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The End of the World as We Know It
August 26, 2150
This diary was all I managed to save before they took over. It was all I could salvage from the wreckage of my home. Not even my family survived it; I barely survived it. As much as it pains me, I will recount what happens, so, if we ever regain the earth, we won’t make the same mistake.
It was a Monday, two days ago. One more reason to hate Mondays. I had a big pre-test that would decide where I would be placed in math, so I was dreading it with all my might. Right before we had to take it, an announcement filled the room. “This is an emergency,” the office lady said, her voice frantic. “Teachers, please, turn on your televisions to channel 6.” That was the news channel. Our teacher did as she was told. We were murmuring with excitement. No test? TV instead? We weren’t prepared.
“An emergency has been reported,” announced the anchor, a pretty woman in a rumpled, red suit. “Dinosaurs are rampaging throughout the United States in all of the major cities. The armed forces were called in to stop them, but they were overwhelmed. We are still trying to repress them.” The dinosaurs? I remember thinking. I thought they were under lock and guard 24/7. “As most of you know, for the past century, scientists have developed the means to bring skeleton bones back to life. It started as a joke, but it lead to a big discovery. The scientists, curious, brought a dinosaur back from the dead. They experimented, and now the dinos, as many call them, have broken free of captivity and are demolishing anything and everything in their path. For a good fifty years, they remained in their zoo enclosures, showing no signs of aggression, but one fought back and that started a revolution. We were unprepared and a lot of them managed to escape.
“Evacuate all women and children to basements, bomb shelters, anywhere underground until we can administer the situation at hand. Do not, I repeat, do not panic.” We panicked. Even the teacher. Everyone was racing toward the door, looking for a way out. Some even jumped through the windows. At least we were on the first floor. I first went in search for my brother, Timmy. He was only in kindergarten, and I was sure he was freaked. Luckily, Malbrook Elementary was a short distance away from the high school, so I thought I would reach him before anything bad happened. I was wrong. So, so, so, so wrong. All I needed to see was the gigantic head of a T-Rex and a swarm of Raptors surrounding the school to know that he was as good as gone. I still had to check, though. Without thinking, I picked up a flimsy branch to use as a weapon and began to search the perimeter, looking for the window to his classroom. When I got there, all I saw was red. Red bodies, red walls, the cursed color was everywhere. Timmy was among the dead. It felt like a stake was being driven farther and farther into my heart.
Not caring about detection any more, I raced home, praying everyone and everything was okay. Somewhere deep down, I knew that it wouldn’t be. Our house was in the heart of the city. My legs were reduced to nothing but wriggling, useless noodles by the time I reached the remains of home. Sections of the house were knocked down. Until that moment, I hadn’t noticed that there was a thick cloud of smoke coating the sky. Fires had sprung from the ashes. Perfect. The world was ending as I knew it. As anyone knew it. I was, am, the sole survivor of my family.
Melanie pauses in her writing. The pen in her hand is trembling to the point where she can barely hold it. Tears prick the edges of her eyes, blurring her vision. “Mel? Are you okay?” Trevor asks, leaning down and rubbing her back. She jumps, startled by her companion.
“Yeah. No. Not really. Is anyone okay after what happened? Tell me, Trev, is there one person who didn’t lose someone close to them?” He shakes his head, but the hurt behind his eyes is clear as day.
“I’m sorry for snapping,” Melanie says, seeing the change. “I was just getting my thoughts down on paper. For future generations. So they wouldn’t let this happen again.”
“How could anyone forget this?”
“I was just wondering the same thing.” A stray tear slips down her cheek, and she quickly wipes it away. She must be strong. It is what her parents would have wanted. Somewhere in the distance, a mighty roar sounds and everyone in the small camp jumps.
There are at least twenty-five people total, ranging from infancy to mid-fifties. Anyone older than that didn’t make it. They are what is probably left of a city with a population nearing the millions. As far as they know, anyway. Another group may be in hiding somewhere else, but the prospect seems slim. “Alright, everyone. Attention, please,” Griffin Ulyss says, clapping his hands together. He was the mayor of the town. Still is, even if there isn’t much town. They all glance up at him. “We need to form a game plan. A plan to outlast the dinos.”
A few calls of “Yeah, right,” sound from the group.
“No, I believe we can make it if we have the courage and persistence.” He seems pretty energetic for a thirty year-old man. Melanie, sensing that he isn’t getting through to them, stands as well. “Come on,” she starts, “Think of your mothers, father, brothers, sisters, husbands, and wives. Did they die in vain? Did they die so you could sit in a corner and b**** and complain? No! No, they didn’t. We must survive. That very act will be a statement that we will avenge their deaths.” Some fleeting smiles are seen across the tear-stained faces.
“Death to the dinos!” Yells a boy no older than ten. Others repeat the phrase until it swells to a climax. Everyone is on their feet, screaming it fiercely to the heavens, straight to God’s ears. If there is a God. Not many people are so sure now. Another ear-shattering roar interrupts the chant, as if the dinosaur responsible is responding. They all turn toward the source of the sound. Some grip their weapons tighter. For a moment, no one says anything. A single thought bounces around Melanie’s brain: The war has begun.