This is the story of me, Veronica, the popular for being weird, high self esteem, hair dyed ponytail kind of person. This is the story of how I tried to escape my problems by going to Mars. Emphasis on the word tried. It was the year 2037. I was hanging out at my house playing some dumb game, then all the sudden alarms just started going off everywhere. That blaring, annoying, worrying sound I will never forget to this day. I checked my phone, as I was worried and wanted to know what the heck was going on. First thing I saw?
“A “zombie” outbreak, as scientists are calling it.”
I stared in disbelief at the screen when, a new message popped up.
“New text message from ‘Little Bro’.”
I opened it, of course, and saw the conversation we had been having
“Heard about the new zombie game coming out?”
“Yeah, I heard it’s pretty dumb
“Say what you will, I’m getting it”
“Whatever little bro”
I then looked at the one he had just sent.
“Coming to get you, we need to get on the spaceship.” Spaceship!? What the heck is he talking about?
“This isn’t a game, Travis, this is real life.”
“I am aware, I replied. They’re sending people to Mars as a last ditch effort, I grabbed Dad’s ‘In case of emergencies’ bag.”
At this point I knew we had an actual, serious emergency on our hands, and I was indescribably terrified. In my breakdown I realized something, I hadn’t paid any attention to the banging on my door. This banging made me even more terrified so, yay? Luckily for me Dad had also left me an emergency bag, but there was a problem… I forgot where it was located. A searched the house as the banging got louder, and louder, and louder still. In the end, nothing insanely intense happened. I found the bag in my desk, grabbed it, and waited for my brother to get here.
“Now Veronica.” you may ask “Why didn’t you just simply get in your own car and drive to the spaceship yourself?” Well, two reasons. First of all, I had no clue where this spaceship was. Secondly, you think I can drive a 2029 Subaru through a horde of zombies? Well the answer is no, I can’t. So I waited, and soon I heard a “beep beep” outside my room. “He’s here” I silently said to myself, and then I realized ANOTHER something. How the sham am I going to get to the car? And then I remembered that I have roof access… I’m “smart.” I climbed to the roof, about ten feet off the ground, and then thought to myself— “This is kinda high in the air and if I miss I’m probably dead…” Then I came to the revelation that this is life or death. “AND I CHOOSE LIFE!” I yelled, jumping from the roof towards the car, afterwards realizing that I could’ve just dropped down and landed on the car just fine. I landed on my brother’s truck and then transferred myself to the back of it as my bro started to drive.
I’ll skip the boring part and just go straight to the spacecraft. The words “S.S Impenetrable” were written on the side in black. We got there in the nick of time because the zombies were thickening and they were about to leave. Military were all around, taking pot shots at the zombies. Now, these were not those running zombies that would kill you in two seconds, no. These were the type of zombies that you would get too cocky or stupid and that’s how you’d die. Me and my brother hopped on the space shuttle and got ready. The sleek white design was kind of off-putting for a rescue vessel. A man by the name of Todd (I read off his tag) was standing at the door, helping people in. Me and my brother were the last ones on, but just then another family of three, a mom and her two children, drove up to the shuttle. “Please, just let me and my children on, there has to be room right?” the woman said, desperate sounding
“Sorry ma’am, we only have two spots left.” said the person who I assumed to be the corporal or whatever the top rank in the military was.
“Please, I beg of you.”
Now my brother was a little bit, how do I say, too friendly.
“Here ma’am, take my seat”
“NO!” I yelled, “somebody else can do it!”
It was too late by that point though, he was already off the ship.
“I’ll see you when you get back Ver!” he said as he threw me his I.C.O.E. bag.
“NO, DON’T YOU DA…” But it was too late, the doors were shut. I saw the military hand him some type of gun or something, but he gave it back.
The reason I didn’t tell you about the ride to the shuttle is because he’s the person in the apocalypse who is convinced there’s a cure and doesn’t kill anything. I saw him drive off and started to fear the worst for him and, before I knew it, I was on the floor, weeping. That guy, Todd, came over and started to attempt to comfort me. “Hey” he said, in a calm, soft tone. “It’ll be okay, I’m sure he’ll be fine, he wouldn’t leave if he didn’t know what he was doing.” Except, that’s exactly what he would do. The ship started to take off and within the blink of an eye, it felt, we were in space. Now, you might be thinking “How the smudge could things get worse from here?” Well, have you ever heard of something called “Snakes on a Plane?” Imagine that except zombies, on a spaceship. Remember that family that was let on last second. Well I forgot to include this detail, but the military was checking people for bites, and they didn’t check that family. The mom had gotten bit and so had the kids. They were easy to deal with, but not quickly dealt with. They bit a few people… Including me.
