My name is Quinn Morgendorffer, if you find this it means one of three things; we've been forced to flee and abandon all non-essential items, we too have been captured or we're all dead. I'm a seventeen year old senior at Lawndale high and I have been chosen to record our journey, though I use the term 'chosen' loosely; it was either me or one of band members of Mystik Spiral and I'm not entirely sure they even know how to write…
It all began five weeks ago, maybe six and just over an hour ago it was decided that one of us should begin a journal to record our experiences if, God forbid, anything bad happened to us. Though I can't be sure we're all still okay; our group was split up about a week ago after we decided to return to Lawndale and find out what happened to our families, so far there has been no word from the search party and the rest of us are starting to get anxious.
It's now the twentieth of August 2002, though I can't be sure; it's hard to keep track since dates and time have no real significance in what we affectionately call our 'new' lives. What started out as a road trip over summer with my sister Daria, her best friend Jane and the band members of Mystik Spiral turned into a hellish nightmare, a constant battle for our lives; learning to live off the land and forage food and supplies from anywhere we could find it.
The country is still in shock, the survivors we've come across so far seem to mirror our own disbelief; we weren't ready for this, the government wasn't ready for this. America is the strongest westernized nation no one anticipated the invasion, although with most of our nation's armed forces in the Middle East, it makes sense that now would be the best time to attack. Whoever planned the attack was smart, from what we've learned the enemy army was organized and efficient attacking the nations capitals simultaneously, most in the dead of the night, ironically on July the forth; Independence Day.
"Mo-om I'm seventeen now, I'm old enough to stay home by myself." Quinn pouted. She drew her arms defiantly across her chest and stared at Helen.
"No Quinn, we've gone over this. You are going with Daria while we're away." Helen sighed as she rummaged through the drawers in the kitchen, opening and slamming them each one a little harder than the last as her frustration mounted. "Jake! Have you seen my phone charger?" Helen stood, placed a hand on her hip and waited, a muffled 'No' filtered through from the floor above. Helen sighed once again and began searching the cupboard.
"But why? Why with Daria, why not Sandi or Stacy?" Quinn whined.
"Because… Just because, it has already been arranged. Now go and pack your things." Helen replied.
"Quinn," Helen warned, "Look, it's only for two weeks, we'll meet up with you in Atlanta after the conference."
Quinn huffed and turned on her heel and stomped up to her room.
The night it began we had just watched the band finish yet another dismal gig. Travelling south to Texas, to play grunge music to country and western aficionados didn't seem like the best thought out plan. Max, the band's drummer insisted that any exposure was good for the bands reputation, and they'd be thanking him when they were famous. Somehow I didn't see that happening.
The night of July forth had been a dark moonless night. The blackness was almost unnatural in its density; the lack of light magnified every noise giving it a sinister warped feel. The slow ebbing flames of the camp fire rolled around the white ant eaten logs the boys had collected after stopping. The flickering flames danced around the small dusty clearing, lighting the faces of the group, that were sleeping soundly on the ground. Quinn awoke to a dull mechanical thumping; a far off burst of noise that had been carried on a gust of warm wind. She sat and rubbed her eyes with the back of her right hand then turned to survey her surroundings.
They had stopped just off the highway, about thirty miles outside of Houston's city limits near a state forrest. The rest of the group were still asleep, the noise that had pulled her from her slumber was now nothing more than a whisper. Quinn was unsure if she had actually heard it or it was just a dream.
With a small grunt she tossed her sleeping bag off her and stood, wincing as her bare foot hit the sharp edge of a small stone. She needed to relieve her bladder and groaned as she realized there were no amenities in the near vicinity; she would have to find an even spot a short distance from the van.
As she walked back the mechanical noise returned louder this time with more force, feeling refreshed and awake she knew that she hadn't imagined it and grew curious as to what was making the noise. Moments later the sky was on fire, a bright burst of light flashed across the land, followed by a loud boom. Quinn stood motionless, frozen to the spot, her brain trying to process what she had just seen. She didn't notice Daria grabbing her arm and pulling her into the van, nor the yelling or screaming of the others as they began a frantic run for the two cars.