Post by Pally on May 21, 2018 19:20:40 GMT
After my chat with Alma I really wanted to know the rest of my mother, Pally's story. She never really spoke of it when I was growing up. Of course she was busy with all the tasks and children Mad Mud decided she needed to have. She sort of laughed when I showed up asking about it and said, "Sure, I'll tell you. It's not very exciting though." I told her I couldn't rest until I knew.
So we headed into the, 'family room' of the jail house. Star, my half sister, joined us when she found out what we were going to talk about. She was curious to know about our mother's past just as much as I was.
I told them both most of what Alma had told me. Then I asked Mom, "What happened next? What was the first thing you remember? And don't worry if you think it's boring, I want to know it all." She laughed her happy laugh, and began to tell her story, "Let me think, the first thing I remember.....
...It was a strange lady. I was afraid of her at first but she smiled and spoke kindly to me. I remember I called her, 'K k' at first. When I was older I learned her name was Kitty Windlemier. She was always so nice and told all of the kids in the orphan bunk house the best stories.
She was the one who always fed me. I remember the bread and cheese being so dry and hard to eat. I only ever ate it becuase she said I couldn't have my pudding if I didn't.
She also gave me my weekly bath. I know that seems even worse than the three a week we can have now, but the water of the world had become contaminated so they rationed it. They said it was killing off most of the mammals. Birds, bugs and some reptiles were nearly the only living animals left, along with some fish who were adapting.
I was always dressed in plain clothes with hardly any color. But I was warm and safe. We had a few books and toys to play with. I mostly played with the dollhouse they had. I loved it's colors. And, well, I spent the next three years of my life living in just the four walls of that bunk house.
Once I was older, I was made to help out with the cleaning and care of some of the younger kids that were brought in. You see the outbreak lasted for almost six years. People were brought to the camp from time to time throughout those six years. They all told stories about their homes being lost to the strange things happening in the world. The infected zombie creatures had been burning whole towns to the ground.
I remember one little boy who was born at the camp. But since they didn't allow babies and children in the adult bunk house, he had to live in the kid's bunk. I became good friends with him. His name was Chiliad. His mother came every morning and night to check on him but the rest of the time I looked out for him.
We played in the dollhouse, when I wasn't cleaning or helping with other kids. He was a funny little boy who tried to make the dolls talk in silly voices. I felt sad when he called one Mom and was always making her say 'bye bye' to the other dolls. But at least he had his mother, and could see her everyday...
When I was about seven I started sneaking out in the evenings and going into the rec-house, as they called it. It had a kitchen and dining room. There were also games, a TV and a giant fish tank. I remember one night there were two men talking to each other about a plate of grilled cheese sandwiches. Or should I say arguing about them. One of them was pale skinned and had strange marks on his neck. He offered me a sandwich so I sat down and took one.
"Look at the way she gobbles it up!" he said happily to the other man. "How can you say they aren't good for you when she loves them that much? Someday I'll feed the world with my grilled cheese." He seemed like a nice man but the other man just looked angry and told him he was a fool.
The sandwich was good. It was sort of sweet. Like no cheese I had ever tasted. But then again I had only ever ate the dry government cheese they gave us here in the camp, and that was nearly gone. I wondered where the man got this cheese from, but I didn't get to ask that night. They both called each other a few names before they left on opposite sides of the building.
A few days later I heard there was a fight between them in the rec-house. I was curious to hear more so snuck out again. I heard talking in the TV room so hid behind the fish tank. It was the man who hated grilled cheese he was talking to his wife. Telling her 'everything was going to be okay' and that 'he'd fixed it so they were moved to the top of the list'. I had no idea what they were talking about but was very curious.
The next evening I was taking out trash when I heard yelling from the upstairs office. I couldn't help myself and was soon standing near the door listening. It appeared that things had begun to settle in the nearby towns. That the sickness had stopped spreading and was no longer seen in any of the people wandering about. The government was going to allow people to return to what were once cities and start fresh.
