Posts Tagged ‘Fiction’

Kurtis O-horz

Four separate stories, four different lives in the wake of the perfect storm. The choices we make are building the new face of humanity. Each day we struggle to survive. No more news, no Hollywood and no political finger pointing. Now the lights are out, water stopped running, this is Our World

Kurtis O’Leary

We built a society that was so fuzzy and cuddly. Our debt fattened government had the ability to police the world. We allowed the government to take our comfort into their hands. It was good. Fun to watch at times. We were dumbed down. They made sure we could afford TVs large enough that they could become our world. When we got upset they knocked a few fucking cents off the gas price.

It was my generation. Or maybe my fathers generation. Really it was just the fathers. They forgot to tell the kids why America is great. Our babies were born wrapped in warm towels and learned to expect everything of the world while bristling at any expectations of themselves.  They were coddled, told they could do what they wanted and if it feels good it cant be bad.

The world knew our condition and like a pack of wolves our enemies struck as soon as we broke eye contact. The moment  we had to concentrate our efforts at home the world around us fell apart. Then..when they felt emboldened enough they came knocking. Not with soldiers but with bombs. Big bombs that we thought would never make it onto American soil. So what now. Balance. My sons generation will be forced to be tough. In order to survive. The cycle continues.

Gilbert Hernandez

Dan Tran. What a night!  My excitement has to be muddled though. You see I guess at this present moment I am unemployed. I am sore and resting. Now I did not get fired. Well ahhah. Interesting choice of words

At the end of the second round people were getting wild. Something about the energy in that building from the start was just tangible. There were fights in the parking lot even before the fight! This had me on a whole ‘nother level too.  I knew that this 60 second break between rounds wouldn’t be long enough for him to recover. He took me down late in the round and got to half guard. I pushed out and quickly took his back. He was in trouble and he knew it. I could feel him panic. He was gassed. Rolling quickly into my mount to protect his neck he was wide open. I caught him over the forehead with a slicing elbow. He was wide open. Blood everywhere.

I was ready to dull out the punishement when the bell rung. It was like the blood pushed the crowd over the edge.

Terrence Howard

There was a time, before all of this, when we had it all. I remeber laying in my bed. Still a young man with my wife by my side. The kids were in bed. My youngest was a newborn. It was the holiday season and the windows were frosted on the cars down the street but we were warm. I turned to my wife and kissed her on the cheek. I asked her, ” If it never gets any better than this could you be happy?”
She replied “yes,” and kissed me back
” I am implying that it could get much worse.”

I saw through the haze of easy living, cheap fuel and all the trinkets to go along with it. We were both young but she was lost in the same ‘forever sucess’ most of the country was. I started packing, saving and storing. I would buy an extra at the market each week. then two, then three. Whenever we were at a big box store I bought one of those 3-4 dollar cases of water. It looked like gold to me!

To most I was crazy. Today I am ready. Hopefully tomorrow it will pay off  and I will be alive.

Sharon Kimball

I recognized Shea Middle School as I ran through the halls. I did some repair work in Shea. The limited knowledge did not help me much. I could here the two uglies getting up and panting. The stunned one fell back down. I was hoping that it would have stopped his heart. When I looked back I saw only one chasing me. Unfortunately they were not the only badies runnig through this place. I had to find a place to hide.

Down through some shop classes and a music hallway. I ran. Gassed the big man was leaving more and more distance between us. Apparently carrying all that extra muscle is worthless without some conditioning to keep it up and going. MUSIC CLOSET. The words hit me like a brick and my shoes squeaked as I stopped almost Bugs Bunny style. This would have to do.

The closet was filled with mostly acoustic guitars. A few horns and some things that would all make noise. I wanted to do my best to stop all movements. I had to let things cooldown. I would just sit here and rest a bit. So hungry, thirsty. I think I saw a water fountain a few feet from the closet. It would be a stupid move right now but hey thats me!

Escapes to hide in the boiler room. Realizes they all have to die or she will die with them. She will start killing soon.

Our World the Characters

Posted: December 9, 2012 in Uncategorized
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For weeks I have been talking about our work on some illustrations of the Our World Characters. Well the time has come. Below is a graphic by Chris West that will appear on each Our World post going forward. Check it out!

Kurtis O-horz

Our World XIX

Posted: December 5, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Four separate stories, four different lives in the wake of the perfect storm. The choices we make are building the new face of humanity. Each day we struggle to survive. No more news, no Hollywood and no political finger pointing. Now the lights are out, water stopped running, this is Our World

Kurtis O’Leary

All of my life my father told me how a great America was. He used visuals that made this easy for me to understand. We had the ability, based on our ability to do basically anything our heart desired. I don’t know if he meant the Americans or America on a whole. Either way this was what he believed and to be honest it is also what I believed and still believe.

