It has been 31 days since the disaster that changed everything. One day Cody Helix is running around outside, teasing his sisters, and arguing with his older brother. Then the world as he knew it changes forever. As Cody tries to adapt to this new life he writes in his journal about what is happening.
In the Sunday Update I said I was going to repost the first month. So here it is. The ENTIRE first month of Day Zero Journal Entries. Enjoy!!!
It was early morning when the collapse happened. The sun hadn’t come up yet. I should have been sleeping in my bed in the room I shared with my older brother David. Instead, my mom had barged into our room and blown the fog horn. Everyone in our house knew what the fog horn meant. Emergency Disaster Drill. E.D.D. My parents ran E.D.D’s at least twice a month and timed how long it took us to get from the house into the underground shelter they had designed and built after David was born. David was 17 years old. An E.D.D. could happen anytime, day or night. It was to test how prepared we were for a disaster. What disaster I didn’t know but my parents made sure our family would be survivors. David was convinced our parents were crazy. He was just waiting until his 18th birthday when he could leave. David was still in bed when I grabbed my emergency pack and ran out the bedroom door. My dad was waiting by the door to the underground shelter when I got there but unlike every other E.D.D. I could remember the stopwatch wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Still, It wasn’t until after my parents came down sealed the door that I realized this wasn’t a drill. As my dad was locking us in he called out “roll call”. During role call everyone called out their name, starting with the oldest and ending with the youngest. After a short pause my oldest sister Lily called out her name followed by me and then my twin sister Courtney, and lastly my baby sister Brooke. The noise outside startled all of us but it was my mother's anguished cries that terrified us the most. David wasn’t here.
Brooke won’t stop asking when we can go back home. I don’t think her three year old mind can understand that our home may not even be there anymore. I am still trying to understand what happened. No one seems to know. All the talk on the two way radio only proves that everyone is as clueless as we are. So far we know of three other families that survived. We knew all of them before. They were families like ours that planned for the day something bad would happen. Although my dad hadn’t said when we would be leaving the shelter I knew we would be here for at least a month. No more than a year because there was only a year supply of food in the shelter. I know because David and I had stocked a year supply of food down here a few months ago. I miss David. It would be so different if David were here. As it is my mom seems to be in a world by herself where she wanders around mumbling to herself and crying. Last night there was a noise at the door and she ran over calling out to David. She tried to open the door. My dad pulled her back before she could unseal it. They fought. The shelter is so small everyone, but Brooke who was sleeping, heard their fight. We all pretended we didn’t. My dad told my mom David was dead. By trying to open the door she was endangering the rest of us. He told her she needed to accept that David was gone. She had four other kids to think about that all needed her to be strong right now. She hasn’t gotten out of bed today.
My mom was out of bed before everyone else this morning. She made breakfast for us like she used to. We even ate as a family. Then she announced that we would be having class today. Any other time I would have been disappointed, but not today. If mom was going to teach class today she must be feeling better. It would be nice to have a routine again. My entire life had been routine, even stuff like E.D.D’s were routine for our family. Routine meant normalcy. This past week had been anything but normal.
I hate class! I thought we would be learning history or geography. Nope. My mom is making me learn to sew. Sewing takes forever and you have to be so careful that your stitches aren’t to big. My stitches were too big. My mom pulled them out and made me redo them six times. Who would have thought making a handkerchief could be so hard. I don’t know why I need to know how to sew anyway. My mom says it’s a good skill to have. She said once I learn to sew I can make lots of things. Then she pointed to the quilt I sleep under and said that it was handmade by her mother. She pointed to the clothes I’m wearing and said she made my shirt. She pointed to Brooks favorite doll and said Lily made it. It’s not that I don’t think lots of things can be made from sewing, I just don’t see why I have to know how to do it. My mom didn’t agree with me.
My fingers hurt from poking them with the needle. Lily said I will get better and won’t poke myself as much. She is crocheting scarfs and hats for everyone. Crocheting looks so much easier than sewing. I was thinking I would ask if I could learn to crochet instead of sewing. Then my fingers wouldn’t be as sore. Plus, I could make all the stuff crocheting I could make sewing. I will be sure to point out to mom that if I knew how to crochet i could make a blanket, clothes, and dolls.
I was so proud of myself when mom agreed that I could learn to crochet. I asked at dinner last night. So today I woke up ready to put away my needle and thread only to find out I had been tricked. Now I have to sew and learn crochet. I blame Lily!
I’m so mad at Lily! Crocheting isn’t easy at all. You have to hold your hands just right or the yarn becomes too loose or tight and holding them that way makes the muscles cramp. I’m suppose to be making a potholder but so far all I can do is a bunch of loops in a row. I keep trying to add a second row and it isn’t working. I don’t know how mom and Lily do it. Even Courtney can crochet. I guess I was doing other stuff with David while they were all inside learning to sew and crochet. I really wish I could be doing stuff outside again. It’s only because I am stuck down here that I have to learn this stuff anyway. I don’t even know what good a potholder can possible do anyone at this point. We don’t even have pots anymore. Most of our meals are not even cooked. When they are cooked, mom or Lily use the camp stove and cook in a cast iron skillet.
