Saturday, November 23, 2013

#BB

#BA

Dear Diary,

We gave ourselves a name today. For the four of us, I mean. We thought that since we have made it a point to actively hunt down the zeds, we might as well do it under a cool group name. In the case where we do succeed in wiping out the zeds, at least we would not go down in history as the 'Three Youngsters and One Old Uncle Zed Hunting Group'. That was what Mike said. He added that to give our group an official feeling, we should have our history recorded down, so that future generations could learn from us. He immediately looked to my direction after finishing the sentence, and that was how I was automatically 'volunteered' as the scribe. All of us laughed at the idea. For someone who is older than us by at least a few decades, Mike certainly still has a lot of quirky ideas, and a childish side to me. It's not that it was bad though, since it was his humour and relaxed look of life that kept the mood of our group going.

To be honest, 'telling the world' has not been as easy as we had predicted. For starters, we did not know how many survivors were out there and where to find them in the first place. We do not even know how the entire area looked like. Our activities in the past few weeks was confined to only several neighbourhoods in the west, and we barely ventured out further than that. In all our raids and all our experiments, we never ever encountered any signs that might indicate that there were others who survived aside from us, no written messages, no broadcasts and no used items. Perhaps it was the cautious way that we have done things that have kept us from meeting anyone, but that did not stop us from feeling that there might be no other survivors except us.

For the first time since the four of us met, we felt lonely. The thought that we might be the only ones left in the whole of Singapore is a scary one, and merely thinking about it was enough to trigger a wave of despair in me. It was not only me though. The rest were affected by the thought as well. Whenever the possibility of us being the last remaining group was brought up, you could see the faces of everyone changing. In the end, we stopped talking about it altogether. Which was why Mike tried to change the mood of our situation by the suggesting the entire group name thing in the first place.

"Fantastic Four," Daniel immediately voiced out when Mike first broke out the question, to me and Mike's laughter and to Julie rolling her eyes. It has been two to three days since we left the mall in high spirits, eagerly waiting to tell the world of our discovery. The possibility that we might finally have a chance to fight back. But searching for survivors was harder than what we had picture in our mind. Only grey zeds welcomed us so far.

We thought as long as we stuck to places where survivors might go to, like convenience stores, we would eventually bump into someone alive if we camped in a single place long enough. We had been here since the first day when we left the mall, and even though a few days were not exactly long to begin with, feelings of restlessness and boredom soon began to set in. Little by little, we felt that we were reverting to our life before the Dark Mall experiment. A life where we were surviving only for the sake of surviving, living each day as it comes. One where the light at the end of the tunnel did not exist. And that somehow had affected everyone's mood in a not so good way.

"How about Shield Society?" Julie asked. "It was from the novel World War Z and I thought it's cool."

Mike and Daniel has been throwing off ideas like Zed Hunting Team, Zed Killers, Left 4 Team, AvengeZeds and a host of other funny names since the past few minutes, laughing at each of them before Julie finally chipped in. I stayed quiet as I did not have any better ideas. I tend to zone off from conversations when I have nothing to add or when the conversation does not interest me. Besides, looking at how Mike and Daniel joked around with the names was an entertainment itself.

"Too Japanese-sy," Daniel immediately countered, referring to where the name had come from in the book. Mike obviously has not touched the book before, judging from his confused face. I imagined him picturing a group of people carrying shields in his head. He asked whether it was the movie with the long hair blonde guy, referring to the film adaptation starring Brad Pitt. We all laughed and said no.

Seeing that her idea was not well accepted, Julie shrugged her shoulders and returned to her little bubble of concentration next to Daniel. Both Daniel and Mike then continued on with their name game. I was feeling a little hungry by this time, so I decided to look for something to eat around the store.

I wandered around the aisles eyeing for food that would still be edible. My mind was still dwelling on the events in the past few days. With Julie reminding me of the novel that I have read so long ago, I could not help but wonder if like Japan in the novel, Singapore has evacuated all of its residents to a safer place to regroup and recuperate. That would perhaps explain the lack of survivors that we were seeing. The author in the book did mention that in the face of an overwhelming enemy, it is always best to first gather and solidify your remaining forces in a safe zone before going on the offensive again. Perhaps this was we were seeing? That everyone has left to regroup? It makes some sense when I thought of it because after all, we were situated in a region where there are thousands of uninhabited islands. Those islands could always serve as a safe zone from the zeds with the sea as a natural border all around. Provided that the zeds do not swim, that is.

However, if that was the case, then why the four of us do not know it? How was the people told anyway? Was there some sort of broadcast that we missed? Now everything does not seem to make sense again. Somehow the explanation where the majority of the population was wiped out seemed more plausible in our situation. The thought of it sunk my heart again, so I try to not think about the bigger picture first and just focus at the task at hand. The sound of the three of them laughing reached my ears, and I smiled weakly. At least I am not alone for now.

 As I rifled through the assortment of food on the shelves; the sight of potato chips, canned luncheon meat and moldy bread lying on the shelves greeted me. My worry shifted from how the world is doing to our food supply. How long will we be able to keep on raiding for food supply before everything runs out? A feeling of dread crept up to me when I realized that sooner or later, all these food in places like this would either run out or go bad. I took up a can of baked beans and looked at the expiry date. It was roughly sometime next year. The potato chips had a slightly longer expiry date, but then again we cannot be expected to survive on potato chips. Like it or not, the problem of food will come. We may be required to grow our food again or to hunt for wild animals.