In the late 90′s and especially moving into the 2000′s it became hip to hate America. Both inside and out of the country. We were bullies, fat, loud, excessive, and militarily overbearing.  Simple minded dim wits after  just what could be gained personally from each situation. The world would be better off with out us right?

Funny. When the dollar died and our people were crushed with inflation it was our time. Our radical way of life was coming to an end. It is funny to think how in just a couple of years, without the bullies around, pretty much the whole damned world went to war! No one likes expectations, rules, responsibilities and especially the possibility that anyone could be better than them. To the world that’s all America was. They forgot about the billions in aid, the hordes working in countries all over the world to make things better. They forget how that big ugly military base  on the outskirts of town kept bigger uglier military bases from being built on your front lawn. America was great,  not perfect.

Terrence Howard

The tabby was quite a friend after a couple of weeks. He was hesitant but always come close when it was time to eat. You know I was a little hesitant about building that relationship between my girls and an animal. If things got hot and we had to get out of here I would have to tear them from yet another joy in life. One more mouth to feed is just not good planning. For now however I like to watch them play together.

We were never a big animal family. We did not keep pets around. It’s funny how this new world is so good at revealing things to you. Things that the previous world didnt allow time for. Amidst the horror and pain our world provides it allots time to enjoy things. Time like no working family could ever have. There are always positives. We are happy, healthy and not hungry. I plan on keeping it that way.

This may be our home for the winter. I have a feeling our “guests” will be hunkering down in our actual home. It wouldn’t make much sense for them to head out and search of greener pastures in the dead of winter. Then again I have seen some questionable actions out of that camp. I will return in about a week to do recon and grab some more food.

Sharon Kimball

“Run away,” I kicked and screamed in their arms. They wouldn’t fall for the same tactics as before. Still I fought wildly. I would at least try. If I could get my hands free there would be a little surprise for them. You dont think a girl goes out in this kind of world with just her fists to protect her do you? They were bleeding and that made me happy. It also made them mad so they neglected to frisk me. So lucky.

My cry was met by groups of eyes moving up from their food. Frighteningly empty eyes. Bloodshot. A young boy who was close to the door walked slowly towards the entrance of the cafeteria.  My heart sank. He had clear track marks on his arms. They were zombies. Beholden to some sort of injected drug. whether it be heroin or something cooked up in the kitchens back there. I wanted to cry but it would blur my vision. I wanted to hurt someone and there was no time for blurred vision.

I drove my foot into Big Ugly’s instep. Between the adrenaline rush and the fury it wobbled him a little. They used to call me tiny wrists. I slipped loose no problem. Tucked behind my belt along my back I keep a reasonably strong stun gun. I bent in half and drove it into my other escorts chest. Turned and ran but not away. Deeper into this cavern of nightmares. I couldn’t leave them. I had to find more. I had to help them.

Gilbert Hernandez

Weeks before the fight. Sparring more. Eating less.

Monday:

5:30
run 5 miles

Breakfast

8:00
strength work
hit mitts

Lunch

1-4
Jits training
Sparring
(gotta be ready for him this time)

Lists make things seem normal. I write all of these familiar words down. A schedule of familiar activities. It makes me feel like we aren’t all slowly going extinct.

 

Four separate stories, four different lives in the wake of the perfect storm. The choices we make are building the new face of humanity. Each day we struggle to survive. No more news, no Hollywood and no political finger pointing. Now the lights are out, water stopped running, this is Our World

Kurtis O’Leary

God. I am so sorry. I have cursed you so much over these trying months. Well, I have never been a strong believer. Whatever enigmatic force brought me to this house this thank you. Thank you: far too weak an expression to describe where I am right now. I am safe, I am FULL and my son and I will be for sometime. Something told me to tred those woods, to leave that first desolate area and carry on to this development.

Still when things go this good you have they have to be explained to the human brain. Whether its God or something else, there was a force that pushed us to this very location. There is a basement that, probably because of exhaustion, I hadn’t checked out. I guess for security reasons it was a big mistake on my part. The place looked abandoned though for some time. The whole town really.

Whoever lived here before was ready for this. They were ready but must have died out there. There was a secret door in the back of the basement behind some stored Halloween decorations. I was looking for a mask for Connor when I found the door. Hidden in plain view. Food, bottled water and ammo. Even a small .22, 12 gauge and a some big rifle. I don’t know my guns well. We are living good. The poor sap that left this behind either is dead or, and I hope not, on his way home.

Gilbert Hernandez

Sparring is becoming even more beneficial now. My promoters have been pulling better competition from this growing bunch of fighters. Before I was hurting a lot of inexperienced guys looking to get a something to eat. They didn’t understand why I was sparring they just thought their job was to come in, put their hands up and take a beating. Most people these days will do that to feed the family. But now as we bring together all these folks and whittle away at the bums there is a clear group of exceptional or at least experienced fighters.

