Strive to Live

Strive to Live

A Story by xNumb

This was written as an essay back in 7th grade... it's dated lol but I still like it. It inspired a novel I have written (... handwritten ;w; it's gonna take decades to type d****t)

  On August 21, 2020, WWIII began, taking the lives of millions.
            On July 7, 2023, the world ceased to exist.
            Although I had been roaring down the highway at top speed, there was no denying that the car was now doing the exact opposite; it was decelerating.
            "No," I muttered, shaking my head. "No. Not here."
            I pushed harder on the gas pedal, but that achieved little; in response, the engine groaned loudly and still the car continued to decelerate.
            "No!" I shouted, panicking. "Come on, not here!" Needless to say, the car did not go any faster. "No no no no no no no no NO!"
            I swore loudly and rested my head on the steering wheel as the car ceased its mighty roar. "Crap," I muttered. I allowed myself a iny glance at the dashboard. The little red needle was pointed on E. "You little devil," I murmured, swearing. Why in all the bloody places on Earth did my car have to break down here? HERE?! Why, for God's sake? Why couldn't it have broken down in Super Happy Funland or something?
            Of course I knew the answer to that. There was no Super Happy Funland, nor would there ever be, except in death, and only in death would I find freedom from this barren wasteland.
            In front of me lie mostly dilapidated buildings, houses that had been reduced to mere rubble. In retrospect, I actually find that this is a good thing. Now they couldn't hide from me. The crumbled buildings would force them out into the open and I would be able to see them coming. However, if the buildings were intact... they could be watching me right now, and I wouldn't even know it. So, presumably, if I stayed away from the few buildings that remained structurally intact, everything should be peachy-freaking-keen, right? Wrongo. You see, living in post-apocalyptic America is very complicated, because you wanted to stay away from the houses, because there's no telling what could be hiding in them,but where were you supposed to get food? There certainly wasn't any vegetation here. This soil is so contaminated, an earthworm wouldn't eat it. There is no green on America.There are no trees, there are no flowers, there is no grass, there aren't even any weeds. I used to hate weeds. They grew like a plague in my backyard, and Momma, with her crazy notions that weeds were going to completely take over her garden, nay, the entire world, forced me to pick them out under the hot summer sun. I hated picking weeds. It was boring and it made my hands hurt. But now I wish I had a forest of weeds. On one occasion, when I was out in what used to be the country hills of California, I saw just one, lone little weed sprouting through the hard cracked soil of the Earth, and in a way, it symbolized me; here it was, all alone, daring to grow in this world it shouldn't be able to grow in,striving, thriving, living. I cried when I saw it, and prayed that it this one, lone weed be turned to a forest, a wood, even just a solitary tree. That was the only type of plant I ever saw, sadly, and if I went back, the weed would probably be gone too.
            I digress. The point is, there were hardly any food sources left. A lack of plants meant a lack of the herbivorous animals that ate them, which ultimately lead to a lack of the carnivorous animals as well. So, with no vegetation to eat and the food chain all out of whack, what was I to eat? Leftover preserves from pre-apocalyptic America. And where by any chance did I find those? In the few buildings that  remained intact, of course. So let's see where I'm going with this; I wanted to stay away from the houses to stay away from them, but I also wanted to live, and in order to live, I needed to eat, and in order I needed to enter the buildings I wanted to stay away from and ultimately encounter them, the people I must always avoid. See my dilemma?
            The day the missiles hit, the day I call The Day of the Damned, All civilization ended. Billions died. In retrospect, I guess they were the lucky ones. Those who survived suffered severe radiation poisoning from the nuclear fall-out, and mutated until absolutely nothing human was left. Just a hollow shell, and blank, lifeless eyes shining with blood-lust. That's who they are. The un-human creatures that haunt my every wake. It was best to stay away from them. Which is why I stay away from the intact buildings, if I can help it. And that's where the foreboding set in. While most of the buildings had been reduced to mere ash and rubble, the fact still stood that many of them weren't, and I was in the heart of the city. The presence of the people I must avoid was strong here. I could feel them peering at me through the  windows of the intact buildings. This did not bode well with me. Fear filled my senses. If I lingered here... 
            I grimaced as harsh images filled my head. No, I must not succomb to fear! I had to keep moving. Slowly, I exited the car. So far, so good. Then I put one foot forward, then the next; suddenly I was on some kind of crazed power-walk. I watched my surroundings carefully, looking for anything peculiar. No sign of movement. Good, maybe they weren't hostile here. I began to jog, feeling confident, when suddenly I heard the slam of a door and frantic footsteps coming straight behind me! I could hear its breath, crazed and evil, as if from some kind of demonic entity. I had no alternative-- I must enter one of the buildings to escape! 
            I could then feel it breathing down my back. It made pitiful raspy sounds as it breathed, labored, the sounds of a madman. I closed my eyes, waiting for the end. Must escape... must escape...
            The creature made one last swipe at me, impossibly long nails grazing my back, and then I burst through the door of the house and slammed it shut before my unwanted guest could enter. I heard a shrill scream, and then the footsteps thundered away.
            I had lived to fight another day.
            Then I heard movement from upstairs...

© 2013 xNumb

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Added on March 14, 2013
Last Updated on March 14, 2013
Tags: scifi, fantasy, post-apocalyptic



Bucyrus, OH

Hello! I'm just a sixteen year old boy who just wants to share my work. I love nearly everything, and keep an open mind to anything, and will not discriminate against race, sex, or sexual orientation... more..

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