The year was 1999. The age before cell phones and constant connectivity. The world seemed much bigger before GPS was readily available. It held so many unexplored crevices and forgotten paths. A person could vanish for hours, even days, and no one would notice. However, such freedom comes with a price.
Spring had just arrived. The air was still somewhat cool, but the sweet scent of the renewed atmosphere was reason enough for Peter to roll the top down on his vintage Chimaera convertible.
He and Allyce were meant to be on their way to a cocktail party, but Peter decided to leave a few hours early so that they could take off on a long, relaxing drive beforehand.
They followed a road that meandered through the plains and trees of the countryside. What a breath of fresh air after being cooped up in the city all week! While this may seem like the beginning of a perfect evening, it would soon become quite the opposite.
The sky was growing darker as they entered the forested area beyond the empty fields. Just as Peter reached over to put some “smooth jazz” on the radio, the car began to sputter and shake.
Peter glanced at the panel to see that the fuel levels needle was below the dreaded “E”.
“You gotta be kidding me!” he yelled as the car began to choke on its last fumes of fuel. “I swear, I filled this thing up yesterday! Ugh… Surely, there has to be a town coming up soon. We haven’t seen anything for awhile.”
Allyce looked out toward the dark, spooky woods and said, “It’s getting awfully late.”
Peter bit his bottom lip as he tried to will the car to keep going. Alas, his hopes were no match for reality. The car slowed to a stop on the side of the desolate road. The vehicle went silent and all that could be heard was the sound of chirping crickets and light snapping of twigs in the trees.
Peter clicked the ignition off and pulled out the key. “Well, let’s start walking a little bit and see if we can find something, I guess.”
Allyce looked over at him and raised a brow, “Are you serious? I’m wearing heels! I’m not walking down this road where… where a BEAR could jump out and eat me!”
Peter rolled his eyes and opened the door, “Okay, then you wait here. I’ll go by myself.”
He began walking down the road, smiling to himself as he knew what was likely to happen next.
“Peter! Wait!” she called out. The car door slammed and he could hear the click click click of sprinting heels behind him.
He turned to her and grinned smugly, “Oh! You decided to come along then?”
Once she reached him, she punched him on the arm, “You were really going to leave me there!”
“Nah…” he said with a laugh as he took her arm in his. He looked up the empty road ahead and felt a clench of worry in his belly. “A car will likely pass soon and we can just hitch a ride,” he pointed out, reassuringly.
After walking for some time, they came to a sign that read “Everwinter.” It was pointing off of the main road toward an overgrown, dirt path that looked like it hadn’t been used in decades.
Peter shook his head and kept walking until Allyce yanked at his arm.”Oh come on! My feet are tired… ” she whined. “Can’t we just go look? Just in case there’s something there?”
“Are you kidding?” he said, looking toward the desolate road. “Well, maybe it’s like… some side road or something. I guess we ought to try at least.”
They waded through the weeds and organic debris until finally, they saw buildings in the distance. “Look!” shrieked Allyce happily, “I knew it! Ugh… Just in time too. My poor feet!”
But when they got closer, they realized that this little town might not be what they had hoped for.
They glanced around at the antiquated, abandoned shop fronts. The sound of static buzzing from an old television set hummed from somewhere nearby. A few of the neon signs were still glowing, despite the fact that the electric lines looked as if they had dry rotted and rusted ages ago. How was there electricity?
Their silent observations were interrupted by a shuffling sound. When they turned toward the source of it, they saw a child slowly approaching them. Allyce sighed with relief and began walking forward, “Oh look, there’s a little g—”
“Wait!” Peter hissed as he held her back by the arm to prevent her from going any closer.
“Why is that kid wearing a freaking mask?” he said in a whisper. The child continued moving toward them, one foot slightly dragging behind her as if she had stepped out of a horror movie. “Oh hells no. Come on,” said Peter as he tugged Allyce away.
They hurriedly made their way past the store fronts and Peter suddenly halted in his tracks. “What?” asked Allyce in a nervous tone.
