They came at night, taking those they wanted deep into the dark woods. I had never seen such fear in the eyes of my friends. There were so few of us who survived the Great War, and even fewer who remained after our friends disappeared into the dark night. It was winter the year they came into our little camp.
I was there when they came, marching into camp with their brown uniforms on and guns high in the air. Most of my friends didn’t bother to fight, and the ones that did didn’t even make it into the forest. They took those they wanted and marched them on into the forest. I knew we would never see them again, but it was surreal. I wanted to run after my friends, to pull them back and run away together, but there was no where to go.
When morning came, I had never felt so alone. There were twelve of us left now, twelve they hadn’t wanted. There was never any reasoning for why they wanted some and not others but we all feared one day they would take us too. For now, though, we were alone. Alone with our thoughts and alone to make our way in the world. I knew one of us would have to take charge, but I didn’t want it to be me. Ryean had been our leader for many years and he hid well whenever the soldiers came. Usually we could hear them coming just far enough ahead to hide a few. But last night was different; last night they came out of nowhere. Ryean was taken among the others and now we were without direction.
I looked around. I was the third oldest here now. I had just celebrated my 32nd birthday. It was a big deal to the others, but to me, I had already lived far too long in this world. Biblen and Franldlin were both about 12. They were too young to really lead us. Rosalee and Codex were even younger at 6 and 7. Xaton was the youngest, at 2. He was Fern and Ryean’s son. Fern had been two years ago, right after Xaton was born. It nearly killed Ryean to loose his wife, but their son kept him going. Now he was an orphan.
Victor was the oldest of us all, at 56. His wife, Naomia was 43. They had met and married shortly after the first attacks began more than 30 years ago now. I was too young to remember much about it, just the fear in everyone’s eyes as we watched our world be destroyed. Giona was their daughter, born 28 years ago. They were lucky to all still be together but lost twin sons to the soldiers five years ago. Morry was 16, Sienna 27, and Verna 20. They were found orphaned years ago. That left me, Brodrick Kyle Enderson III. The III part means nothing to me since I’ve never known my real family, but Victor tells me my dad was amazing. I wish I had known him.