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Chapter 2

Our society is practically stranded, almost like an island, but instead of being surrounded by water, we are surrounded by The Dead.

We live on a very big circle of flat land. On one side of the land, there is a cliff, and below all of The Dead wait, wait for one of us to fall off the edge, looking up at us with hunger in they’re angry eyes. The cliff is steep and the drop is around fifty feet deep, it is impossible to climb, but they still try and repeatedly fail and hurt themselves. Four bridges go across the ridge, and continue on into the forest on the other side. I’ve been inside that forest a few times, but I have never really gone far. Some of the Ruler’s go, and come back with food and other things to keep us alive. Otherwise, we are too afraid to walk farther, in fear that The Dead live back there, and could catch our scent, and come after us. Once, one of The Dead had been hiding out in there, they’d attacked one of the Ruler’s, and since then we’ve been extra careful. If there’s one, there could be many more. All they need is our scent of flesh and they won’t stop searching for us until they really are dead.

On the other side of us is forestry that descends steeply down a hill. At the bottom is a long stretch of ocean and into the distance there is a span of land. A few of the citizens from our society left to venture that region of land once, but didn’t return. It didn’t take long for us to figure out what had happened…

The ridge and ocean meet together on one side, but a tall wall of rock separates them both, separating The Dead and the water with a thick wall of jagged rock.

We get most of our food from the ocean. We manage to survive off of fish, oyster, and other animals we hunt in the forest, across the bridges. We are doing better now, considering the circumstances, and our society is slowly growing bigger, and we now have about three hundred people.

Now, at sixteen, I understand everything, and all I have is hope. Maybe, just maybe, there are others out there. Or maybe I’m just crazy to even think that in the first place. If everyone has turned into this, this awful form of evil, I will be damned. I would never want to die in this way, become a monster.

I was now sitting at the bridge, in the same spot I had been when Nicholas had picked me up at eleven and almost threw me over, and I was finally starting to really feel hopeless, because I haven’t really seen the light, or the point, in living anymore.

I was playing with the small locket in my hand, a locket which was said to be my great-grandmothers, before she had died here in the society. She was one of the old people who were still alive when The Dead first started, and she managed to live on for a while. She had given the locket to my mother, and my mother passed it down to me. It’s one of the prettiest things I own. Below me, The Dead were reaching, but I tried to not let it bother me. I usually try to avoid looking at them, but sometimes I sit here to remember for a little bit, and to think about things a little.

“Avery!” I looked up and there stood my best friend. Her brown eyes were wide and the expression on her face was pity. She walked over to me and sat down. “Why do you look at them?” she said, looking below like I was.

I shook my head, “I usually try not to, you know that… I just needed to remind myself and to just think.”

Clara looked at me, eyes narrowed. Her blond curls blew in front of her face and she pushed away a strand and shook her head at me. “You’re lying; you’re simply feeling hopeless again.”

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