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Chicago is a busy city.
People entering and exiting buildings, driving cars from place to place, or idling in the traffic. You would never notice any of this if you were used to it. It becomes subtle after a while, like the drone of people in a mall or music in a store. You only tend to notice things when they aren’t there anymore. When the sound goes away.
It was funny how quickly things disappeared when the generators fell in the city. The cars were instantly disabled, and the people were incinerated by unknown causes. I was one of the lucky ones. I was in a basement of some wastewater treatment building with my friends. We were bored, and while the parent supervising the field trip looked away, we slid through the door and made our way down. I can still remember that day…
“Get in!”, Camryn whisper-shouted. Not that I had a choice, as she was practically dragging me through the door.
“Whyyyyy?” I complained, not exactly fighting back but not exactly giving in either.
“‘Cause, this is a boring field trip and we have nothing better to do!’ Camryn exclaimed, tightening her grip on my arm and pulling with all of her might, which wasn’t that much, to be honest. She’s much smaller than me, with blonde hair and a smart disposition. “Now come on!’
“Fiiine…” I gave in, letting her pull me into the dark entrance.
A musty smell invaded my nostrils as the door closed behind us, a dark red light from an exit sign illuminated both of our faces. Stairs led down into darkness, and I took out my phone to light the way. “You first.” I said to Camryn
“Wait, no!” Camryn exclaimed
“You’re the one who wanted to go down here, and besides, I’ll be right behind you.”
“Alright, fine, have it your way.” she replied curtly. She ran down the stairs ahead of me, leaving me behind.
“Oh c’mon, wait for me!” I said whilst running after her. “I have the light!” No reply came from her, and I realized I couldn’t hear her running anymore. “Hello, Camryn?” I called, tiptoeing down the stairs with my face twisted in slight fear. I grabbed the railing and used my light to navigate myself, not running blindly like she did. I reached the corner and spotted Camryn out of the corner of my eye, knowing she was trying to scare me. I turned towards her as she lunged out, and facepalmed her. “Really?”
“Oh come on, did I even get you a little?” Her face was a mask of disappointment for her failed fright.
“You got me at the top of the stairs when I thought you were dead,” I replied. “Now what is this place?”
“I don’t know, it’s darker than dead baby humor in here.”
“What?!”
“Nothing. Now shine your light around! We came down here because we were bored.”
“Um, you came down here and dragged me,” I said as I shined my light around. “I know what this place is!” I exclaimed, looking around.
“What? A storage room or something?”
“No! It’s a fallout shelter! These were made during the Cold War just in case the Soviets bombed us.”
“Oh. Well, I don’t think there is such thing as Soviets anymore, so why didn’t they take this down?”
“Probably too expensive. You picked the right door though. The water should be good if they didn’t take it out, but you shouldn’t eat the food.”
“Why would I eat the food or drink the water?” Camryn asked.
"The field trip is supposed to last 4 hours, and then we're going to have to get out of here and back into the group before they get on the busses and leave us."
“Oh. Yeah, I’m glad you brought our lunches then.” She pointed behind me. I had completely forgotten I had the backpack.
“Yeah, I have an energy drink in there I want.” I replied.
She gave me a stare. “I swear you have an addiction to those things.”
“Well, I’m addicted to the caffeine I guess. Anyways, I’ll drink it with my lunch. For now, let's check this whole bunker out.”

 

 


Submitted: February 09, 2018

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