Chapter One: The Day Of Awakening
I got up from the rug that I had used as a bed last night, with aches and muscle spasms across my body. Checked for the gun that I kept under the bag which I had used as a pillow; it was where I kept it. Took the weapon and placed it inside the holster and wrapped the belt of it across my waist - tightened its buckle. The rays penetrated through the blinds of the window that stood to my east. It was safe for me to head outside and hopefully scavenge for whatever that may prove useful or important for me.
I lamented, and whispered under breath as I saw the 2 centimeter slice I received from a Reaver during last night's scuffle with a band of them. Reavers; ugly creatures. Fangs and eyes like snakes, thick scales; humanoid physique and ridiculously, inhumanly and strangely fast and strong. No one knows where they came from or how they even got here. All I could ponder over is the fact that I have not seen any human life, for days. I have lost count of time and no longer am sure about the exact date or time.
I took out a first-aid kit which I had come across during a raid to a chemist a week back. Good thing I had considered to drop that into my bag. Surgical threads, needles, bandages and some medical ointments. But nothing to counter the pain I am about to bring on me while stitching the cut on my left arm.
Took me about fifteen minutes perhaps when I was successful in stitching the cut; I am no medical expert and I would not give myself undue credit. So it was safe to say that I might have done way worse by trying to 'fix' the wound and probably would have been better if I left it untouched. But then again, I cannot risk getting myself infected; I am not afraid that death might knock on my door today or tomorrow. I am afraid that I may never find my Aaliyah. Ever.
Reckless in my manner, I wrapped the bandage across the wounded area and wore my T-Shirt. I put my jacket on and took my bag by my shoulders. The M-16 rested at the leg of the table beside the east corner of the room, where I laid myself to slumber the night before. I had placed it in a manner it was concealed by the leg of the table and any one entering the room would not be vigil enough to trace it.
I left the room and skipped my way towards the staircase and descended to the ground floor. A garage with vehicles; a Mazda Demio and a Yamaha MX King rested inside - lead to the front door which rested five inches left to the garage's gate.
I was deliberating inside my mind whether to take a vehicle with me or not - could prove to be time efficient and I could be back at my newfound abode by dusk.
After considering all options at hand and post evaluating the chances of survival over any unprecedented events I may get introduced to while I am out on the road, I decided to take out the motorbike.
Slow and careful for any impending attacks from any corner of the road or conjoined alleyways, with my Beretta at ready-stance I rode across the roads. Scanning for human life, ears trained to pick up any distant shrieks or cries of help. I have been doing that for almost every day ever since the day it happened. The day when everyone decided to betray my existence and betray their own, and vanished. No postcards, no goodbyes kisses. All who mattered and did not matter, all who walked across the roads of this place – busily like they mattered to someone or more, like they had reasons to live and probably did have – disappeared into thin air.
No one knew what happened. No one was there to tell me about it either.
The roads; barren of life and no sign of anyone who might have had gone out on the road to scavenge for anything.
Chunks of the brick-laid roads were hollowed into pits while other areas had sizeable dents. Some parts of the roads I have travelled had several places exploding out. Like someone had thrown grenades or similar explosives. Buildings stood, silent and idle – more lifeless than ever. Glasses shattered, bars protruding in and out. Slabs of putty coming off and ruptures running from ground to top.
Most of the roads were filled with falling debris from those buildings and one should be extremely careful in finding a safe place to cover their head for the night.
At night, they came out to hunt. Reavers.
My mind was compounded with the same thoughts and the same questions as the first day when the incident took place.
Technology stopped to exist shortly afterwards; it all required human hands. Lack of it proved that they too became obsolete or redundant. I was that lone wolf, without any explanations without any closure and without any answers. Each passing day added more to my worries and more grief to my existence.
Often at times I had looked at the Beretta in a sinful manner, to place it in my mouth and cease the reasons why I was still breathing. Every time I tried that, she stopped me. Her thoughts stopped me. While her fate may have been exactly the same as everyone else, my heart had refused to acknowledge it. It rebelled to give me unwanted hope to fight my way through each day.
Heard a man once say “We are living until our reason to live runs out.”
Whoever it was might have been high on life or living or influenced by his own perception of hope. I saw no glory in waking up, alone to a decaying earth. I found no pleasure in riding through an empty island that once bore life – but every time my resolve to live finds conflict with a vile will to end myself, she stopped me.
My beautiful wife. My Aaliyah.
Deep in my own train of thoughts, I was dodging every pit and every dent on the road – escaping piles of debris and construction implements here and there.
(to be continued)