You've found someone's old red weathered notebook!
Surely a little peek won't hurt.
In the beginning
I won't forget.
I was born somewhere in the southern USA.
Just like every child I was born of blood and pain.
I grew up contrary to my violent beginning timid and shy.
I often talked to my shadow like it was a person, which earned me the nickname 'Shadow'.
I had a deep fondness for ideas, yes, yes, I've heard it before I am odd.
Drawing and creating is how I spent my younger years, meaning many things went missing and most available surafaces had ink, grease, or paint splattered and smeared rather generously over them.
I often 'borrowed' my parents tools and other peoples random objects and returned them with mixed results.
I've filled volumes of ratty little notebooks with sketches and randome little thoughts, it seemed important to chronicle the recent events after...
Well you know.
During my thirteenth year on earth
the world went dark.
The world was silent. None of that static noise when to many electronics or in the same room. True silence.
It smelled like burning solder, I ran to the garage hopeing I didn't leave anything on. Mom would kill me if I set fire to the garage... Again.
I tried the lights, nothing.
I poked about in the dark for the old flashlight my dad kept under the counter. I tried it a couple of times, and threw it down a little harder than I meant still nothing.
Actually it was flashlight smelled like solder.
It was Saturday, my folks were at work, my siblings at friends houses, I had the house to myself that day.
I tried her wrist-com I had saved all summer for the screen was black, I was certain I had charged it the night before... Maybe...
Hell even the old wall phone was broken not even a dial-tone!
I cursed loudly and colorfully, glad my folks weren't home, now thoroughly pissed off I decided to ask the neighbor Mrs. McGrady if her power was out.
Marching up the sidewalk and banging in the obnoxious way only teenagers can on the door... Nothing. I waited at least fifteen seconds before turning and flipping rocks in the garden to the right of the door.
I knew 'Old Lady McGrady' kept a spare key under one, from the time McGrady went to visit her grandson up north and needed a dog sitter for the week.
I eventually found it,grabbed her newspaper off the porch and headed in.
I yelled loudly and shrilly the lady did often ask me to speak up mumbler that I was.
Streachill the wienerdog bounded up wagging not just his tail, his entire body!
Still calling for the Mrs. I fed the dog and searched the house. Opened doors, checked the backyard Streachill had chewed through the back door.
I checked the bedroom last, and found her.
Dead in her bed.
Her 'Bedside Life Support' had failed some time last night.
The room smelled like death and burning wires.
I quietly closed the door, took the dog, and went home to wait for my parents.
I hoped it was just an area power outage. Sure they didn't happen as often as they used to especially with The Computer running everything now.
We didn't get the whole story for three weeks. By then we had to move on. The city was to infested with disease and fear.
To many people scared for tomorrow, scared for their kids, and lives.
Of course the people willing to take advantage of others gained power quickly.
The public systems had given power to The Computer years ago and could no longer keep other in line, most disappeared long before the real hell broke loose.
A short and frightening six months after the bombs and subsequent chaos, I was separated from my family by raiders. I didn't know if they were alive or dead.
I found myself alone in the world again, without even a dog for consolation just common bandits.
Back to my base, covered in blood and bringing pain.
My murderous revenge was white hot, and short lived. The most frightening thing about it wasn't the dead strangers littering the ground around me, not the smell of the blood, not even the fact I was alone in the wilds, or that I didn't know if my family was dead or alive.
It was that I loved it.
The tearing flesh, snap of bones, their screams "No shes just a kid how could she possibly-" thats as far as they got, blood had soaked into my hoodie...
I could hear the world screaming again, separate and distinct from the static noise of the past. It was an angry roar, deafening in the new calm.
I considered eating or burying the bandits.
I won't lie in six months society went down fast.
Stores were empty in a matter of weeks. So you learned to 'find' your meals.
I decided to let crows and flies have them, they deserved what came.
I searched there supplies and took a sharper weapon. No point in not taking something usefull. Then I wondered who it used to belong to. I left it where I found it and took some coiled razor barbwire and wrapped it around a metal band so I wouldn't sclice myself to bits. I took a cleaner more waterproof tent and the sleeping bag with the least stains. Mine were with my family, where ever they were.
