Survival of the Fittest

After a catastrophic event wipes out almost all humanity, only nineteen children are left. They band together and become a tight family, watching out for the youngest and respecting the oldest. However, soon curiosity takes over, and they won't rest until they understand how they survived, and how to survive.

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1. Prologue

It wasn't night. It wasn't day, either. Nor was it dawn or dusk. It was dark. It wasn't dark like it usually is at night. At night there was the moon and the stars and street lamps to light the way. But there was none of that. You might have been able to see, if you were a cat, or some other animal that could see in the dark.

It was quiet, too. It wasn't quiet to the point where there was no sound. There was still some rustlings of a badger, maybe, unaffected by the previous events. But there were no human noises. There wasn't the dull whoosh of a car flying past you, or a plane over head. There were no humans to make those noises.

Well, almost no humans. There was a girl. She looked no older than twelve, with fine blonde hair that tangled easily. She had a little dress on, something you might see at church. It was white, with a blue hem and birds soaring up the skirt. Her bright blue eyes held on tightly to unshed tears. She was terrified.

She carried a flashlight, which cast a beam of light, the only light for miles. "Mom?" She called, her voice shaky and afraid. "Mom? Dad?" Nobody answered.

Just an hour ago, she was preparing for her cousins wedding. It had been a sunny fall day, and as much as she wanted to run outside and jump in the pile of carefully raked leaves, she knew she couldn't.

Suddenly, all the lights had flickered off. It wasn't a power outage, it was something supernatural. It was definitely something she had never seen before and would never forget. She had gone to the kitchen, afraid and looking for the comfort of her parents. But they were gone.

The girl hadn't moved. She stayed in the kitchen, too afraid and too shocked to do anything. She wanted to believe that they would return, so that's what she told herself. But deep down, she knew she would never see them again.

Not wanting to face reality, she had felt her way to the junk drawer, where she knew there was a working flashlight. As she fumbled around for one, she felt something cold and smooth. A knife. It was so simple, so obvious. Her parents weren't coming back, and she couldn't take care of herself! She didn't want to live without them, either. She gripped the knife, palms sweating, and prepared to strike.

But something stopped her. She couldn't bring herself to do it. She had heard of suicide before, but there was no way she could take her life. So instead, she returned to her original plan, find a flashlight, and find her parents.

That was how she had ended up out here. Out in the cold darkness that wasn't night or day. As far as she knew, she was the only one left on earth.

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