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The Last Survivor

 Finding the Missing Link

My Mother's Locket

Mila ran to the pond facing her house and started to dig in the mud. It was wet, gooey, and had algae growing throughout the watery muck. Yet with her bare hands, no gloves on, she managed to dig a hole about 3 feet down and less than 1 foot across. It had to be here. She was sure of it.

Today was September 13, 2027, and the year before, 2026, had been brutal. It was more difficult than she ever remembered in her life. She compared it to her mother's stories of the 2020 covid 19 pandemic, but this was no comparison. Shortly after the pandemic in 2023, the New World Order had taken over every country. World War III was raging within three years. The aftermath had left everything in shambles, her life, her family, friends, pets, mostly all gone. She stayed in her bed for about six months crying on and off.

Her beautiful mother perished near the pond at their house that now laid in waste and muck. She was there one minute, then gone the next. Mila saw her disappear in the light and her clothes were left piled where she had once stood. Mila screamed for what seemed like an eternity, but there was no one around to hear or comfort her. She was all alone. All of her family members were gone. It was so surreal that everything happened in less than a blink of an eye.

Months went by, and she finally came out of her shell. She was lucky her family were survivalists who had prepared for that fateful day, not knowing it would be their last. Mila was grateful for the way her family planned out their lives. They took care of every detail from natural medicines, growing and canning their food to preparing for the worst-case scenario. Sadly, they didn't get to reap what they had sown. She began to believe after her months of crying that she was the lucky one. She had no idea, but she would find out soon enough.

No one in over ten months had stopped by her farm nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains close to Granite Falls, which is north of the metro area of Seattle. Mila and her family moved to this small 10-acre farm in 2021 after the 2020 pandemic. They wanted to become self-sufficient and not be controlled by the government. It worked. They labored, planned, and mainly stayed away from people. It was easy to do after the pandemic because of the government rules. Her family, however, did attend a nearby Church every Sunday. She would go occasionally, but it just wasn't her thing. Strange that no one from there had checked up on her in all this time.

Since she didn't tend to the crops in the short growing season, the fields were now bare. Fall was here, and winter would be soon. She barely had enough food to make it another three months. Desperation was setting in, and her home was in shambles. She needed to have hope, even though right then there was none. Maybe, finding what was lost would give her that.

Today she felt she had come to her senses and knew she needed to start planning her survival. First, she needed to find her mother's heart-shaped locket. It haunted her in her dreams as if calling for her to search. Mila had collected all her mother's clothing left on the ground, but she didn't see the locket. Her mother never took it off. It was a big part of who she was, and Mila was determined to find it now that she had come to her senses.

She reached down into the mud one last time with a spider running up her arm as she was pushing down. She wasn't scared of any itsy bitsy spider. Her heart leaped when she felt something like a thin chain, so she proceeded to pull it up to the top to get a closer look. It wouldn't budge, so she dug further down and scooped as much of it up in her hand as possible, and brought it to the surface. It was her mother's locket! She was so delighted that she couldn't control her happiness, so she began to sob. It was like holding her mother again.

She wasn't sure what was inside the heart-shaped locket. She thought it must be a picture of her mother and father. What else could it be? She took it to her water pump by the barn and pumped cool water over it. She cleaned and dried it with the bandana she carried around for her ever-flowing tears, then slowly opened it.

She was shocked there were no pictures but a bible passage that said, "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

She now knew her fate.

This was first published on vocal. media as a writing challenge June 2021.



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