These guys are teaching me things as much as anything else. Not just about fighting though. You know, America fell hard but you can see its spirit in the men. The best men. They rise to the occasion and even if they don’t best me they give it their all. You can see the fire in their eyes. Its something uniquely American. We have to keep that fire going.

You know in some countries if your father is the meat man you go to school and be the best meat man you can be, just like dad. That is just the mindset. Some cultures are just so afraid to go out on a limb. I know I grew up in a household with a father who had huge potential but he cut grass and shaped bushes for 25 years making pennies. In my childhood I got a taste of the American spirit and now I can recognize it anywhere. Its alive and well even in our world.

Sharon Kimball

They took me to an old burnt down school. The walls were scarred from the inside. It was an elementry school and the small chairs and desks made my eyes well. To think how many of these young children died far too early. What potential could have been there? We will never know. The corridor narrowed as we head up passed the gymnasium.

The men spoke to me but i couldn’t hear them. Mostly because of the hum. There was a buz coming from down the hall and my heart thudded because deep down I knew just what it was. The gym was empty but for some clothes and sleeping bags which sured up my fears. Childrens sleeping bags.

Women and children eating. Smiling. Unbeknownst to them they were like cattle being fattened for the market. Who knows what line they are fed as they hop on that bus. Safety, food, water? Some empty promise before they are sold to the highest bidder. Anger burned inside of me. It became too much for me to contain. I would rather haved died in that school than let this go on anymore!

Terrence Howard

Apocalypse. Thats what we named him.

We were all sitting around our new living room. I had prepared some canned, diced chicken with egg noodles and rehydrated mixed vegetables. It was a great meal. Some piece of mind. We were warm, baby girl was getting healthy and most importantly we were together. There was a sudden, strange clicking coming from kitchen as we ate. My ears pricked out of habti and I put my finger up to my lips.

The kitchen was dark. Everything is dark when the sun goes away. I was calm. The clicking continued. I moved slowly and consistently into the kitchen crouching and brandishing my weapon. Looking to my left I saw an eye shine. I pointed my gun and turned my flashlight to it. It was a tiny tabby cat. Thin, starving and licking on the can of chicken I had opened. The animal wanted to run. I could see it in its eyes but it was just to hungry to leave the food. I put the  gun away and shined the flashlight to the ceiling. I walked back into the room and pulled another can of chicken from my bag. I opened it and passed it over to the cat in sort of a peace offering. Then I brought the family in to meet him.

Four separate stories, four different lives in the wake of the perfect storm. The choices we make are building the new face of humanity. Each day we struggle to survive. No more news, no Hollywood and no political finger pointing. Now the lights are out, water stopped running, this is Our World

Kurtis O’Leary

Settling into this place. Connor and I have a warm home with no furniture but a fireplace. I havent actually burned any wood yet. Just kinda worried about someone smelling or seeing it now. In the woods its different ya know. I know there are eyes off in the distance. I hear people probing the streets at night. Though, this run down development doesn’t really attract many. It only takes one group of maniacs looking for some fun to ruin your life….trust me.

We will hunker down here till Spring. Food gets tougher to come by each year especially in the Winter. This year will be no different. I will have to make runs. In this home I am very confident we will survive this thing. Like I have said before I do not know the grand scale of damage done but I have to believe there is a man out there somewhere who is figuring out how do defibrillate our nation.

I found some books in the attic of this home. I can concentrate on teaching Connor the basics. It is now our responsibility to teach our own children. I heard of communities that offer schooling but like I said before. Most do not want outsiders. I want my son to have some kind of life. We can’t spend the rest of our time running from everyone else who looks like us!

Gilbert Hernandez

Split decision! haha. That guy kicked my ass! Dan Tran whipped my ass. I cant even move today. Ay Dios! He was a little guy ya know. Smallish build shorter than me even. I went in there like some sort of Vato Loco and tried to muscle the guy. He was a wizard at using my own power against me. I would jab from a distance, see an opening and when I took it with a straight right he would put me on my back. They forgot to mention, along with his brilliant jits, Dan Tran was a master at Judo. Sore on top of sore.

I lost. Plain and simple. The crowd, probably those who bet on me, called it a split decision but it was clearly a beating. I feel every bit of it today. Dan Tran had all the answers. Like I said I am in wicked pain but I am also terribly excited. You see the crowd wanted more than time would allow. I will be hungry this week. Well, not really I kind of stowed some food away.

The rematch. Ol’ Gil is not out of the lime light yet. We gave them just what they wanted and now well, they want more. So we both get 4 weeks to heal up and some how I have to find a way to get better. There is just a lot of ground to cover with this guy. That is what is so exciting. Something new. Something to game plan for. You know for all of the bad I have done since our world has changed. To be able to find a new passion amongst the burning rubble of this town is such a blessing.

