Writing Prompt

The earth doesn’t spin. Humans can only live on the light side. You were just selected to cross the horizon for a mission to the dark side— something few people have ever done.

Fire rained from the sky the day the earth stopped spinning. Seas boiled and pummeled coastal cities.

Then came the blight. Born from a radiation that came directly from the fires. A radiation strengthened by darkness and weakened by light. Those that managed to survive became misshapen monsters, their humanity stripped away. It is believed those monsters still exist. Only able to survive in the dark.  

I’ve spent my life studying the generations before me. Studying what little history survived our planet’s day of reckoning. An expert in mythology, lore, and forgotten history.

That’s why I wasn’t surprised to receive the call to join the salvage team. Tasked with finding the missing marines who journeyed beyond the outposts two months ago on the search and discovery mission.  

“Tomorrow, you’ll be entering the black zone. Jamison, as the leading expert of history, your role is to document the state of the dark side and any life forms found.” General McAdams leveled me with a calculating stare. “As the only non-military personnel, stay within the parameters of the group and follow their lead.”

“Yes, sir.”

“We’ve received interesting scans recently. And several outposts have been attacked by what looks like a coordinated effort.”

“Sir, I have no military experience.”

“True, but you alone have the most knowledge of what might be in there. We need your level of expertise on the ground.”

The outposts were highly militarized facilities several miles inside the black zone, accessed only by underground tunnels. Created 200 years ago as the first line of defense against a possible attack.

Our second defense was a massive 500-foot steel wall, built across the entire continent, cutting the light off from the dark with militarized entrance points located near every major city of light.

McAdams placed several grainy black and white photos on the table.

“Delta-6 sent these three days ago. Can you identify anything?”

The images were difficult to decipher. Blurred images of what looked like humanoid figures.

“I can’t be sure.”

“What of this one?”

He shoved a final photo across the table. Behind several indecipherable shapes was a single tall humanoid structure covered in vines. Its right arm raised to the sky, holding what I thought was a torch.

“I think that’s the statue of liberty sir.”

“The one in the former city of New York?”

“Yes.”

“Where did you get these?”

“These were the last photos sent via drone by search and discover.”   

No one had ever seen the remains of New York. The first city overtaken by the calamity.

“Do you think they’re alive sir?”

General McAdams met my stare for several long moments before shaking his head.

“No.”

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