Survival

Submitted into Contest #74 in response to: Write a story that takes place across ten days.... view prompt

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Adventure Suspense Science Fiction

Day 1


I woke up with a start. My heart was pounding. I looked around at my surroundings. Just sand. I then looked at myself. Thoughts spread into my mind. Where am I? What is this place? Who am I? Why don't I remember anything?


I got up and started walking around the area I was in. Broken buildings were everywhere, along with cars and street lamps, all covered by sand. I slowly walked near one of the buildings. I found a sign on the building and read it.


NYSE


Suddenly, random memories started forming in my head. I remember being in school. My social studies teacher was talking about the ruins of New York City. While explaining about that, he also said NYSE. With more thinking, I managed to get the memory of when he said what it meant. New York Stock Exchange. I gasped. How did I end up here? Why, of all places, did I end up in the barren wastelands of New York City?


I thought about this question as I walked around the area a bit more. A few minutes later, I heard a sound. I thought it was mine, so I completely stopped moving. Listening closely, I heard it again. I followed the sound and ended up in an abandoned store. 


Behind the counter, was a boy, who looked around the same age as me. He was fast asleep, so I crept toward him to wake him up. Before I could reach him, I felt something pinch my neck. My head suddenly felt dizzy. I looked at the area where I felt the pinch at and noticed that a tranquilizer dart was stuck to my neck. Before I could do anything, I collapsed on the floor.


Day 2


I woke up to find myself tied to a chair. The boy, who was previously asleep, was now up and staring at me. In his hand, was a gun.


"Who are you," he shouted, pointing the gun at my forehead. "What do you want?"


"I found myself here. I don't know who I am. Please help me," I exclaimed in fear.


The boy stood there for a moment, not moving.


"Please. Just put the gun down," I exclaimed.


He hesitated. After a while, he put the gun down and asked me what my name was. I replied that I didn't know what it was. He told me to check my right pocket. I stuck my hand in and felt a piece of paper inside my pocket. I pulled it out and read what it said. Tyler. He smiled and held his hand out.


"Nice to meet you Tyler. My name's Cory. Sorry for pointing the gun at you," he replied, looking a bit ashamed.


"It's ok," I said.


I asked him if he remembered anything, but he replied no. It turns out he found himself in this place a few days before me. He told me the only thing he had was an electronic compass with a mile counter. It read, 500 miles left and was pointing south-west. While chatting with him, I started to yawn. I looked out a broken window and saw that it was night time. I decided to sleep for the night so I could start my journey with him to freedom.


Day 3


I scavenged the store for any materials that might be useful on our journey. I found some iodine pills that haven't expired yet, took all the water bottles, grabbed a few tools that might help for making a camp, and some other items. I told him that I was ready and we started walking away from the city. After a few hours, we were much past the city and our water bottles were starting to empty. Luckily, we found a small pond with water in it. Just to make sure, we poured lots of water into the bottles and put an iodine pill in each one. We put our bottles in our pack and trekked a bit longer.


While walking, we found a figure lurking at a distance from us. It had the shape of a human. We tried screaming at the figure, but it didn't look back. Finally, it turned around and noticed us. After a few moments, it started running at us. We heard terrible screams from the figure's direction. Just in case, we started running away from it. I turned back and saw that it was just a few hundred feet away from us. I was able to make out its face. 


With horror, I realized it wasn't a human, but a zombie. Its face was too scary to write down, but I'm telling you, you don't want to know what it looked like. I suddenly had an instant flashback of me as a younger child reading a comic book. I remembered how the zombies were really slow, but this one was quite fast. We ran as fast as we could, but it was too last. The monster grabbed me by the feet and was about to plunge me in its mouth when a loud gunshot pierced my ears. The zombie yelled and another gunshot was heard. By this time, the zombie fell to the floor. I got up and stared at Cory, who had the gun in his hand. I blinked a few times, then fell unconscious.


Day 4


I woke up to the smell of chicken. I looked around and saw a weird-looking tent. Behind the tent, I found Cory cooking a chicken. He turned around and smiled.


"Found a chicken walking around. Looked like it was suffering from hunger. I decided to help him stop suffering," he exclaimed with a smirk. 


I didn't care. He held out a piece of the chicken to me. I grabbed it and started munching at the flesh. It was the best thing I have ever tasted. It was much better than drinking water to replace hunger. We finished eating all parts of the chicken and had the bones remaining. We decided it might be useful later on so we put it in a backpack that we found in the store. I looked back at the weird-looking tent. It was basically a cube. From the outside, I couldn't see what was inside. I went inside the tent and was startled for a second. I was able to see everything from the inside. I went outside and stared at Cory, with a wide mouth.