Terrence Howard

We took the home. It went quiet and easy due to my own recon and my families unbridled patience and trust. I was very happy the way things went. We were hunkered down in the cold for a few nights. My kids wanted to run into the warm house but I told them in our world we must move slowly, cautiously in everything we do. Second guess each decision we make.

I do this to keep us together and keep us safe. It’s not easy being dad. I used to cook when I was home. So they all expect dinner out of me anyway. I made sure that I would never be out of answers in that department. Did I go to far? By building the shelter and stocking it with food. A lot of people would say yes. Way to far. That was before. Now they are all kicking themselves.

Can you call me Nostradamus? Of course not. My actions were the culmination of brilliant research, common sense and as much chance as the lottery. As much chance that was involved there was also a watchful eye. I knew this land couldnt sustain the debt it was raising or hungry mouths that depended on it. When the wars started it seems our egg timer was set to buzz at any moment. Thats when I went underground. Now I thank God everyday that I made that decision.

Sharon Kimball

Big Ugly and Dumb Dirty both had a hold of me. Without hesitation the guy in front of me thrust a straight right hand into my face. No hesitation. I felt the blood and the warm hum of the blow. Then the realization that they may think I am a boy or they didnt give a shit what I was and that I was going to die. Hopefully sooner than later. It took a moment to realize that my head had snapped back into Dumb Dirty’s nose as well. His grip loosened.

I was hesitant to run. I have long legs but these guys looked in much better shape than me. Especially from a nutritional stand point. I have been scraping the barrel for some time now. Prickly pear only gets you so far. Though I had adrenaline on my side. I took the opportunity to pull my hands free and drip another knee into Big Ugly.  He went down and I took off.

There was just one big man chasing me. I hoped he didnt know his way around like I did. I cut through alleys and pulled debris in his path. Just like you see in the movies. The funny thing was this worked much better than I expected. This man was no ballerina. He must have fallen twice in our short sprint and before I knew it I was alone. Still running at quite a pace but ready to disappear into my home. I rounded the corner to where I have been staying and there was another bigger guy waiting at my doorstep. How the hell could they have known who I was and where I lived?

 

Four separate stories, four different lives in the wake of the perfect storm. The choices we make are building the new face of humanity. Each day we struggle to survive. No more news, no Hollywood and no political finger pointing. Now the lights are out, water stopped running, this is Our World

Kurtis O’Leary

The fire is huge tonight. Since my last entry we have hiked about three quarters of the way to the suburb I had in mind. We came across another but it was full of trash, exriment and dead people. Losts of dead people. Told my son they were tired. Good thing is he was dead tired so he didnt question that line too much. We had to get out of there quick as I heard some movement in the homes. It made me scared to wander into this haven I have been considering.

We are against a  rockface tonight. Cooking. I made a fire that is just enourmous. A complete inferno coming directly from the pits of hell. Though outside of this oven it is icy cold. The weather turned quick and we are seeing colder and colder nights. Cold is a relative term. Especially when you have no structure around you. Nights in the low sixties are just incredibly ugly if accompanied by wind. 50′s and be downright deadly. No chance in chilling us tonight. I made sure of that.

Never really knew the elements till now. No respect for the weather. Rain or shine I had the protection and security of my home. Oh how things have changed. I have had to make friends with the wind and clouds. Learn from them and understand when it is time to bundle up, get the fire going or take cover. The rain now dictates my day. You just can’t afford to be wet in this world. If there is no safe shelter. I feel like this transition is burning my mind out.

Sharon Kimball

I don’t dream much any more. Mostly  just close my eyes and wake up with my hands over may face. I feel like is simply not enough security for my body to allow itself deep enough into my subconscious. I could use a good dream. I warm batch scented with lavender, half full with water and the other frothed up with bubbles. Darius. There is just no time for pleasure in our world. Not even time to think about it.

The reason I bring this up is because last night as the sun lowered in the sky I was sneaking back to my “home” to get the nights fire going. Have you ever had that nightmare that you wake up from over and over but you are still stuck in its clutches. I saw that same damned, hellish bus creeping down the boulevard last night. Now it could not  have been the exact same bus but I bet the source is the same.

No worries. I will just blow that one sky high too. Gives me something to do during the day. If its full of degenerates then they will go too. This is not something that can go on any longer. I have more explosives than they have gas or buses I can assure that. Its just so sick to me that they are back at it so fast. But hey some people just don’t care didn’t in the last world and sure don’t here. Hopefully I can OPEN THEIR EYES to it.

Terrence Howard

Initially we kept within our neighborhood. Looked for homes close to ours that have been abandoned. I packed a tremendous three person, three day pack so we wont have to return to the shelter for a little while. We found a little sky blue home with navy blue shutters down a hill off the road deepest in our development. No cars in the drive, but that meant nothing.

