Woke up on top of a hill, mid-day. I surveyed the surrounding landscape, but couldn’t make out any distinguishing features or signs of civilization. All I saw was my breath from the cold and trees and hills and more trees.
I was a little disoriented and had to reteach myself how to move. Running and crouching had never felt so unintuitive.
I made my way down a steep hill in the direction I awoke. Southwest? If I read the sun’s positioning correctly. At the bottom of the hill I thought I had made out some building’s in the distance, but it was merely wishful thinking and my newly acquired near sightedness. The greys and browns of Chernarus start to muddle together after awhile. Hell came to earth and it ended up looking like post-Soviet Russia.
I eventually come upon a small wooden tower and daydream about finding a loaded rifle propped up against the paneling, an unopened can of food near the stock.
There was nothing there but a view and a place to nap.
When I woke I swore I heard the grumbling of one those things behind me. Zombies? Zeds? Walkers? The undead? We had devised so many names for them, but each label seemed silly and inaccurate, deflated by pop-culture.
My body kept telling me it was hungry. I get it, but what am I supposed to do? There’s no map and nothing is edible in this forest. Not that I know of anyway. Once I thought I saw a deer, but again it was fantasy mixed with blurry eyesight. Post-apocalyptic mirage. Even if it was a deer, I didn’t have any weapons to take care of it. I doubt punching it to death would be a viable tactic.
From the tower, I wandered in a direction, intuition and desperation my compass. Soon after, I found a house! What a great moment. Then the reality hit me that the house may not be empty. I figured I might was well take my chances considering that I was and still am starving.
I slowly crept through the house, making sure to close any door I opened. I searched the whole interior as carefully as possible. I found a fuckin tomato. One rotten tomato. At this point, I’m unsure how much longer I can go without food. I’m certain that I will get sick, but is a little food poisoning better than starving to death? I ate the stupid, gross tomato.
I find a small concrete shed outside the house, but the door is sealed shut. There’s a road running along side it. Roads mean industrialized society, but roads also mean people. I decided to stick close enough to the path that I could use it as a map and still not be easily spotted.
There’s a weird taste in my mouth and I start to feel sick. That damn tomato finally came back for me. My vision got blurry and my once brown skin turned white. The world has imploded, raiders run rampant, murdering without remorse and a virus that turns you into a mindless cannibal plagues mankind. And here I am, about to die because of a squishy red fruit.
I walked into a clearing, revealing in the horizon a full blown town. The houses and multistory buildings dotting the distance brought me relief and panic. My isolation would certainly end in this town. I looked as far as I can for movement. Nothing. I ran through the empty fields to segmented tree canopies, crouching down to catch my breath between cover. I swear I heard an inhuman screech that sounded unlike those the birds periodically let out. I swiveled in panic, trying to match a sight with the sound. Nothing.
A few rural homes bordered the intimidating apartment complexes, or offices? I didn’t get close enough to make sure. I decided to ransack the houses first in hopes of finding some food and a weapon before making my way into what has to be more dangerous territory.
I crouch-walked my way over to the first house and crept inside. I found a green beanie in perfect condition and pair of handcuffs next to a chair. I heard the rattling of a chain link fence a few times while scrounging the home. All the surrounding fences are made of wood. I found no food or water. The next spot was short sprint away, so I tried my luck there.
I found a rotten apple and threw it into my inventory. I thought it may be my only option. There was a large rifle scope on a metal shelf, but I had to get rid of something to carry it with me. After considering the drama the tomato caused I rid myself of the apple, making room for the scope. In the den I found a torn up black jacket. It fit. I’m both hungry and thirsty, and it has become apparent that if I don’t find food and water soon I will die. But hey, at least the cold won’t kill me.
On top of a chair in the same room I found a copy of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women. I had read the text in community college and found it funny that I’d run into the book now. Does gender even matter here? Probably in scarier ways than I’d like to admit. Well, Mrs. Wollstonecraft it doesn’t look like either we or the men are getting an education now. I tucked the book under my jacket (it’s not like I can watch Netflix). I figured it would be good for my mind to own something of abstract and sentimental value. I sauntered upstairs, peeked out through the window, and laid down for the night. I smiled at the fact that a book of outdated feminism was now my most prized possession.
End of Day 1
1. Flashlight, pristine condition.
2. Black jacket, badly damaged.
3. Green Beanie, pristine condition.
4. Large scope, pristine condition.
5. Handcuffs, pristine condition.
6. A Vindication of the Rights of Women, worn.
1. Rotten Apple
2. Alkaline Battery 9V (may have been dropped or placed in my flashlight).