Chapter 001: Day Six

Sarah rubbed her hand along the rough bark, as if saying goodbye. She then clenched her jaw and her fists and began walking with directed purpose to the station and her fate. Everything her family had gone through had turned out to be pointless in the end. Had it really been better for the colony to survive and to have brought children and grandchildren into this world? Would it not have been better to have simply opened up the gates and walked into the city and disappeared along with the rest of civilization the night that the train stopped? What was the point of the struggle if the only outcome that was inevitable was the horrible death that was waiting for them all?

As she walked on in hopeless determination, out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a man on the ground below. She did not recognize him and instantly got the feeling that he was out of place, like a circus clown at a funeral. Not only were his clothes clean and without a single blemish, but he was not walking as the other survivors walked. They all moved with a sense of burden on their shoulders but, in stark contrast, this stranger was simply strolling with his hands behind his back, taking long leisurely steps and staring at the world around him as if it was all brand new to him.

Sarah stopped and watched the man as he reached for some broken pavement and picked up something small and stared at it through glasses that were perched on the end of his nose. He smiled a smile that was much too wide for a face as thin as his and then dropped the object back to the ground, wiping his hands and rubbing his fingers together as if what he had just held had been dirty.

He was so clean. His clothes looked new and did not contain a single patch that was customary to the survivors. His face was milky smooth and did not look as if he had spent any time in the sun at all. While he stood as tall as any adult, Sarah could not help come to the conclusion that he looked brand new; like a doll taken out of its packaging for the first time.

“Sarah! They need you right now!” A voice yelled and Sarah turned to see several people walking her way.

In a daze, she looked back down off of the tracks and saw that the man was now looking back up at her with that tremendous smile and white teeth.

Sarah rubbed her hand along the rough bark as if saying goodbye. She then clenched her jaw and her fists and began walking with directed purpose to the station and her fate. Everything her family had gone through had turned out to be pointless in the end. Had it really been better for the colony to survive and to have brought children and grandchildren into this world? Would it not have been better to have simply opened up the gates and walked into the city and disappeared along with the rest of civilization the night that the train stopped? What was the point of the struggle if the only outcome that was inevitable was the horrible death that was waiting for them all?

Sarah began to wave back but suddenly found that she was surrounded with those that had been given the task of retrieving her. Before she turned to leave, she looked down once more, only to find the man gone.

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