You know I have encountered some bad guys in my short time out here. Some tough guys. They wanted things from me but I have been dealing with those guys my whole life, just different faces. Weak minds ya know. Driven by material desires. Their will breaks fast. Shine the right sized gun and most times they back off. Better yet grab a hold of the right joint, apply a little pressure and these guys squirm.

What really scares me is Dad and Mom. You know hunkered down with a family to protect. I know what its like to be on that side. I also know that there is nothing more dangerous than a parent protecting their child. That being said we have to go about this things very carefully. I will do a thorough recon before we enter the home. give it at least a day to search for activity. Its the safest thing we can do.

Gilbert Hernandez

If there were to be a championship fight in our underground yet mainstream fighting ring. I say that cuz it feels so underground but really there is nothing underground anymore. Our world is the mainstream and there is no paid off media to argue that. Anyhow back to the point. This next fight would be for the belt, if there were a belt. Young, scrappy new comer Gilbert “the survivor” Hernandez against the local favorite Dan “bam bam” Tran.

Don’t know if that’s his nickname but it works. Those lengthy day dreams with intricate details really help you get through those final reps on that last mile. I am getting so strong now. I realize as a fighter I eat better than 90% of the population that’s left. It makes me feel guilty sometimes. It also makes me feel like a prized horse or something. I know I am eating because I am winning and if I lose they may as well take me out to the field and put me down.

So I got this girl home last night. Girls are different now. They are not as clean and beautiful as they were before. The trinkets of faking beauty are all gone so what you get is what you see. This girl was beautiful naturally. Long dark hair, big brown eyes that looked deep into my twisted soul. We start mixing it up and she takes off her shirt. The girl was nothing but bones! I stopped her dead in her tracks and made her eat. Maybe I am not such a bad guy after all…

Four separate stories, four different lives in the wake of the perfect storm. The choices we make are building the new face of humanity. Each day we struggle to survive. No more news, no Hollywood and no political finger pointing. Now the lights are out, water stopped running, this is Our World

Gilbert Hernandez

Jab, cross, hook, cross, hook, dig. Weave. Boxing is a dance. Get inside throw your melee and bounce out to avoid the retaliation. “just don’t hit anything that doesn’t look like your opponent,” words from my first trainer. Nothing gasses you more than a big old swing and miss, except a good shot to the body. Boxing the forgotten sport. It couldn’t sell enough sex or enough action. Funny. 10 rounds of well-trained men beating each other simply wasnt enough for society then. They wanted more. Always wanted MORE!

My last opponent made me open up the pages of my mind. My past training.  He was tough. Well rounded. Danny Rhett was some kinda MMA junkie or lower level fighter. Shooting for takedowns and trying to clinch me up. I wouldn’t allow any of it in the first round but this guy was strong! Come round two he started getting into me. Getting close and throwing me around a bit. Things had to change.

I started to bounce a bit more. Use my footwork. It was crucial that I changed angles on him constantly. This kept him off-balance and took his confidence away and that was before the jab. By the third round my jab had closed his right eye and he had no chance after that. His depth perception was a mess. Swinging wild he was gassing out. Took him to the ground and it was  head/body till he quit.

Sharon Kimball

Why couldn’t I have had a life? Who makes these decisions? God? I should be arguing over a toilet seat with my husband right now. Screaming at my little rotten children but I will never have that. The comforts of a home. Never. The security of love. Its innate to a womans soul. We aren’t meant to endure this alone not to say I can’t handle it.

Love is something you can feel. It’s almost like a shield around you. The energy others put into caring for you deflects the cruelties of the world. Instead here I am all my energy is gone. The ones who thought of me, who loved me are all gone. Sometimes I wonder if anyone even knows who Sharon Kimball is. Tomorrow I could be Sandra Dawson and the next day Tara Roberts. It doesn’t matter in our world. For now I am just Sharon. Alone.

I am a young lady. I guess there is time. I haven’t seen many of us around. At the very least we could be in high demand when the time comes to rebuild this mess. Who knows. So what then? Am I just a machine to repopulate the human race? So much happier I was in my ignorance. They built ignorance all around us so we could be blind and enjoy life. It worked until reality came knocking. So happy in my ignorance.

Terrence Howard

I realize out here in the streets that life in a bunker is really no life at all. The first few days I spent out were such a blind panic I didn’t take the time to look around and breathe the fresh air. Even with the type of desolation that is out here and the inherent danger it is life. Life is not certain and that uncertainty makes great people. I want my daughters to be great people. They have to experience this world to understand how to fix it and the problems that go along with it.

The four of them were hunkered down in a Pharmacy just south of our home. My wife said shots were fired into the Pharmacy as they made their way out. There were no medicines to be had but Baby Girl got her first dose from Daddy in that same Pharmacy. She will be fine. They were all so scared. I feel like that is important in life. To experience those emotions. You have to go through the gamut to better understand the world.