The same two men were the ones doing most of the shouting. The one who disliked grilled cheese was telling the other one how he could have a small section of land to build up how he wanted but that he still had to agree to follow some basic rules so that the new town could function orderly. "There must be order!" He said with a commanding voice.
"And what gives you the right to decide what rules we are to follow?!" The pale man shouted. The other mentioned something about the government giving him the land so it was his to decide what to do with. I didn't understand at the time why they couldn't each have their own land, but I learned they had both wanted this same area, I was not sure of the reasons.
"Look!" the cheese hater yelled,"If I had it my way you would be sent to the other side of the world! But if I am to be stuck with you we will do this my way or else you can stay here and rot for all I care!" If looks could kill I am sure the pale man would of killed him right there. I had never seen someone so angry. He muttered something I couldn't hear to the other and then stormed his way toward the door so I hid as fast as I could.
Later I snuck back into the rec-house and found the pale man watching TV alone. I cautiously went and sat next to him and told him thank you for the grilled cheese he had given me the other day. He smiled at me and asked if I wanted to hear a story about a princess. I smiled happily and nodded my head. Then he began to tell me about a beautiful space princess who gave only the most favored ones a special gift of grilled cheese. She even bestowed upon them a rare berry that could grow into a plant that was part cow and would give the sweetest milk with which to make cheese for all of her followers.
He asked if I liked the story, and I said yes. Then he leaned close and whispered, "It's all the true. And someday if you are a good girl maybe you'll get to meet the princess yourself." I couldn't help but laugh a little. I told him I had never seen in any of the books here at the camp anything like the plant he told me about. I asked him, "How can this be a true story?!" Well, that made him angry.
He glared at me angrily and asked, "Don't you know it's rude to mock your elders? Didn't your parents ever teach you manners?!" I was a little scared so just softly told him I was an orphan. He looked like he didn't know how to respond to that. He was about to say something when I heard Kitty yell my name.
"I have been looking everywhere for you!" She was pretty upset. I tried to tell her I was just distracted but she started in with something about a child's place. I wasn't to clear on what she was trying to say. She had started rambling on more and more lately and speaking in riddles.
In the end I was grounded from leaving the kids bunk house for the next week. I tried to say sorry and asked her to forgive me but it was too late for that. She had also heard about me sneaking out the other times as well.
Over the next week I had to study about why it's important to follow the rules and stuff. I even had to write a big long essay about it. Then one day Chiliad was no longer in the children's bunk house. When I asked about him I was told he and his family had left, along with a few others from the camp, including the pale man who made the grilled cheese sandwiches. I wouldn't see any of them again for some thirteen years or so.
Not long after, Kitty left. Some say she went crazy and went off to wander the desert. She kept saying the wind was calling her name. I felt sad for all the changes. Even I began to change. As I became a teenager my hair began to fade and lose it's color. I was self conscious about it at first. I even got eye liner tattoos to try and distract from my hair. But eventually I got used to it.
I still had to help out with cleaning and things around the camp. Mostly in the kitchen and the laundry room. We still had to boil water and filter it for use, so it was still rationed. I must admit it was a boring life for a time.
The only fun I really had was looking at the old pictures of the world before the apocalypse happened on the camp tablet. There was only one working tablet left for general use so even our time on that was rationed. I spent the rest of my teen years in the camp watching as everyone started to leave. Going out and try to make a new home, a new start.
When I turned twenty I was sent here, to Murkland. And you know the rest of the story. Oh and the two men from the camp, well one of them became our Mayor and the other is our faction leader, Mad Mud." Mom smiled and said there wasn't really much more to say on her part. Then she went out to feed the cowplants.
I was happy to have learned more about her and the life she experienced as a child. I couldn't believe she knew Mad Mud before he was our leader. Now I was super curious about how the Mayor came here and how this town all started. I was also curious about why Mud wasn't chosen to run his own town. Why were they forced to share? Why did they both want this place out of everywhere else? There were still so many answers I needed to find. I decided to talk with the Mayor next.