I left the bandit camp to search for them, I found a stream and tried to get the gore out of my clothes and hair it was beginning to stick and smell. Almost a month later I lost hope of finding them. I heard from some fellow wanderers about a non bandit 'town' up north not far from where I was now, they offered to let me travel with them. I declined they seemed untrustworthy so I went south.
A week or so later I met the Family.
They had old people, children, and animals. They were all well armed.
The Father introduce himself and explained that they took in the wanderers that needed it. I almost declined, but I was getting tired of sleeping with one eye open, avoiding groups and shunning camps. And most of all they seemed... Happy... I wanted that.
I accepted the Fathers invatation. The Mother scolded me for the mess my clothes and hair were in. All I could do was smile, and to my horror, cry. She pretended not to notice.
Only especially stupid or desperate raiders attacked the Family.
We were a very large group, 70-100 at the most, a lot of the family would retire and stay in there favorite town.
Raiders attacked on a few occasions, we tore them apart.
All of us were armed some with bows others knifes, if you were old enough to hold it or aim, you had one.
I never told the merry band of travelers that welcomed me as one of there own about the bandits I killed before. I think they could tell I had previous experience after the first time we were attacked. The Mother asked me to be an Aunt, she said we needed some one with skill to defend proper. Most people by then knew not to ask 'loners' annything other than their name. and to not ask about or mention families, they were the only family now.
I did describe my real family to the Mother and Father, they said they would tell the Aunts and Uncles about them. At this point I should clarify, almost none of the family were related. The Mother and Father were in fact married and the leaders, but Uncles, and Aunts, were not related but instead authority figures, like cops or sherifs.
We traveled to towns and traded junk collected in the cities for food or junk other towns might find usefull.
Some performed tricks like circus performers, magic, and told stories that were either made up or heard in other towns.
To earn keep in the Family I made contraptions to replace the broken fancy battery powered or computerized ones. I made most everything out of the old broken junk nobody had a use for anymore. I drew portraits of people and families scince the cameras were broken. It was important for them to remember thier loved ones...
As you've guessed The Family was a nomadic group of merchants that traveled between pockets of humanity, they often picked up 'loners'. They also buried the 'lost'.
I was dubbed 'Anarchist' by the Father, as a joke, for constantly wandering away from the Family,(usually to poke about scrap heaps) I said I was 'scouting' but relented and agreed to take an Aunt or Uncle with me. I also generally ignored protocol, but it was usualy just small things. The name stuck and soon it was used as my last name.
It took forever to get my Uncle partner to stop calling me 'Little Anarchist'.
A few years later I left the Family and set up a gadget shop in one of the central cities, I kept in contact with the Family. (at that time by bird or trade, phones and radios still were not up)
By the time I was in my twenties 'Civilization' was back on it's feet, meaning it was now morally reprehensible to rob, pillage, and cannibalize your fellow man.
When radios and tvs were working again I insisted that the Family keep a HAM radio, we had are own band, some towns used it and asked which town we were headed to next. The story tellers told a tale every day a 8 o'clock. Father and Mother were so happy to hear there childrens voices again.
Soon a rather popular television series had sprung up (it was far much more entertaining than the documentaries and stupidity that 'You TV' was spewing up like so much vomit). Some daft show about monsters and contestants and a war in improbability.
I thought it was fake.
I was one of the suppliers of the first working tvs (although I could fix them I had difficulty making them being that I made every day items and toys.) but mostly they were set up in public locations like pubs and theaters. It would'nt be long
Something glass crashed downstairs.
Probably some one who thought it would be easy to steal from a girl living by herself. Morons.
I grabbed my improvised barbwire chakrams, improved from ones from the bandit camp, and crept down the stairs.
Three of them, I could hear one scolding the other in a whisper, presumably the idiot that broke something. I quietly moved a little closer anticipating a fight, I could feel my heart in my chest aware of every breath.
I charged furiously, prepared to fight for my life again.
Then a fourth threw a sack over my head. The other three were apparently armed with clubs as they were hitting rather hard about my head and body.
After a few good hard hits I eventually blacked out.
I awoke to the sound of a dull whining roar mixed with sparadic high pitched screams, their vehicle needed a repair of some sort...
My brain was still sluggish, but I was fairly sure that working engines of any sort were few and far between... I tried to move and quickly gave up, everything hurt everywhere.
My captors picked me up, one on each arm, I felt a hard rush of wind against me it. It cut right through me like I was wearing nothing...
