Chapter 1:Living in the past

Chapter 1:Living in the past

A Chapter by Craig
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Everyone was told to forget the Great War. Not everyone has. We are called the Remembers

"

Little Brother,

A couple of the soldiers and me played a game yesterday that you would have fun playing. One of the men had this white ball with red stripes on it. He picked up a wooden stick from the rubble. Then we picked out spots for the bases. A light post that was broken in half was first base, a broken down car with only three wheels was second base and a large metal crate was third. We brushed off a large piece of the street to be home plate.

 

Someone would throw the ball at the “batter” that swung the stick at the ball while standing at home plate. After you hit the ball you run to every base before touching the home plate and scored run. We played until I hit one so far it got lost in a blown-out building. We called it a homerun. I will teach it to you when I come home.

 

They say we are the last line of defense to stopping this war. I promise you Ahlon I will not let these armies reach the shores. There is no more order among the civilians here, just war and violence. I promise that I won’t let this world attack you. I will always defend you and my family from what I have seen.

 

No matter what happens we can never forget the lessons of this war. We won’t have another opportunity to learn them again. All of the memories from this war have to teach us just how precious life is, how precious our world is, how precious love is. Without these memories everything is lost.

 

Your brother, Joseph

 

               I turned off my data-journal after reading the final email from Joseph my brother. The glow of the monitor was no longer a nightlight keeping me up. For the rest of the night I am left with only my dreams of everything I have lost. My family, my friends, school, and everything that was part of my life for only a short time. The war did come to our shores, a war that everyone wanted to forget. That is what someone forced everyone to do was to forget the last World War. It is called the Great Blackout. For a seventy-two hour period everyone in all of the evacuation centers were put to sleep and their memories of everything that had had happened was erased. With the bad memories the good must go too. Everyone lost themselves. Not me though, I didn’t go to sleep. They never found me. I am a Rememberer.

 

 

 

               “Ahlon!” He heard his name interrupting his sleep. It sounded like it was getting louder as he slowly opened his eyes sounding like it was coming out of the distance, but Luke was right next to his ear standing on a ladder of stacked chairs that made him wiggle until it collapsed.

               “What?”

               “Erasers.”

               “I thought Sage said we would be safe here?” Ahlon kicked his feet over the side of the bed and dropped to floor.  He always repacked his backpack every night before he went to sleep. Luke was still packing his small faded blue duffle.

               “We have to get out of this city.” said Luke.

               “The City is where we can still get food, drink, and…”

               “Where is Jesse?” Sage a tall English gentleman shouted from behind me, “That has got to be how they found us!”

               “You think he told them where we are hiding?” Ahlon asks. He took a lantern off a nail in the wall of the collapsed building they were staying in, “How high up did he have to go to find food?”

               “Maybe beyond the first level.” Said Sage, “If it was him I am sure he didn’t do it willingly.”

               Ahlon heard the shouting getting closer. He turned the lamp off and they became part of the Dark-bottoms. All three of them were wearing black and grays to camouflage with the destruction, debris and darkness. The mega-tropolis is stacked on top of the original twentieth century ruins. It was unusual for Erasers to go this deep unless someone had a surefire tip that there were rememberers hiding in the ruins. The voices were coming from a radio unit, “We are going to have to make a run for it.” Do both of you remember where we saw the lady’s figure in the green circle.”

               “I remember what the place smelled like. It smelled like my home in the mornings use to.” said Luke.

               “We will split up and meet back there.” Said Sage.

               We all stood another three seconds in the darkness. As we heard the men come to the door that was just a few feet from us, “You can make this easy and give yourselves up or we will have to come in there!”

               They could hear each other breathing and they knew that men on the other side of the door had all sorts of equipment to assure them that they were there. All three of them counted the remaining seconds in their head. The door broke down and like mice running from the lights they split in different directions. Sage went out the fire escape. He was the biggest of the three of them limiting his escape routes to windows and doorways. Ahlon was taller than Luke, but not by much he ran over to a vent that they uncovered the moment they had moved in to make sure that it could be an escape chute. Luke could go through any nook, crack, or hole in the wall. His small size helped him wiggly through the smallest of cracks.

               I am going to go after the tall one!” Was the last thing Ahlon heard as he looked at the three dark confused figures with oxygen mask and miner-lights on their heads. He could hear their tranquilizer darts fire out from the guns and hit the wall over his head. The vent was cramp and went straight down till it curled at the bottom just above the furnace. There he came to the exit he kicked out the mesh closure and crawled out on to the cement floor of the moldy smelling basement. A light was at the stairway, but there was a reason why he hadn’t take the stairs. He could hear the creaking warning him of the eraser that was chasing him. Each creak was a weakening warning of the structure that gave way. He heard it crash and the light went off, but Ahlon didn’t go over and make sure if the man had been crushed he sprinted for the double barn doors at the top of a stairway that led to the streets.