We won’t return to the bunker a family. It will simply be a pit stop. There are plenty of abandoned homes and shelters to live out of and perhaps the marauders will leave our home soon. I could TAKE it back but a risk with such resources around, well, just not prudent. Shelters are meant for temporary relief from a disaster. We are not moles. The outside world is made for us and as a family and part of a community we have the responsibility to fortify and rebuild starting with our own home, then our community. Maybe we can work our way back up to States and finally the Country itself. 

Kurtis O’Leary

The days are getting colder. We move from place to place but to make it through winter we are going to need some permanent digs. I know there is a large suburb not too far from here. We may have to march a little while but hey that keeps us warm anyway. I would love to find a place that has been post decimated. You know where the looters have come and gone. Left nothing but bare walls. All I need is four walls and a roof. Fireplace would be great too.

I had too many unexpected appointments with death in this lifetime. Maybe I just wasnt man enough to handle keeping that many people alive in our world. You know despite that idea that we are all equal and it’s not about winning it’s about passion and everyone gets a trophy shit. A good handshake with reality reminds you that to build that winning mindset early is so important. We are just like wolves there are Alphas and Omegas. We have shielded our race from the horrors of natural selection but guess what I have seen it in action. The strong survive and the weak are killed or worse.

Four separate stories, four different lives in the wake of the perfect storm. The choices we make are building the new face of humanity. Each day we struggle to survive. No more news, no Hollywood and no political finger pointing. Now the lights are out, water stopped running, this is Our World

Kurtis O’Leary

Will we rebuild? This is the question that blows through my mind on nights like these. Nights when Connor is asleep and the stars are just staring at me. Like hundreds of hungry eyes. Staring at me and waiting for answers. I have no FUCKING IDEA if we will every rebound from this. STOP STARING AT ME!

There are just so many variables. I don’t even know what things look like 10 miles away. So who’s to say what’s going on 100 miles down the road or 1000 miles across the globe. With the limited scope of information no one could make that kind of assumption. I have enough to worry about day to day without the toils of rebuilding a society.

We the people, right? It is up to us to forge the nation once again. Carrying that thought downfield leads me to all kinds of doubts. Do you remember what people were like before our world? No skills or real knowledge. Our biggest leaps in the last 40 years were all technological. We could build cities and slay zombies with our fingertips. Ask someone to snap a pic of you and your little boy and you’d get the most polite ‘go to hell’ look you could imagine. Its everyman for himself now. Sorry stars but tonight that’s all I got.

 

Gilbert Hernandez

Randall and Ward have been doin right by me. I have fought twice since getting involved with them. No losses.  I felt like sort of like a rookie quarterback where the coach puts you in but your first two plays you just hand off the ball. They have felt me out now and I am sure the man they put me in with next will be a banger. I ain’t worried but I will prepare. I am starting to understand my strengths and weaknesses as a fighter.

From here on it’s about winning. I mean what else do we have in our world now. Love is but a blip on my screen. Though that is the way to a future and probably the way back to any sort of civilization I just don’t see it for a guy like me. Short-sighted? Probably but for now I can use all this extra testosterone.

I have not felt better than this in some time. Not so much emotionally but physically I am in great shape. As funny as this sounds, with all the eating, I may be in the best physical shape of my life. In times when people are starving to death. It’s just being out of the restaurant food and eating rice and healthy shit. I mean people grow a lot of produce now. Have too. Some things in our world force us to be better than we were in the previous.

Terrence Howard

The night is staring me down. It took most of the day to check both rendezvous points again. Where else would they have gone. The only thing I can think is that they struck out to find medicine. Though I specifically said if we were to separate to meet at specific points. It is cold and the streets are alive today. I have seen so many more people on the street than in days past.

I fear the worse but I will continue between rendezvous points. There has to be a reason why they aren’t here. There are just so many variable in our world now. I can’t get the idea out off my head. There is so much evil that got left behind by the disasters. You would think for the world to take such a hit the level of evil would be much less. I have seen things in my few nights out. Things that just reassured me that there is plenty of evil still hidden in the shadows.

Thank god for this notebook. If my pen runs out before I find my family I don’t know how I will survive. So many years of my life I spent great periods of time in solitude. What kept my mind together was knowing when the job was done I would go home to my family. Without them, well, the man I am may dissipate. Perhaps I will huddle amongst the shadows and become my own version of evil

Sharon Kimball

So what now. Mission accomplished. Do I dive in head first and become Wonder Woman. I mean what better way to live out the last days of my life than to fight for good. There really is nothing in this world for me but survival. I refuse to have the remainder of my days directed by food/water/shelter.

There are times when I lay under the desert stars at night or just under a leaky overhang and pray for their response. Just quiver at the idea of someone coming for revenge. You know, there are things much worse than death and they all seem to reside in Arizona. Perhaps when my time comes I will think differently but till then I am hoping for some action. Come find me.

