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The Wastes

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Kelly was born into a world of desolation and death. He and his parents lived in a sheet metal shack on top of a broken overpass with five other families. There is a collapsed side of the overpass that serves as a ramp to the ground; it’s a good vantage point against any possible hostile wanderers as well. The old U. S. and A. is what Mr. Wilkes called the desert, the desert that spans in all directions, the same desert that has claimed so many lives.

Kelly had spent many years of his life sitting on the edge of the overpass, kicking chips of concrete off into the radiated water below and staring off into the vast wasteland left riddled by bombs from a long forgotten war. Kelly, at a younger age, would play with his friends on the drop off side of the overpass and hang off the rebar over a 40 ft. drop, daring to look down, but could never bring himself to do so.

As years go by, Kelly felt as though he would never leave his home, and feels as though he should be the one to get the gasoline for the generator this year. The generator only broke down once and the little town was out of power for three days. He asks his parents if they would let him do the task but they refuse, Frustrated by this answer he went to the drop off side of the overpass and stared off into the distance. He can see the remnants of what was once a city several miles off. Kelly decided he would get the gasoline without the permission of his parents.
Kelly gathered his belongings for his trek across the desert and left his home in the middle of the night. The sun began to rise it seemed only a couple hours after he left. Heat from the sun began to make him perspire under his hefty pack. He set it down and began rifling through his pack looking for something to throw away to make his pack lighter. He decided on disposing his collection of prewar magazines on home décor.
Just as Kelly was going to toss the magazines on the ground, a round metallic ball landed at his feet. Curiously Kelly bent to pick it up, when a bright light spewed from its crack and he found himself in complete darkness. He woke up realizing he was on a moving vehicle, with five men in full clad metal suits. One of them begins to speak, “ Welcome recruit you have just been pressed into the army of the reestablished United States of America, or better known as the Enclave. If you wish to not join our ranks you will be shot.” He said through his helmet.
“What does this all mean?” Kelly asked.
“ Well it means we’ll be purging any left over Chinese and Russian communists from the third world war. Congratulations.”
Kelly was frustrated by the unfortunate turn his life has taken. He couldn’t join these people, Kelly remembers stories of demons sweeping across the west coast and murdering people in their impenetrable suits. He tries to figure a way to escape but all seems lost, he doesn’t want to loose his life so he reluctantly joins.
While Kelly served the Enclave he began to forget his life before, his family, his home, his friends. But this didn’t bother him, for Kelly made a new life with a new family. The Enclave embedded so much propaganda in his mind, it became clouded and Kelly started to believe in false truths. He excelled in the ranks of the Enclave, cleansing the land of communist scum. At first the people they terminated just looked like ordinary people to him, eventually they looked like diseased vermin living off their beautiful America. So Kelly followed orders like a good soldier.
One morning, Kelly received orders to take over a communist outpost. It’s a usual request from the president, so he gathered six of his men and got on the convoy to take back interstate 12. The truck dropped him and his men off about a quarter of a mile from their location.
Kelly and his men made it over the last hill that led to their destination; Ahead they see a little town built around and on top of a broken off section of overpass. They enter the town and begin demanding the residence to surrender or be shot. A few ignorant young men tried to run and were quickly gunned down, when their mothers tried to run to their sons bodies they too were shot down.
Kelly made his way onto the top section of the overpass, and he began to recognize his surroundings. He was at his home, the one he had left so many years before. He made his way to the far end and peered over the side to find two children hanging off the rebar like he had done as a kid. “It will be alright.” Kelly says. He can tell they are afraid of his menacing armor.
“Sergeant Kelly, what are you doing? We need these communists in custody,” one of the solders stated.
“No! You don’t understand these people are not communists they’re innocent!” Kelly replied
A shot rang out and he couldn’t get out another word. Looking down Kelly see’s a gaping hole in his armor with blood seeping from the wound. Shocked from the smoking barrel of his ally’s gun pointed at his gut he slowly began to realize that he had been shot.
“I’m sorry Kelly, it’s treason.” Says one of the solder’s. From a simple plea of mercy, his fellow solder had shot him. He crumples to the ground incapable of supporting himself, his breath begins to slow and his heartbeat flutters. On the flat of his back staring into the sky.
Kelly’s eyes are calm and content with his fate he realizes that though he was born into this most unfortunate world filled with death, people like him will stand up for what is right even if it costs them their lives. Kelly dies acknowledging all the bad things he’s done, and the one good thing that helped change the world.





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