The Last Day brought upon the world chaos, destruction and mass death. When the EXLF Virus started spreading from person to person, many died but some refused to stay dead. Now the world's population is shrinking as many try to survive in this post-apocalyptic world. Chelsea Dalton is one of those people. Living in a world without government has given others to rise in anarchy. As Chelsea and her father try to find the rest of their family-they will have to navigate through the chaos that has erupted. Chelsea will have to make choices between life, love and death. Choices that threaten her survival and the survival of those she loves.

Copyright © 2011


1. Past Life


The stars glittered above me, they shone bright and proud, poking holes in the darkened sky. I laid on my back in the soft and damp grass, trying to escape the madness in my house. Lucky for me, my house sits on a hill and down below there is nothing but a clearing where I go to escape. Tonight I was doing that, trying to think of how to fix the mistake I'd made. There was nothing I could do that would take back what happened, I knew that. But I couldn't give up hope there had to be something that I could do to fix the repercussions, something that would make my parents forgive me. Trying to block out the sound of shouting, coming from the house, I focused on the stars. Ever since I'd been a little girl, I'd look to nature to cure my problems, for nature to provide me with the right answer. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't a religious nut or anything to that extreme. 

However, I found that even when life became hard for me, all I had to do was take in my surroundings. Everything from the deep green colors of the grass, to the deep rich brown of the dirt, even feeling the wind blow on my face, I found solace in. There were some days I needed to escape life, days where I thought I'd never make it if I didn't. I had to get away from it all or else I would lose my sanity. I would lose myself. I guess this sort of revelation is not what one would expect coming from a sixteen year old girl but then I'd never been classified as a regular teenage girl. 

My thoughts were interrupted as soon as I heard the back door slam,
"Chelsea! Get in this house right now!" My father yelled to me. 

I sighed in despair. I'd done it this time, I knew that tone of voice meant that I was going to be in deep trouble. I guess I couldn't blame them, I'd caused a lot of trouble since I first entered the Dalton household at the ripe age of five. Here's the point where I mention I'm adopted. My birth parents died when I was four years old when we got into an automobile accident. I survived by some miracle and was adopted one year later by my father now. My father's first wife, Carolina, had died giving birth to my older brother leaving my father alone.

Sensing that my brother needed a sibling and believing that he'd never get married again, my father decided to adopt me when my brother turned seven years old. It was the three of us for a while until eight years ago when he met (his second wife) my mother now. Once they married she officially adopted me as well. Yeah, I know my family is complicated. I loved my parents more than they'd ever know but that didn't mean I didn't miss my birth parents or think about them constantly. One of the reasons I look to nature for my problems is because of my birth mother, she loved nature as well. 

"Chelsea!" My father yelled once more. 

I jumped up and ran up the hill to my huge white house. Though I wouldn't call my family rich, others always did because the size of our house. In reality, this house had been inherited from my mother's grandmother, and passed down to her. I loved my house because there a lot of history about the house, including old pictures of my mother's family members. Family members that had lived adventurous lives, saw more tragedy than anyone should be exposed too, who known how to love and build strong foundations for future generations to follow. I sighed once more, before I pushed open the back door and walked into the kitchen. 

My parents turned to face me, both of them on the opposite ends of the kitchen island. My dad stood there, anger radiated off of him. His chiseled chin, and perfect straight nose were features of a handsome face, that at this moment were contorted in an expression I hated to see. My father was a tall muscular man which sometimes gave off the impression he was overbearing, yet he had an charismatic element to him that made anyone feel comfortable. It was no wonder he was good at his job of being a lawyer, he looked easy going but had intensity. 

His green eyes glittered with irritation at me yet softened when he took a glance at my mother, Savannah. My mother was beautiful, her dark skin illuminated under the kitchen lights, as if she were an angel. She had deep brown eyes that could either make someone confess dark secrets or make someone cower under her gaze. Her beauty was the first thing people always noticed, with a slim body and beautiful silky shoulder length black hair, she definitely must've heard all the cheesy one liners men have ever come up with. 

