Forums       Journals       Current Stories       Twitter      

Rae’s Journal – Entry 4 “Heaven and Hell”

Posted by

Snapshot _ OUTBREAK Survival Roleplay _ Urban Apocalypse, Outbr

Things were starting to look up finally. I met a few people who were actually nice. Not as common as you might think in a place where survivors all come together. You’d think that would form bonds or something. Sadly not the case. First lady was named Del. A little rough maybe, defensive, but beneath that exterior I want to think beats a heart of gold. Maybe silver. Copper. I’m not sure, but something anyway. She came across defensive at first when she found me on “her” cot. She let me use it. I needed it. The quake has left me feeling bone tired and beyond spent. Can’t complain, we’re all pretty much in the same boat. She gave me water and most importantly, company. Though she slept nearby and I didn’t know if she was an axe-wielding maniac every other day, at that point I was just thankful to have people around me. So lonely. Then a few hours later I met Giulia. Italian accent. She was so sweet. Nicest person I have met since- in a long time anyway. She didn’t know me at all but gave me some food and water. She even kind of hugged me. It was sweet. Not in a creepy perverted cop-a-feel way but kind of like a mother. Like Bex would do. Bex. My dearest friend. I’d given up hope of ever seeing her again. Giulia had given me some advice about hope and needing it to pull through. I didn’t have any left. Not at that point anyway. I was all but willing to close my eyes and never wake up again when she just walked in out of the blue. One moment she was a ghost of a memory and the next she was there, a few feet away, looking as shocked and as worn out as I felt, but alive. So very much alive. I’ve never been so happy to see anyone in my whole life. But something’s changed.

We hugged. We talked. We cried. Well kind of. Lack of nutrition kind of makes the tears hard to form anymore but doesn’t mean I don’t want to. Man, hours passed. Day became night. Then we heard this lady scream. One of those things was attacking some woman just a few meters away across the street. I went out to call her over, for shelter maybe, I’m not sure what I was thinking. It seemed useless. I went back inside like a coward. I left that woman to her fate. I don’t even know if she made it out alive or is now wandering the streets beside the one who made her looking for revenge. I don’t want to think about that. I slept. Bex said she had to go to the Eights to pick up her stuff. Conrad said he thought she could “handle it.” Not sure what made him so certain but I didn’t ask. I waited. I wanted to go find her but I’m just not that brave. I stared at the door so long thinking any minute she’d walk back through. Any minute now. Maybe now… I haven’t seen her since.

I heard something that drew me outside. I know those things can hear. I know they’re attracted to sound, to blood (well, I think so), and light. But this scream wasn’t the kind you’d hear in the death-throes. I thought I was dreaming again. I ran outside. Conrad tried to stop me. Sarah called me a crazy bitch or rather something along the lines of “let the crazy bitch go if she’s so keen to die already” but I didn’t argue. I couldn’t. I stood out in the dark and suddenly he was there. Kane. My sweet darling Kane in all his ragged foul-mouthed glory. I didn’t care. I held on. If he were one of those things I would have gladly let him turn me just to be in his arms again. He wasn’t dead. He was very much alive. I cried then. I cry now just thinking about it. Hard to describe what it’s like to love someone so much you’d give up yourself to save them. He is my everything.

He told me he found Bex’s car. After days of searching it was the only traces he’d found. No Jon though. That’s not a good sign. He said he slept under a bridge or something and took me to it. So much better than a flimsy tent. It’s not the Taj Mahal but it’s solid; stone and cement and solid earth and only one way in or out. I lay there in his arms for a long time just holding him. Feeling safe again. I slept. I don’t even think I dreamed, just slept. When I woke he was gone again. No word. I hope he went to get Bex from the Eights. I HOPE that’s where he went. Resigned to wait I sat here for hours until I had to go pee. Seeing the stables I went over out of general curiosity and pet the horse. A beautiful animal. Such a calm thing. When I was sure no one was watching I bundled a load of straw into my arms and raced back to the cave. I felt bad the first time but after three or four trips was starting to feel entitled. Well, maybe not entitled so much as just… in more need than the horse was. So I took it.

