From the Dust | Teen Ink

From the Dust

April 24, 2013
By VitamAeternam PLATINUM, Fenton, Michigan
VitamAeternam PLATINUM, Fenton, Michigan
26 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.”
― Cassandra Clare

Joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

You cannot control what you inherit. That is a rule of life I wish was not true. I have inherited this world of corruption and death from my fathers generation and cannot change that. They destroyed themselves and left nothing but a desolate husk of a planet. Ravaged by a virus that left them confused and looking for an answer. But there was none. So they invented one and the solution was nuclear war. The nature of the virus left us sterile with no way to keep our species alive. They might have found a cure but they were convinced the solution was more destruction. What is left of the human race is spread across the wasteland trying to find a reason to live. Most resort to stealing, killing, raping, and other forms of defilement. I spent the first half of my orphaned abandoned life searching for a reason to live in this world. I searched for nearly 20 years doing nothing but wander the wasteland. I found nothing. But in my search something found me. Some may call it god, some may call it divinity. But I call it hope. And with that hope I gained a purpose. My purpose was to destroy the darkness that has overwhelmed the world I inherited and bring in the light of hope. But sometimes you must tear down to build up. There must be bloodshed, there must be pain. But behind that pain would be the one thing that keeps our species alive... Hope. My name is Phoenix and I will bring redemption to this world.

The Chicago ruins, a gray wasteland of crumbling buildings and ash. It's been 15 years since the virus infected every known human on the planet leaving everyone sterile and the rest dead. The war ended 2 years later. It had only taken two years for the major super-powers to take sides and wipe out half of the worlds population. The ones that didn't die from the bombs or radiation were left with nothing to do but wait for our race to die.

Chicago had become one of the most dangerous places on earth after the war. Especially for me Melany Limus, a girl. But that hadn't worried me until two weeks ago when my brother died. We split up in an old building to scavenge for supplies, I took the top floor and he took the bottom. I didn't hear anything until it was to late. The blast of a small caliber handgun then silence. I ran down the stairs and found my brother lying there with nothing but underclothes on and a hole in his temple. I cried for hours. Since then I have been traveling at night to mask my movements. But today was an exception. I needed food and water badly. I had run out of water yesterday morning and was already feeling the effects of dehydration. I haven't had food in days, I constantly had hunger pains so intense I had to walk hunched over.

I meandered down the ash covered road hoping to find a good place to scavenge. I found a run down Quick-Mart and pulled at the glass doors handle. It opened with a loud screech of rusted hinges. I winced and slipped in the store. Almost everything I did now reminded me of Henry, and this wasn't an exception. We went on supply scavenges every day. I felt a hot tear escape my eye and roll down my cheek.

Henry always was always the strong one. He comforted me whenever I needed it. I needed it now. When both our parents died from the virus our uncle Ronald took us in and kept us safe for a while. But he was a cold and unfriendly person. So Henry was always the one cheering me up and making me feel better. Ronald had a underground shelter where we stayed for 4 years until Henry was 16 and I was 14. We ran out of food in the shelter and started having to go on scavenging raids. One day Uncle Ronald never came back. So from then on we were on our own. For 11 years we've been roaming the wasteland trying to find a safe-haven.

I walked through the entrance of the Quick-Mart and passed the register. I surveyed the building and saw nothing but empty shelves. There was the occasional perishable or useless accessory, nothing that I was looking for. I looked around for a few more minutes and found a bottle of Aspirin and some beans. No water, and the tap water wasn't an option, it had long since been irradiated. Just as I was about to leave I heard something in the back of the store. A shuffling kind of sound. I whipped my head around towards the source of the sound but saw nothing. I walked towards the door slowly and placed my hand on the door handle. This was going to be difficult. I slowly pulled at the door hoping I could slip out silently. But just when I got the door open about an inch it let out a vein popping screech. I bit my lip and yanked it the rest of the way. Just as I got it open a large form emerged from the back of the store and with it two more. They bolted towards me.

