Dreaming from the Waste – Chapter 3: Let the Wrong One In

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August 8, 2018
US Population: ~17 million

An overcast sky greeted the lens of the periscope as it poked through a thatch of evergreen bushes. The endless sea of gray above collided with a floor of dirt, pebbles, fallen leaves and an abandoned log cabin. Angela sighed as she lowered her view of the outside, all was as it was yesterday, and likely the same tomorrow. A small comfort, with excitement so often paired with danger these days, but incredibly dull. She returned to her workbench, snipping and twisting wires absentmindedly, forming a large coil at the foot of the table.

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Dreaming from the Waste – Chapter 2: Bridge Too Far

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The drive continued silently for a while, with Stacey pushing herself as close as she could to the door in the back seat. Jon glanced over a couple of times, thinking about saying something and then thinking better of it. Angela tried repeatedly to find a connection with her phone, but to no avail. David and Lawrence took turns manning the radio dial, taking great care to change the station should something inappropriately cheerful come on. The going became slower the further North they went, dispelling any notion they had beaten the panic. Initially, they were alone on the road between most exits, with only the trees, rolling hills and truck stop billboards to keep them company.

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Dreaming from the Waste – Chapter 1: Day Zero

 

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September 21, 2016
US Population: ~330 million.

David drifted through space, turning effortlessly as a thousand tiny stars dotted his vision. He reached out to touch one close by, and the tip of his finger burst it like wind to a dandelion. He popped one more, then another, and the tiny specks of light filled the void even further. When it came time to breathe, he could gather no air. That wasn’t too strange, he was in space, after all. However, his lungs felt full of some spongy substance that crept up to his throat. He jabbed his chest, trying to dislodge whatever filled him, but it only grew further, until he could feel it on his tongue. With no breath, his consciousness began to fade, all the stars winking out, giving way to an unceasing sea of black. He awoke, with a pallor gripping him and gooseflesh rippling over his skin. Hang on, air’s going in, air’s going out. It’s just a dream, I’m fine. He paid it little mind, threw off his covers and dressed in the black graphic tee and cargo shorts he wore the day before. Thus began his morning routine, gray eyes and fair hair greeting him in the mirror, but he couldn’t shake the goosebumps. After washing, he started catching up on current events on his favorite message board, when he noticed an odd post pinned to the top of the forum display. “What happened to Maine?” was the title. Having seen nothing on the news, he was reasonably secure in its status as both state and landmass, but curiosity demanded he open the post. It originated at 9 AM, two hours ago.

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