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Prologue

Prologue

I’m not sure exactly what day this whole thing started. I never watched the news. I was a kid doing my own thing. I didn’t care what was happening around me as long as I could spend time with my friends. I remember my Dad saying how sad it was that a mother of three small children had died from the flu. Then someone else died, then someone else and then quarantine. Life fell apart after that.

We were told to stay in our homes. Stay away from other people. Don’t go out in the streets. Doctors were working on a cure. People panicked, they left town to get help from other hospitals. This was a mistake. Soon the news was filled with stories about epidemics, people dying by the hundreds, then the thousands.

My dad was a part of the homeland security team. He was working with the town government trying to keep things under control. Unfortunately, his efforts and the efforts of others didn’t help. The virus continued to spread. The death toll continued to rise and soon bodies began to pile up on the streets. It was awful. Our entire town smelled like death.

Madie preparing to bury parents in the back yard

My mother died first. My heart hurt so bad. I wanted to die. My father was already sick. I could tell his heart was broken too. He died a couple of days later. I laid on my bed and cried for a couple of days hoping death would take me too. The only thing that took hold of me was hunger.

Children were left to survive on their own. Death prayed on the smallest children. Babies died in their cribs. Toddlers starved to death because they couldn’t get out of their homes. The older children began to ban together and form tribes. The Bear Tribe was formed when about a dozen children and I moved into the Bear Country High School on Lafayette Blvd. We survived but life wasn’t easy.

I have always wanted to be a writer. I think my Dad bought me my first journal when I was in the 1st grade. I have kept a journal ever since. This is my story. The following journal entries are a brief view of my life.

Madie Beartri

Start with Journal Entry 1

Diary Entry 20

We have taken refuge in the cave. Xu and Palesa claim it is the safest place to be at the moment. They are doing a fine job at trying to keep people calm. I think my adrenaline level is off the scale. My heart feels like it is beating a thousand times a minute. Tony is so brave if he is afraid he isn’t showing it. The meteors continue to fly across the sky by the thousands. Several meteors ranging in size from marbles to baseballs have fallen in and around the Sequoia Tribe village. We were lucky that none of the meteors fell directly on any of the huts. Tony and I barely missed being obliterated from existence when one of the larger meteors fell and struck the ground in front of our hut. It was the first hint in the middle of the night that something was terribly wrong. The explosion was so loud that everyone in camp was knocked out of their beds. We gathered up our things as quickly as we could and went to the cave. There are fires everywhere. For several hours the meteors have been hitting the ground. It sounds like bombs exploding. Everyone is afraid. I am having my doubts that this cave is truly a safe place to be. I think I am feeling closterphobic. If a meteor hits the right spot we could be entombed here.

Diary Entry 19

The rain finally stopped in the midmorning hours. We did not have to retreat to the cave. The skies are clear again. Mud puddles are everywhere. The children are enjoying the mud puddles to the dismay of their parents. There isn’t one child not covered in mud from head to toe. Bath time this evening should be interesting. I can understand their attraction to the mud. I couldn’t resist standing in one of the puddles myself. There is something undeniably fun about squishing mud between your toes.
The creek is significantly wider and deeper. All the smaller children were asked to stay away from the creek. Tony and Xu were fishing earlier. They both had to jump into the creek and retrieve a toddler that accidentally got caught in the fast flowing water while trying to retrieve a ball. The child is fine. A little water logged but fine.
Meteors continue to fly across the sky in amazing numbers. They have been flying across the sky all day. They look like little fire balls. It is no longer cool to see them fly across the sky. It is a little scary. Xu and Palesa held a meeting today. I think they are worried. I am worried and I know Tony is worried. Neither of us can remember every hearing about meteors of this size pacing by the earth. I wish the library trio (Marty, Gretchen and Cecelia) was available. They would know where to do research to get information. I have a feeling they would say something like “The last time meteors of this magnitude and numbers hit the earth the dinosaurs died out.” Scary thought.

Diary Entry 18

Tony and I spent the morning fixing our hut to help keep out the wind and rain. We also added a canopy off the front and reinforced the sides. The hut sprung a leak over my bed last night. I think the fates don’t want me sleeping in my own bed. I tried to move my bed away from the leak but the hut is too small. It didn’t matter which direction I moved my bed. I was forced to crawl into bed with Tony. It’s not so bad he is pretty cuddly and doesn’t snore. If he objects he hasn’t mentioned it to me.
It has rained on and off all morning. The clouds move in and then they clear away. The sky looks dark over the far mountains. I think a big storm is moving in. Palesa said if things start to look bad we will have to move to the cave. I didn’t know we had a cave. Palesa said she would give Tony and I a tour as soon as her chores are done.
The meteor showers continue. I think the meteors are getting bigger and brighter. There was another light show last night before the clouds moved in and it started to rain. I am certain I saw a meteor fly across the sky when I was down by the creek earlier today. I didn’t know it was possible to see meteors during the day.