Fiction On Odyssey: Reset (Part Two)

Fiction On Odyssey: Reset (Part Two)

"I cackle at my victory over you."

As sickeningly cliché as I’m being right now, Will is the light of a life that I hadn’t realized was so devoid of illumination. At first, I’d dismissed his relaxed countenance and constant positivity as idiotic naiveté — which definitely wouldn’t last long in a world so grim as the one we had the misfortune of living in — but he quickly proved me wrong. His sunny smile brightens the dark void in my heart; his bright disposition is the perfect counterbalance to my constant cynicism, and the contrast between his tanned skin and my unnatural pallor when he wraps his arms around me makes me smile with an elation I’ve never experienced before. He is my solace, and for the first time since realizing there’s no WiFi for Netflix in a zombie apocalypse, I’m actually kind of enjoying life again.

I’m actually grateful you met the blond angel, because your thoughts in isolation, as always, were annoyingly depressing. Your days were monotonous, pockmarked with the periodic spikes of heart-stopping adrenaline that are inevitable in a post-apocalyptic world where the dead walk and stalk the living. Traveling alone left ample time for introspection, for contemplation of your purpose here, and you did exactly that all too often.

This is living, you guessed, going on a day-to-day basis, where every day is nothing but wake up, walk, fight, eat in no particular order, where the physical and social constructs that humanity spent millennia building no longer matter, and one can no longer enjoy the air they breathe because they’re busy using it to fight for their next inhale.

If I had eyes to roll at your hypocrisy, I would, because isn’t that exactly what the beings you fight are doing, stalking and devouring for no purpose other than a dark, insatiable hunger? Though, I have to admit, this is no hunger of your own; it’s mine.

And as if you were conceding as well, you would think about how they have it much simpler, because they don’t even have the capacity to think, to worry, to love, to fear. They’re monsters, you’d remind yourself, no matter what they were before they died, you kill them to survive, so they don’t hurt you or anyone else. So then the question you asked yourself was… How does one destroy a monster without becoming one?

That, that was just too rich, and I would silently, mockingly, chuckle my response.

We live with a small group of other teens, people that Will used to go to summer camp with before everything hit the fan. When Will found me, he’d been out scouting for herbs that apparently had medicinal purposes. He serves as the group’s medic — having been on track to becoming a doctor before the dead didn’t stay dead — and his father was apparently the god of natural remedies or something, because Will learned nearly everything he knows from him.

At first I was wary of them, and admittedly I still am, because even before the apocalypse started I was not one to trust easily. Will is an exception, however, and even though I’ll never know how he managed to worm through the cracks in my walls, I’m eternally grateful that he did, because I don’t know what I would do without him.

The baseball bat drip… drip… drips its crimson accusation onto the decrepit wooden floor, and thanks to me your heightened awareness picks up each drop hitting the ground like a gunshot hits a wall. Drip… drip… drip…

A familiar head of blonde hair lies a short distance away, matted with dark blood, and attached to a prone body with tanned skin dulled by the gray pallor of death, and I cackle at my victory over you.

I know something has changed, everything has changed, because the others give me these forlorn looks when they see me with Will. Perhaps it’s the fact that we have two new members in our little group as of recently, and the confused (and later pitying) looks they give me are changing the others’ perceptions of me, questioning my place even though Will vouched for my integrity when he brought me here.

Something has changed with Will, too, though, because the amicable guy I knew that could make friends with anyone is now speaking to nobody aside from me. Okay, that is a bit of an overstatement, but he no longer has conversations of sustenance with anyone, and when he does talk, it is like they cannot even hear him.

“Wait, so who is Will?”

A heavy sigh. “Will was our medic, I guess you could say, and the two of them were really close. They, uh… they went out on a patrol one day, and—” A helpless gesture to a lone figure standing stoically by the fence that borders the makeshift camp, hearing every word of the conversation unbeknownst to the two speakers. “—came back covered in blood and water, but alone. We all figured that something awful happened, and Will had to have died.” A wistful sigh. “We’ve stopped trying to ask questions about what happened, and we just… I dunno, play along. None of us have the heart to say it aloud…”

My dreams have begun turning into nightmares. At first, they seemed simply to be memories, such as the memory of when I’d woken up with no recollection of the first decade and a half of my life, — which, to this day, I still cannot recall — or the memory of when Will and I first met. Then, they got darker, like the other members of the group talking about a patrol gone wrong or something. Like me being infected and biting Will after our first kiss. Like me murdering him and then standing over his body victoriously.

The dreams and nightmares are never from my perspective, however. Well, they are to some extent, but it’s more like an alternate version of me, a more menacing one, one that exists inside me every waking minute of every day, like me but not me, as if it is me watching myself from a different, more sinister perspective that somehow manages to live in the shadows of my conscious thoughts.

I just thought you might want to know… his blood COATED your hands as you dragged his body back to our dumping grounds.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.

Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

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3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

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30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

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GSMST’s International Night Has Shown Me The Diverse Cultural Aspect Of Gwinnett County That Forsyth County Lacks

One for the books!


For the past few years, I have always wanted to go to the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology's International Night! I have seen people's snapchat stories and Instagram posts on how excited and different it actually is compared from our regular high school international night.

However this year, I had the opportunity to come and support my friend's group that was performing at GSMST's international night. I finally had the option to go and see the international night they everyone goes to. My friend Maham and I decided to go and cheer for our friend's team.

A week before international night, we figured out our outfits and bought our tickets. We originally thought international night was late like around 6:30 p.m.-ish. However we found out on that day that it was from 3 to 7 p.m. I thought to myself, "Wow it's going to be lame since it is starting that early, like who starts that early!"

Anyways, Maham and I were somewhat late and decided to get in line for the performances. The line was triple times longer and the amount of security was crazy. There was even a teacher on top of a table to make sure kids weren't cutting in line! We waited a whole hour in the hot, sweaty line. I was very surprised to see how seriously the security was taken at GSMST.

I know at my school there aren't 20 officers roaming around and looking at your wristband during international night. And there were teachers every two feet away to make sure you would not cut the line. I saw these two girls right behind us who cut through the line, and five minutes late they were sent to the back of the line.

It felt so weird how seriously they took the security over there. While we were in line we met the performers and told them good luck before we went inside to find a seat. Now, I was expecting the performances to be in a auditorium however as we were walked past the security, we realized it was in the cafeteria.

We were lucky and found front and center seats close to the place where the performers were seen best. We sat down patiently waiting for our friend to perform. When we looked at the list, we found out that Jazba, their team name, was performing last.

I whispered to Maham, "They saved the best for last" And she agreed.

Looking all the performances, there was something from each culture. It felt really weird seeing this much diversity because at my high school the only performances are Bollywood and like some type of American dance form. One by one each performance taught me something about their specific culture and then comes our best friend, Rhea's performance.

We quickly pull out our phones and start to scream as the performers come on stage. As soon as the music dropped, they killed all the moves and added a bunch of extra spins and jumps that made the audience scream their lungs out!

I recorded their dance performance video, but now when I go back at it, all I can hear is my screams. The vibe we all were getting from the performance was on another level. It caused the audience to jump out of their seats and dance to the beat of the music.

After their performance, we eagerly went up and hugged the whole team and told them how they killed it on stage! When I was walking about with Maham and Rhea back to the performer's room, Rhea asked me how was GSMST's international night? That's when I realized how different their international night is from my international night.

International night is meant for a diversity of people from all different backgrounds of the world and what each culture has to offer to the world. I was definitely excited going to my first GSMST international night, and I suggest you to come as well to learn something from their unique school!

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