A Note from Arwen

dystopian city

Hey,

I don’t know if anyone’s ever going to read this. The likelihood that someone picks this up is…pretty low given I’ve not seen a single survivor since I left my base in AZ.

I guess writing this letter is a sentimental thing. I’ve been walking north for a long time now, and I’m feeling lonely.

No, lonely isn’t the right word. I’m terrified. 

I spent four days navigating Salt Lake City and–let’s say someone ever does read this–don’t go. What the Deadlight Gardes left behind is nearly impassible. 

I followed Hwy 15 up, avoiding the main roads in case they were being watched, but checking every few hours to make sure I was running parallel to the highway. I planned to hit some abandoned charging stations, get some dusty cans of food, get in, get out. It wasn’t until I covered a day of ground that I realized it was a trap.

As Los Angeles and Phoenix fell, Salt Lake City must have read the writing on the wall. I don’t know if they thought blocking roads and putting up barbed wire would keep out the Deadlight Gardes, or if they were trying to keep fleeing people from other cities out, but either way, they failed.

They got me though. I got lost and the only path forward was to the city center. Maybe they left a few roads open to get supplies in. Or maybe they hoped to evacuate when things got bad enough. 

There was no point in any of it. The buildings stand, but the people have fallen. And the Deadlights left them right where they lay.

Like I said, don’t go to Salt Lake City.

I’m heading north to the forests surrounding the Rocky Mountains. I don’t know what’s waiting for me, but at least there’s no more big cities on the way. 

So, if you’re out there–if you find this crumpled up paper–know I’m out here too. Godspeed.

-Arwen Cruz  

P. S. This isn’t the first letter I’ve written. Maybe you’ll find some of them. Maybe I’ll find some of yours and learn how you survived the invasion. Either way, I hope there’s more to our story.

**This letter was first published as part of the November 2021 newsletter. Don’t miss out on the good stuff–subscribe to Rebecca M. Zornow’s newsletter now.**

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I'm Rebecca Zornow

A science fiction author living in Wisconsin, I love traveling, eating good food, and reading long books.

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