The apocalypse has arrived, but not in any manner we expected. Civilization is collapsing. The Governments of the world are missing. The smartest scientists of our generation have disappeared. Besides the piles of rodent chewed dead lining the roads, there's something foul smelling in the air.


I think we all expected it to be a global war, or a plague of epic proportions… Even an alien invasion was plausible in those days. Global warming, human greed, the rising oceans slowly creeping up on our homes and businesses, the slow death of our forests and extinction of our food sources. Maybe we would eat ourselves out of our livelihood, maybe we would have a massive Civil War, as we rebelled against the governments.

Of all the ways to go, this wasn't one of them…

I don't sleep much, but when I do, I typically oversleep.

This morning was no different, when I woke up at eleven in the morning feeling like shit, I was more disappointed than my usual self, I always feel like shit, that's not much of a change, but I had missed my morning television show by two hours; I had also just ruined my typical morning. I haven't yet found a late morning show that I find some semblance of enjoyment from as of yet, so it was onto morning routine number two. I got up and prepared my coffee and breakfast. If I moved slower than my usual efficient self, I didn't count it against myself… not today at least.

I hated plan B's.

I sat down in my collapsible chair in empty living room and sipped and ate my bland breakfast in silence. I attempted to build up a meditative state as I looked outside the front window watching the top of the trees sway in the wind, silently, peacefully.

I took a deep breath, and took a large scalding gulp of my coffee, delaying any other action for another minute.

"Onto morning routine number two"

I pulled a smart phone out from the drink holder of my chair and turned it on. I took another sip of coffee, smaller as the previous one and burned on its way down, as I waited for it to boot up. I looked out the window again while the phone dinged it's readiness. I glanced back down after another sip of coffee and ignored the missed calls notification that popped up. I swiped my thumb to the right and clicked on the messaging app I used; which I haven't looked at in over three days. Seeing the little red markers sent my heart racing into palpitations, my hands immediately began to tremble and I could feel dread spread from my head down my spine and back again. There was a number four on the red marker. There should not be a number four. I didn't speak with enough people on this app to garner four messages. My mother and father, those are the only people who messaged me on here. I took another sip of my coffee, clenched my jaw, took a deep calming breath through my nose, and quickly clicked on the icon.

I read the captions quickly without clicking on anything, I didn't want anyone to realize I had read their message just yet. Three of them where just inquirers about my health, apparently I've been too quiet this past week on the old social media website I used to use fanatically, and what remained of my, once large pool, of friends, were worried about me. I calmed my racing heart and began the tedious act of responding to the three messages.

In other words, I lied through my teeth about being a busy bee and added a smiley face and heart for good measure, I copied the text, and pasted it into the next two reply boxes.

Done.

The last message was my mother, from late last night, wondering if I had found a psychiatrist in the little town I had just moved too. I gave her the same reply I had been giving her for the past month, "Still looking mom! Love you lots! Xoxox :)" I quickly shut down my social media feed after my replies, worried she, or someone else, would suddenly come online and want to chat.

Feeling accomplished I sat in silence finishing the last couple sips of my coffee, calming my nerves. That was about as much social interaction with my old life I would force on myself today. I had done well, I replied to four messages.

I looked down at my empty coffee mug and contemplated making another. No, too much caffeine made me jittery. I sat lost and confused as to what I could do for the rest of the hour before I could switch back to routine number one and begin my exercise regime, maybe I could sit outside and read while enjoying the sunshine. I thought about it for a couple minutes before nodding to no one but myself.

I grabbed the black camp chair that I had been sitting on and one of the many books scattered in piles along the wall of the living room. I would sit outside and enjoy the sun, but I would need to do it before I could talk myself out of it.

I opened the front door, took a deep breath and stepped outside with the chair tucked under my left arm and the book in my hand. I left the door opened a crack, despite the blistering heat, and set up my chair for the next hour on the concrete pad, which separated the walkway from the dead lawn.

"Excuse me, miss?"

I looked up quickly, I hadn't been sitting here for more than five minutes when I was interrupted by the little boy who lived in the duplex next to mine. He gave me an awkward shy smile and held up a child sized soccer ball in his small hands.

"Could you play with us? We don't have enough people."

I looked behind him and saw two preschoolers and a kindergartener, all little boys with big wide eyes staring at me with all the hope in the world. I bit my bottom lip, took another breath, glanced at the cracked open door to my apartment, and nodded.

"Okay. Yeah, where do you want me?" The little boy gave a big toothy smile, he was missing his two front incisors making his grin infectious. I gave him a small smile in return.

