For the first story, I could talk about many things to you. I could show you the depths of the desires of my heart. I could show you the blackness of it, how it’s darker than coal, the colour of night. I could talk about how my headaches, long for something different. Not longing for something better specifically, just different, anything to change the perpetual torrent of thoughts that envelop me.
I could moan, I could give you the endless tales on end about how poor my life is. I do tend to go on a bit, so to save your ears from being just as depressed as I am I’ll describe where I’m writing this to you right now. That way you’ll see what I mean, and I don’t give any personal details. I have to keep my identity a secret these days.
I’m sitting cross-legged with an old typewriter in front of me. It was my grandfather’s. He never trusted modern technology and always preferred the old fashioned manual way of doing things. It was rather lucky actually. When They came They took everything from us.
So anyway, there’s me and my mind again. Always trailing off. What were we talking about? Oh, I was describing where I am right now. Yes, that’s right. So anyway, I live in a very small shack, which fortunately is better than the majority of living conditions. Of course, I’m not a snob about it, I let others in any time they like, it’s just not workable to fit all the Forgotten Ones in. I have a register and I rotate. Seems the fairest really.
So I’m surrounded by mattresses and cupboards. Somewhere made by my grandfather, other’s I’ve collected through the years. It’s quite a low room, held up by wood really. About 5 mattresses in here, with a little space to walk through them.
The roof is slightly rotting, but supplies are running thin and we need the timber to build up our defences, or to hold up our escape tunnels should They return and we ever need to use them. My abode is mainly made up of oak, from the nearby trees you see, makes it easy for us to forage them. But, you can find all sorts of things, tin, iron, other types of wood. Anything which will hold the place up is used. It’s not like we have a choice.
I’m not going to dwell on too much here, there’s no need to depress you as well. If you’re reading this then you’ve clearly learned to read, probably have gone to school and know a few other things like how to write too. We never had a school. My grandfather taught me everything, how to read and write, how to shoot, how to start a fire. He gave me all the skill I needed so I could keep going, and teach them to others.
“All in it together.” That’s what my grandfather said, those words etched into the wooden sign outside the house. That way people know even if they’re told to come back another day because we’re full, they’re still home here. It doesn’t matter if I don’t know them, I show the same generosity to them as I would do to those I did know. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to do this, supplies are dwindling. I keep morale up as much as I can but it’s becoming even harder to do that now.
It was never like this. We used to have a beautiful city, run with firm but fair leadership. Now everything’s changed. The pillars of respect, honour and trust in our society which had guided our rapid progress and community spirit were now given to the highest bidder. A marketplace of titles.
And so the rich took over. Buying those things as well we could either join them or stick to our morals. Like a few others, I stayed loyal to myself. Many didn’t. Our small group of Forgotten Ones were, exactly as the name suggests, Forgotten. First, we were outcast. The New Rules came in, that was bad enough, made us leave. Expelled from the city we were forced to seek refuge here. Hopefully, there are other groups like us. But we can’t leave our base to find out. Far too dangerous with other scavengers. No, no. We are much safer here, even though the concept of ‘safe’ is all but a distant memory.
The New Rules took our technology too. They allowed us nothing, no radio, television, phones. My grandfather luckily had old typewriters, paraffin lights, washboards. Collections from museums, and that which was self-made. That burdens me with great responsibilities. Few have what I have. Distributing the collection gives me authority. Because I have what’s needed I am also the Leader here.
Not only does my responsibility fall to making sure everyone has what they need. I have to check the defences, hide items away, lead scavenger raids, and try to keep morale up as much as possible. I’m not like their leader though. I don’t hide away in a place, I stay right out with the people, working and fighting alongside them.
So that’s a bit about us. I could go on all day and give the entire history of our people, it’s all stored in the Library. But there’s no point dwelling on about our hardships any longer. If we focus on the present sufferings, we’re not going to have a future.
We will have a future one day. One day we’ll rise up. Fight again. We’re training. We’re developing. Day by day we’re improving and getting ready. It takes time. But I’ll guarantee they’re being complacent. They think we’re nothing. That we don’t exist even. The last thing they’ll be expecting is an attack from ‘the unintelligent dogs’.
So maybe one day we will rule again. Maybe one-day truth, justice and democracy will rule this world again. Maybe you’ll be hearing tales about our rule.
But for now, at least, I need to go to the library. We have a journal where we record the resource gains, fatalities and anything else we need to track our progress. I need to fill and sign the book for the day. No fatalities today, but only food scraps collected also.
So if you’ll forgive me I’ll be off now, if you’ve bothered to read this far down, thank you. Thank you for showing compassion to our society.
Maybe you’ll get to read something of mine again. Somehow we may cross paths again.