It was one of those apocalyptic dreams, where the world has forced people into hiding. this time was the same. We were hiding from something I only knew as Them. They were… I don’t know, they never appeared in the dream, but They had changed our entire lifestyle. They could fly and they had wing. I don’t remember shape, but like shadows of demons. I knew They were afraid of the dark, so we adapted to like it, to live and move in it. It was safer than going out in the daylight, though we did it now and then to get the sunlight. But in constant fear. There was fear for Them, which was very real.
I was a sidekick this time and saw it all from aside. I was older teen, not older than 19 and I had long straight black hair and doll eyes.
We were survivals from what I knew took place 2-3 years before. What it was – I don’t know, but I knew I was one of the survivors and that humans were hard to find nowadays. We were hunted like pray, taken from the street as if snapping rats from the grass. Our group was quite big, about 50 people. It had adults and children in it, very few elderly.
We now lived in an old L-shaped school house. The windows were covered with tent materials used in 1970s and 80s, because this was one of the few things that didn’t let the light through. The classes had been empted and used like apartments for “families”. We tried to keep the real families together, but the “family” I talk about was much bigger, up to 10-15 people of any age. Most corners and wall sides were covered in different humps of materials and dry food we could scavenge. That was what our primary food source was now. The more people died, the more we could find. We grew fresh herbs, too, but we couldn’t grow anything too big. Fresh food was eaten on the same day it was harvested. We didn’t have ways to keep it fresh. When we did get any, we divided it between everyone and sometimes it was just a handful of till or green onions, but it was more than other days. We didn’t have much room though we had entire school house in our demand, so we storage our personal items and food divided to us in two plastic boxes you could fit under your bed. If you only had mattresses, you kept them at your feet. No one took another’s boxes, it was taboo. We didn’t argue over what was divided for us by the leader, because it was hard times and we all understood it. Weird time to teach us equality – we knew that outside it was gang law, that’s why we didn’t want it here. We didn’t use the doors, but corridors and sewage system under the school to avoid being discovered. Some of our exits were close to half a mile away under other houses and they were heavily guarded. Security was strong. We didn’t research Them, our only aim there was to kill them, survive and avoid being discovered. That was it. We assumed there were others out there trying to study them, we did not do that. I remembered that from the girl’s head I was in.
The leader was my brother. He didn’t look like me, but I knew he was my older brother, by a year or two. He was at my size, shoulder length light hair and often wore his long brown hiding suit. Our fashion colors were dirt colors or brown, anything that helped us melt into shadows. It wasn’t his choice to become the leader, but somehow he did.
I got flash image in my memory of walking on the street, hearing something from the side and quietly pushing myself between garbage cans, into the shadows and lowering myself quietly before whatever it was turned and looked at my direction. I felt serious terror at that moment.
It was nighttime again and we had our small lights on. It was the only light we had right now, except the oil lamp on my brother’s desk, which was situated in the middle ground of the L-shape. He used that table to run troops.
Our team was returning from the scavenging hunt. Others had gathered in the corridors and it was strange, excited vibration. They didn’t talk much, but the murmuring was oddly shocking. We didn’t know what to take of this, until I suddenly heard muffled arguing from brother’s desk and child’s yelping.
I immediately hastened my steps, because I wanted to see the child. It had been long since I heard babies.
I got there right at time to witness how a woman, not older than me, red curly hairstyle, begging my brother to keep her and the two little children there and not send them away. She was wearing long coat covered with moss and grass, so I assumed she was from country regions. The baby and child had the same style camouflage.
“No!” said my brother. “You can’t stay here!” He sounded upset, but kept firm on his word.
“Please! I can’t leave him, he’s my brother!”
“I’m sorry, the baby can’t stay. He is too young, if he starts crying, we’ll all be in danger!”
It was hot in there and felt the uncomforting sensation around us. She adjusted the babe on her hand and I could feel her heart pounding hard, but she didn’t say anything else. The babe had started crying, silently, and she cleaned the tears away, releasing her own tears that washed away her dirt.
Suddenly my brother turned, searched something from the dark and then handed her three small mobile phones. We used the GPS on them to track our own people. We didn’t call on them, because the electricity was scars, but it was enough to track the GPS.
“There’s at least 3 minutes left on each,” he said. She took them and nodded, smiling him to assure he was doing the right thing, even though this meant she had to go on the street again, two hours before sunrise and find another place for them to stay. This was touch, even when being alone.
Then they went, guarded out by two of our guards. My brother watched them go and I knew he was really upset. We knew this kind of decisions had to be made and we had forgiven him in advance, but I could see from aside that this was the one time he would never forgive himself.