A good five minutes into the farce we called a game of soccer, I came to the realization I was an awkward giant compared to the little boys, all of which were running circles around my imaginary goalie net and scoring wildly, and illegally. I stumbled forward, landing on my knees, as one of the preschoolers picked up the soccer ball I was about to kick and made a mad dash around me toward the net I had just previously turned my back too. The little boy surprised a laugh out of me as I turned around, watching as he tossed the ball into the empty space we called a net with all of the strength in his little preschooler arms.

"That's cheating!" Came the outraged cry of my fellow teammate, who shook his head from side to side dramatically as he raced after the now bouncing ball. I turned to look at the guilty party, but his little face was tilted up, looking at something over my left shoulder.

"Plane!" He pointed behind me, big crystal blue eyes wide in delight. I looked toward where his finger was pointed and saw the long greyish-white exhaust stream of a distant incoming plane. I turned back towards the kid and smiled softly at his widened eyes and nodded.

"Plane." I murmured in agreement as my enraged teammate tossed me the soccer ball, demanding to his fellow playmates that the score wouldn't count as it was done with hands.

"Only the goalie can pick up the ball, Alec! You can't!" He raged at the top of his lungs as only an angry child could, and stomped his foot on the grass. "Alec!"

I looked down at the distracted preschooler, whose name I had just learned, and watched as his arm slowly dropped from its raised position. He was frowning now in confusion, still staring at the distant plane in the sky, the kindergartener, who was his teammate, was also looking up in confusion.

"Planes?" They both looked over to me inquiringly, eyes shifting from my face to behind my shoulder, over and over again. I looked behind me again, a horrible feeling welling up inside of my stomach. Planes don't have greyish-white exhaust streaks behind them, jets did.

I was sitting on an old paint splattered industrial stool, a dinged up stool, which I fondly remembered stealing from my old high school during one of my drunken rampages with my friends. I giggled at the memory as I shifted my weight forward on it, listening to it squeak in familiar protest, I made it squeak again. I was in my old apartment, in Ottawa, sitting in front of a large canvas, a double zero paint brush between my fingers, paint splattered all over my body and knotted in my chaotic hair. I saw the canvas, tilting my head from side to side as I analyzed my creation, I had spent three days and nights of my life painting her, I was looking for any mistakes or imperfections. I smiled and dabbed my brush one last time over the woman's bright blue iris, she was perfect now. Beautiful.

I could taste something, minerals, earthy‒ like fresh picked potatoes or mushrooms, I moved my tongue a bit more, it was grain like in consistency. The more I moved it around my mouth, the more it stuck to my cheeks and tongue. I opened my eyes and saw grass, grass the colour of straw, and dirt, and many many slivers of wood. I frowned. I brought my arms up under my chest and pushed. I was sitting now. Why were there roof shingles on the front lawn? I looked around me.

Nothing looked right, I spat up the dark brown substance- Mud, dirt. Why was I eating dirt? I stood up, there was a high pitched ringing in my ears- tinnitus- and the world tilted rapidly to my left, like a marionette without strings I fell down. Something soft broke my fall and a perfectly positioned wooden beam kept me somewhat upright in a sitting position, thankful for the soft landing, I tried again, this time attempting to crawl over the pieces of debris toward the asphalt road. It was hard, my world kept tilting left, and the insistent ringing in my ears wouldn't stop. Eventually, after struggling and much swearing, I made it over the rubble and just sat down in the middle of the road.

Sitting was too much work, I lay down on the asphalt.

My butt was wet.

I closed my eyes and brushed my hand down my inner thigh, dry. Okay, so it wasn't me, was it the ground? Was the ground wet? I opened my eyes and rolled my head to look down my left side, there was brownish red all over my favourite yoga pants. Damn, I spilled paint on myself again, this is why I chose to paint naked, no mess. I closed my eyes and held back the tears of frustration at the cost.

What a waste of good paint.


AUTHORS NOTE:

Where I am attempting to achieve:

This is a major work in progress, I have most of this story planned out and expect it to be well over 30 chapters (long chapters, not short like this one) and possibly a second 'book' in the works. I will probably be going back and making small edits here and there in the future. I want this to be a strong world build, as those have always been my favourite books to read. It will have a lot of disturbing imagery! This is an apocalypse and post apocalypse world, there will be some less than civilized people wandering around.

Chapters will be uploaded as I write them (and when my friend finishes reviewing them), this may be once a month or every two weeks, depending on how much time I have to write.

Warnings for you, the reader:

If you have any triggers please tread carefully or turn around and find another story. Things you can expect in this story are, but not limited too: mentions of rape (male and female), death, torture, cannibalism, racism, radical church groups (not all groups but there will be one or two popping up), cults, and human trafficking among other things.

On a brighter note:

Please critique! If you have any recommendations for this world I would love to hear them! I have most of it planned, but sometimes the details escape me. If you see any mistakes, spelling, grammar, or an error in my description send me a line or two!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! I hope you enjoy this story as much as I have enjoyed planning and writing it.