Yeah, everyone is definitely gone.
Seriously though, what kind of assholes go along with a mandatory evacuation and don't check that their next door neighbor isn't busy sleeping off a bender? Who evacuates a whole town and doesn't do like, ONE sweep to make sure they got everyone?
What did they think I was going to do? It's not like the ferry is going to run if there's no one here. Fuck.
I'm getting drunk again.
Ow. Ow ow ow. [Illegible]
In between all that drinking I remembered I never put in my address change. Those company guys must have thought they got everybody.
My neighbors have no excuse, they're still assholes.
Threw out all the fridge/freezer food. Electricity went off the day after everyone left, I probably should have done it sooner. Oh well. Still got half a jar of oatmeal, way too much barley, part of a thing of oil, and some dried-out garlic. Tasty.
Oh and booze, that has calories. All the beer's warm now though.
Heard trucks coming up from the military base early this morning but they didn't turn this way. Thought about going down to...I don't know. See them? Talk to someone? Beg them to take me off this shitty island? But that would have involved leaving the house, so I didn't.
Anyway I've still got all that barley, so I'm hardly going to starve out here.
I Hate Barley.
Lots of trucks in the morning the past few days, but they haven't come here so I don't know what they're doing.
In more important news I ran out of tampons. Broke into Olga & Vasily's place — if they left stuff behind, it's not like they're using it anymore — but of course she didn't have any. I knew they were older but she didn't look THAT old.
Then I just went for it and raided the other two houses on the street that used to have people living in them. Found a grand total of half a box of tampons. Did no one in this town get their period but me?
Or I guess they just took their stuff with them. But it's not like those guys gave us a ton of time to pack, even for people who weren't drunk when that notice went up.
Ran out of barley (thank fuck, honestly). Nice day out so I raided the rest of the houses in town that weren't already abandoned. And the closer farm. Didn't find much, but the house near the roadblock had jars and jars of dried beans. Looks like I'm going to have to learn how to cook beans.
Sounds like they're doing something over by the power plant now. Still nothing in town.
A couple of those trucks finally came through town. Looked like army guys. Saw them go in and out of the houses, looked like they were stripping out most of the furniture.
I meant to go out and say something when they got to our street. Instead I hid out in the woodshed. They took all my stuff except for the mattress, but didn't see me as far as I can tell.
WHAT THE WHOLE SHIT.
Ok, looks like the guys parachuting out of the sky and shooting each other for hours thing isn't going to be a daily occurrence. Don't really feel like coming out from the linen closet though. Fuck.
Seems like parachute murder guys are a weekly occurrence. One of them came in the house this time and shot my nerves all to hell, but he didn't come upstairs. And they all seemed to clear out pretty quick.
Definitely weekly. Saw some parachutes falling up north in the morning and some planes flying around during the day. But no one ever came around here.
I could probably deal with weekly. Still leaves six days for not shitting my pants. Knock on wood they don't change the schedule up.
Walked all the way up to the north shore of the island today. Didn't even know that was possible. Everyone I knew either just drove to work and back or stayed put. Of course the only people I knew worked at the power plant with me, so it's a limited sample. Don't feel like going back so I'm camped out on a dry mattress in someone's cottage in Severny now. Most of the ones in the other houses were soaking wet, super weird.
Was running out of beans and shit at my apartment anyway, might as well stay.
All the houses I looked into were stripped down like mine. It was half abandoned before the evacuation, but now it feels like a ghost town.
Bodies spotted on my walk up here: 0. Not as many as I thought I'd see, based on all the shooting they do.
Guns spotted: like, 20, at least. Who just leaves guns everywhere??
I guess when you buy an island for cheap from a dissolving government you can do what you want.
Feckig love Severy. Somuch Vodka.
Month 2, Day 3
Fuckin' hungover AND my period's early. This is going to get real gruesome if I can't find more tampons.
I did find a garden that still has a lot of stuff growing in it, so I'm probably not going to die of bean poisoning anytime soon. Looked for escaped chickens but they must have taken those too. I guess I could learn to fish.
Or just leave.
Month 2, Day 5
If I'm counting right, parachute day's today.
Found a gun. Practiced shooting it a bit yesterday when no one was around to hear, but not too much. Didn't want to go through all the ammo.
Still going to hide in case any guys come in. But yeah. Gun. Just in case.
Month 2, Day 6
I FUCKING HATE SEVERNY.
Things went fine for a bit, then they all the guys fucking...converged. I should have run away but by the time I realized they were all HERE I was trapped. Shot four of them, then hid in the bathroom until the shooting outside stopped. Don't know if I just knocked them out or....don't know.
