The shock of it was unreal. My entire city was deliriously happy about a sunset, and sunrise. Something we always assumed would take a place, a guaranteed ritual. I leaned my tall, lanky frame against the window, pressing my forehead against the cool glass.

Everything – technology, sunlight, and safety all seemed so trivial – before they came.
I’ll never forget that day. I was playing volleyball in our school’s gym. Suddenly, there was the sound of shattered glass. Everyone stood still for a moment, and then there were smoke, screaming, and crashing. Those awful men, the sounds of their boots scraping the floor, and gasmasks on their faces, invaded the gym.
I ran.
I never looked back. Outside the school, our city was falling apart. Telephone wires being ripped down, houses burning, and the sounds of our defense league fighting those men from the gym. Breathlessly, I ran down my street. I screeched to a halt – no, please God, no! My house was destroyed; walls ripped apart like cheap fabric.
Trembling, I knelt at the foot of the rubble. I searched through it, gathering a couple items – my yearbook, my father’s ties, and a few others.
Blindly, I ran to my best friend Lila’s apartment, slick with sweat. It was cleaned out.
Nothing was left. I ran to her room, and hid in the spot she had showed me during one of the millions of afternoons we played hide and seek as kids – the space in the floorboard under her bed.

I opened my eyes. This apartment had become my sanctuary, my life. Fragments of what it once was.
I had sat in there for far too long. My eyes hurt from straining to see in the dark, and the sunlight was so hot when it did come. Even so, I took advantage of it to look around the apartment. In the corner by the window, I noticed a piece of paper. Edging closer, I realized it was a map. In red Sharpie, someone had circled Sturgess, a seaside town several miles away.
‘’Oh my god’’, I whispered. And here I thought she was dead. She was alive, and safe. I could reach her, and see her again.
Doubt began to rise inside of me. The city was still crawling with the enemy. There were traps. The roads were a mess. And more importantly, how did I even know she was there? The map could have been anyone’s, or it could have been circled for a family vacation taken years ago. I had no real proof of her even being there. I didn’t even have a car.
Stronger than the doubt, was the flicker of compassion in me. She’d been my best friend since First Grade. I’d already left her behind that day in the gym. That was bad enough. I was going after her.

Closing the door behind me gingerly, I crept down the stairs, and made my way down her block tentatively. I made my way through the city like this, jumpy if I so much as heard something drop. Reaching the outskirts of the city, I collapsed in a ball.
I woke up to the sounds of footsteps. My throat closed. 25 feet away, if that, stood one of the enemies. I quickly hid myself behind a tree.
‘’Paul, we’ve gotta go. We’ve been standing at this post for three hours. Non one is here, you hear me?’’ I heard one them rasp, and start to walk away. My heart pounding like crazy, I moved. Then I heard their footsteps again – only this time they were coming closer!
I knew I only had seconds to act. Crouching down, my fingers clasped around a large rock at the base of the tree. I hurled it as far as I could to my right, and then ran as fast as I could. The wind ripped at my face, my chest burned, and tears flooded my eyes, but I didn’t stop running.
I saw the sign ahead – ‘’Welcome To Sturgess’’, the sunlight reflecting off it, and I skidded to a stop.
Sturgess has several thousand people living in it. How on Earth would I find three of them?
I made my through the town until I reached a hotel. ‘’May I use your phonebook?’’ I asked . The receptionist nodded and pushed it across the counter. I scanned the pages.
‘’Wahan, Wali ….. Walker!’’ Thanking her, I went to use the payphone outside.
‘’680 – 472 – 8864.’’ I spke he number aloud as I dialed it,
‘’Hello?’’ I spoke into the phone.
‘’Hi?’’ It was Lila. I grinned.
‘’Alicia, is that you? How did you get here?’’
‘‘It wasn’t exactly easy, but here I am’’, I said, ‘’Where do you live?’’
‘’I live down by the water’’, she replied, and gave me directions.

Her house was a small, cottage like house. I seemed freshly painted, and gave off the impression that no one had lived there before the Walkers.
I knocked on the door. Inside I heard footsteps. Lila’s mom opened the door.
‘’Alicia,’’ she said, and wrapped her arms around me. Another body pushed into the hug. It was Lila. Wordlessly, we hugged.
‘’You have no idea how glad I am to see you’’, she whispered as her mother walked away.
‘’I’m glad to see you, ‘’ I said. ‘’You have no idea how bad things are over there.’’
‘’I could imagine,’’ she said.
‘’By the way, I’m really sorry for leaving you in the gym. I bolted, and didn’t think.’’
She shrugged. ‘’I can understand.’’
Wordlessly we walked down the beach for a while. I shivered. Although it was a sunny day, there was chill to the air.
Once the sun started to set, we walked back to her house. I could food cooking. Lila turned to me, smiling. ‘’You can stay for supper. In fact, you can stay for good, until things get back to normal there. I opened my mouth to thank her, but already she was springing up the stairs into her - our – house.

1. What are the five items and why are they important to you?
She has saved a box of photos from the old times, for keepsake memories, a necklace that once was her mothers, a box of her father's ties, her school yearbook, and a box of stuffed animals her best friend has given her over the years.
2. Describe your protagonist. Age, Physical, Psychological Make -up
My protagonist will be a girl, with blonde hair, green eyes, average height, weight, etc. She is sixteen years old. She was once well liked, and outgoing, but was something of a follower, and always depended on her friends and family. Since the death of all her loved ones, she has to find her own voice.
3. Describe your home. What have you done to ensure your safety?
She lives in one of the few remaining apartments. The windows are bulletproof, and the top of the building is protected by a heavy layer of metal.
4. What kinds of things have you done to ensure your survival?
When the soldiers came, she hid underneath the floorboards under her bed. This has became her main hiding spot.
5. What is the central conflict of your story?
She receieves a letter from her best friend, saying she is still alive and is in another town several miles away. Alicia must get there, and not get caught by the enemy soldiers.
6. What is the climax of the story?
When she almost gets caught by one of the soldiers.
7. How does your protagonist change over the story?
She becomes more strong and independent.

8. Describe the use of irony in your story
I used irony in my story when she runs into the guards. They are supposed to be trained professional soldiers, but a trick with a rock catches them off guard.
9. What are some examples of symbol in your story?
Lila's apartment is a symbol for what used to be ( i.e. her her childhood hiding spot), as is the stuff she grabs from the rubble.
10. What is the theme of your story?

The theme of my story is survival, and Man vs. Man.