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My goal is for people to read my stories and be on the edge of their seat! To crave more.
It’s the year of 2114. The Earth is no longer what it used to be. It has been destroyed, not by aliens or “stronger forces”. It has been destroyed by Human Kind and natural disasters. Most of the world’s population has dropped majorly. There are only 42,000 people left. There is no more order or laws. Everyone thinks it’s the end, no more hope, no more community. It’s all about survival, no matter what that takes.
Ugh. It’s another day searching for food and supplies to take home. Will it ever end?
Nadia walks with her older brother along the road. The car had broken down a mile or so back. That was usual, old gas didn't last long. Her dad was working again, while her brother, Nika, and her looked for that week’s supplies. Their father didn't like them going to the black markets. He said they were dangerous, and were no place for kids.
Always the same dang thing every week. Why can’t we walk somewhere else for once.. Is this all there is? Abandoned house filled with other people’s belongings, just to take? It feels so wrong, to march into a dead persons house and take.
They had been walking for about an hour or two, kicking rocks back and forth to each other, not paying attention to where they were going. Nika looked up and stopped in his tracks.
“N- Nadia…” Nika stammered.
Nadia looked up sharply to see what could have made her brother stutter. He was always steady, and his emotions always controlled. She looked up and saw that they had wondered off quite a bit. In front of them was the “Cursed Lands”. The Cursed Lands were miles and miles of blackened forests. Through the trees, you could see an old village of some sort. There were many stories about it. Some say that the village was killed by one of the diseases. Others say the village leader slaughtered everyone for the meat on their bones. The elders say that a group called “truth seekers” lived there, were than murdered. Nobody had been past the trees, not even the troubled teens who liked to cause trouble.
Nika cleared his throat. “Nadia, let’s go. We shouldn't be here,” he insisted.
She nodded her head. Nadia had always been curious of this place, but never risked checking the place out. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw something stoop down by a tree, hiding from view. Shaking her head, she turned around to walk back with Nika.
STOP. It was just your imagination. No one has been to the cursed land, and if they have, they didn't live to tell……
But what if someone had? What if it was a Truth Seeker? Ugh, this is crazy, I’m crazy.
Walking through the door of their home, they noticed their father was not yet home.
Nika smirked “I’m gonna head over to Chelsea's house, don’t wait up.”
“Oh and don’t tell dad about the cursed lands today, just say the car broke down” and with that he was out the door.
Nadia grabbed her radio and turned it on.
“Calling Connor, this is Nadia” spoke Nadia.
Her best friend, Connor, had found a pair of radios that they used to communicate. The radios had a certain signal that no one else could catch. So they were free to talk about anything.
The radio crackled a bit as he answered “Yo Bestie! Long time no talk. What have you been doing?”
Bestie? When did he start calling me that? He seems like he’s in a good mood… Maybe he’ll be up to my proposal?
“Look, there’s no time to joke around” claimed Nadia, her voice serious.
“Whoa, what’s wrong? Is everything OK?” he asked worriedly.
Nadia didn’t know how to exactly tell him. On her walk back home, she had made a plan to go check out the cursed lands later. She knew going alone would not be smart, and the only person she could think of was Connor…
“I need you to go to the Cursed Lands with me tonight” Nadia said, getting straight to the point.
Connor gasped, “are you freaking crazy?! That place is called “Cursed Lands” for a reason! What if there really is a village leader that likes human meat? What if we catch a disease? There are no cures for things like that anymore!”
Nadia sighed and explained her walk with her brother, and how they ended up right by the cursed lands. She told him how she saw someone or something hide behind a tree. She couldn’t get it out of her head. There had been someone there, and they knew Nadia and her Brother had been close by.
Finishing her story, she took a deep breath and asked “are you in, or will I have to go alone?”
“Fine, I’ll go” he muttered.
“Great! I’ll meet you at 11pm tonight where the trees begin” Nadia cheered.
11 came slowly and Connor waved to Nadia as he walked up. The night sky was littered with little lights, but the land in front of them was jet black. They could just barely make out the shadows of trees. In the distance, one small speck of light was visible. It had an orange glow to it.
Fire. So somebody is there, and is obviously alive.
“So… You were right. There is a person in the cursed lands. But why?” Connor said curiously.
Nadia replied “I don’t know, but we’re about to find out”.
Slowly moving through the trees, they stop and duck down. 30 feet from them is a small fire, smoke drifting up and sparks flying. Right in front of them stood a man. He was middle aged and looked tired but alert. The fire made the dark rings under his eyes stand out. Nadia and Connor hid behind the tree, watching the mysterious man. He didn't look like he would be a threat, but then again anybody could be a threat now a days.
“Alright kids, you've been hiding enough” the man’s scratchy voice said as it punctured the quietness.
They gasped but stepped into the light the fire threw off. Conner stood protectively in front of Nadia.
“Don’t worry; I’m not going to harm you. I’m just curious to see someone has come into the village” he said lightly.
Nadia stepped forward and spoke slowly, “You are curious of us? We are the ones who are curious of you. Why are you in the cursed lands?”
The man chuckled and poked at the fire. There was something about him that was almost trust worthy. He was tall, and his hair was dark, but his eyes were bright. They were a bright blue, with a sort of gleam to them. His face had a five o clock shadow with specks of grey. You could tell he worked, because his hands were calloused. The man looked up, and with a sad smile he said
“Why am I in the cursed lands? I should be asking you that, but I am not your father Nadia, nor am I your friends.”
Nadia’s eyes widened. She racked her brain to see if maybe she had met this man before, but nothing came to mind.
“How do you know my name?” she demanded.
The man’s body seemed to sag, as if a great sadness just overwhelmed him.
