How I learned to Accept My Fate

Love, friendship, happiness… These are all concepts that are slowly being forgotten in this day and age. The Drop changed everything, including how humans view themselves and each other. Gone are the days of relative peace among the people of this world. In fact, if you want my honest opinion, the Drop did away with human beings as soon as it happened. The only ones left now are violent and bloodthirsty creatures who put their own survival above all else, even if it means destroying their fellow man. The days of peace are far behind us, but I will never let that turn me into one of them. I just have to keep moving…

I’ve been travelling on foot for quite some time now. My last canister of gasoline ran out over a month ago, and my vehicle became nothing more than a pile of useless scrap at that point. I’m running low on food and water, and all the buildings I’ve come across in the past week have long been emptied of any valuables they may have contained. It rains every other day, but this water is undrinkable. It is poisonous. Only bottles and jugs contain drinkable fluids, and they grow more scarce everyday. I find myself thinking about where I once lived not too long ago. It was a small camp, no more than three-dozen people living in it. We had just enough food and supplies to keep us going, and we were always finding more on trips into the city. The camp was safe, nobody ever gave us any trouble, in fact we hardly ever saw any strangers. I even had an actual bed and a roof over my head. This is probably hard to believe, but while I lived there, I even had a few friends. Not people I was sticking with simply to increase the odds of my survival, but people who I shared a legitimate connection with, people who I held mutual affection for. There was this one person in particular who was…different from all the rest. Not that there was anything wrong with her, but there was just something about her that caught my attention, and I can’t quite describe it. Her name was May, and like me she wandered into our little community alone and starving, and we took her in. She certainly pulled her own weight once she settled in. May was adept at scaling the decaying skyscrapers in the center of the city, which allowed us to reach all kinds of untapped supply stocks, otherwise unreachable due to the collapsed stairways. She was also useful when internal conflict among our community needed to be solved. She just had a way with people, including me. She was my closest companion, and I like to think she felt the same way towards me. When she entered my life, I had become happier than I had ever been. As I’m sure you can tell, this didn’t last…

It started just like any other day. Me, May, and a couple other scouts were in the city looking for supplies while the rest of our community stayed behind to tend to the gardens, wash clothes, and purify water. After having no luck that morning, we were on our way back to rest up before heading out to try looking in a different area. Suddenly, we heard screaming, people panicking, and what sounded like gunfire. We all stopped in our tracks to try and figure out where the noise was coming from. Suddenly, we saw a bright light in the distance, and it didn’t take us long to realize that not only was the light from a fire, but it was coming from our home.

We sprinted towards our home as fast as our legs allowed us. But just as we were about to reach our people, I saw out of the corner of my eye an explosion of blood. I turned to see my companion’s head completely missing, someone had shot him in the head with a powerful rifle. That’s when I noticed the person who shot him. He was a tall, muscular and terrifying man, and he was hold a shotgun in his hands. I was so shocked from witnessing the death of my friend that I couldn’t move to safety, even as the man noticed me and began raising his gun towards my direction, it was as if time had stopped around me. However, just as my life was about to come to a brutal end, the man was hit in the head by a swinging ax, and he immediately dropped dead. Standing behind him was May. I would have thanked her for saving my life, but before I even had a chance to properly react, May shouted at me to get out of the way. I had no time to process her words before I felt a clunk to the back of my head, followed by a pitch black.

I woke up in a daze a few moments later, but I felt so week all I could do was look around. There were several people walking away, all dressed like the man who killed my friend, and with them were the food and supplies we kept in our town. And that’s when I noticed her. May was still alive, tied up and being carried away by one of the men. It was at that moment I blacked out yet again. I awoke some time later. I had such a splitting headache I thought I might have a brain hemorrhage. It took me a few moments to get on my feet, and that’s when I noticed the destruction around me. Our homes and the farm, burned to the ground. Bodies everywhere. My friends…my family, dead. I wanted to end it all right there. I didn’t think I could go on anymore. But I had to. May was still alive. I had to find her, no matter how long it takes…

That’s how I ended up where I am now, travelling the roads, alone, looking for the people who took away May, who took away my life. It’s getting dark, I have to rest. There’s an abandoned building up ahead, identical to the millions of empty buildings that are still standing after The Drop. If I’m lucky, there might be some bottled water inside.

Supplies and shelter?

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When I enter the house, it’s dark. Fortunately the raiders dropped a flashlight before leaving, and it still has some power left. The first two floors and the basement are entirely empty, having been looted by others long ago. I work my way up to the attic, which is filled with junk, none of it useful. But then, out of the corner of my eye, I notice something.

Interesting

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It’s a stuffed cat, and it looks just like the one my mother gave to me when I was a little boy, before she vanished. Not only that, but it’s in perfect condition, remarkable considering how the vast majority of items I come across these days are almost completely decayed. Then something weird happens. I start playing with it, like I did with my old one, and I find myself feeling…happy. I think I’ll hang on to it. I need to rest. I have along day ahead of me tomorrow.

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