I put my heavy bags down and went to him after others had returned in their classes, but he pushed my hug away. He was panting. He pushed his hands up suddenly, backed out in the director’s office that was small and entirely in his demand (he was dealing so much with us that it seemed fair for him to get some lone time while he slept) and said he needed to be alone right now. I wasn’t even finished with nodding, when he had already closed the door.
It all took place in utter darkness lit by our small lamps.
I think few days passed then, because everything had turned to normal and the next scene I saw was us preparing for a party. We had them now and then. I was with my “family”, dressing in small black dress, brushing my hair, putting make-up on. It was really strange, like a camp – I was sleeping on mattresses and on my two plastic boxes I had my make-up supplies and small mirror.
Then the scene changed and I was in the upper corridors. It was all dark and we were dancing with lamps in our hand. The music was audible, but not very loud and we were dancing all smashed into each other. Suddenly I felt the boy on my right stop and I looked at him. Then I saw the light from the window and I also froze. Someone had removed the covers and it was early sunrise! It took mere seconds for everybody to stop and we all watched now, mesmerized, the sunrise. It had been long since we last saw it and it was magical. But only until we saw the first beams. Then horror kicked in and while some run into hiding in the darkened corridors, we tried to do as fast as we could and pull the curtains up again. We knew that even if we hid and left the windows uncovered, even if the corridors were empty by the time they arrived, they’d know that something was different and we’d still be found out. Weird is, we didn’t care, who had done the trick, our only concern was to have the windows covered again.
When I returned in the midsection again, I saw my brother standing against the wall next to the windows and peeking out between small split he had pulled between the covers. He often did it, but I don’t know what scared me this time, when I saw it. I felt like he wasn’t careful enough right now or that thinking on that girl had made him mindless. He noticed me then and came away from the window. I breathed out and went towards my “family” class.
I knew that it couldn’t be much longer after that, because I had just fallen asleep, when I was woken by crying child. The sound was so alarming, so heartbreaking, that we were all up immediately. We didn’t even bother changing our clothes, and ran all out as we were.
The guards were standing next to my brother’s table with the same children the woman had left with. They were both hysterical and crying. I felt my heart shrink, realizing that something must of happened with the woman.
My brother appeared from the office moment later. He was alert like the rest of us. The 5-year-old girl immediately stopped yelling when she saw him, like remembering what he had said, but the baby couldn’t stop.
The young girl had appeared about 15 minutes before to our north gate, the guard explained, still holding the crying baby. She was carrying the baby and they were both horrified, eyes watered up. She was looking straight ahead, running over the clear land as fast as she could, straight to the gate while the baby was clutched around her neck and constantly stared at the sky, silent. It wasn’t until they had reached the first female guard that they both burst to full screaming and she brought them here.
My brother frowned then, because the baby wouldn’t stop crying and reached after him. The moment he did, the baby reached at him too, pulled himself against my brothers chest and stopped crying, cradled in his hug.
My brother ordered everyone to go back to sleep, but before he gently pushed the little girl, still carrying big bag, to me and telling me to take her in for the night and feed her should she want any. The baby he kept on his arms and walked in the corridor, hushing him to sleep. I saw then, guiding the child away that my brother was shaking hard. At that moment I felt the heartbeat racing again. But the child took my attention again and I went to my class taking her with me.
Next I remember was hearing moving in the corridors again. It frightened me though I knew it couldn’t be Them, because then it would have been full panic, not some silent running. I pushed myself up, convinced that the girl next to me was hard asleep and went out of the classroom, quietly opening the door.
I saw my brother’s lamp lit and him packing his bag. The baby was asleep in another man’s arms. Everything was so quiet, but I felt his feverish fear far.
The child wouldn’t sleep unless someone was holding him, he explained (and now he was cuddled in the arms of an experienced man, whom I knew to have five kids).
“She hasn’t used the phones!” he explained in hushed tone. “I can still find her!” He pulled out his boxes and filled his bag with dried food and some till we had harvested earlier. An army soldier next to us was going through some bags, searching a gun he could take with him.
“I must find her.” He said, excitement shining through his hopeful voice and I knew I couldn’t stop him. I felt panic in my stomach, but my mouth couldn’t voice the anger and fear I felt. I knew he hadn’t forgiven himself sending her away. He had done it before, but for some reason, he couldn’t get her out of his mind and I knew I had to let him go.
The moment he disappeared in the corridor with his head lamp, I started crying. He was gone in mere seconds and I felt suddenly so angry. I turned and looked at the man, who was still holding the child and soldier, who was looking after my brother.
“Give him here,” I said, ushering them back to sleep, “I can handle him!”
He nodded and gave me the child and went towards their class.
At that point I woke up, my dog doing her best to wake me up, and felt that he found the girl.
Yeah, long and strange dream, but in all very sweet and surprisingly filling.