“I knew your mother years ago. We were great friends, she was a kind women but strong. She and I were part of the same group. The last time I saw her was in this very village 18 years ago. She had come to me a few months after you were born. She told me that if anything happened to her, I needed to come back to this town to find you when you were 18. She said I needed to tell you everything. That you were the hope of this world. That’s why she named you “Nadia”. Your name means “Hope for man-kind”. So here I am now.”
Nadia felt tears on her cheeks as the man finished his story. It had been so long since anyone mentioned her mom. Her mind seemed weighed down, even though it was racing…
He knew my mother? They were in the same group… What group? She was in this village… is this where she was murdered?
She squared her shoulders back and put her chin up.
“How do I know you’re not lying? You come out of nowhere to tell me you know my mother and crap?! What group are you talking about, and why was my mom in this village?”
Silence went by, and all the man did was look at her with sad eyes.
“Answer me” she fumed.
“The group was called the Truth Seekers. Your mother was in it, along with me. The village was destroyed by an organization that didn't want the truth to be told. I was away on business, but your mother was in the village when it happened. Hundreds were murdered or kid napped. Sadly, your mother did not make it. When I returned, everyone was gone. I went into hiding until last month, when I set out to find you. And here you are. You and your friend better sit down, it’s gonna be a long night.”
They learned the man’s name was Andrew. He explained to them how about 200 years ago the world was different. The streets were occupied, homes filled and nobody had to fight to survive. Over time the Earth was ravaged by war, famine, disease and natural disasters. More than 6 billion people had died. He also explained that the founding fathers of America had expected this to happen and left clues to how to fix it. They were the first “Truth Seekers”. Others joined them, and they made notes on how things were discovered or made. They hid books and letters. They also left instructions if this were to ever happen.
Andrew didn't know exactly where these hidden things were, but he knew where to look. He needed Nadia, and possible her friend (he knew far too much).
“So will you two join me on this adventure to save man kind?” Andrew asked.
Nadia rubbed her eyes and pushed her hair back. Connors squeezed her hand to encourage her. They had both been told a lot of information and it was almost day light. Their parents would be worried.
“Can we have time to think and talk this over? This is a huge thing you are asking of us. You’re asking us to leave our homes, to risk our lives, just for the possibility that there’s a way to make things better?” Nadia asked.
“Yes, I am asking for your help to save a dying world. You have a week; if you decide to come along, meet me here at sunset. If not, than good luck to the both of you in life, for I cannot do this without you.”
Nadia packed her bags quietly as not to wake her brother and father. She had decided to go. She needed something to do in her life, a purpose. Maybe even to make her mother proud. Connor wasn't pleased to her that she was going to go, with or without him. That didn't stop him from going with her though. They were going to meet on the corner of their street just before the sun set. Leaving a note behind, Nadia grabbed her things and closed the door.
Where is he? Connor is supposed to be here by now.
Maybe he chickened out?
Just as Nadia was about to leave on her own, she saw a familiar shape coming down the street. Running towards her was Connor, with his backpack on and sneakers.
“Glad to see you came; now let’s get going before he leaves us behind”, Nadia said quietly.
Andrew saw them and waved. You could tell he was glad to see them. He was sitting on the back of a pickup truck. The back had very little in it, maybe a bag or two at the most.
“You decided to come after all. I’m very pleased to see that, but we must leave right now. Hope in and let’s head on the road.”
They all climbed into the bed of the truck. Andrew had told them they were headed to Washington D.C. That was where the Capitol used to be when there was a government. He told them it was about a 3 days trip, so they’d have to stop in certain towns for supplies and sleep.
Andrew drove for 18 hours a day, only stopping to use the restroom and check roads. They needed to be careful not to draw attention. On the last day of driving, Nadia asked if they could stop for a quick stretch. Connor and her went for a walk while Andrew went ahead to check the area.
Connor looked up as Andrew ran towards them limping, a bullet wound in his thigh. Behind him a car was racing towards them.
“We've got company” Connor gulped.
“Get the truck started NOW! We gotta go,” shouted Andrew as he neared the truck.
Bullets hit the truck as they drove off. Andrew shouted directions as they kept driving. Nadia had driven before, but never this fast. Turning sharply down and ally, she was told to turn off the car and they all got out. Getting their bags from the back, Andrew handed them both guns and told them to stay close. Quietly that ran down the streets, being careful not to be seen. Suddenly a guy jumped out, holding a knife and violently jerking it towards Nadia. Connor took action and shot the gun. The bullet went close to Nadia, but hit the man in the chest. Surprised at himself, Connor stared at the man and back to the gun. Andrew grabbed him and Nadia and led them down the street.
More men were coming; they could hear their footsteps slam down on the pavement. They all dodged into an abandoned warehouse and hid in the shadows as the men ran past the windows. One guy paused, looking into the window. Nadia held her breath as the man peered in. Finally deciding no one was there, he ran to catch up with his group.
“We need to stay here tonight. They won’t stop looking until they find us or go to another town”, Andrew panted.
“Are those men with the ones from the organization? The one who killed my mom and your friends?” asked Nadia.
“Yes they are, and they can be dangerous. They know we’re close, just not how close. We leave at dawn.”
2 hours later of driving they pulled up to a great white mansion. Nadia and Connor had never seen such a building in person, only in books at home. Once they entered the building Andrew pulled out maps that lead them down many halls. They ended up right in front of a bookcase. After a few pushes and tugs, it turned. An old tunnel lay right before their eyes.
We made it. It’s actually real! Too bad my mother wasn't alive to see it.
Going down the stoned hall, they entered into a huge room, full of things and a few skeletons with armor. Bookshelves covered the walls, and in the middle of the room stood a table with some paper. The first paper had just a few words….
“INSTRUCTIONS to Save Man Kind”