When I was eleven, Cooper and Toldy found me at a petrol station. I had been alone for almost three weeks. I had found some food there so didn’t see any reason to leave. We drove North I think, for about a day and a half. When the war broke out I was celebratings my Eleventh birthday. In less than four weeks I was an Orphan and the world had gone mad.

I’m now twenty four. Cooper, Toldy and Toldy’s wife died of some kind of infection when we were just outside Weymouth. I was just fifteen.

I was feeding the chickens when Toby came came running across the fields. I couldn’t hear what he was saying but he as waving his arms, obviously scared. I run and pick him up, I run to the house and bolt the doors. Ellen walks slowly into the room, leaning on her walking stick, a little more than usual. “What is it? What’s wrong Toby?”

He stutters and stammers and can’t seem to speak. He is cold and pale.

“Ellen, let him rest.”

She nods briefly and leaves. “Hey Toby. What happened?”

He looks at me but I doubt that he is actually seeing me.

He starts to cry. No one is really sure but he must be about nine or ten years old. He reaches out and grabs my hand, “I was in the woods, I know I’m not supposed to be. I saw a bird. I have never seen one before. then Someone hit me. When I looked up I saw it was them. They are there now in the woods.”

I pull some blankets over him and tell him to rest, I find Ellen in the kitchen. “He says he saw one, maybe more than one.”

Proctor calls a Town meeting, almost everyone is scared beyond belief. Ellen and I repeat what happened three times before anyone even speaks. Doctor Faas and Adrienne stand to speak at the same time. Dr Faas waves at he vaguely. “After you.” As he sits she says. “Do we have any weapons or should we just be running?” She looks around at the others, gathered in the School hall. “I mean, can we even fight them off?  Proctor stand and motions for silence. “We are not even really sure what the boy saw. Doctor Faas examined the boy and said he had a concussion , it is far more likely that he imagined, maybe hallucinated the whole thing.”

It’s been nearly three weeks. Toby is fine and we have seen no sight of them. The whole town is on edge and uneasy but for the most part, we think he just must have knocked himself out.

It was Ellens 71st Birthday last night. We ate bad cake and drank awful wine but the whole town celebrated. I danced with Adrienne and we kissed briefly. I wanted to say how much I loved her. It’s a little after 11am when I finally wake up. I stretch and pull the duvet over my legs when  notice Toby standing next to my bed. “Hey, you okay kid?”

He must have been crying for a while. His eyes are bloodshot. “I had a bad dream.”

I lift the duvet and he climbs in. “You go to sleep  kid. With us two big men in here, who would dare bother us?”

I roll onto my back and doze off quite quickly. Our world isnt perfect. There are more things wrong with it than I have names for.

But for he moment, hearing Toby snoring next to me and knowing that today, means roast chicken and Adriane has asked me to go to the Sunday dance with her,  what is not to be hopeful for about the future?


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