Stayed in the bathroom all night. Heard a lot of trucks sometime in the night but no one came in here.
The bodies in the house were gone in the morning. The trucks must have been picking them up. Took all the vodka I could carry, walked out to a random farm in the hills, and this is where I live now.
Month 2, Day 11
Parachute day tomorrow. If I survive until those trucks come to collect the bodies, I'm going to follow them. Is there a mass grave somewhere, or do they take them away?
Maybe I can stow away and get out of here. If I survive the day.
Month 2, Day 13
Survived. Followed the body truck. It headed south and went over the bridge to the military base. There were floodlights everywhere so they'd have seen me if I followed them across. A while later I heard a plane fly off toward mainland.
Maybe I could sneak across during the day next time and hide out until I could sneak on board. And get shot by the first parachute guy who sees me, probably.
Which leaves sneaking in on one of the trucks. But they make so many stops to load bodies. It's impossible they wouldn't see me.
How fucked up is it that staying put seems safest?
Month 2, Day 21
Not much has happened to write about. I drank for a while, then I moved farms. If I'm going to stay here, I've got to eat, so I've been raiding Georgopol for all it's got. Which isn't as much as I'd hoped. it's the largest city here that I know of, but mice have started getting into shit that people didn't take with them. But I found an abandoned car with gas in it, so at least it's going pretty fast.
After Georgopol's empty I guess I'll drive around and see how much non-perishable food I can scavenge out of the other random towns. I doubt I'll find much, but it's something to do.
Month 2, Day 22
I planted a whole bag of old potatoes I found out behind the farmhouse today. Took all day and it was the most boring thing I've ever done, but I've gotta have something after the canned goods run out. Hopefully I did it right and it's not too late for them to grow.
Month 2, Day 26
Parachute day today. Some fucker trampled right across the garden and mashed the soil down. Haven't seen any potato plants come up yet though, so maybe I did it wrong anyway.
Staked out for the day in the attic, but aside from the garden-trampler and two idiots who shot each other out by the shed, no one came by.
Month 2, Day 27
Found a half-rotten pumpkin in the basement. Too gross to eat, but I took all the seeds and planted them too. Out in the back field, though; if anyone else tramples the garden I don't want them destroying everything.
Month 2, Day 28
The one thing I didn't consider in this distributed gardening scheme: watering.
My arms hurt.
Month 3, Day 7
The potato plants are sprouting. Even some coming up where they got walked on.
Tampon status: dire. Grabbed some of the t-shirts they leave around with the guns and made some rudimentary pads that might hold up. Fingers crossed.
Arm status: how is it possible for human arms to be this sore.
Month 3, Day 10
Shot. Shit fuck damn.
Month 3, Day 11
Well, I still feel like shit and moving my left leg is hell, but I didn't die in the night, so that's something. It doesn't look as bad as I thought. Only a flesh wound so I don't have to worry about getting a bullet out. About all I can do is keep pouring vodka on it and re-bandaging it.
Month 3, Day 12
Okay maybe I was still kind of in shock yesterday. Here's what happened:
It was parachute day. They're working together now. I'm pretty sure they didn't come in groups before. But who knows. Mostly I hide.
Three guys with no pants and a lady in a motorcycle helmet nearly cornered me in the attic. I shot one and got out but the other three chased me down in the woods and shot at me like crazy. I don't know how they didn't get anything but my leg. They would have finished me off but this other group came down in a jeep and ran them off. I don't know how they didn't see me, I nearly passed out just crawling into the underbrush.
Month 3, Day 16
Used up most of the booze disinfecting my leg, and there wasn't much to start with. Ran out of the last of it yesterday and feel like shit. Worst hangover of my life plus I'm freaking out for no reason, heart feels like it's in a vice.
Fuck, and my hands are shaking so bad I can barely read what I just read. Not getting out of bed today.
Month 3, Day 17
Still feel awful. Maybe not so nauseous but twice as sweaty. Leg still hurts and my head's going to explode.
Month 3, Day 20
Might be past the worst. Went for a swim in the river, feel vaguely human again.
Gunshot wound chased by alcohol withdrawal: do not recommend.
Month 4, Day 2
Made it through another parachute day. At first I thought they were a drill, some kind of mass punishment, something, but now I don't know. They just keep coming.
Leg doesn't look like it's going to fall off. If it could hurry up and stop screaming at me whenever I try to walk, that would be great.
Month 4, Day 6
Tried digging up one of the potato plants. There were potatoes on it but they were tiny, I don't think they're ready yet. Best thing I've eaten in weeks though.
