Here today begins a new serial. I hope you all enjoy what I have in store for this one which – unlike the others so far – is already mapped out in my head.
Hello. My name is Sean. I’m 21 years old and in a few hours I will be dead.
I live in the archipelago that was known in your time as The British Isles, in the north of a city you used to call Manchester, but you won’t really recognise the place if you visit it now; it’s all ruins and we call it “The Old City”. People still live there, but most live in small villages made from the rubble. We grow our own food, make our own clothes and we trade. It’s a good life, considering.
So what changed all this? What ended the world you know? There was some big accident about a hundred years ago, a massive volcano or something and overnight, governments collapsed and the world everyone knew was gone. They got by though, and my grandparents told me people were happier after it happened than they had ever been before so I guess your could say it was a really good thing to happen! “The end of the world was never so agreeable” my granddad used to say. “People soon realised what really mattered”.
Five years ago, that changed when visitors came from across the stars. Their ship was enormous, definitely bigger than The Old City. They sort of look like us, but their skin is grey, almost blue, and their eyes so dark that they look black. They promised to help clean the atmosphere and repair the damage done by the volcano. We were all delighted. In return we gave them food and water and let them settle wherever they liked. I even once met their leader Kahai and thought he seemed like a very nice “man”. I don’t actually know if he is a man, the men and women from the ship don’t look very different. Somebody told me that the men are slightly taller and wider, but Kahai, if he is a man, is quite small.
Anyway, things did improve. Our crops failed less and we had more food (they said they took some poison out of the soil) and we could drink from the streams again. We rejoiced, we were happy, we threw parties and in return they asked for very little.
They didn’t leave when they said they would leave – but that bit didn’t matter because they had helped us. Nobody in their right mind would have reminded them they had outstayed the time periods they promised us. Instead, they stayed, they asked for more food and they built a small city. We put up with that too. After all, they helped us a lot.
Things started to change when they started taking people. Young people. Every few months, a few more would go missing in the middle of the night with no sign of their whereabouts; it had to be them. Nobody else had reason to take children. All were between the ages of 15 and 20 – male, female, tall, short, fat, thin, black, white. Nobody was immune. The ages of 15 to 20 we now call “the blood years” and at 21, I am now safe but I have lost so much.
It hit me hard when Kyla went missing. We were young, but I loved her and I knew I wanted to be with nobody else in the world. She was pretty and funny and intelligent and I loved her red hair. It still brings a lump to my throat now not to know what happened to my darling Kyla. We had sex a week before she went missing and I cherished it then as I do now. At the time I was worried she went missing becauase we had sex, that doing it had condemned her. I was wracked with guilt but in time realised this had nothing to do with it.
That was three years ago now and I have loved nobody else since. They treat us well, we want for nothing. They have no weapons so we don’t even feel like we’ve been conquered, but even a slave who lives in luxury is still a slave, is he not?
In a few hours I will be dead and it will serve to free humanity.