“So much for the ‘S.S Impenetrable’ huh?” I said, laughing nervously. I didn’t tell anyone I’d gotten bit in the fight for fear of being quarantined. “We still weren’t technically penetrated.” Todd said. Todd gave me the vibe of being a pretty serious, experienced, sarcastic kinda person, the exact kinda person my brother was. Made me miss ‘im even more.
Felt like it took years to get to our destination. That was probably just me being worried about my bite though. When we got there, of course, I slipped like the clumsy dork I was, revealing my bite to all. Luckily it was only revealed for a second and only Todd saw it. I looked over at him and he was looking at me with a terrified expression. He hopped down from the stairs and came over to me. “You hid this from me?” He said in an exasperated whisper.
“Maybe” I replied
“For… we need to get that amputated.”
“What my leg?!”
“No, your arm… WHAT DO YOU THINK?” He said a little louder than he should’ve.
“Fine, but only if I get a cool new leg.”
“This is 2037, what, you think you’re going to get a peg leg?”
“‘Ya never know Todd. (I read his name tag)”
“Did you just say ‘I read his name tag’?”
“Shut up, let’s go.” I said as I stood up and starting walking to the nearest infirmary.
By the time we got to the infirmary my leg was starting to hurt. We walked in the front door and rang the desk bell. Soon a nurse came to the front. “What are y’all doin’ here? You hear about the zombies outside?” His Southern accent was heavy.
“We need an amputation,” Todd blurted out.
“Wha… I…” the nurse sputtered out.
“Fine fine, ‘urry to this back room.”
“Eh… I trust him” Todd exclaimed, confidently.
I’ll spare you the details of what happened in that back room… Since the doctor had already fled, it was messy. Somehow, I didn’t die AND I got a sick new robo-leg, I mean, what’d you expect, it’s 2037, not some dumb year like 2017. The nurse gave us a pretty cool package deal, the leg and a set of knockout dart assault rifles also known as K.D.A.Rs. “Now go help yourself, don’t get hurt or anything, please.”
“We won’t, hopefully” I said.
I think of myself as a realist. When presented with a situation I look at the situation as it is, not how it could be. So when we reached “Forttude Hill”, as the sign read, I thought to myself “This place is great to set up some kind of like survivor safe haven or something.” Because believe me, this virus spread quicker than a rumor in middle school. “Okay, a few things could happen when we enter this gated community here.” I said aloud. “We either get jumped by apocalypse scavvers, it’s infested with zombies, it’s populated with survivors, or nobody is here and we get the place to ourselves.” Now, the reason I called them scavvers is because it’s short for scavengers. Even on earth in the first hour or two people were raiding buildings and… killing each other to survive.
“I pick option D”
“This isn’t a choice, it’s a list.”
“Oh, okay… I still choose option D”
“But I just… you know what let’s talk about something more important here. Why haven’t we been attacked by zombies at, like, all?”
“But the spaces…”
“Apart from that Todd”
“Huh, I don’t kno…”
As expected at that very moment a horde of zombies started shambling up the road to us
“You just had to speak Veronica, didn’t you?” I said, angrily. Todd had the brilliant idea to roll and explosive barrel, conveniently placed next to the gate, down the hill and have knockout darts attached to it, thus knocking out all the zombies! “Okay… let’s do it I guess.” The barrel was rolled, the plan worked, surprisingly, and we entered the gated community with a card we found off one of the dea… knocked out zombies. And bombo, the gated community was empty and ours for the taking, or community starting in this case.
It was not an easy process to set up that safe haven. It seemed that new zombies just kept on coming. Scavvers wanted our supplies and stuff. And the walls were unusually low to the ground, making them easy to breach or climb over. We named our little community after what was left on the signs, and it eventually became a fully fledged small village. “Forttude Hill, where all the cool things are.” As it came to be known in the years following. Their leader only known as “Lost Leg” and her trusty assistant “Strong Arm.” My main mission from then on was repairing and refueling that spaceship so I could go save my brother, that’s how confident I was that he was alive. I had a picture of him by my bedside and the people in my village had come to know him as “The Returning Savior” that would come back one day to save us all. Hopefully he does come back, but I might have to go get him. If I know my brother he’s probably already done the same thing 241 million miles away on earth. Probably has it where he’s destined to be lifted away to help more people if I know anything about him, and great googly moogly do I know things about my brother. He’s probably started some cult about video games or something, I didn’t know, I was on Mars! That is a story for another day though. Until then, keep surviving the apocalypse, or something.
Maverick Gillette has always wanted to write a story and get it published, so he decided to write this. He is thirteen and in eighth grade, and writing is his favorite thing to do. He usually doesn’t write seriously or professionally, so this is his first time.