They yanked the sack off my head and my suspicions were confirmed.
I was naked and on a plane. Perfect.
One of them shouted something like 'bov voyage!' or 'happy landings!'
I shouted something I shouldn't repeat, and tried to elbow them in the gut.
They shoved me out... Without a parachute. Yeah.
At least before my grisly death I would have a nice view.
A green field stretched into sand and sea in one direction, and jungle in most other directions. The smell of salt, rain and dirt forced its way up to me. I fancied it couldn't wait to have there with it, so it had sent a scent up to me.
This must be what finial thoughts are like, mad and beautiful.
The ground was coming up fast, but not as fast as it should. It seemed like I was falling through jell-o or sinking through the black oblivion.
I landed hard, but oddly nothing was broken.
I laid there for a while marveling at my safe landing, and hoping that none of the explosions got to close to me. I could hear footsteps in the grass, they were getting closer. I wish they would go away.
A woman made her way into my vision, she had blonde hair pulled into a bun, and small round glasses perched perfectly on her up turned nose she was wearing an sharp glare, red turtleneck sweater, and a brown ankle length skirt... And steel toed combat boots...
I felt I should introduce myself but I just opened my mouth and whimpered.
She sat down beside me she beat me to the punch, and introduced herself as the Watcher and told me I was a contestant on that reality tv show, you know the one I thought was fake? She told me to go into to outpost before monsters attacked me, and so I could receive pants and a brain implant, I wanted to argue, more so on the last part I would really appreciate pants, and that this was insane, that this must be some sort of mistake or ill conceived joke.
But to my dismay and horror I just nodded mutely and picked my through the waste high grass.
Another airplane whined and sputters overhead followed by a high pitched scream of another 'contestant' landing rathe embarrassingly in a tree. Emphasis on barrass.
The woman yelled at her a bit, and made her cry.
I walked up and asked to be let in, the man with a hearing problem told me to sign some papers. I gave him a hard look and got to it.
Something rustled behind me, I turned to look.
There honest to any Deity you can think of was a monster. It was big had spindly legs and a gaping maw and hideous personal hygiene.
The man kept insisting I fill out ALL the paper work before they let me in.
I filled it out in a shaky scrawl and practically threw it in his face. He final looked up and agreed that was something to be worried about.
He handed me my 'Req' but no pants.
As I rushed inside the man and the 'monster' shared a joke at my expense I was almost turned around to give them something to laugh about when to men, made of pure muscle, blocked my path.
They were rhyming on the verge of actual singing. They picked me up one on either side... I am starting to see a pattern here. I landed in a rather soft chair looking up at a kind if perhaps to chipper lady.
I asked what the meaning of this was she happily responded that I was to choose an implant. I then asked where exactly this bit of technology was to be put.
She said in my brain.
This of course I found to unacceptable.
I found an opening in thing one and two's blockade and made a break for it.
I got maybe three feet before one grabbed me and held my shoulders down, and after I got two in the jaw he held down my feet.
The woman scolded me and asked me to choose again.
A little while later I was asked to report to Corporal Punishment, I hoped that my headache would go away soon.
He was a shouter. Maybe he and the hard of hearing guy up front talk alot?
Basic training was a bit pointless the man was clearly off his rocker.
I knew how to fight. So I deliberately pissed him off.
He actually managed to yell LOUDER! When I could see his veins bulging prominently I apologized in a condescending manner and went about my day.
At least I wasn't the only naked person in the area.
What an odd thought. People were just standing around chatting perfectly comfortable naked as the day they were born.
I walked into one of the shops and saw a woman with a terrible mullet and a squeaker voice than mine, she smile kindly and asked if I would like to purchase something.
My reply was of course 'pants', she offered for the requisition I had on me either 'Frilly Pink Panties' or a plastic spork. I was not amused.
I walked back out in my pink a bit to big panties.
I was feeling more foolish than when I was naked.
I heaved a sigh and set out for the jungle to fight these monsters we were in a war with... They couldn't be worse than bandits right?
After several fights and beating a lion into submission with nothing but my fists a had saved enough for a sock of marbles.
I strutted rather proudly covered in monster blood and guts and slapped my currency down on the counter. Sheila smiled and squeaked at me.
It was getting late I needed to crash some where, I melted into crowds and listened into conversations. No need to ask when someone's already willing to wag their chins for you.