Friday, September 7, 2012

Memoirs From the End of the World: Entry #1

I wanted to show a spunky, sassy young girl who is struggling to survive in a frightening post-apocalyptic world.  My goal was also to show how it all fell apart through her eyes.  There are parts where I'm still struggling with the voice, but that's what revisions are for.  I plan to do more installments with this character, so I'll have plenty of time to develop her voice there as well.

Hopefully you'll enjoy it, and feel free to leave any comments, good or bad.

Memoirs From the End of the World
Entry #1

Dear Romero,

Okay, most girls would call you a diary, but I don’t really need a diary so much as I need a killer survival instinct and substitute for all human conversation.  Maybe as a 16 year old girl, I should have named you Romeo or some crap like that, but that story ended with death.  I live with death every day.  I don’t want to act like that’s the ending I’m trying for.  So, I’ll go with Romero.  Certainly not romantic, but if anything can get me through this, it’s the wisdom I picked up watching old zombie movies with my older brother Pete.

Too bad the survivalist knowledge didn’t get him very far.

Anyway, I know an alien occupation isn’t the same as a zombie apocalypse, but the principles aren’t all that different.  I still have to hunt for food in hostile environments, I still have to dodge mortal enemies (though my enemies are the robots programmed to capture strays and relocate them to the meat locker), and it’s crucial to learn a number of ways to avoid detection.  Unfortunately, the meat locker robots have a number of technological advantages to help them track us down.  Heat-seeking tranquilizer darts, ultra-sensitive sound detection, and all-terrain capability makes it a formidable foe.  Escaping from one of those badass bots is about as difficult as outmaneuvering a lawyer.

Now, I’m not disparaging all lawyers.  Pete had just been accepted to law school when the dung hit the a/c vent and stunk up everything.  He was one of the good guys, an idealist.  He longed to use his knowledge to help others.  Maybe he was naïve about how the world really worked, but our world would have stood a better chance if there were more like him.  It’s too bad we had too many of the wrong kind when our invaders came.

The invasion of our world didn’t go like the ones you might have seen in the movies.  You see, the movies about the end of the world usually showed mass explosions and body parts flying every which way.  Our heroes were gallant men (and some women, though usually wearing skin tight outfits made of pieces of fabric the width of dental floss) who forced our enemies into retreat an through determination and sheer will of character.  That’s a noble picture to paint of humanity, aside from the ridiculous outfits, of course.

Unfortunately, that isn’t quite how it worked.  The nobility was more than lacking in our so-called leaders.  Thanks to them, we participated in our own destruction, and I’ll never forgive them for that.

First off, the aliens came in massive spaceships.  This much was at least similar to the movies.  They made the cliché move of going to see our leader.  Of course, given how many nations there are in our divided world, which leader do you pick?  The United States ended up persuading the aliens that we were the ones to talk to, and this irritated a few of our adversaries to no end.  They said we were conspiring with the aliens to get their technology so we could use it against them.  Suspicion escalated beyond reason, and several nations were soon threatening to go to war over the matter.  One nation even launched missiles, and that’s when it all fell apart.

The missiles never hit.  They were incinerated in the air by the weapon platform the aliens left in orbit.  The aliens then used that platform to destroy all the world’s defenses, or as the aliens dubbed them, offenses.  Once it became clear we had nothing to use against them, the leaders of the world quickly cowered in fear and sold us out.  The ones who didn’t, of course, were immediately killed. 

Our overlords weren’t interested in enslaving our entire world, just parts of it.  With the help of a few human lawyers they hired, the aliens made deals with nations around the globe to set up reservations and meat lockers.  They worked within existing legal systems whenever they could, purchasing the land with promises of new technologies to make the lives of those living outside the reservations comfortable.  The prizes were good enough to convince them to forget people like me who happened to live inside the newly drawn borders of the US reservation.  We became the property of the alien overlords.

Most of us who live inside the reservation are left alone until it’s our turn to go to the meat locker.  They take our men and women at 16.  Once there, they are forced to breed continuously until age 30.  Half of the babies are implanted with alien spores at birth.  In these children, the flesh is all that remains human, a meat puppet for our intergalactic pimps.  Raised by our overlords and brain-altered by the spores, these puppets are anything but human.  As adults, they’re supposed to become our new masters. 

The unimplanted babies are raised by the adults who are too old for breeding, and will one day be used as breeders.

The aliens say they lost the ability to produce long ago, and this is the only way they can propagate their species.  They pacify us with gratitude, saying that we’re demonstrating our nobility by helping save their species.  I don’t buy their bull.  Nothing forced at the point of a gun can be noble.

Pete tried to resist.  He was supposed to be taken to the meat locker for breeding, but he peacefully refused.  He gave a terrific speech on the nature of freedom, and people watched as he pleaded for further negotiations.

It was inspiring.

More inspiring was the shot to the head that killed him afterwards.  His words were too dangerous.

When I turned 16, I ran.  I’d rather have my brains splashed across the side of a house than spend 14 years in a meat locker.  I live on the fringes of society, scraping by with what I can get. 

Romero, you’re all I have.

Go on to Entry #2


  1. Aww! Great story! I love the "Most inspiring was the shot to the head that killed him afterwards."

  2. This is great, very original compared to all the movies we have about aliens! Looks like a good basis to the story :)

  3. Fantastic writing. I am a big fan of good sci-fi, and apocalyptic scenarios, books and films, this is the sort of stuff that makes great sci-fi films.

  4. Very good!! :)

    I've tagged you with a little award at my blog. :)

  5. Cool concept - I love the title.