Today, 18th October, ‘17
Guess what! I finally found it! Turns out the never-ending highway very much has an ending, and it sure took me a long time to reach it. But I’m hardly Dorothy and this place I’ve discovered is no Oz. It’s some kind of old factory that I’ve never heard of and looks as though it hasn’t been used for anything productive in a long time. It’s full of all sorts of huge machines that I don’t recognize and they have that dark brown rusted tint to them that is a dead giveaway about how long they’ve been sitting in the same spot untouched. I don’t know what they used to make, but it’s been a long, long time since they made the last one.
I wasn’t sure what the next step was after getting to the end of the road and hitting the river I had been in search of since leaving town, but this place seemed like as good as any to hide out in. Anywhere beats hiding out in the back of car and waiting for one of those monsters to snatch me out and carry me away.
Though I thought I was getting away from them the further I ran from the city, which wasn't true.
One of them had different ideas for me when I finally found a way inside of one of these factory buildings. The constant orange glow made it really easy for me to see, even when I was getting further into the place, which is about the only plus. I had discovered an area that must have been offices at some point in time and reckoned it would be the most comfortable part of a rusty old factory to call home.
I planted my tired butt down onto a pile of old papers to rest my legs when I heard something clang around down below my new house. My body and mind are so exhausted that I didn’t even react to the sounds at first. I just wanted to sit there and not move and have whatever it was making the sound to go away without bothering me. But I don’t have any sort of luck like that left, obviously, so it just got closer and closer. Whoever or whatever it was started to climb the huge metal stairs that lead up to the office area and only then did I pull myself back up to my feet to hide.
There isn’t really anything to hide too well in up here, so I just ducked down underneath a big desk and tried not to move. I could hear the tell-tail sound of labored breathing and claws scraping the stone floor before it ever even got close to me.
It was going to find me.
And I was too tired to care.
Sitting there under that desk for what seemed like ages was torture of the worst kind. My mind wanted to run and escape again, but my body was ready to just let the end come. That monster was going to tear me to pieces without remorse. And the worst part about it was that nobody would ever know.
Nobody would ever find what was left of me.
What is left of me?
That’s the thought that came bursting back into the forefront of my mind as the beast was nearing the door to the office I was hiding in. I didn’t want to be forgotten like that. Everyone I knew was gone which meant that everyone who knew and remembered me was gone too. If I let that thing chow down on me, I’d be erased from existence.
I wasn’t about to let that happen, so I looked around the room and found the only thing that could have passed as a weapon to defend myself. It was just a half broken brick that probably fell out of the wall, but it was all I had and was going to have to do.
I crawled out from under the desk, and peered over the top of it towards the doorway. Every step that the creature took sent waves of adrenaline through my body, reinvigorating it enough to push away the pain. My nemesis was just a step or two from the doorway when I stood up completely from behind the desk, cocked my arm back, and threw the brick chunk as hard as I possibly could through the window that overlooked the factory floor. It shattered, of course, and sent a shower of broken glass down with it.
The immense sound it made at impact and the melody of the shards hitting was enough to spook to the creature into letting off a startled shriek, opening its wings, and flying out through a collapsed hole in the ceiling. I listened to the sound of its awful howling and flapping of its wings as it got further and further away from the factory.
It hasn’t been back yet and neither has any of its friends, but I’m sure that it will just be a matter of time before they return. It’s still a nice little victory that I needed to remind myself that I can survive this, even if others weren’t able to. I’m a fighter and I always have been. And I'm smarter than a bunch of mindless eating machines.
I’m going to start gathering as many large objects as I can carry or move on my own and fortify this room so that when they do come back, I’ll have a better chance of keeping them out. I don’t have much food or water, since I could only carry what would fit in my backpack from the gas station, but it should last me another couple of days.
I’m going to have to go back out into the woods or somewhere in town to find supplies, but that can wait. Maybe by that point, my body won’t be hurting so bad. I have to focus on moving forward and finding the things I need to survive. I shouldn’t have even made it this far, but I have.
And I’m going to keep on living and writing.