1 Day I: The ruined city

I'm not sure how to start this. One day, or should I say night, you are laying in your bed with a head full of worries. Thinking about the upcoming days and what they will bring. A bit afraid of the unknown, and challenges that are in front of you. Somehow you manage to fall asleep, and then you wake up.

It was so strange and unexpected, so my mind didn't react at the beginning. I could feel the hard, cold, uneven floor under me. There were no pillows or coverlets. When it finally got to me, I opened my eyes rapidly, just to see old cobblestone. I panicked. Jumped on my feet and looked around, like I could find a way back home, but there was no door, portal, or anything like that.

I was standing in the middle of a ruined city of some kind, only in my underwear. There were cobblestone roads, and small buildings made of bricks and clay with flat roofs, mostly in ruins. It looked like a prehistoric settlement. Or a desert city from movies, or games. There was nobody around.

Normally in a situation like that, you would yell, to check if somebody could hear you, but I didn't. I was too afraid of what could hear me. I didn't want to take any risks. So the first thing I did after, was to go inside one of the ruined houses and got myself some kind of weapon. I didn't manage to find anything that could work as a club, so I just took one of the bricks.

Armed, I started looking around. Carefully at first, but as time passed I gradually stopped sneaking around and started walking normally. There was just nothing around, or maybe there was, but my sight wasn't that great. I haven't mentioned it yet, but I used to wear glasses, and I didn't have them. I still didn't yell though. The weather was nice. It was warm, with a gentle, cool wind blowing from time to time, so my lack of clothes wasn't an immediate problem. Summer day, but back home we had winter approaching.

Hours have passed and slowly a thought started to grow in my mind. What if I was alone here? What if there was nobody here? What if there was nothing here? Just this damned, empty city. And it was a big one. At least tens of thousands of people could live here.

I walked for hours, and what I saw was mostly the same. Buildings made of bricks and clay. Some of them were bigger, others smaller. A couple could even be of use, because walls, and roofs didn't collapse. Cobblestone roads in between all of this mess.

I started wondering who lived here? What happened to them? They probably just abandoned this place, cause there were no dead bodies, or bones. All useful tools taken, only empty houses remaining, but I also couldn't see any animals around.

Nothing looking for food in the ruins. No rats. It worried me to the point I couldn't stop thinking about dying here alone. Then I looked at the sky, and I saw no birds flying around. Not a single one.

And as I was contemplating those thoughts, I heard them. A conversation in a language I didn't know. So I started to sneak around again, with new hope in my heart.

There were a couple of people talking in the middle of the cobblestone road. Two white men, and a black girl. Guys were arguing about something, and the girl was just listening. It seemed like she was anxious.

Clothes indicated they were in a similar situation as me. Well not exactly. They had clothes. I was in my undies, with a brick in hand. Now it sounds funny, but back then I was simply afraid.

I had to make a decision. Either to stay hidden not only from the unknown hiding in the dead city, but also from the people, or meet them and take a risk of finding who they really are. There was no pretending here, I knew it. No police, law, or government. There was just us, at least for now. So it meant that the strongest, in the end, will decide and make rules for the others. But I was not strong, and on top of it, there were two of them. Maybe even three.

I stepped out.

- Hey! – I shouted, and they turned to me.

Obviously, they were surprised. One of the guys shouted something back, but I didn't understand.

- English!

- Yes! – answered the girl, and a smile stretched her plump lips.

She was happy. And I immediately knew why. She was unable to talk with them because they didn't speak English.

- Bad English! - shouted the other guy.

I came to them. One of the guys was tall, but skinny, with short black hair, and a beard around his mouth. A dirty wifebeater, chain on his neck, and pair of gray sweatpants completed the image. The other was way shorter, but with a sturdier build. He looked like a salaryman with his white shirt, rolled-up sleeves, black pants, and elegant boots. The girl was wearing a gray blouse and a pair of black shorts. The most interesting part was her short afro of black hair.

- Sorry, but I'm afraid English is our best shot at communication – I said.

- I can speak, but they know only a few words – said the girl. - I'm Aisha by the way.

Her accent was good. She was a native unlike me. She held out her hand and I shook it.

- I'm Peter – I answered

- Zdravets – Tall one pointed at himself, and also reached with his hand.

- Georgi – said the other.

I shook both of their hands.

- So, do you know anything about this place? - I asked. - I woke up here today, and you are the first people I found.

- It's the same with us – said Aisha, and she peaked at the men. - At least from what I could understand from their broken English. We found each other a couple of hours ago.

- We not know. Little. This… city… empty – said Zdravets, gesturing a lot with his hands.

I nodded.

- I think we should find a place to stay at night. It's gonna get dark soon – Aisha continued. - And who knows what's gonna happen then. I'm a bit afraid. I'm not gonna lie, it's good to have somebody who can understand you.

She gave me a light smile. I returned it.

- Yes. Night soon. We sleep. House – said Zdravets.

After that, our group started to search for a good place to spend the night, and soon we found something good enough.

We couldn't make a fire. There was some wood, but we were just too stupid to actually do it right. It's not like in the movies. It's hard, really hard. So in the end we just blocked the door and windows. Then we sat in the corner.

There were some conversations. I found out that the guys are from Bulgaria, and Aisha was American, but she actually was on vacation in France. We tried to figure out a connection between us, thinking that will tell us why we got transported to this deserted place, but we didn't find anything that sounded good enough. At some point, talks died, but nobody actually went to sleep. That was the end of the first day.

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