He replied to her in a whisper, “Look… there’s a guy right there. You think he’s dead?”
She shook her head slowly, not caring one way or the other.
“I’mma poke him,” Peter said as he inched closer to the unconscious body.
“Peter! Stop! Are you nuts?” yelped Allyce as she tugged at his shirt sleeve. “What if he’s diseased?”
Peter cringed at the thought of that and stood upright. “Ew. Nevermind.”
He looked up and noticed what appeared to be an old theme park. “Oh wow! Look at that!” he exclaimed as he took off running toward it.
“You are crazy!” Allyce yelled from behind. “When we get home, I’m breaking up with you. Do you hear me?!” It was then that she noticed the ominous signs that framed the entrance to park. “PETER!”
She whimpered to herself as she sprinted after him, half hobbling due to her swollen feet.
When she caught up to him, he was standing near a vacant lot, staring at two children who were singing a haunting, cheerful song amidst a dark scene where their mother, or some other adult, lay brokenly splayed in mud.
“Should we…?” Allyce trailed off.
“Nope,” replied Peter as he pulled Allyce along, quietly trying to remain unnoticed by the creepy kids.
As they walked through the amusement park, Allyce told him of the signs that she saw at the entrance. “I think it’s a war zone or something. Maybe there is toxic waste in the water and that’s why the people are all… zombified.”
Peter climbed into one of the cars of the broken ferris wheel and sat down wearily. “We gotta get out of here. But I don’t know it would be safe to go walking back through those woods in the night. Not like this place is any safer. I should have just listened to you and stayed in the car. We’re probably going to die now.”
Allyce stepped up on the platform and leaned onto the car. “Don’t be silly. The people here are… weird, but if we just find a safe spot to sleep for the night and stay away from the water, we can leave first thing in the morning. We will just go back to the car and wait until someone passes. It will be fine,” she stated assuredly. She even managed to offer him a smile.
Looking over her shoulder, she saw a large building that looked like a theater of some sort, “Look, right over there. Come on. Let’s go hide out in there.”
He followed her to the building and pried open the crooked door, breaking it free from its rusted, unrelenting hinges. The air was musty and cobwebs wafted in the breeze. Music sheets were scattered across the floor and the stage looked as if it had been prepared to host a production that never took place.
They cleared out the debris from a corner and Peter somehow managed to make a fire, despite being a city boy.
“What do you think happened here? How does a town just drop off the map and fall into ruin?” he asked as he slumped onto one of the benches. “What if this is some kind of experimental thing and now that we have walked in, we will never get out? What if we’re already diseased with whatever those people have?”
Allyce seated herself on his lap and wrapped her arms around him. “Did anyone ever tell you that you are ever the optimist?” she asked with a playful grin. As the fire crackled, giving them warmth and a slight bit of comfort in that damp tomb that they had chosen, she leaned her head on his shoulder. Her smile faded, for she wasn’t as confident as she seemed. They might, indeed, never make it out alive.
If you want to go on your own apocalyptic adventure, visit *Everwinter*! The sim is free to visit, but for 150L, photographers and bloggers can join their group to have the rights to rez on sim.
Thank you, Allyce (Violet), for joining me!
- (Pants) RIOT / Brody Jeans – By: RIOT
- (Shirt) ::GB::Body belt shirt / White – By: GABRIEL
- (Shoes) STACKZ LMT – By: 2REAL
- (Head) “Mike” Bento Version – By: Akeruka
- (Hair) “Ken” – By: *Argrace*
- (Body) Maitreya Mesh Body “Lara” – By: Maitreya
- (Skin) [PF] <Vamp> “Doll V2” – By: Pink Fuel
- (Hair) The Evening Lights (Naturals) by Exile
- (Necklace) :: Bella Notte :: Necklace – By: Cae
- (Dress) “Dreamy.Dress Cosmic” (Maitreya) – By: Pixicat
- (Shoes) “ASTER Heels” – By: Glamistry