Instantly she thrust her arms forward and yanked open the doors. She was hit with a retched nose curdling stench, everything was rotting. There was nothing. On a table she saw a cockroach slip out and back into a hamburger, if she had anything in her stomach she would have lost it by now. Her hunger overcame the stench and she began to searching the place for any edible food. she found a door, inside it was a shelf with about two hundred Twinkies.
“Leave it to the Twinkies to survive all of this destruction!” She mumbled as she ripped open a Twinkie and shoved it into her mouth throwing the wrapper carelessly onto the floor. Bagging the remaining horrendous amounts of puffy fat, she shoved several more into her mouth and left to see what other nutri– well no not really nutrients– she could find. nineteen and a half Twinkies later, she realized how thirsty she was. Emily walked to the big refrigerator she had noticed earlier, and pulled out a large bottle of water and downed it as quickly as she could. After her hunger and thirst were satisfied, she sat down to try and think what had happened to the place she lived, why was New York destroyed, and where had everyone gone? As she thoughtlessly crammed another –less disgusting– Twinkie into her mouth, miles away Carter was pondering the same questions.
“Hey, kid are you okay?” Carter knew the answer was no, he had hit him in the head with a baseball bat, of course he wasn’t okay.
“What was that for, you can’t just go around hitting people with base-ball bats. The stranger mumbled. half UN-conscious.
“Sorry man, I thought you were an animal. I thought i was going to have a decent meal tonight.” Carter apologetically sighed.
“Gee, thanks, I look just like a hamburger don’t I?” He sarcastically retorted. Rubbing his head, he extended a hand. “Erran.”
Carter took his hand, pulling Erran to his feet “Names Carter. Nice to meat you Hamburger.”
“Ha. Ha. Very funny coming from the guy who almost just displaced my temporal lobe. Got any grub around here? I am starving.”
“Sure, well i guess so, I have cans of tomato soup. Your free to have some.” Carter announced guiding Erran into the crumbling building that Carter now called “home”. It wasn’t actually that bad of a house, all four walls where intact. Though some had cracks in them, there was a working stove and a simple wooden four legged table sitting in the middle of the room, with the basic hover chairs Magic corporation had created. but what drew Erran’s most attention was the picture of the stunningly beautiful picture of a girl with dark red hair and pale skin.
“Who’s that” Erran said temporally stunned.
“That’s my girlfriend so back off.” Carter jokingly warned Erran. Just from that sentence Erran knew this was the beginning of an excellent friendship, having friends in this time was important, having someone you can trust. A grim look suddenly crossed over Carter.
“What is it Carter?” Erran asked Carter his momentarily frozen state was worrisome.
“She’s gone now.” Carter sobbed as he sank to his knees. “Everyone is gone.” Erran joined Carter on the floor to wish a good-bye to everyone he loved. Had they been listening, at that moment they might have heard the distant sound of a girl’s voice shouting
“Why won’t it open!”
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