I'm starting a new weekly meme for myself. Every Wednesday, I'll hunt for a writing prompt (or make up my own), then post the prompt and what I wrote for it on here. If you want to do it with me, then write something and post it on your own blog, and comment to this post with a link to your post. I would love to see what you write!
This week's prompt comes from Writing Excuses Episode 4.32: First Paragraphs.
Writing Prompt: You’re writing in your journal for the first time in ten years, and the last ten years included the invasion of Earth.
What I Wrote:
If I needed proof that I’ve changed in the last ten years since I actually wrote in a journal, there it is. I’ve practically forgotten how to do it. That was the most idiotic way to start a journal ever. I used to be able to think of the right way to start, and I wasn’t always so nervous about starting. If Dan hadn’t insisted, then I’d feel absolutely horrible about wasting paper like this. I do anyway.
He handed this book to me when he came back to our pod last night, and told me that I needed to start writing again for my own sake. I don’t know what on earth he had to go through to find a book, much less a blank journal, but he won’t tell me. He doesn’t want me worrying. (And if I know my husband, then what happened is something I would worry about.)
And there, look, I’m starting a new page now, and what did I even say on the first page?
Perhaps he was right. I needed this more than I thought.
I am laughing right now. I’m not really amused – it’s more like irony. Laughing at irony can be dangerous. But I used to do it all the time, back when I was writing. It’s funny how paper can make you remember who you used to be. Welcome back, Cheryl.
Where do I start?
Just saying ‘the aliens finally invaded’ sounds so callous. But it’s true. A decade ago UFO’s belonged to conspiracy theorists and strange cults, and then BOOM! There they are! And BOOM! There goes everything we ever knew. All governments, all economies, all nations, all communities, all businesses, organizations, schools – gone! Overnight those monsters set up their own system, using their advanced technology and their unfeeling ideas on how humans should be governed.
Everyone is a widget now. Children are kept in an alien-run ‘education’ camp until puberty, then either drafted to work as soldier-slaves in the human contingent of the aliens’ army of conquest, or put to work on the factories producing their weapons and machinery. If you can work, then you do until you die. Reading, writing, and any ideas are forbidden. The aliens raided every home, business, and library for everything printed on paper and locked it all in a giant archive to be ‘studied.’ As if they’ll ever really look at it. They might have been curious in the beginning. But they’ve been in control long enough to know the one thing they wanted to know – that humanity doesn’t pose a threat at all.
Dan and I are among the lucky few that escaped. Apparently the one place where the aliens hesitate to go is underground. That’s where we are now. ‘The Underground’ is made up of a network of large metal shipping crates connected by collapsible tunnels. Directly above us is a natural cave with a steady supply of oxygen from the surface, so we’ve cut hundreds of air passages up to that cavern so that we don’t suffocate.
I said the tunnels are collapsible. Thank God for engineers – they devised a system so that if one pod is discovered, the press of a button will shut down all the tunnels so that the other pods won’t be discovered. It’s the only way we worked up enough nerve to live in a single, interconnected group.
I try not to think about the way things are too much. It’s so easy to hate the situation that we’re in, but we can’t do anything about it, and allowing ourselves to be miserable is one of the slower and more painful ways to die down here. One learns to be grateful for small things. Like life. And freedom. I think often of all the people on the surface, and how they must wish with all their hearts that they were with us.
But sometimes this all sounds so much like a bad science-fiction film. We’re not even trying to put up a resistance. We can’t. All we dare to hope is that we continue to stay unnoticed and free for another month.
I guess I have to come to terms with the fact that this time, the good guys will never ‘win’.