Still. When everyone moved 1000 miles an hour on this planet you could feel the earth move. You could feel her spin underfoot. As we all did our job mother earth did hers. Now the earth is so quiet. Still.

Four separate stories, four different lives in the wake of the perfect storm. The choices we make are building the new face of humanity. Each day we struggle to survive. No more news, no Hollywood and no political finger pointing. Now the lights are out, water stopped running, this is Our World

Kurtis O’Leary

I can’t stop crying man… jesus christ… i almost lost him man… i almost fucking lost him. We were hunting for rabbits in the woods… i don’t know, i looked behind me and he was gone. i was screaming and hollering running around for what felt like hours… when i found him he was holding a dead squirrel, he had such a big smile on his face. oh christ man. so much went through my head at once, i could basically smell the blood again. i think it is time i talk about it… i think if i write it down i will feel better.

We had to leave the apartment a long time before that, Anna was pregnant at the time, Jamie was still alive… fuck this is so hard man… we had my bug out bag and some water, a tent, and some MRE’s… we made for the boons in Virginia, got a little camp together and got as comfortable as possible… you ever sleep with a pregnant woman… on the ground?

It wasn’t long after we made camp that Connor was born… I’m not a doctor, but i think i did ok… Anna might disagree. I managed to keep us fed for a few years, i had packed the car up with MRE’s and they lasted a few months along with game. I could hunt and trap a bit, we had water about a mile away… that was life for a couple of years… until one day… jesus save me… i came back from a water run and i saw some assholes in our camp and i heard her crying… i went primal and i killed one of them, the other one got away… there was so much blood man… it looked like Jamie put up a fight and… he… he was gone. Anna was hurt bad, and i held her hand as long as she stayed with me. Connor was still alive, his mom told him to run and hide and he came back a couple of hours later… I was covered in dirt and blood… i don’t think he understood what happened at all… i told him mommy and Jamie were in heaven now and they were sleeping in the ground next to the tent…

I can’t… I can’t write anymore

Sharon Kimball

Well I haven’t put pen to paper in a few days. It was very important for me to reflect. The loss of any life no matter how deplorable the individual is something that should be pondered and pondered deeply. The shockwave of effect that my actions have created, the lives that I have touched with this simple action all things that need to be considered. Perhaps a small child will cry themselves to sleep for months because daddy is gone. Worse perhaps he dies. The bus driver may have been his only access to food and water. Maybe mother died sometime ago. A child alone in this world….

You can understand the importance of considering the effects of death. Especially one that I caused. The fact is in these trying times  if we lose the value of human life and begin to throw it around as we had with everything before the bombs, well, lets just say we lose. We lose our humanity. It’s slowly disappearing each day but gets a much-needed boost when you see a lost little girl returned to her mothers camp instead of taken to the woods and raped. You know there is not much that separates us from opportunistic feeders. Much less when we aren’t being watched.

The bastard flew about 40 feet through the air when the plastique got charged. He tumbled back to earth like some sort of rag doll. I know we are all trying to scrape a living but this goes back to humanity. We just don’t need minds like these poisoning the pool. The bus was a ravaged burning mass. I loved it. I felt like even the bus needed to feel pain. 

Now I have a choice. Do I wait for the consequence or be proactive and dig deeper into this cancerous growth exploiting the weak. What are the odds anyone could find me or find me out. How do you even discern one dirty, short-haired street rover from another. Good luck.

Terrence Howard

There are a handful of meeting places where I will find them. I have to keep the feelings of failure tucked away for now. To have my family out in this harsh world will eat me alive and I will need my focus today. To find them is not the true goal. To find them fast and before anyone else does, now that is what must happen. I am a good man to have looking for you. One of the best actually though there are predators in high numbers out there. Predators that wear incredible helpful smiles and may promise  a warm place for your sick little girl.

I spent the night in the shelter ate as much as I could despite the panic and nausea. There are two guns missing which makes me feel much better. My wife can sling lead if it come to it. My daughter not as good a shot but hopefully it wont have to come to that. The hand radio is on the table. That is the most terrifying part. I know something happened that forced them to act quickly and move out.

The sun is far from up but I will leave in the cloak of darkness. There are just a few blocks between here and our first rendezvous point. Can’t write the location down incase someone finds this book. I wont lead trouble to my family. Though I can promise you this. I will find them, quickly.

Gilbert Hernandez

Digging through my bag of miscellaneous winnings from the last fight I came across something. Something that I hadn’t seen in some time. Something that brought back memories so thick I could taste and smell them. Dios me encanta. A rosary. The power of the cross. Shame and guilt overwhelmed me not just for the deeds I had done but for having left him so far behind. As the  world writhes in turmoil I turned my back on God when I should be turning to him. Asking for guidance.

