11 years ago:
I’m playing with my dolly and the music is pounding in my ears from the stereo, but over the roar I can hear screams. I glance up and look out of the window people are running past my mum’s car, mothers carrying their babies and kids.
My mum and dad leap out of the car. My dad starts ripping me out of the baby seat. He gives me to my mum and she sprints ahead. I look back and see my dad struggling to catch up, his leg is bleeding and I think he has cut it. Then I see a black mass behind him. It is consuming everything. I think I see clawed hands reaching out for my dad. He looks into my eyes and mouths I love you.
Then he’s dragged into the darkness.
Darkness has taken over the world. The UK, America, China and Africa are gone. Everything is gone except Australia. We live on. I wouldn’t call it living exactly, but we are still breathing so that counts for something. There are only a few hundred of us left but that decreases each passing hour. But soon everyone will be dead, because the darkness is coming. It is devouring, infecting and killing. There are two types of darkness in this world the darkness that should be day and the darkness that kills.
The Impenetrable Darkness.
My name is Zoe, I turned 18 two months ago. I have long thick wavy brown hair with a matching pair of ice blue eyes. I have no siblings and my father is dead. My mum isn’t but sometimes I wish she was, she has gone crazy. I was only 5 when the darkness took its hold over my world, but I still remember it vividly. I don’t talk about it though. It’s the rules.
Never speak of the darkness
Never leave the refuge
Never ever turn off your light
If any citizen does not follow these rules it will result in their banishment.
I live in the only refuge in Victoria. There are no fences or boundaries. The only thing to signify the edge of the refuge is the light. It only causes minimal damage to the darkness. So that it doesn’t penetrate the refuge. But the lights are failing and the only alleged thing to destroy the light forever is a myth. But some people believe in it. It’s supposed to be in a child who survived the destruction, but I don't believe it.
They call it the inner light.
Today is recruitment day. Soldiers come and test all children 16 to 18, if they are prepared to fight the darkness. Not everyone gets chosen. Only the strong, skilled and agile are taken to THE CAMP.
Today is my last ever recruitment day I have to meet on the outskirts of town where we are tested in fighting, strategy and survival. We are put into groups of ages 16, 17 and 18. There isn’t much difference between the difficulties for each group, but the 16 group has an introduction, and the 18's get a pep talk from a fighter.
My group sit down on the crates set up for the pep talk. I sit next to my only mate, Jasmine, we arrived at the refuge. The same day and we had to live with each other for the first month because there wasn’t enough space. Jasmine lost her brother to the darkness, and I lost my father. I guess we just connected.
Jasmine doesn’t want to fight she wants to be a nurse which I think is very noble, only it is hard to get the education nowadays. But I want to fight. Now. So that means I need to be recruited. Today. There is no next year, this is my last chance.
A boy walks to the front he only looks 18, except he has a small scar on the left side of his eye. He is muscular but still has that kid look to him. The only thing that looks old is his eyes. They are grey and haunted looking, like he has seen stuff that no eighteen year old should see, ever. His jet black hair is short. He is the best fighter in THE CAMP despite his age. Everyone knows him. His name is Max Ryker and he chooses the recruits.
He explains this is our last recruitment day for a long time, but then he starts talking about the camp. I sit up straighter and hang on every word that leaves his mouth. Everyone is squirming in their seats trying to find a comfortable position on the splintered and stone hard crates, when finally max finishes the introduction.
And so it begins.