"Cool, right? I found it at the store. Thought it might be useful for camping. From our early encounter, we could scan the area for danger in our tent, without them seeing us," he exclaimed with pride.


I smiled back at him. After we packed everything up again, we hiked a bit more.


Looking forward, we saw an abandoned town. We walked through its streets when we saw a house with several bikes near the driveway. They were all mountain bikes, which was what we determined after reading the labels. We looked at each other with a grin.


"Dibs on the green bike," I exclaimed.


"I'm having the yellow one," Cory said.


We went inside several houses and took a few materials such as backpacks, more water bottles, and when they were available, guns. After penetrating the area a bit more, we met together and checked the electronic compass. It read that we had 300 miles left. We high-fived each other and sped off into the distance with our bikes.


Day 5


We woke up to the sound of screeching. Luckily, we were in a tent, so we were able to safely look at our surroundings. We couldn't see anything at first, but then noticed several monsters behind a few rocks. Cory and I used our guns and hunted them down. There wasn't much of a chase. They fell easily, unlike the last encounter with the zombies. We biked some more until we found another water supply. We filled the bottles up and put iodine tablets in them. While filling our bottles in, we saw something shiny on the floor.


When we were taking a better look at the object, we saw that it was a big can that had food in it. Cory checked the expiration date on it. It still had a few days left, but an item like this wouldn't just end up in the middle of nowhere. This meant that someone was here recently. For lunch, we had the contents of the can. It was chips, pieces of meat, and other various items. Looking at the sky, we realized that the sun was just about to set down on the horizon. I looked at the compass and saw that we had only 250 miles remaining.


"Halfway done," I exclaimed.


Cory high-fived me and said that we had to start making the tent. We pulled out the folded tent from our backpack and unfolded it. After making the tent, we got inside and started sleeping.


Day 6


Our bikes were starting to get worn off from the menacing climates. The tires are getting flat and the bikes are getting a bit rusty. We were low on food but had a fair amount of water. We were so tired of biking nonstop for the past 2 days. Since there was no other option, we kept on moving forward. Luckily, we arrived in another town. We searched the area some more, but couldn't find any useful items. When we were just about to hop on our bikes and leave, I saw a glint of sunlight reflecting off a piece of metal.


"Hold on, I'm going to check that out," I replied.


Cory watched me as I walked over to the area. I went behind a house and saw a piece of cloth covering a large object. I removed the cloth and yelled in joy.


"CORY! COME OVER HERE," I yelled.


He came over and his eyes widened. It was a buggy. We hopped in the car and felt something near our feet. When we looked down, we saw around 10 boxes of fuel. We high-fived each other, as this vehicle would be faster transportation to our destination. There were no keys. Suddenly, I had another instant flashback. I remembered how people in movies did something with wires and managed to turn the car on without any keys. 


I tried doing that to the buggy and then the engine roared to life. I drove the vehicle back on the main road where the bikes were. I managed to find a strap that could hold a bike in a car. I connected the pieces and called Cory to hop in. We drove for the rest of the day and started camping when night fell.


Day 7


Our food supply was still low. Our stomachs were rumbling and we didn't have any energy. To conserve our energy, I used a rock and put it on the gas pedal. This way, the buggy would keep on moving without us using our feet. To make this efficient, Cory would use the steering wheel and I would be on the lookout for food, water, or monsters. We would switch our roles every 10 minutes. 


Finally, we found a large lake with bubbles coming from various places in the lake. We knew what this means. Fish. A few hours ago, we found a few fishing rods below our seats. We took it out and started fishing for the rest of the day. We caught around a week worth of food, so we didn't have to worry about food shortages anymore. After eating fish for dinner, we slept for the night.


Day 8


After driving our buggy for a while, our engine started to sputter. The gas had run out. We already went through half of the boxes of fuel, so we have to use the rest of the fuel efficiently. The skies were started to turn blue and vegetation was starting to appear, which was a sign that we were reaching human civilization. We started resting for a while in our tent, but when we came out, we saw a large figure running at us. 


A zombie. I quickly woke Cory up and we started driving to the destination. 100 miles left. We didn't have time to sleep, so we drove the whole night. Every time we looked back, the zombie was getting closer. Right now, it looked like a few football fields behind us. When we were starting to get sleepy, I had an idea. Every hour, one person would stay awake and start driving while the other would rest for a while.


Day 9


When the sun was high in the air, we looked back. This time, there were several other zombies behind us. They looked much closer now. Our gas was getting low, so while we were driving, I poured fuel into the gas tank. We didn't want to risk stopping now.


"Tyler, I'll drive the car. You take out your gun and start shooting at them," Cory yelled.