My parents meet at my mother's job when he was injured in a car accident and required intensive physical therapy. Savannah helped him relearn how to walk again, and I guess one thing led to another. At first my brother, William and I weren't enthusiastic at the prospect of letting Savannah into our lives but she grew on the both of us. Soon after they married, they had a child of their own, my little sister, Charlotte. 

"Don't you have anything to say for yourself?" My father demanded, incredulously. 

"I don't know what you want me to say. I told you I can't remember where I was okay? I didn't run away and I don't remember how I ended up in that warehouse!" I felt the familiar prickle at my eyes, and fought to keep myself in control. 

"That's not good enough. First, you're caught with alcohol and skipping classes and you expect us to believe you? I'm sorry honey but you don't have a good track record of telling the truth in this house." My mom said cutting in. 

I lost my control in that moment and the tears prickled down my face, "I'm sorry I am such a screw up! And yes I've made mistakes. I'm not proud of being a disappointment and I'm trying to change but you guys won't let me forget my past!"

"How can we Chels? When you continue to do the same stunts you used to do! Do you know how much you've embarrassed me? I've got the police coming to my door. A well respected lawyer who can send people to jail but can't keep his teenage daughter in control!" My father bellowed at me. 

"Well I'm not your real daughter so I'm sure they'll let you live this one down!" I snapped. 

Once the words were out of my mouth, I instantly regretted them, the hurt in my father's eyes shook me to my very core. My father recoiled in shock as if I hit him in the face.   "Dad-I'm-..." I started.

"Upstairs! Now to your room!" My father hissed through clenched teeth .

I stared at my mother, who shook her head in disappointment.

I rushed past them both and went upstairs to my room, slamming the door in frustration. I flopped in my bed and stared at the ceiling, not sure on how to fix the mess that I'd found myself in. Last Friday afternoon, I disappeared. Yes, that's right, I vanished from thin air, I mean I literally vanished. The moment I walked out of the Seven Eleven, I disappeared. I wish I could tell how it felt to disappear and where I disappeared to. The truth was I didn't feel a thing when I disappeared and all I can remember is darkness. It was as if someone had put a blindfold on me, and wiped my memory clean.

Two days later, on Sunday I was found in a warehouse by the policemen  who were on patrols that night. I was found dirty, and incoherent, the police speculated that I was on drugs and had got lost. Their speculations was pure bullshit, yeah okay once I did get caught with beer on school grounds. That time I was going to a party after school and decided to bring my own beer. Besides alcohol I've never touched anything else, I've never done any hardcore drugs or smoked cigarettes or marijuana. I couldn't fully blame my parents, I had the reputation of being a manipulator, and liar as long as I got what I wanted. I wasn't proud of that, and when I had been caught with the beer in my purse, the look on my parent's faces broke my heart.

It was there in that office I decided I never wanted to see those looks of disappointment ever again. That meeting happened Thursday afternoon before I disappeared. Well, so much for that goal. The God-to-honest-truth was that I don't know what happened to me. This scares me more than anything, because I've tried to replay every move I made Friday and everything about that Friday was ordinary.

More than anything I've wanted to know what happened, more than anybody else. I know it killed my parents not knowing what happened but what they failed to realize is that it killed me too. The last couple of days since I've been found I've been paranoid, I was grateful that my parents had stayed home with me these two days and let me stay home from school. These past few nights I've laid in my bed afraid that I'd disappear again into that vast darkness that has left holes in my memory. My parents were confused, and hurt yet they were angry at me for not providing the answers. Little did they know that I was angry at myself. I was used to being the confident leader among my peers, being afraid all the time was a feeling that I was unaccustomed too. All I could do these pasts couple of days was jump at every sound I heard, and give myself headaches as I tried to recall what had happened to me. 

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