I was only part way through packing my third bag of gear, when I heard the familiar sound of feet crashing down the steps, heading to my room. That sound used to be an inviting, warm, and comforting sound, as my family was my one true love, and the only thing left in this world that seemed real to me. That, as well as many other things, has now changed. That sound now always brings a bearer of bad news, of drastic changes in the world outside my fortress of solitude. This time it was no different.
"Steve!" Ben said, in a hurried tone of voice. You could sense the slight hint of annoyance in his voice, as he was as tired of this game as I was.
"****, Ben, what now? Have they started shooting **** squirrels now?"
For the first time since our world had crashed, he actually cracked a smile. In the new world, smiles are outdated; especially one’s coming from my brother Ben, who did not even smile before the calamity.
He held onto my door post, swinging into my room from the stairwell, and then made a cartoonish jump into the middle of my room. Upon landing, he then struck a pose, mocking our beloved mayor. He declared (from his invisible parchment), "By order of the powers that be, citizens are now to gather at central square no later than 1300 hours. I also declare I am a douche bag, and have no right to **** over my own people, but I will anyways! Hail to thee, glorious men above!" His gaze, which had been staring up at my ceiling as if it were god, dropped down to me, and his serious expression turned to a disgusted smile, at how ridiculous what he just said really was.
"Gods help us, are you bloody serious, Ben?" I looked down at my watch, with its hands hanging around the twelve. "****, that only gives us an hour to get our asses out of here. That is definitely not enough time to get everything done."
We both contemplated the situation for a second, attempting to quickly brainstorm plan B’s, when the not-too-distant crack of a rifle pulled us back to reality as quickly as we had left it. We looked towards my window, leapt up onto my bed, and slowly lifted up my curtains to see if we couldn't see anything in our immediate area. Both of us sighed in relief as everything looked quiet…at least enough, for now... I really should have been used to that **** by now, as small arms fire was just about an hourly occurrence. Every so often we could even hear the terrifying echo of the far off 125mm guns of the "silence" brigade, ‘helping’ us poor and confused civilians of our once great nation. ****, you have to wonder what morons at the top come up with these titles in an attempt to trick us into believing we are being helped, no systematically being wiped out.
"I'm just going to pack a few more things, the most precious, and-" Bens tone got more sincere, quiet, cold, and fierce. “We should grab mum and dads’ things too...”
I looked over to him, and watched his solemn face, fixed on nothing in particular, in deep thought over what had projected us into the reality of this global situation.
Slapping him on the back, he looked back at me, and we both nodded as we knew what was at stake here. In long discussions in the previous days, hurriedly gone by, we had become as close as the particles that made up our bodies and souls. Being the only two Kempauski men still in control of their own lives, as far as we knew, we had a certain duty to each other, and the bloodline. Before the declarations, hasty new laws, and violence had begun, and all this "new order" **** rained down on the civilian populace, myself and Ben had had lengthy discussions on the world over many a beer. In fact, our dining room table was covered in bottles and sticky messes from our talks. Hah, what a fitting place for the future of our families' name to be decided, on the table which had brought us all together after years of worry-free life.
After shaking my head of the heavy nostalgia of only a few days gone by, I jumped off the bed, and zipped up the duffle bag I had just been packing. I picked up my overflowing rucksack and other duffle, and headed out to the truck parked snug against the back door. We had to have it this way, or else we risked being snagged by a rogue bullet which criss-crossed the area like ghosts, waiting to drink the life of some poor bastard, unlucky enough to get in its path.
Slowly sticking my head out the back door I looked down the driveway, scanning right to left, using the skills the army had taught me years before. Scanning right to left helps you notice the smaller, more detailed features of scenery, as we are so used to reading left to right. It becomes ingrained in our minds, so naturally working against that will make your mind focus and work harder. I focused on windows, looking for the shadows and silhouettes of snipers and those other bastards who want to prove their commitment to those fat **** in the ivory tower. Fortunately, everything was seemingly calm. I quickly looked at the backyard, but I figured no one would be back in the heavy brush which was entwined with razor wire. Satisfied on both fronts' situations, I placed my bags in the box of the truck, spun around, about to head upstairs to help finish our packing. To my alarm, I was greeted by a rush of wind, a punch to the gut, and what I could have sworn was a mass of pure darkness descending on me.
“I can’t believe it. I just can’t... The polls completely threw me off!” Mum was having another hissy fit, sitting in front of the television like most of us did these days.
I looked over at her, as I lay across my chair in the most uncomfortable way possible. “I’m not even surprised anymore, mum, the media just loves to screw with our minds.
In a sarcastic and deep voice I declared, “We are the news. We are the peoples’ information highway, and how else to report this information, than to completely lie for the sake of entertainment and money!”
Mum looked back at me, rolling her eyes and smiling. “Steve, you always generalise. Not all news is crap, but when it comes to elections and politics in general then yeah, anything to get the people pumped wins.”
If there was one thing good thing about politics these days, it was me and my family coming closer over our hate and disgust of the whole ordeal. Every day after work we would sit and watch politicians bitch at each other over who is better at doing this or that, and I gotta say, it’s pretty funny watching these people, acting so hard to not show they are lying about everything, using empty words to sound better. That is exactly what they do; try to sound better than the other. It didn’t matter if they meant what they said, as long as the people thought they were telling the truth, and voted them into the ivory tower. Politician must mean jackass in another language.
I yawned and looked behind myself, out the window. It was pouring down rain, just the way I liked it. Captivated by the sound and general feel of a rainy day, I almost didn’t see the squadron of helicopters soar over the house. As my eyes widened I alerted the rest of the family with a “holy ****!” A squadron of helicopters in arrowhead formation was a cool sight to see, but when those helicopters are loaded with weapons of war, it hits your stomach with that feeling of darkness and despair.
“What the hell could those things be here for?” Ben said, appearing behind me.
“I don’t know. What I do know is that we don’t have those kinds of helicopters in our army. They must be...”
Wake the **** up!