Once I was out the door I started running as fast as my legs could carry me. "Run, just keep running" I told myself. But within seconds they caught up to me. I had no chance. My skinny malnourished form could only take so much running. One of them leaped and grabbed my bony shoulders bringing me down with him. I hated them, I hated them for what they were about to do to me. I hated everyone, no one was good, the whole world was evil. I closed my eyes as they pounced on me beating me with their bare fists. Over and over, I could feel the bruises forming on my skin. This wasn't even the worst part. I curled up into a ball and took the blows. One of them grabbed at my shirt but I resisted. He didn't like that. He hit me in the shoulder so hard I lost feeling in my arm. I tightened my muscles and prepared for the worst. Just as I started to whimper with fear the men stood up and looked at something down the road. I opened my eyes slightly to see what had drawn their attention and saw a the form of a man running down the road, kicking up ash and dust with his boots. The moment I saw him I knew I would be ok. I don't know how, I just knew. My muscles relaxed and I stopped crying. My three attackers started to approach the man, flaunting their emaciated forms, trying with all their might to look intimidating. But the man did not slow down or even glance at them. He ran towards me his eyes boring deep into mine. I stared back into his and did not see the typical crazed and hateful look of most of the men on the earth now. I saw pity, love, and regret. Before he reached my attackers he stopped completely and closed his eyes. He stood there for a few seconds then opened his eyes. When he opened them he was looking at my attackers. And this time I did see hate, a hate so powerful it seemed to make him shake. He reached back into his bag and pulled out a double barrel shotgun. He immediately pulled both triggers and sent two of the men flying back into a pool of their own blood. One cried out as he hit the ground and clutched his shredded chest. The other lay still. The third attacker sprang into action and lunged at the man, but was met by the stock of the shotgun. It slammed into the side of his head and sent him flying to the ground. The man quickly finished him off with another swing of the shotgun. I lay on the ground in shock of what I just witnessed. The man quickly stuffed the shotgun back in his bag and approached me with his hand extended. "It's ok I'm here to help you." His voice was soothing but also strong. He reached his hand out and helped me to my feet. I was still reluctant, but I let him anyways. He steadied me with a hand on my shoulder and a comforting smile. I limped on my beaten and bruised legs. He saw my pain and quickly scooped me up into his arms. I'm dreaming, I must be dead. This can't be happening. I thought. Even if I was dreaming I did not want to wake up. So I laid there in his strong arms and put my head on his chest. I don't care if I'm dead, I'm safe. And with that I passed out.

I woke in what looked like a small medical room. There were medical supplies piled on shelves on each wall. I was amazed at how clean the room looked. I scanned the room and saw a small stocky woman standing in the corner. I knew I could trust no one and quickly slid my feed over the edge of the cot and jumped to the floor. As soon as I hit the ground I collapsed into a heap. My body was so weak and bruised that I could not walk. The woman rushed over the me and put a hand on my shoulder. "Oh dear, what are you doing?" She said with a stern voice. "You need to rest. In this condition you wont be on your feet for a few days. You have at least 2 broken ribs, a chipped Humerus. You also were teetering on the edge of fatal dehydration!" With that the memories of the day before rushed into coherence. "That man, he... he saved me." I choked. She gave me a puzzled look. "What are you talking about honey?" "A...A man saved me from some Marauders." I replied weakly. The woman looked at me and pursed her lips. "Well we found you just outside the city gate." She said mater-a-factly. "City gate?" I asked. "Oh dear me, I haven't told you where you are!" the woman exclaimed. "You're in possibly the last functioning city in America... maybe the world." She said proudly. "People have come from all over America to live here in peace." I was shocked. How could there be such a place in this world. How could they live together in peace. "Here, let me show you." She said as she grabbed my arm.

She led me out of the medical building and into a sort of town square. She held out her hand in a welcoming gesture and said. "This is Albis."

I almost gasped when I saw the multitude of people walking about in the square. some went to the shops surrounding the square, some ate at small food stands, others just made small talk with each other. I stood there, taking it all in. I still couldn't believe it. A city. With people, not the desperate deranged people I had become so accustomed to seeing. These were people capable of loving and caring for one another. Tears welled up in my eyes. If only my brother could have been here with me to see this. Emotion flooded into me. I fell to my knees and wept. I covered my face with my hands and let the tears flow. I finally made it. After 11 years.... I made it.


3 years later the city of Albis was on the verge of collapse. It had 2 years of peace and prosperity until the Marauders took interest in it and began raiding its walls. The citizens held off the Marauders for a while and drove them back into their holes. Or so they thought. They celebrated their victory then continued on with their lives. But the Marauders were not finished.... They were never finished.


