It’s been four years since the last rainfall graced mother earth with its presence. Crops have withered away, wildlife has diminished, and the world has gone crazy with thirst.
I have been scavenging for water wherever I could find it--abandoned homes, and from the rubble of burned out buildings, mostly, but it’s never enough.
My lips are constantly chapped, and my skin is as dry as a lizard. I try to drink just enough to survive, because I never know when my next score on a case of water is going to be.
At a time when I should be celebrating my sweet sixteen and dating boys- -I am instead, dealing with the aftermath of a world without water.
Dad had been talking to a few of the other survivors in our project, and they overheard a conversation with some military professionals, and the outlook looks bleak, for those of us who have nothing to offer society. We are what the government refers to as “the filth of the human race."
With only basic education to our names, and no skills to offer- -other than cleaning up after the rich--we were spared only for their pleasure; then tossed out like an old toy whenever something better came along.
It’s funny, when Dad used to read me stories about the future as a child, I always envisioned flying cars and different lifeforms, all living together in peace. Unfortunately, the future was a chaotic mess. People killing one another for food and water, and the governments only solution was to send out Sirens to wipe out the poor.
Sirens are androids, created by US military intelligence, to destroy those of us who weren’t doctors, or chemist, or whatever skill that was useful to help maintain life here on earth.
No skills, however, meant certain death. Some of us were spared and taken as slaves, used to provide whatever service needs the government deemed necessary.
My best friend, Sam, was young and beautiful, and it was the only reason why she was spared, when a group of Raiders came through and killed most of us off.
I hate to even think what those bastards were doing to her. She was so innocent. I watched like a coward, as they dragged Samantha by her hair, and threw her into a sack.
My mother tried to stop them from taking her, but she was killed in the process.
Father was searching for supplies when the Raiders came, and I am certain they would've killed him, if he'd been there.
My father concealed most of our supplies in a bunker that he made, so the raiders didn’t get much.
Dad and I are leaving the projects and heading for the mountains, because it has become too dangerous to stick around.
I’m so scared of leaving the only home that I have known for the past sixteen years. We were poor, but pretty much all of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, was poor.
I never thought that one day, it would just stop raining. It’s one of those things that you take for granted, until its gone.
When things started to dry up, and water became more valuable than gold, then that’s when the violence started. Christians killing their own, to keep themselves and their families alive.
I even heard stories about some family members killing their siblings, all because they were consuming too much of their resources. Dad always made sure that I was taken care of before himself.
I was all Dad had left in this world now. Even our neighbors--who we knew for years--couldn’t be trusted, not anymore.
It seems like everyone is out for themselves, and those who were wealthy before all this, either killed to get what they wanted, or just killed themselves.
I guess taking the easy way out was better than living a life like this. Every day I hear my father praying to God for rain, and every day, he waits... and nothing.
I think God gave up on us-- either that- -or God doesn’t exist. I hate to think that, but how can God be so cruel, allowing us to suffer like this?
“Time to go, Rabbit,” dad said. That was his nickname for me, ever since I was old enough to walk, however, he hardly ever calls me Allison, anymore.
When I was younger, I would always carry around this stuffed bunny that I had gotten for my first Easter. I still have the damn thing, though, it's missing one eye. I just can’t bring myself to throw it away.
“Okay, Dad, I’m just packing up the rest of my things.” I had one backpack that I was allowed to bring with me, so I made the most out of the space I was given.
Family photos and trinkets of yesterday, all had to be left behind. I cried my eyes out, but I did manage to sneak one photograph of mom and I, on my first day of school.
“Hurry up, Rabbit, it will be midnight soon.”
“I’m coming, Dad; I just need to grab my hoodie.” Dad wanted to leave while it was still dark, and while most of our neighbors were still asleep.
Dad knew that it was in our best interest to go out alone, and without anyone knowing our whereabouts.
It was just too risky to tell anyone, because we needed to take care of ourselves, and we had no resources for tagalongs. Dad grabbed a flashlight, and tossed another one at me.
“We need to go, Rabbit.”
“Okay, I’m ready,” I said.
Dad pulled out a pistol from his waistband and handed it to me. “Do you remember how to use this?”
“Yeah, I think so.”
“The safety is on, so be careful,” Dad said, “and if someone comes at you, then point, and pull the trigger.”
We walked outside, the autumn night breeze whipped through my hair, and sent shivers down my spine.
It was eerily quiet as we walked, the crunching of rocks and debris beneath our feet being the only sound.
“So… where are we going exactly?” I said.
“We are going to walk through the night, and keep off the main roads, hopefully, try to make it to the mountains by dawn.”
It didn’t seem like much of a plan to me, but I trusted my father, enough to let him lead the way.
I wondered if anyone else had the same idea as us, and were already set up in their little camps, with their fire pits,and tents scattered about like a small village.
I felt kind of badass, as I walked with the gun in my hand. It gave me the upper hand on any asshole that was willing to try and do something stupid.
I only fired the gun a few times before, when Dad showed me how to hunt for squirrels. That’s when I still saw them, but I haven’t seen one in long time.
“Don’t fuckin' move.”
Dad and I stopped dead in our tracks, and slowly turned around, witnessing five men, standing before us, their guns aimed at our heads.
All of them were dressed in black, and wearing deformed clown masks, like trick or treaters on Halloween night.
The clown with the Gene Simmons tongue, dangling down to his chin, and long dark hair, seemed to be in charge, and ordered the other men to surround us.
They took our weapons, which we handed over freely, and then ordered us to the ground.
“Stay calm, Rabbit,” Dad whispered to me, our faces pressed against the ground.
The leader knelt down next to me, and pushed my hair away from my face. “Pretty young thing this one is,” he said in a gravelly voice.
“Don’t you dare touch her,” Dad shouted. One of the clowns who was quite pudgy, approached, and pressed his black boot down onto my father’s face, as he winced in pain.
“Please… don’t hurt him,” I said.
“Hurt him?” the leader said, “We aren’t going to hurt him, love--we are going to eat him.”
The other clowns just giggled, as fear came over like a wave on my father's face.
“But… don’t you worry, dear; we aren’t going to eat you. We have other plans for you. TO BE CONTINUED...