Kane had mentioned dragging over mattresses from the apartments nearby. They look abandoned but I’m not completely sure; there’s a generator out front so someone lives there. An awful lot of space for a ghost though. Ignoring that I took a mattress back to the cave on my own. It wasn’t easy. The thing weighs as much as I do am sure of it. Smells of old pee and mold but sure beats sleeping on the ground now. Worn out but feeling emboldened by my heist I returned as soon as I had my breath back and took another. Two mattresses now for Kane and myself and for Bex and Jon when he’s found. I set to making this hole in the earth a home. Took me the best part of the evening and all of the early morn. I was overtired and on a mission. If I stopped moving I’d think and stress about Kane and Bex and why they weren’t back yet. Couldn’t stop on any account.

In the dark of night I took a lump of wood with me as protection and went down to the water. I’d seen plants somewhere there the other day. I was starving. I found them near a tin shack. If there was anyone inside they must have been sleeping. I had it in mind to take just a few pieces of fruit or vegetables. Under the light of the moon I scooped up several plants and stuffed them into my pockets. Even made a pouch with the front of my shirt and filled that too. Wary of being caught I ran back the way I had come and almost got lost in the darkness. Finding the cave I dropped my cargo and closed myself in. I had become a veritable Robin Hood, stealing from the poor to give to the poorer. I wish I could say I had a conscience at that point but I didn’t. I was too focused on my haul to think of any consequences that may come of it. It was a dog-eat-dog world now, right? (Several words have been scratched out)

The sun rose. My bruised and crushed plants were back in soil and watered. I was able to mother something again and I was almost obsessive about it, rubbing leaves between my thumb and finger as though comforting a sick child. Stupid but so much relies on their growing and thriving. It all has to be worth it, right? With the sun up I couldn’t move anything in or risk being seen. I had to rest. I woke up and found I was still alone. No Kane. No Bex. I had to do something more proactive than sitting here waiting.

Turns out there are worse things than dying. Than even coming back again.

After washing down as best I could and changing into Kane’s shirt and jacket (of his pack he’d left behind) I headed back out with trusty piece of wood in hand. I came across a corpse. The kind that’s not coming back corpse with nothing left but a torso. It looked to be a few days old. Could almost guess that from the flies. The stench was overpowering. Only reason I went anywhere near it was because of what was on its back; a pack. There was even rope around it. Shame most was covered in blood. After a lot of tongue-biting and different approaches I managed to wrangle the pack off. I took the whole thing down to the water’s edge to wash. The stench of rotting flesh and dried blood wafts from it but I’m not gagging so much now. I hope it actually helps in keeping those things away. Probably wishful thinking. Anyway.

After a brief return to the cave to check out the goodies and repack what was necessary (notepad and pencils, bonus!) I attached the board and started off in search of Kane and Bex. And food. The plants had only been re-purposed several hours at this point and not magically bearing fruit. Yet. I had to go it alone. On the path behind some boat shed I saw a man. Nothing remarkable or distinguishing. Just a man walking the same path as me. He said “Sup” and I said “Hi.” He stopped to chat. Asked me if I had any weapons he could buy. Ammo. I didn’t. Things got ugly quickly. He asked to see my tits. No demanded more like. He even threatened to beat me to a bloody pulp and tie me up and leave me in the woods if he didn’t get “his fill.” It was all a little crazy. He warned me not to run. He had a gun and an axe. But I am no whore. Not anymore. My days with the Irish bastard pimping me out are long behind me. I’m a suburban mom now, at least I used to be and would be again when or if the world ever gets back on its feet. But he grabbed me. He grabbed my breast. God help me, I’m still expressing milk and it hurt. It was messy. I hit him with the bag. I ran. He almost stopped me. I don’t know if he was toying with me or just let me go. But I ran faster than I knew I was capable of even with that wet stinky bag and board in hand. I ran back to the cave. I don’t think he followed. I haven’t been out again since and I’m not game enough too. I still feel giddy thinking about it, about what could have been. How there are people wandering around out there like that when so many good and decent people dead in the world… it leaves me speechless. I want to believe in God still but sometimes in times like this nothing makes sense. If He has a plan I hope it’s not to see me naked and raped and humiliated before I die. Rather just kill me now and not have to deal with anything that follows.

It’s not the dead you have to worry about, but the living. That’s what my mother used to tell me when I was afraid of cemeteries or scary movies as a kid. How true that is. I see that now. Maybe this is Karma for all the stuff I stole? Suddenly the world feels a whole lot smaller. And scarier.