Month 5, Day 12
Captured one of the parachute guys yesterday. He came up in the attic thinking he'd surprised me, but I was waiting. Disarmed him and tied him up and made him tell me everything he knew.
He wasn't much help. Wouldn't shut up about some blue wall, wouldn't tell me where he was from or who sent him here or why they're doing this. He made some threats and said he'd report me, but mostly he panicked about the blue wall killing him.
Then he got a bloody nose and some kind of seizure and five minutes later he was passed out cold. Weirdest shit I've ever seen.
I hauled him out into the woods for the body collectors to pick up. They've got to know I'm living out here by now, right? But there's no point inviting them in.
Month 5, Day 27
The plane with the parachute guys flew right overhead today and the whole valley was swarmed.
Hid in the basement until it stopped. At one point I heard some people come in the house, but they turned around and left pretty quick when they didn't find any guns. That's all most of them care about, so lately after the body collectors leave guns in the house I move them out to the shed and that's that.
A couple weeks ago a woman came in, shut the door behind her, and stood in my front room just staring out the window for a few hours before running away. I wanted to go out and talk to her, but she was armed to the teeth. It would have been a dumb risk.
Month 7, Day 8
Pumpkins and potatoes are all in. Back is killing me, but it's better than leaving the pumpkins out in the field for idiots to use for target practice.
Though I guess I didn't have to dig up all the potatoes right away. Oops.
Month 8, Day 11
They're coming more than once a week now. This blows.
As far as I can tell the mid-week drops are all special ops. Sometimes a ton of people, sometimes just a few. Sometimes they mess around for a little before killing each other. Once half a planeful dropped and just wandered around all day without shooting and when the body collectors came, they all walked into the trucks on their own.
I wished I could've gone out and just hang out with them. But they probably would've turned me in.
It's going to be so shitty to do chores or get around if I never know when another plane's coming. Maybe I'll become nocturnal.
Month 8, Day 18
Somehow still haven't been found out. Don't know how, when this island is crawling with trained assassins or whoever a couple times a week. I have a system now. On mornings I hear the plane, I grab my emergency bag and go camp out in the basement. They never come in the basement. Wish I'd figured that out earlier.
Month 9, Day 14
Almost out of potatoes. Still a bunch of pumpkins left but I don't know how well they keep long-term and I don't want to starve.
The stuff they leave with the guns has these metallic-tasting energy drinks sometimes, but never any food. So I went on a grand tour of the island between drop days and found a warehouse with crates and crates of energy bars, among other things.
Some of the other things look like grenades, so my project for the next however long is going to be moving and stashing all these energy bars so they don't get blown up. It's not that bad. Apparently I'm still ripped from all the gardening this summer.
Month 9, Day 19
Weirdest thing yesterday. It was a parachute day, but it was late and everyone had pretty much headed off to the west. So I was loading energy bar crates into this pickup truck I found. Not too risky.
Some big bald guy staggered up and passed out right on the road. Looked dead. I probably should've left him alone, but I was curious.
So I frisked him, tried to find clues — I don't know, a field guide, dog tags, something — but nothing. All he had on him was stuff you can pick up with the guns, they must have sent him in with nothing. Some macho survivalist bullshit, I guess.
What he did have was a tiny chip sticking into the back of his neck, like some kind of implant. So then I did the second dumb thing, which was not check if he was actually dead before I pulled the chip out.
That woke him up pretty fast. Thought maybe we could talk, like, sure, I'm a loner, but I still have questions about what the hell is going on here. But he wouldn't shut up about the map, and the circle, and the kill count, and a bunch of other nonsense I don't remember. It was all gone, apparently, and I was a cheater, and it was my fault. Then he quit yelling and started coming after me so I brained him in the head with a crate lid. Which knocked him out.
When the body collectors came, they almost went right past him, even though he was right there in the road. LIke they didn't even see him.
Like I said, weird.
Month 11, Day 24
Still need to plant:
Random seeds I found in a couple gardens. I think one of them's carrots. Might be weeds though.
Probably should have waited because it's still cold, but it's been more than a week since the last frost. I'm sick of living on energy bars, I got impatient.
I'm planting way more shit than last year. I never thought I'd say this, but running out of vegetables sucks.
Year 2, Month 1, Day 1
One whole year.
I feel like I should do something to celebrate making it this long, but I haven't been able to find any booze anywhere in the longest time. Felt weird not to at least write it down, though.
It feels weird that I'm still here, honestly. I tried to get out again over the winter, when I had nothing to do and thought I'd go crazy listening to the wind. Took a boat and pointed it toward mainland and meant to go until the gas ran out, but I chickened out and turned back when I lost sight of the island and still couldn't see land. Ran out of gas and ended up having to drift part of the way in, it's lucky I didn't die.
