Last year the world blew out.
I was looking forward to my Sweet Sixteen, to my first car, to my first real kiss, to getting my braces off. Well, I got those off at least. I'd just come back home from the orthodontist and was walking up to the front door of the house when the sirens started going off. You see, in this part of Texas we have a lot of tornadoes so sirens are everywhere. Our neighbor, Mr. Dunston, saw me and told me to come into the shelter he had under his house. His wife died last year and he had a heart attack from the stress so he's on disability and always at home.
Mr. Dunston and Mrs. Dunston were sort of like, I don't know, grandparents to me. We'd lived next door to them all my life and I felt really bad when Mrs. Dunston died of the cancer. Anyway, he told me to come over and we went into his shelter. Mr. Dunston used to work for Lockheed as an engineer and his shelter was, like, real professional. It was two entire flights of stairs down below his house, with these doors like on ships at each landing, and it was as big down below as his house was up above. I figured I'd spend an hour or so visiting with him, listening to him tell me stories about when he and Mrs. Dunston went on vacation to Paris earlier in the year and then I'd go home and catch up on Pretty Little Liars.
Then the world blew out.
Over the next couple of weeks, Mr. Dunston figured out what was going on from his amateur radio thing he had set up. It was some sort of solar flare, what Mr. Dunston called a coronal mass ejection. Normally he said it wouldn't be a big deal. Maybe some pilots would get higher than normal exposure to radiation, some satellites would get knocked offline and radio and TV broadcasts would get messed up. Oh, and really pretty Northern and Southern Lights. Only, it didn't stop and it didn't die down.
It got worse.
It blew the world out.
Everything that was electronic was messed up. Some military stuff survived because it was what Mr. Dunston called hardened, but not even much of that. Then, when things started failing, all sorts of bad things happened. Planes fell out of the sky. The electricity went out to the cities, to everywhere. Mr. Dunston said no big city was ever more than three days away from starvation and he was right. People started starving and then went looking for food. When the didn't find it, they took it from their neighbors. The water supply system failed, and so did firefighting lines and equipment. The nuclear plants shut down or, worse, didn't shut down. Everything got really, really bad. People were killing each other and everything was on fire and there was rioting and...
It was bad.
Eventually, there wasn't anyone else on the radio. At all.
We were okay, and even though I wanted, I begged Mr. Dunston to let me go out and look for Mommy and Daddy and bring them into the shelter, he never let me unlock the doors. The key to them was always around his neck. We were okay because there was water fed by an underground well Mr. Dunston had the builders tap into when they built the shelter. And there were some guns and bullets and survival gear. Even tampons, though those were in the first aid kit and we started to run low which was going to make things disgusting. And he had lots of freeze dried or bulk foods, like camping meals, and some military rations called MREs. Plenty of food. Lots and lots of beans.
I hate beans.
He also had power, electricity. I don't know how exactly, only that Mr. Dunston said there was something called a RTG which was buried way, way deeper than we were and hooked up to the shelter by wires. It made electricity somehow.
We had everything. Only...
Only Mr. Dunston died two days ago. I feel bad for putting him in the deep freeze, but I didn't know what else to do. And now I've got his key and I'm going to unlock the doors and go look for Mommy and Daddy.
This was written by Halli Elizabeth Martin, Age 16 on March 17, 2013. If you're reading this, don't open the next to the last deep freeze. That's where Mr. Dunston is. You can have all the beans you want though.
Thus begins the journey of a young girl into a post-apocalyptic world. I'm looking for a writing partner to play a character with me on the journey. Age, sex, motivation are all up to you so long as it's in line with both of our Ons & Offs. If you're interested, talk to me and let's see what we might write together. I've left a lot of details about the state of the world vague on purpose so as to not lock us into hard to maneuver around specifics.