Harsh wind swept over the barren city that was in ruins. Everything that had once been growing and alive was now frozen ash. Most of the people were dead or locked away in destroyed fallout shelters. Glancing up at the sky, I noticed only the faint glimmer of the now useless sun. For once, there really was no hope...
When you think of an apocalypse, you usually just make jokes about it. Too bad this one was as real as getting hit by a car; it comes out of nowhere and seems like a dream until the cold reality hits you in the chest like a rock. The government's "great" idea for nuclear winter backfired big time. So now it's just me and a few other "lucky" survivors.
"Adrienne!" I whipped around at the sound of the muffled voice. Michael, the only apparent survivor from my town, gazed at me, a vacant expression on his face.
"What now?" I asked, hoping that it wasn't more bad news.
"Nothing that you're gonna wanna hear." He muttered, the words being somewhat blurred through his gas mask. "Let's just say that the fallout shelter might have some...problems."
I sighed and tugged at the itchy collar of my puffy winter jacket. Besides for the fact that the whole planet was nuked, it was also frozen!
"You guessed zombies, I guessed major storms, looks like we were both wrong." I mumbled sarcastically, annoyed at myself for not preparing for this.
"Gotta start somewhere, right?" Michael pointed toward the city's rundown high school.
I rolled my eyes, "And so begins the end."
☣ ☣ ☣
Frozen piles of ash lay strewn down the halls of the school. The once-used lockers were now scorched and smashed in. I walked to the doorway of one of the classrooms and peered in. The whole place was a wreck; tables and chairs were scattered everywhere and jagged shards of glass from the windows were gouged deep into the walls and ceiling. On the ground in the middle of a pile of soot lay a half-burned piece of paper. I slowly reached my gloved hand out to pick it up, attempting not to rip it. I turned it over to read what was typed on the other side: NOW IS THE END. IF ANY OTHER SURVIVOR FINDS THIS, KNOW THAT THERE ARE OTHERS OUT THERE. IF YOU NEED A TEAM, FIND ME HERE ➔ (22, 38). SIGNED: "ACE" SAINT.
"Mike! Check this out!" I called out, hoping he had heard me.
"Huh? What happened?" Michael muttered from the doorway.
With the piece of paper gently grasped in my hand, I walked over to Mike and held the note out to him. "Read what's on the other side."
He smirked and took the paper from me, flipping it over to the side with the confusing message. I watched as his eyes widened as he read it.
"More survivors? I thought most of our city was dead!" Although he was trying to be calm, the tone in his voice hinted at his hidden anxiety.
"I'm not sure how old the note is, but with any luck, whoever wrote this is still alive. The part I don't get though, are the numbers "(22, 38)" what does that mean?" I questioned my own hopefulness. It's definitely not an address. If only this whole damn thing would all be so much easier. I thought to myself, not ready to face the rest of the world.
"Coordinates!" Mike blurted out, and then ran out of the room and down the hall.
"Hey! Where are you going?" I yelled at him and began running after him.
"The computer lab!"
"But we have no internet, and we lost power long ago!"
"The computers run off of the generator, and I think I can accesses the map that's stored on their hard drives." He called back to me. Yeah, he has no clue what he's doing. I thought.
What ever part of the school we were in now was nearly pitch black, illuminated only by my dying flashlight. It was nice being able to see some of what was around me, but at the same time I feared that I would come across something that I wouldn't be able to erase from my mind.
I flipped the flashlight over and shined it at the ceiling. Shattered lights reflected the dim glow from my flashlight and bounced them off the walls. Wires from the intercom system had been cut and ripped out from the speakers. Someone had been here then! I pointed the light down on the floor and noticed some frozen footprints. I was about to call Michael over, but realized he had disappeared to some other part of the school. Great, now my survival partner was gone, and he left me alone in the dark school.
I got up and blindly trudged through the frozen ash that covered the floor. When I reached the end of the hall, I did a three-sixty, identifying my surroundings. To my right there was a door marked with a vague yellow radiation symbol. Fallout shelter, maybe? To my left, a crushed door that led to the outside. And right in front of me...
"Don't move!" A deep voice snarled at me from behind.
I spun on my heals to face a group of survivors. One...two...three...four...five. There are five of them. And one of me...Where is Mike when I need him!