It didn't seem worth writing down at the time.
Year 2, Month 3, Day 4
Took the chip out of another parachute guy. I know, I must have a death wish. This one wanted to talk, though. His name's Ron. He says it's a game. People pay to parachute down here and shoot at each other. People mount cameras on themselves and stream the video, apparently it's the second-most popular game to watch right now. He didn't say what the most popular one is.
I asked, who wants to watch people die? And he looked at me like I had three heads. He says you can only die if you're stupid and jump off a building or get hit by a car, something that can really hurt you. But most of it's in the chips. This is the third time he's played, apparently.
So I showed him my leg and the big scar where I was shot, and he just laughed and said of course you can get hurt, otherwise what's the fun?
I had this idea he would be glad he didn't have to die here. He could set up on some other farm, I could show him how to take chips out of people. We wouldn't have to all live together or anything, but we could help each other. Have some kind of network so at least someone else might know if we live or die.
"What's the fun" he said. Makes my skin crawl thinking about it.
I made him put his chip back in and walk out of the house. I don't think I'll be trying that again.
Year 2, Month 3, Day 9
Can't stop thinking about that guy. They're probably all like him. Paid big money to come here and hurt people.
It's a good thing I never tried to sneak off with the bodies. That would have taken me right into the heart of it.
Year 2, Month 4, Day 11
Good harvest this year. The onions didn't grow, but the carrots actually were carrots. Got some lettuce, too, but that's all gone now. Nice while it lasted.
I've only got a few pages left in this notebook. Unless I want to start writing on old water-logged magazines I have to slow down with the giant novels in here. Not much new happening lately, anyway.
Year 2, Month 5, Day 1
Harvest is in. Still no frost.
Year 2, Month 10, Day 3
Tried to get off the island again. Got about as far as last time. I wouldn't have saved all these seeds if I was really planning on leaving, I guess.
Year 3, Month 1, Day 1
Happy fake new year to me. Planted tons of stuff again. Not really anything new to report.
Year 3, Month 4, Day 10
Bumper crop of potatoes this year. Unless calamity strikes I should have more than enough for the winter. I should try making vodka.
Year 3, Month 7, Day 16
No I shouldn't. That was vile.
Year 3, Month 12, Day 6
Late frost. Way later than last year. The gardens had already started to come up and now most of it looks dead. Fuck, this is going to suck.
Year 4, Month 1, Day 1
Four years here. Feels like ten.
Year 4, Month 4, Day 7
Small harvest. Not enough survived that frost. The second planting from the seeds I managed to scrounge was mostly weeds.
Good thing I still have a fuckton of energy bars stashed in basements. Probably stale by now.
Year 4, Month 10, Day 28
Had to shoot someone today. Never heard the plane and got backed into a corner, it was me or him.
Thought about what that guy Ron said about how they're not really dead unless they get run over, but I dunno. There wasn't a lot of blood, but he looked dead. I was too chicken to check.
Year 5, Month 1, Day 1
Five fucking years. I'm going to walk into the ocean.
Crops are looking good.
Year 5, Month 2, Day 2
A girl landed outside my house.
Year 5, Month 2, Day 3
She's sleeping now, so I can write more.
I took her in. I mean, obviously, see above. Yes, it was dumb, no, I don't care. She landed and I hadn't gone into the basement yet and she saw me through the kitchen window and she just looked so terrified, so. Yeah. I took her in.
She wasn't armed, anyway, still trying to get untangled from her parachute when she saw me. It wasn't dangerous.
Took her down to the basement to wait it out. That was a trip, she couldn't even see the door — one weird mystery explained, anyway. Took out her tracker chip and tried to explain as best I could. As if I have any idea what's going on around here. Just a lot of guesses.
She freaked out for a while and then I gave her some soup and she fell asleep.
Guess we'll figure out what to do with her when she wakes up.
Year 5, Month 2, Day 4
Says her name is Yelena. She wants to stay and help out on the farm. Says she'll probably be imprisoned for life if she goes back, if they don't kill her. Can't really argue with that.
Year 5, Month 2, Day 5
Having company is weird. She won't stop talking.
And she has really pretty eyes.
Fuck. I'm too old for this shit.
Year 5, Month 2, Day 7
The thing is, there's not a lot of farming to do right now. Not like two months ago when I was planting all day and trying to make sure the weeds didn't choke out what I planted as soon as it came up. There won't be real work until the potatoes and the beans are ready to harvest.