I nodded and pulled out my gun from the backpack. I took a shot. One zombie took the hit and fell almost instantly. They all stopped and turned around to look at their fallen friend. After a few moments, they turned around and started to run faster, this time with fury in their eyes.


Corry pressed the glass pedal harder as I tried shooting the rest. All of them fell easily, except for the bulky one. It felt like a rampage of these monsters were chasing us. We didn't stop for the whole day. Before taking shifts to sleep, I checked the mile indicator once more. 50 miles remaining.


Day 10


More and more trees were starting to form. I could see birds flying around the area. Off in the distance, I saw a tall building that didn't look like it was shattered. The monster was still chasing us. Suddenly, the car stopped. The gas was low. We had only one more box left, so Cory poured it in quickly. The second Cory got in the vehicle, I pressed the gas pedal. The car roared to life again as we drove off. 


The monster was much closer this time. It was around 30 yards behind us. It was getting closer by the second. I looked at the compass. 1 mile remaining. I looked back, it was just around 25 yards away now. I yelled as I pulled my gun out. Gunshots ringed in my ear and I tried killing the monster. It didn't work. Finally, the buildings started getting bigger. I could see tall gates with people in uniforms standing in front of them. One of them had a gun in their hand. 


Suddenly, the buggy stopped. We only had half a mile left. I monster was getting closer. We hopped out of the buggy and quickly got the bikes out. They were rusty, but we didn't mind. We hopped in and started riding to the buildings. A few minutes later, we arrived next to the people. The monster was only a few yards away. When it was just about to reach us, the man with the gun shot the monster. The monster yelped in pain and it fell. As I turned around to say thank you, Cory and I was struck with a tranquilizer dart. We fell unconscious.


Epilogue


"Welcome back ladies and gentlemen to Live or Die. I'm your host, Carter Ast. 10 days ago, two people were randomly selected. Their names were Tyler Holt and Cory Adams. Before putting them in the dangers of the world, we removed their memories. They were sent into the wild after that. Ten days later, they came back safely with a mutation on their tail. Now, it's time to meet them," Carter Ast said to the audience.


The audience was applauding as Tyler Holt and Cory Adams came in.


"Welcome welcome. How are you today," the host asks.


"We're fine," Tyler exclaimed.


"Ok. How was the survival test in the wild," Carter joked, followed by the audience laughing.


Tyler and Cory didn't laugh. They thought it was a lame joke


"It was kind of scary. We didn't know who each other was. It was frightening," Cory explained.


"Well then. I know you guys want to see your families again, so we are going to end this interview here," Carter said.


He then turned to the audience and cameras.


"For more details about the candidates, stay tuned tomorrow on channel 7. Bye," Carter said with a wave.

January 01, 2021 22:57

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41 comments

Abood Balbisi
16:38 Jan 10, 2021

Can I post your story on YouTube with your name listed?

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17:13 Jan 10, 2021

Sure? Why? Just asking...

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Abood Balbisi
18:07 Jan 10, 2021

I just have a YouTube channel with a new idea and I chose your story as the start

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21:13 Jan 10, 2021

Oh, ok. You can do it if you want.

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Carrie O'Keefe
16:42 Jan 07, 2021

I liked your approach as well. I could not figure out how to do a 10 day count down. You did a good job!

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16:43 Jan 07, 2021

Thank you! I just really hope this might win!

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Carrie O'Keefe
15:12 Jan 08, 2021

Best of wishes!

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Carrie O'Keefe
15:12 Jan 08, 2021

Best of wishes!

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Carrie O'Keefe
15:12 Jan 08, 2021

Best of wishes!

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Carrie O'Keefe
15:15 Jan 08, 2021

Best of wishes! Good luck: }

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Carrie O'Keefe
15:15 Jan 08, 2021

Best of wishes! Good luck: }

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Samaira S.
23:07 Jan 06, 2021

Really, really liked the story. Interesting idea and fabulously presented. I simply wanted to add one thing. While I was reading, I believed that you could've spent more time on each day, enhancing the plot and the characters, so that the reader feels connected -maybe a few more emotions and feelings of the characters. However, I counter myself, as I can understand why you stuck to this presentation of the story, due to the unexpected ending and the fact that you had to write a 'short' story and so couldn't write a multi-chapter story. I ...

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12:38 Jan 07, 2021

Thank you so much! I couldn't really add much since I was so close to the 3,000-word limit so yeah. I didn't know my story was this good!!! It was inspired by Hunger Games, The Testing, and The Maze Runner. All of them are my favorite books!

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Samaira S.
15:24 Jan 08, 2021

I am ashamed to say that I haven't actually read any of them. Probably why I didn't pick up on the plot until later in the story.

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15:52 Jan 08, 2021

Oh, it's ok. They're really good books

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