               The Dark-bottoms were underneath the smooth streets of the first level of New-Seattle. That is what they called it. Everyone on the surface just knew of it as the first level where the factories and utilities were built to send energy, recycling, and other needs for the remaining fourteen levels of the city. The Dark-bottoms were familiar to Ahlon, but only as a war zone. He had watched the men march on the pavement with the tanks and helicopters behind them to fight back the armies of the enemy that had landed on the shores of the United States. He could still look at the ruins and see them towering over him. As the military vehicles moved slowly through the winding streets they shook under the vibrations and every weakness was shaking in their structures. Then came the evacuation orders and the chaos of people leaving in droves. He didn’t want to leave, he so badly wanted to see Joseph his brother. The last email he had sent was about the coming US invasion and how he would soon come and protect Ahlon from it. He never came and the city was destroyed in explosions and blood. There is little life on the dark streets now. Animals that lived here either died of radiation or starvation. Instead of cleaning up the destruction and dumping it somewhere they decided to bury it. That was after the Great Blackout and the Time of Forgetfulness.

               Ahlon didn’t stop running until he felt his legs become weak and he couldn’t keep going any longer. He tripped over a large piece of pavement that stuck out like a hand. Looking back he couldn’t see the eraser that had chosen to chase after him. Maybe he was crushed by the stairs, or he got lost. He knew he would not forget. They never forget. The four of them had never gone back to a hiding place because of them. They didn’t have a permanent place where they could live and they traveled light. Ahlon’s slim data-journal has plenty of information about the Great War still in its hard drive. He didn’t go back and read any of it. All Ahlon ever did was read his brother’s emails until he fell asleep. Sometimes he feel a tear go down his cheek that’s when he whish an eraser would come and wipe the memories away and he could start over again like everyone else has. His lungs were burning, his breath was so weak that he was sipping in the stench air. Looking to his left he saw their meeting place. It was one of the few places they found water in. “Luke!” shouted Ahlon as soon as he saw him, “Sage isn’t here yet?”

               Luke just shook his small head quietly in response. He never did say much especially when he knew danger was near. Ahlon went over to the small tap that was at the bottom of a silver canister and flipped it open and the water ran out on to the floor. Luke took one of the cups off a floor and ran over and put it under the running water. Ahlon took the small thermos from his backpack out and refilled it. He took a few sips to douse the burn in his lungs and felt his heavy breathing return to normal. Sage came running in through the door looking worse than either one of them.

               His clothes were covered in the soot and dirt of the street. His face had black stains on it from someone scraping at his skin. He put a gun on the table that made both Ahlon and Luke jump. There was still blood around the grip, “Now when they shoot at us we can shoot back!”

               “It looks heavy.” Said Ahlon looking up at Sage. Luke’s eyes were wide and focused on the gun. He was dissecting, taking it apart in his head piece by piece, “It will slow us down.”

               Sage was looking back at him with a crazy stare in his eyes. Sage put his hands under the running water and washed the grime, blood, and violence from them. Then he splashed the water against his face, gritting his teeth he felt the sting from the wetness getting inside a scratch under his eye.

               “I will carry it.” Sage said between his teeth.

               Luke slowly reached for it. One his fingers almost touched it when Ahlon shouted, “Don’t!”

               Sage’s eyes looked down at him with narrow eyes. Smiling at the same time opposing Ahlon with a vile acceptance, “Go ahead Luke pick it up.”

               “NO!” Ahlon swung his arm at the gun. The gun flew across the room hitting the counter in the center, crashing to the floor. No harm was done to its thick metal shell.

               Sage put himself between the gun and Ahlon, “I don’t know why I even care about you two!” he reached down slowly to pick it up and then felt Ahlon push him over, “Look you little…”

               Ahlon backed up slowly with his hands up, Luke was sitting frozen to his chair, “You don’t have to stay!”

               “You shouldn’t stay here anymore either.” he said standing back up. Ahlon saw why he had knocked him over so easily. He could see a dark spot around his left knee. He could tell by the way he stood that he was putting more weight on his right leg. He put the gun back down by his side.

               “I am not leaving without her.”

               “Ahlon she doesn’t even remember who you are!”  

               Ahlon knew both Sage and Luke were right they were going to have to leave Seattle.

 It was too dangerous for them to stay. There were no more places to hide. Looking at Sage

 again, Ahlon saw the same face he remembered seeing on the soldiers that came during

 the evacuation. They held their guns in their fists ready to fire. They built up barricades

 and took people from their homes with force when they refused to leave. Then the enemy

 attacked and while he ran with his father holding his hand tightly. He looked back and

 saw men fall to the bullets being fired. Following the bullets were even louder explosions

 that came from the tanks and the large cannons. His father and he got in the back of a

 large truck with the rest of the people being evacuated. He hated the soldiers that had

 taken Joseph away from him. He hated them for forcing him to leave his home and leave

 his friends behind. He hated that gun and anyone who held it. 


© 2010 Craig


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Added on October 27, 2010
Last Updated on October 27, 2010
Tags: dystopia, young adult, war, action adventure, science fiction, romance


Author

Craig
Craig

Columbus, OH



Writing
The Remembers The Remembers

A Book by Craig