Sure. So much of what I do is to survive. There are no leaders in this world and havent been in some time. We got away from God. Began to try and out think  him, overcome him. Even worse deny him and erase him. You know, science couldn’t fit him in a beaker so they figured he couldn’t be real.

Now he is the only thing holding many of us together. So tempting to blame him in bad times but so rare that we thank him in good times.

Four separate stories, four different lives in the wake of the perfect storm. The choices we make are building the new face of humanity. Each day we struggle to survive. No more news, no Hollywood and no political finger pointing. Now the lights are out, water stopped running, this is Our World

Kurtis O’Leary

Survival is a prison. You literally eat drink and breathe survival. All day everyday. While you eat your first meal you think about your next and where to get water.

Connor needs a few good meals under his belt. Developing an adult brain under these circumstances will be difficult for him. I have got to think of something. He is thin. I know I am two but who the hell cares. All the food I have thrown away in my life just cycles through my head everyday. The waste. If only we could have a fraction back of what we wasted in our lives we could feed masses of people. What do they say about hindsight. Whatever it is it pisses me off.

Winter is coming too close. Though months away it is already keeping me up at night. Which is why today I opted for a swim. There is spring fed pond beyond the shattered developments we call home. It sees a ton of traffic from people seeking water but there are also those who swim in there. We were swimmers today. Sometimes you have to break out of that prison and clear your head for a moment. If only just a moment. Soak and let the worries drip off of you. Look at the smile on your sons face. Try not to look at his ribs. We are going to make it

Terrence Howard

I walked quick against the blackness. Our world gets so dark now. A darkness that I feel hardly anyone knows. It was certainly a stranger to me my first night out in it. You have to remember when my family and I took shelter the world was just teetering on the verge of destruction. It was my first experience with the new moon. Just us. No rude lights to interrupt. The sky just crushes you with brilliance to the point where you wonder what fool would have created so much electric light to block out its beauty.

The new moon was on my side. That and a road flare I had packed in my bag. I hucked the road flare from the woods just east of my home before blowing off my survival whistle. It landed just up the street from my home and brought those frightened fools running. They all came scurrying out to the front porch some in arms others just to look. I could see them from the woods but with the no moon they could never see me. Still, I moved hastily not sure if they possessed any night vision or heat signal technology.

As the two well armed men left the front porch I slip deeper into the woods and crept along the back wall of my house. It was late. I was hoping my wife was watching the big eye in the sky. I did a job for many years that she never got to see. No one was supposed to see the work I did. I was great at keeping it that way. It paid well and afforded my family a great life. Unfortunately you retire early from a job like that either by choice or death.  I was never a big fan of death and tonight I would beat it again. As I closed the door on the crawl space I could feel the warmth of my family. Opening up the latch on the shelter a fresh scent arose. It was my wifes lotion but when I my light shone on the inside of the shelter….it was empty!

Sharon Kimball

The other half of this sordid puzzle is actually a woman. Serena Tallus. Evil woman who has seen nothing but pain in her life. You know its funny how some people when they experience trauma they devote their life to making things better for others and themselves. The idea of anyone going through the things they went through is simply unacceptable. This are those who are born with relentless bravery. Then there are others who have been through hell who are so afraid of ever taking that walk again that they will do anything not to. Sacrifice anyone in their struggle to gain power and control over their life. Enter Serena Tallus.

From what I hear she spent her late teens high on heroin being passed around by the highest bidder. She is a beautiful woman. Which I am sure she uses to her advantage. I am identifying these two and learning as much as I can about them because as you can imagine they will want to know why their little money bus went away. So if they catch wind of  who I am it will be best I understand who they are and the methods they might employ to find me.

That being said, nothing will stop me from my ultimate goal. Of course there are many things much more frightening than death. This life. This lonely, cold life is nothing to really write home about.

Gilbert Hernandez

So I head up to Kaplan Ave to meet with my promoter yesterday. You know we wanted to talk opponents. I am getting to the point where people are recognizing me so things are going well for me. It is something akin to being a boxer during the depression. I feel a little like Braddock but without the loving family part. Anyhow so I go to meet with Elgin and I am greeted by two guys, big guys and one is armed. He was holding a long metal rod but I could tell it was more for his protection from what our world has become and not to harm me.

Elgins dead. Elgin is dead. My only friend on this backwards planet. Gone. Ward and Randell were their names they dropped the bad news on me then told me “the fight game would miss you” and offered to help me along. We sat down and talked opponents. For what it was worth. No one really knows anything about anyone anymore.

I had to know how Elgin went. Its funny ya know people die a lot now. People get cut and die from it. Not arterial damage like a deep cut on the arm. Our world is filthy. You get used to the smell. Elgin had a cold last time we spoke. Respiratory system became infected. By the time he got around to bartering for some antibiotics he was in too deep. Taken out by a damned cold. Like I said that’s the way it goes around here. There is not quick fixes anymore. Home remedies are all we have. Gotta keep myself healthy.