Nov 18, 2010


Wendy thought she was the last person left on earth, but after today, she would only wish that were the case.
After the day everyone disappeared, she continued living in her tiny, efficiency apartment. It was familiar, and it was her place.

There were clothes and piles of books on the floor. Her bed doubled as a couch, and her nightstand was a milk crate.

She didn’t consider it looting when she went foraging for supplies at the empty stores in town. No one else was using any of it, and besides, it would otherwise go to waste.

Her apartment was in a house which had once been a single family home, but was now split into two apartments. The downstairs had a front porch, and she spent at least a few hours every day sitting on the porch and listening.

She would strain to hear the sound of a vehicle or voices. Her stereo was never on, despite the generator she had for electricity. She was afraid the music would drown out any sounds made by other people.

Sometimes she turned on her small portable radio and scanned for a station, but they were all quiet now.

Wendy had always enjoyed solitude, but she found herself growing restless and longing for human companionship.

She was perusing the canned fruit at a local grocery store when she heard their voices.

When she hurried outside, she came across half a dozen young men dressed in similar gray clothing. They all had rifles.

“Hi,” she said, tentatively, as all of their eyes fell upon her.

“Why don’t you come with us?” said one of them. She realized it was not a question.

She was afraid to argue with them, or to resist. She allowed them to lead her to a shabby van parked nearby, and she got in the van without protest.

By the time they reached camp it was dusk. She was definitely not the last person left on earth, as this camp was bustling with at least 50 people.

Her captors brought her to another group of young men dressed in all black. She had noticed that her captors, and many of the people at the camp, had a “Z” branded on their left hand.

This new group seemed to be the ones in charge.

“I think Nicholai could use some company tonight,” someone said. She was grabbed by the arm and taken to a young man working on a bottle of vodka. She supposed this was Nicholai.

He hadn’t said anything so far, but something in his expression disturbed her. There was emptiness in his eyes that made her want to shrink away, but she tried not to show it.

“Sit on his lap,” said the young man who had suggested this pairing. Perhaps he was the leader, she thought.

She sat in Nicholai’s lap. He did nothing to either encourage or dissuade her.

He was not a large man. Probably slightly below average in height, muscular but not bulky, and with close cropped light brown hair. She noticed the “Z” branded on his left hand when he lifted the vodka bottle to take another swig.

The rest of the young men drifted away, but she remained perched uneasily on Nicholai’s lap.

“My leg is falling asleep,” he said, finally.

“Oh,” she said. “Do you want me to get up?”

“Yes,” he said.

He gestured for her to follow him, and he led her to a small campfire, where he sat down on a rock, vodka bottle still in hand. She sat down on the rock next to him and he offered her the vodka bottle. She took a swig hoping it would ease some of her fear.

Not saying a word, he just sat there staring into the fire and drinking. She wanted to ask him what the hell was going on, what he intended to do with her, and what kind of insane cult was this; but she was afraid that any of these questions would make things worse for her,  so she kept silent.

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