I heard the screams erupting from the town square. I covered my ears and tried to block out the noise. The chatter of automatic weapons pierced the cold air.
They came so suddenly; the Marauders. We didn't have time to assemble any sort of resistance. It soon became every man for himself.
I had run like a child, and I was ashamed.
I clenched my teeth in anger.
Why! Why do they have to attack the one good thing in this world! Why can't they turn from their ways and join us!
I was once convinced that there was no good left in this world, but then I was rescued from the hands of defilers and brought to my feet. He showed me this city and showed me that there was still light left in this world of darkness. But now it was being taken away from me. There was nothing I could do. I knew the Marauders would not kill me. No, not the girls. They would keep us. And that was worse than death. But the men, they would kill the men and. But before they killed them they would take their dignity. They would make them plead for their lives. Then they would push them to the ground and shoot them through the head. And no one could stop them. Their force was the biggest band of Marauders I had ever seen. We had no chance. There was no hope.
I would rather die than be captured by those dirty creatures. I would not go back to that life.
I made my decision right there that I would end my life. I got up from my hiding place and broke off a piece of a shattered apartment window, closed my eyes and held it to my wrist.
"Dont." a deep voice echoed through the empty room.
My eyes shot open and focused on a man standing in the entrance. I immediately recognized him. The man who first brought me here. I would never forget his face.
He approached me with his gloved hands and grabbed my hand with the glass in it.
I stood there and stared at him in amazement.
"You don't have to do this." he said softly.
I then realized that he was staring straight into my eyes. I quickly turned my head.
We stood there for a few seconds not speaking. I suddenly felt his finger underneath my chin. He rose my head up to meet his eyes.
"Follow me and you will live."
"Wait." I said. "What is your name?" I asked softly.
And without another word he grabbed my hand and led me out the door.
We walked out of the building and towards the town square where most of the Marauders were pillaging. What I saw in the square I will forever remember.
Bodies strewn everywhere, lying in pools of blood. Some still alive, pulling themselves across the ground. I felt a lump form in my throat as I saw the head of the Governor lying in the middle of the square, his decapitated body lying a few feet from it. It was horrifying. My hand dropped from out of his and I covered my mouth. I felt tears roll down my face and onto my hands. Phoenix turned and looked into my eyes.
"Stay behind me, stay close and do not waver."
He continued forward at a steady pace towards a Marauder who was searching a body. Phoenix stopped before he reached the Marauder and closed his eyes, just like he did when he saved me from the 3 men. After a few seconds he raised his head quickly and pulled two swords from his pack.
The Marauder had no time to react. Before he could even get up from his pillaging the blade was protruding from his stomach. He cried out and gasped for air but found none.
Phoenix jerked his blade up and let the man fall to the ground. I had stopped when he approached the Marauder.
Phoenix looked up at me and motioned for me to come. I was placing my life in this mans hands and I went with no hesitation.
We continued to the gate and saw a large crowd gathered just inside it. Upon closer observation I saw that the large group were citizens of Albis surrounded by Marauders. They were all on their knees with guns trained on their heads.
I saw one of the Marauders point at us and shout something. As we got closer I heard what he was yelling.
"It's him! It's him! His expression was one of hate, burning hate. But I saw something else I wasn't expecting; fear.
"Get him!" he yelled
Suddenly half of the Marauders guarding the citizens came rushing at us. Phoenix gave me a look then turned to the men. As soon as the front man started firing the rest followed.
To this day I don't understand what I saw. Phoenix walked straight into the hail of bullets. I saw them pierce his skin, some going straight through him. Blood erupted from his body... But he did not stop. He kept pushed forward towards them with his swords out.
I saw the looks on the Marauders faces change, but they kept firing. Soon Phoenix was right on top of them. The Marauders pulled back and surrounded him. Finally the hail of bullets ceased.
They collapsed on him like predator to prey. But they never touched him, not once. He swung his swords at lightning speeds and sent everyone of the beasts to their graves. By then all of them had joined in the fight.
I stared in amazement as they ran to their deaths. I felt no pity, no remorse, just amazement.
When finally they all lay in a heap, Phoenix rose from the bloody mess onto his feet. He looked at me then the prisoners and gave a nod. With that he walked away.

He saved us all from slavery and death, then walked away without a word. We were too shocked to say anything to him as he walked away. So we just sat there, watching him leave.

It's now 15 years later and we have lived in peace and prosperity ever since. No one has ever seen him again, but he still lives on as a legend.
Some call him our Savior, some call him Prophet.... But I call him hope.

Proverbs 21:15

The author's comments:
An allegory for you to decide

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This article has 8 comments.

JRaye PLATINUM said...
on May. 21 2013 at 6:41 pm
JRaye PLATINUM, Dorr, Michigan
43 articles 10 photos 523 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you build your house far enough away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you."

"Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, 'I just don't care.'?"

This is pretty gosh-darn amazing! It's written so well, every sentence, every action, just...WOW. I'm not much into zombie-like-stories but this is just great in every way. Awesome job! :)

on May. 7 2013 at 2:21 pm
SunnyDreams BRONZE, Niger Falls, Other
1 article 0 photos 274 comments

Favorite Quote:
Can you feel what I have seen, when no one else has lived through what I have?-HalveOfLife

this was so sad......but i luved it -sunnyluvsworldhugs-

JohnnyHold96 said...
on May. 7 2013 at 2:05 pm
This is AWESOME! Great writing! 

Mckay ELITE said...
on May. 7 2013 at 1:55 pm
Mckay ELITE, Somewhere, Virginia
146 articles 0 photos 2230 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."
—Apple’s “Think Different” commercial, 1997
“Crazy people are considered mad by the rest of the society only because their intelligence isn't understood.”
― Weihui Zhou

I have to say this is an epic story. Have you ever thought of continuing the story. Very mind-provoking. 

on May. 6 2013 at 12:47 pm
VitamAeternam PLATINUM, Fenton, Michigan
26 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.”
― Cassandra Clare


on May. 6 2013 at 11:42 am
SunnyDreams BRONZE, Niger Falls, Other
1 article 0 photos 274 comments

Favorite Quote:
Can you feel what I have seen, when no one else has lived through what I have?-HalveOfLife

really luv it -sunny-

on May. 5 2013 at 11:54 am
VitamAeternam PLATINUM, Fenton, Michigan
26 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.”
― Cassandra Clare


on May. 5 2013 at 11:52 am
Brittany-NamedTheFluffMastahNumber2 GOLD, Milford, Connecticut
15 articles 0 photos 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
The person that you'd take a bullet for is behind the trigger.
Miss Missing You - Fall Out Boy (:

this is amazing!!!!!   nice jobb