So mostly we just walk around and scavenge for booze and books to read on days we're locked in the basement. Haven't found any, but she won't believe me that there's none left.
And she talks. I don't think I've talked this much in my whole life.
Year 5, Month 3, Day 4
It's been a month and Lena's still here. Kinda thought she wouldn't want to stick around after her jitters wore off, but she's got some kind of weird hangup with me. She's helping pick beans now that they're ready. It goes a lot faster with two people.
Year 5, Month 3, Day 29
She wants to go to the military base. Wants to see if any of the planes she saw there on the streams can be patched up. Wants to see if I can fix them. I've told her a million times I worked at a power plant, not as an airplane mechanic. But she says a machine's a machine and that she won't shut up until I at least take a look.
Year 5, Month 5, Day 2
Well, she wasn't kidding about not shutting up about it. But at least she agreed we could wait until the last of the harvest was in.
We're at the base now. It wasn't too bad getting out here. Worst part was finding a boat.
Year 5, Month 5, Day 3
She said I can't write about anything we did today in case someone finds my notebook before we're done. Which is silly. If someone gets close enough to read my notebook, we've got bigger problems. But it makes her happy to do all that kind of spy shit, so whatever.
So instead I'll write about her. Did I say I was sleeping with her? No, probably not. It felt too temporary at first, and then it felt like too much of a given. I mean, we're living together, right? So it kind of figures.
I mean, it doesn't matter what we do. She'll probably get tired of me pretty quick once [passage is heavily crossed out]
Ah, shit. Knew I shouldn't have written anything tonight.
Year 5, Month 5, Day 6
Still on the military base. Good progress so far on the thing I'm not allowed to write down.
It's been nice, this summer. I kind of hope this project takes a while to finish.
Year 5, Month 5, Day 7
Fucking jinxed it. Parachute day was today. About twenty guys all crossed over to the base around late afternoon and converged right where we've been working. Grenaded the place to shit trying to kill each other. We're still hiding so I haven't been able to see the damage, but it didn't sound good. Probably going to have to start over.
Year 5, Month 5, Day 9
Started over. Not like there's much else to do around here.
We went to the power plant last night to steal some shit that might make this easier. While we were there Lena wanted to see my house. I couldn't think of a good reason to say no so we went, not that you could see much at night with no lights. She kept asking questions and I ended up telling her all this stuff about my life back then without even meaning to. It was awkward but also kind of...nice? Maybe? To have someone else know that stuff.
I don't know anything about her life before she fell into my front lawn except she was in prison (what for?) and got to come here on some kind of deal.
Maybe if I asked she'd say.
Ugh, look at this. Almost a whole page on nothing. I need to stop wasting paper on gross feelings crap.
Year 5, Month 5, Day 17
Almost ready. This was a terrible idea. What if I run away while Lena's asleep and go live on my farm until I die of old age.
Year 5, Month 5, Day 18
Lena saw that last entry and wants me to record for posterity that I'm dumb and am not allowed to get cold feet and if I lived on my farm until I got old I'd be lonely and she'd have to sign back up just to visit me because otherwise she'd miss me too much.
Also, now who's dumb? Also I hope you're happy, L, I know you're going to read this in two seconds. Also I love you.
Year 5, Month 5, Day 20
Ready. Parachute day tomorrow. If we don't die in a fiery crash or drown out in the middle of the ocean we'll already be gone by the time anyone sees this, so I'm just going to go ahead and write down the plan. Feels weird to just leave.
We have a plane. Weren't able to scrounge enough fuel for a test flight, so if I fixed it up wrong, I guess we're doomed. Lena's going to fly, based on the sims she used to play before prison and the one time she got to try her cousin's glider.
Like I said: this is going to end in a fiery crash.
The thing with this plan is planes are loud as fuck. Even if whoever runs this island doesn't pay attention to people living here for years, they'd probably have to pay attention to a giant plane taking off. And who knows what they'd think of that. So we're doing it on parachute day, when at least there are those supply drop planes to blend in with for a bit.
And if the base gets overrun with a bunch of parachute guys before we can leave, I don't know, I guess we'll just have to shoot them all. Or run them over with the plane.
Lena won't let me write where we're going. I guess that's in case we make it.
Year 5, Month 5, Day 21
Bye for now, you big dumb island.
Not dated; scrawled messily inside the back cover, as if in a rush
And to whoever's reading this, there's a bunch of potatoes and stuff in the basement of the house about three quarters of a kilometer northish from those weird trenches in Gatka. If they haven't all rotted yet. The beans might be fine. I don't know, figure it out.