Water was slightly easier as we had been collecting rain water to supplement our supply but even then, there will be a point in time where it will not be enough. Wells will need to be dug up and such. The more I think about it, the bleaker the situation seemed to me. It was like we were regressing as a society in whole to what our ancestors had once been. We were nothing but scavengers now and before long, we will also need to take up the roles of hunter, gatherer and even farmer in order to survive. That was the future awaited us if we were to continue down the path that we were currently on. The thought of all losing so much as a society in such a short time reignited the fire in me. The fire to reclaim our lives from the zeds and to rebuild society as how I have always know it. Mike's enthusiasm has been rubbing off on me apparently.

I looked at the sunlight that was piercing beneath the shutters. I guess it must be afternoon now, judging from the intensity of it. I had no idea why was I contemplating on so many issues on this particular day, but I just felt that something was missing ever since we left the mall. I had expected things to grow bigger and more intense since we discovered something so important about the zed, but somehow we never did anything concrete with it. I guess the excitement that came from that experience sort of tapered off as other needs began to pop up again. Needs like eating, finding a shelter and staying alive took precedence over dealing a blow to the zeds.

I took a bag of chips and opened it. During my entire ordeal, never once had I tasted my once beloved potato chips, even though I could never stop eating I last time. Chips was my comfort food and I would eat it as I studied, watched dramas or played games in my room. There was always two to three packets of it lying somewhere on my shelves. Since the outbreak started, chips had become an unnecessary food. They did not call it junk food for no reason. Other than providing absolutely no nutritional values, you would still be hungry after eating a few bags of chips, it also makes you craving for water. It was a bad thing as water is a limited supply, and it does not make sense to eat something that would dry out your water supply. Which was why we have never touched chips before in any of our raid trips.

The taste of the piece of chip in my mouth, with the tinge of tomato taste and the sound of it breaking apart as my teeth crunch on it, brought back memories. It triggered the soothing feeling that I got whenever I ate chips and it made me miss eating chips so much. In fact, it made me miss a lot of food. Ice cream, cakes, waffles and even a steaming hot bowl of soup, I would have given anything to have a bite of them now. My mouth salivated. But as a feeling of thirst rose in my throat, I felt that I have made a wrong choice in putting the piece of chip into my mouth. My mouth and stomach craved for more, but I threw it aside, feeling somewhat disappointed in myself. I grabbed one of the few remaining baked beans on the shelve, peeled open the metal cover and began scooping some of the contents into my mouth. The taste was nowhere near the chips, but at least it was filling. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I ambled slowly back to the center of the place where they were, can of beans in my hand. They were joking about something but I could not hear it clearly.

"What took you so long?" Mike asked as I sat down on one of the chairs they found. He told me that they have finally picked a name for our group and asked me to guessed.

"Hello Kitties," I respond sarcastically. I continued to dig into the baked beans.

"Neh eh, wrong!" Julie imitated the buzzer sounds that they use in game shows to indicate that the contestant was wrong. There was a twinkle in her eyes as Daniel snickered behind her.

"Just Kill Zeds! That's our name!" Daniel immediately added. I almost choked on my beans when I heard that. In the end, I just laughed along side with them. Despite being a little bit down earlier, listening to them and interacting with them brightened up my mood. I teased them about the name and Mike, who played a large part in choosing the name, responded light heartedly by saying that it took him a great amount of effort to think it up. I merely answered by teasing that he had copied Nike's idea. Everyone laughed again. I looked at each of them, grateful to be stuck in an apocalypse with them.

Perhaps this is what surviving during the end of the world is supposed to look like. That we take one day at a go, living it to the fullest without worrying about too many things. That we should treasure the people and the things we have today, instead of worrying what comes tomorrow. After all, today may be the very last day we will spend on earth. We could make plans for the future, of course, but ultimately, we should not let our fear of the future immobilize us. If anything, we should keep on fighting for our future itself. That is how we survive.

"Now that we have our name in place, perhaps it's now time to put our plans down in words, shall we?" said Julie. She was the de facto leader of our group now, a role which she warmed up naturally to. It was a role we gladly let her take too.

"Since we have not seen anyone as we hoped, I supposed it's just the four of us now. But that's okay since I know all of us are able to hold our own ground."

As the scribe of the group, I continued to enthusiastically jot down what Julie was saying as the rest looked on eagerly. I could see how proud Daniel looked with Julie up there. I guessed her can do attitude and her leadership qualities was something that Daniel loved very much in her.

As I continued writing, I cannot help but to smile. Everything that I have worried about just now seemed so unnecessary now. I had come to view the situation so much more pessimistically that it actually was. A sense of excitement began building up in me again, something similar that I felt during the Black Mall experiment. Just Kill Zeds, the newly formed group in Singapore, is finally beginning operations.

 Julie eyed each of us before continuing. "I know that all of you are already bored to death with all this waiting, so it's time to bring the action to the zeds."

I added a smiley next to the sentence in my book. Finally.


*****

P/s: As this is a work in progress and as I am trying to finish the story before November ends and not forgetting that I have work from 9-6 everyday, there might be grammar errors here and there and if you spot one, I would sincerely apologize for it. I am looking to publish this story, so if you spot any spelling or grammar mistakes, I would greatly appreciate it if you could let me know by dropping a comment after each post. Proofreading your own work is confusing after all. I won't forget your kindness!





ShareThis

Related Posts with Thumbnails