It’s only been a few weeks and already the close quarters are getting to me. I don’t think I am the only one either. Lily and Courtney seem to be extra sensitive lately. There is nowhere to go to get away from everyone. I miss fresh air. I miss sunshine. I miss . . . everything. There is only so much to do down here. Mom used the shelter as a storage so she has more stuff here than anyone else. Lily at least has her slate to keep her busy. All I have is old board games and a deck of cards. Not that I could even get anyone to play with me. Lily doesn’t want to be bothered, Courtney is taking care of the garden, and Brooke is busy drawing on everything. Mom doesn’t seem to care that Brooke drew on the walls. She actually told me it made the place look better. I tried reading but the books down here are mostly non fiction about people that no longer matter. It’s hard to care about what people did fifty years ago when you don’t know what is even happening to the world outside of the shelter.
Dad spends a lot of his time on the two way radio talking to the other families and trying to find other survivors. Besides the three families we knew of before, today he found a brother and sister who holed up in a bomb shelter at some school a few towns over. I guess the guy is the same age as David. His name is Will. His sister is 14. Her name is Beth. Even though they are both older than me they don’t know what to do since they have no survival training. They got really lucky with the bomb shelter which already had an old two way radio that still worked. Because they don’t have a lot of supplies they have gone out to look for food and water. Will said that there is fire everywhere. Many of the buildings and homes have burned down. Smoke is in the air and blocks out the sun. I feel really bad for Will and Beth. They don’t have anything but each other.
I want to make something for Will and Beth. I’ll give it to them when we meet. The Robinson’s are in the same town as Will and Beth. I think they are only a few miles away from each other. They have offered to take Will and Beth in. Dad insists that no one leave their shelter for at least another two weeks and all the families have agreed. The Robinson’s will be the first to open their shelter and go out.
My parents whisper at night to each other. I don’t think they know I can hear them. Last night I overheard dad say he hopes Will and Beth survive long enough for the Robinson’s to get them. I dreamed that our family was the ones to go looking for them. We found the flag they used to identify their shelter but Will and Beth weren’t there. Instead, there was a pile of bones. I know it’s just a dream but I can’t get the image of that pile of bones wearing the scarf I’m making out of my head.
Mom caught me destroying the scarf I’ve been working on for the past week. I couldn’t tell her about my dream. She is still upset about David. I lied and said the yarn was to loose. The truth is there is no way I’m ever giving that scarf to anyone. I can’t stand the idea of anything being made with the yarn I used for it so I cut it up. The pieces left are too small for anything. I got into trouble for being wasteful. I don’t care. I’ll wash all the dishes for a week, it was worth it.
Will is sick. I don’t know much more than that but Beth sounds really worried. We were all sleeping when she came on the two way radio. Even with the volume low, it woke all of us up. Mom got to the radio first and dad told all of us to go back to bed. Dad stayed up but made so much noise, I couldn’t hear anything mom and Beth said. Maybe he does know we can hear everything.
It sounds like Will has food poisoning. Mom keeps telling Beth he probably ate something bad and to give him sips of water every 10-15 minutes. Beth isn’t sure what he could have eaten. I guess they brought as much food and water into the bomb shelter as they could carry. She is afraid to eat anything since she doesn’t know what made Will sick. The Robinsons will be leaving their shelter in five days and as long as Beth drinks water she should be fine. She will be weak from not eating though. I’m worried about Beth. It is Will that everyone else is worried about.
The Robinson’s are preparing to leave their shelter. Since Will is sick and Beth won’t eat the families agreed that The Robinsons would leave a few days earlier than originally planned. Instead of waiting four more days, they will be leaving in two. I wish I was going with them. Our family won’t be leaving until next month. We will be the second family to leave our shelter as long as the Robinson’s report on the outside is good. The Mills family will follow us and the Gonzales family will be the last. I’m counting down the days until I am outside again. I don’t even care that the city I knew will be gone. I just want don;t want to be trapped down here anymore.
Day 31I can’t sleep. Brooke is the only one that doesn’t know what is going on, but the rest of us are too excited to sleep. Or at least Courtney, Lily, and I are. I don’t know if it is excitement or worry that keeps my parents awake. We played a game of monopoly together. It went surprisingly good. Then my parents said everyone needed to go to bed. I can still here everyone moving around though so I know they are all awake. In just a few hours the Robinsons should radio in. I’m excited to know what is going on. Mr Robinson is a veteran prepper. His report on the outside will be more informative than any of Will’s. I also want to know how Will and Beth are doing. I really hope they are okay.
Want to read more about Cody? Follow our blog dystopian shuffle and get update when new Day Zero Journal Entries are posted.