Day 17

If you find this, please share my story.

I haven’t recorded anything for days. I’m fine. The girl saved me. The child saved me. I might be dead had it not been for them. I’m glad I welcomed her into the bunker. It was a good decision.

With the child, the girl and I can’t go on raids together anymore. It’s too hard to bring him. So I left them to can more apples while I went back to town. While I was there, I saw a truck driving through the streets. It wasn’t raiders, though I wasn’t sure at the time. The man driving the truck was pretty old, maybe in his sixties or seventies. He looked familiar. Maybe he had been in the office at some point, or I saw him at the grocery store. I don’t remember.

He stopped at a house and a woman – his wife, I guess – came out with some suitcases. They were having a rough time of it, though. I weighed my options and stepped out to help them. They both fell back, shaking, pleading that I wouldn’t hurt them. I promised I wouldn’t, and helped lift their bags into the truck before backing away.

They asked me what I was doing out here. I just said, “surviving.” They must have been hiding in town for the past few weeks, and said they were going to the city to be with their family. They didn’t make it. As I was leaving, I heard gunshots. I turned around. A raider had his rifle aimed at me, finished with the old man and woman.

He fired at me a number of times as I ran back to my bike and sped away. I didn’t want to head back to the bunker immediately. What if we followed me? I heard the rifle again. For a moment, I felt like an action hero, dodging shots left and right. At least, until one shot caught me in the side. I think the fall from my bike hurt more than the bullet. It just grazed me, but I was bleeding a lot. I hid in a bush or something and my head got kind of fuzzy. He tried to goad me out, but he turned his back on me and I stuck him in the back with my knife. I think I killed him, but I don’t actually know.

I limped back to the bunker, but it took hours. Maybe hours. I don’t really know. You know when you feel pale? That’s what it felt like. My breath was ragged. The girl found me when I came down the driveway to Mr. Trainer’s house.

And that’s that. I woke up days later. She said she was worried I was going to die. The child was sobbing. I’m alive, though. They took good care of me. She changed my bandages just a moment ago. She was a nurse. I’m glad I chose to trust her.