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Underground - Chapter 1

I never thought about what would happen if the world ended. I guess I don’t have to worry about that anymore.

You know when you’re little you always wonder what you’ll become and what you’ll do when you grow up. When you’re young it doesn’t matter what you answer to the question ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’, but as you get older people expect a more serious response. But that’s the problem. How do you answer a question about your future if you might not have one in the end? What happens if the world ends? What if all of humanity is gone except a small group of people who have to live underground to survive? Well, unfortunately that’s exactly what happened. I’ve never thought I’d say this, but if someone asked me the same question, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’, as when I was 6, today I’d say ‘Alive’.

I look back at the days when the grass was green and the sky was blue, and I wonder if that changed. What I wouldn’t give to see my family again. And… him. I think about him every day and I miss him. I miss talking to him, I miss laughing with him, I miss the days when it was just the two of us. It’s like a huge hole in my heart that will never fully heal. I’ve never felt this way about anyone before. And I didn’t even get to say it. I wanted to but it was too late. He was already taken.

Suddenly I’m taken aback into reality as someone knocks on my door. ‘Hey! You daydreaming again?’, asked a familiar face with a smirk on his face.

‘What? Oh, yeah sorry. I was just thinking. Is everyone in the Common area already?’.

‘Yeah, they’re waiting for you. Are you ready for the big speech?’.

‘Yes. God Tony, it’s so boring to have to do this every day.’

‘Yeah, I know but it’s the rules. Let’s go then.’

As I entered the Common area, I saw the blank faces staring at me. Waiting. I saw the dull, cold and soulless exterior of the people in front of me. It was horrible. Everyday more and more hope and lives lost. I could see that no one wanted to be there much less be alive.

My family. I still keep looking for them but to no avail. Every day I hope that they’ll turn up. But they never do. Maybe they are gone and we are the only people left.

‘Ladies and gentlemen!’ I started. ‘I know that these are all difficult times for everyone and everyone wishes that they could be somewhere else. But trust me, this is the safest place on the planet right now. I know we all lost people we loved but if they were here right now, they would tell us to hold on and fight because if we work together, we can make Earth a liveable place again! So, remember stay together, work together and never give up! Thank you!’

‘Wow, nice speech!’

‘Thanks, Tony. But I’m getting sick and tired of doing these every day. And I think everyone else is too. And why the hell does it have to be the same speech every day?!’ I almost shouted.

‘Honestly, I have no clue why. Boss’s orders.’

‘Yeah, well. I want to meet this boss of yours.’

‘Yeah.’ He laughed. ‘Good luck with that! He never sees just anyone. Certainly not someone who’s only Rank 1.’

‘Wait… how many ranks are there anyway?’

‘10. I’m Rank 7 and I still didn’t get to meet him. I get my orders from the General.’

‘How did you get to Rank 7?’

‘By going outside. I mean I stayed within the Wall but still. They said I have to go outside or I can’t become a Soldier.’

‘Well… um. What if I went outside? Could I become a Soldier too?’

‘I guess. But why would you want to become one in the first place? I mean it’s a lot harder than it seems.’

‘I just want to do something else. Anything. Doing this every day, it’s actually starting to give me nightmares.’ I laughed.

I could see a smile on his face. The first time I’ve ever seen Tony smile. It was amazing. He was the closest thing to a friend I had in this place. This horrible, horrible place.

As I made my way towards the Adult’s sleeping quarters, I felt a strange tingling on my neck. I thought someone was watching me. I quickly turned around but there was no one there. This has been happening for a few weeks now. Every day I have this strange sense like someone is following me. But I don’t know who or why. I just ignored it and started walking towards my bunk in the Adult’s sleeping quarters. I felt it again but this time it was different. It felt like it was more than one person. I turned around again expecting to not see anyone when I saw someone’s white haired head disappear around the corner and heard two pairs of feet rushing down the hallway, until the sounds faded and I was left alone in the hall in front of my bunk.

When I stepped inside a strange sound caught my attention. A quiet pounding sound came from under my bed. I slowly approached, while hoping that there wasn’t a criminal there or something. I crouched down. Holding the bottom of the sheets on my bed I suddenly lifted it revealing a little girl. Her green eyes caught my attention. They were dark as a forest at night but so innocent and sweet. And her hair. Her flaming, fire red hair cascaded down the sides of her face in curls all the way down her back. Her skin was very pale yet so beautiful. She looked at me surprised but she wasn’t scared. She looked more relieved. She’s been looking for me. I saw it in her eyes. She smiled revealing her small white teeth. It was the sweetest smile I’ve ever seen. She couldn’t have been more than 7 maybe 8 years old. What was she
doing here? The Children’s sleeping quarters were all the way down the hall. And they were not allowed in the Adult’s sleeping quarters.

‘Hi. What’s your name?’ I asked in a soft caring voice as to not scare her.

‘I’m Lucy. And you’re Skye.’ She said in the sweetest most tender voice.

‘Hi Lucy, nice to meet you! Wait… how did you know my name?’

‘It’s a secret…’ she whispered. ‘You’d be surprised by the things I know that most people don’t.’

I looked at her confused while raising an eyebrow in curiosity.

‘What do you mean?’ I asked now truly intrigued.

‘Well, let’s just say I have a way of finding out things without anyone needing to say anything.’ After a long pause she laughed. In a very charming way. ‘I have to show you something.’ She said. ‘Follow me.’

I hesitated for a few seconds before going after her through the vent behind her, which I only saw after she started crawling toward it under my bed. I never even knew that was there.

Inside the vent was small and tight but we managed to squeeze through until suddenly she stopped without saying a word. She was listening to something. She waited for a few seconds which felt like hours, then continued to crawl through the vent turning a corner on the right. We were in a small space but it was open enough that we could stand up. When I stood up to stretch out my legs, she hissed at me telling me to crouch back down or they will hear us. Hear us? Who? Who are they? So many questions rushed through my mind but I decided to ignore them and just wait until she shows me whatever she wanted to show me. There was a latch door in the middle of the room. It had bars on it but thin enough bars so that we could see through it. When I crawled closer to it, I saw that it led into a hallway from above. I didn’t know where that was. I’ve never seen that hall before. But Lucy seemed to know.

‘What is this place?’ I asked intrigued. ‘It’s another hallway in the facility but it’s not on any maps. And there is only one door in this hallway.’ She said looking at me in an inquiring way waiting for a reaction from me. It was fairly obvious what she meant, which made my next question sound rather stupid but I asked it anyway just to make sure we were on the same page.

‘So… what does that mean?’

‘It means that there is something on this floor, in this particular hallway, through those metal doors that they don’t want us to find.’ She said. She was so smart. She was using words that I never heard anyone her age use. Not in this place anyway.

This just brought up more questions rather than answers. Who are these people? What is through those doors? Is it something or… someone dangerous? But ignoring the questions swirling around in my mind like a tornado the first thing I thought of was Tony. I had to tell him. But how? Does he even know about this place? If he doesn’t will he even believe me? We have to find out what is through those doors.

I took a deep breath pushing everything I just saw and heard into the back of my mind and I crawled back toward my bunk with Lucy behind me.

When we arrived, I told her to quickly go back to her bunk before anyone realizes that she was gone because it was past her curfew. Every child had to be in their bunks by 2100 hours and in bed by 2200 hours. Those were the rules. She crawled back through the way we came but turning the other way towards her own bunk.

While laying on my bed, eyes open wide there was only one thing I was thinking about. The only thing I could think about. ‘I need to know what’s through those doors.’



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