Hello name is Hope, Im 15 and 14 years ago today my mother died. Her power was taken from her soul and put into mine, because I served a greater purpose. That purpose has been instructed in this very camera. This camera holds a story. A story of the past but also of the future. This is my mothers story…
“Hi camera Its Alex and today is day 43. So as you know for months I have been sneaking out into the desolate and litter strewn streets trying to find hope and by hope i mean others. You would be surprised by the nooks and crannies I find people hiding in these days. For example yesterday I discovered two brothers hiding away in an old abandoned Wendy’s. They had been living off flat coca cola and moldy burger buns for weeks. I brought them back to the homey bunker where everyone I discover is brought.”
“Before they entered they had to be checked for dangerous weapons and anything else that could harm others. I can’t have anything that we can control hurting the survivors. One of my men invented a test for the infected. It’s not really a test to be honest. He said just to look into their eyes and you’ll know. I guess he’s right I mean what would you expect someone whose brain only saw anger to look like? All smiley and bright?”
By now your very confused, according to my mother a few months ago the government released a drug that was supposedly able to delete anger from its victims, but it went horribly wrong. Instead of decreasing the anger it increased it..by 100.
A wave of people were blinded with rage and had been completely rewired to kill anything that so much as looked in their direction. After a couple of days the drug caused a deadly disease that built up in the victims heart undetected until it completely consumed the victims heart and exploded. The worst thing about it is in your last moments all you can think of is killing the ones closest to you. Thankfully humanity learnt to recognize what we survivors call the infected.
Their eyes look as though they are drowning in rage, stained red from the blood of the innocent people that’s lives they had taken. Their skin is rough and dirty, they could bathe in sewage for months and come out smelling better than they do now. The infected can’t speak. The rage has completely taken over their brain so anything they learnt or experienced before the infection has been forever lost.
“Hey camera according to Zed who used to be a scientist the sun is in the middle of the sky so it’s around 12pm. That means I have around 3-4 hours to go looking for supplies.”
“Hey Alex you coming?”
“That’s Darren, he has been with me since the start. Constantly proving to me that he can be trusted. He lost his wife and daughter to the infection so I think he feels like he has to help clean up the city to kind of get vengeance for them.”
“I’ll report back to you when we get home, wish us luck camera”
She waved goodbye to the camera and her deep tired eyes leaked onto the screen as she ended the recording. I can’t imagine how painful that experience must have been for her. Everyday searching for flickers of hope in the ruins that fade away more and more everyday..
“Hey camera we just got back. It was an average run. Found a few cans of food in Sally’s Supermarket a few blocks away. I think Darren is upset because we didn’t find any survivors today. Secretly I think that he is going to find his wife. He told his story to the newcomers today. About how he took his daughter to visit his wife at work and how right in front of their eyes she was murdered by an infected. Apparently his daughter ran away and hid but he could never find her.”
“Alex get out here, the twins are infected!”
“Shit, sounds like Darren needs my help! I knew there was something dodgy about those two. I’ll be right back!”
She runs toward Darren who was wielding a machete towards two men. The camera filmed the whole thing. She picked up a gun, I couldn’t see what type and started firing at the men. They acted like zombies on steroids. Running with knifes towards my mother and Darren like a fat kid with smarties. Luckily another woman ran in with a machine gun and killed the men instantly. Their blood was tainted blue and soaked into the cracked dry ground, painting the sandy ground blue. People from all around the camp dragged the bodies away. I’m not sure where they keep them because it was out of the frame. My mother ran back to the camera a trickle of blood ran down her cheek.
“Just a normal day a the office..”
The camera stopped recording again. I’m not surprised. I scrolled through he camera to the next clip. It was dated almost 9 months later.
“Hey camera, I know it’s been a while”
Her eyes looked cold, tired and drained. I wish I could have been there to help her. To tell her everyday that it would be ok.
“We haven’t found any survivors since I recorded last. The others are saying that this baby is our last hope.”
She lowered the camera to the sleeping bag next to her. A baby girl was sleeping peacefully. Darren shuffled into frame and picked up the baby.
“We have had many name suggestions, but only one has been swimming through my mind”
Darren took the camera and held it over the the babies face.
“Hope” he said
Tears are escaping out of my eyes like olympic sprinters that are rushing away from the starting line. The more I look at this video the more it hurts that I wasn’t there for my mother.
“Hey camera it’s me Alex. It’s been almost a year and a lot has changed. Darren was killed while trying to protect Hope. An infected had heard her cries and come to kill her. The others have all gone, they either left to make home somewhere else or died.”
“Do you remeber Zed from the beginning of these recordings? He is still here. I think he has taken an interest in Hope. He gave me this idea that I could make these recordings for future Hope. He believes that Hope is special and that she will be the city’s second chance or something like that.”
“I don’t want to upset him since he has worked so hard to help me so I guess I could do this for him.”
There was one last video dated just under two years later.
Zed had set the camera up so that I could just see my mothers face in her sleeping bag. She was pale and sweat was trickling down her worn out face.
“Every unwanted morning you’ll stretch your bloody and bruised legs. You will breathe in the probably highly toxic and polluted air as if it was a good day. You’ll limp out of the cold rusty bunker I proudly built to protect the survivors and go on your tradition jog through the abandoned streets searching for supplies.”
“On your jog you will often choke on the stench of pain that reaks out of the split pavement. Your eyes will burn from the tears that sprinkle your dry dirty skin when you see the remaining rubble of your lost city just crumbling into nothingness. The screams and voices of innocent human beings will never stop ringing in your ears.”
“The sky will beg you to give up so that it itself can be free from the torture of looking down onto such a waste land. You’ll constantly be scrambling into the nearest building to take shelter from the harsh winds that smother the city in blankets of sand.”
“I want you know that this wasn’t my choice and I couldn’t control it. Faith comes in many forms but this time in has settled in you Hope..because you are the only one who holds the key and wields the power to raising our city from its ashes. You are the only one who can restore the land and make peace with the anger that ruined our society because you are pure Hope and don’t ever forget that. Goodbye Hope and good luck.”