Andrew Rivera is a Creative Writing student in Orlando, Fl. In his spare time, he plays video games and goofs off with his family
The year is 2049, millions have perished since the bombings of 2040 and many more met their fate caused by the radiation aftermath. Living in once was the greatest city in the world is now a broken, decrepit city of New York. Famine broke out, people turned into savages desperately trying to find anything to feed and protect their own. “Hurry! Find anything you can. Food, meds, clothes, anything,” Robert said to his little sister as he was panting and wiping the sweat from slowly getting into his eyes.
“This isn’t right, this isn’t what we do. This is somebodies home, they need this stuff just as much we do,” Sam said as she unsurely grabs an Advil container from the shelf above and forces a bottle of water with the Advil into her tightly stuffed back pack.
“We have to do whatever we can Sam. You’re too young to understand that right now but one day you will,” Robert said as he loads up the rest of the supplies in his bag. “Now let’s go. The sun is about to set and we’ll be sitting ducks out here,” Robert said as he escorts Sam out of the home and throughout the fragile city.
As they move throughout the city, going through various abandon buildings and empty streets, they reach their hideout. An old abandon motel in the middle of Manhattan. The door opens “Put the supplies on the table and line up everything we have. We have to take inventory,” Robert said has he takes a breather on a small couch next to the table. As they pick through each supply they get a knock on the door. Sam springs up from the floor. Roberts grabs the gun in his bag and pulls Sam behind him. “Do not say a word. Understand?” Robert whispered.
Robert slowly walks to the door with Sam behind him. He slowly presses gun against the door and looks through the peephole “There’s nobody,” he said as he slowly opens the door. With the gun still centered, he opens the door all the way.
“It’s a box,” Sam said with excitement. She went to grab it and but Robert quickly pulled her aside.
“You don’t know what that could possibly be,” Robert said getting on one knee.
“It’s a box. What if its help? You don’t know if you don’t open it.” Sam said with a convincing look in her eye.
With uncertainty, Robert picks up the box, takes it inside and places it on the table. As he places it on the table, they notice a note pinned underneath the box.
“Meridian?” Sam asked.
Robert opens the box to see a letter and a map inside. He grabs the letter and reads “we’re a small group of survivors who have created a community up north after the bombs fell. We look for other survivors who may be in need of help. We have food, water and shelter. We mean no harm.”
“Yeah right,” Robert said in frustration. “Someone has obviously been following us. They know where we are.”
“Keep reading!” Sam interjected.
“We send scouts out every season’s change. With winter approaching, this is the most important time for our community to reach out. If you accept, you will meet a scout at the entrance of the Station Island Ferry. You have 24 hours to make your decision.”
“No. we’re fine on our own,” Robert said crumbling up the paper.
“You know that’s a lie. How long do you expect us to live in this shitty room?” Sam said with frustration in her voice.
“We barely have food or water. Our clothes are covered with holes and we definitely not going to survive the winter. We can’t live our life’s by just barely getting by. Mom wouldn’t have wanted that,” Sam said taking a deep breath.
You think I don’t know that!? Robert said getting in the face of Sam.
What if they’re killers and rapist in that community? What if it’s a trap and they rob people for the little that they have? You ever think of that? You have to expect the worse us out of people when it comes to survival. That’s just how it is now.
Sam holding back tears just walks away and goes into the room she’s made for herself.
Roberts gets up holding onto the note. He pushes a chair next to the cracked window beside him, looking over the destroyed city. “Great. I stripped away any hope of a normal life she could possibly have,” He says thinking to himself. “She’s only thirteen. She could make friends, maybe even have some form of education. Am I robbing her of a semi normal life? could I have a normal life? Maybe…”
With the sun slowly rising, Robert is up early. He paces in front in of the table with the box with still open, with the note inside. He takes a deep breath and goes into Sam’s room. “Sam? Get up. we’re going,” Robert said softly as he turns on the poorly dimmed light. “Sam?” Robert said as he walks up to the bed. He gets closer to notice that she was gone. The bed was made. “No…there’s no way… She wouldn’t just leave” Robert said has he backs up. Robert runs to the living room, grabs his gun, bag and the note. “If you accept, you will meet a scout at the entrance of the Station Island Ferry,” Robert said rereading the note. Robert begins his mile sprint to the Station Island Ferry.
As he approaches the docks, a gunshot is fired near his foot. “Halt!” echoes throughout the hollow buildings. Robert froze with fear. A hooded man approaches. “Are you Robert?” the hooded man said with slight concern.
“Yes,” Robert said showing the note in his shaking hands.
“I’m just here for my sister,” Robert said.
“You’re too late. She was the first to leave,” The hooded man said.