Manas Joshi, Grade 11
The survivors' senses were overwhelmed as they wandered through the desolate, ruined city. The sky was a dull, oppressive grey, like a reflection of their own despair. The stench of death and decay was almost palpable, serving as a constant reminder of the viral outbreak that ravaged the world a year ago. Few pockets of survivors remained, dispersed around the world, hoping for a cure, a way to undo the damage and rebuild their world.
There was Rob, a young man with a sharp mind and a desperate desire to escape this hellish new reality. Jake was a tough survivor who had seen it all and knew how to look after himself. And Sarah, a quiet and unassuming woman who had lost everything but still had hope for the future.
As they searched for the rumoured cure, the survivors couldn't shake the uneasy feeling that they were being watched. They turned around with their weapons drawn when they heard footsteps behind them, only to find themselves alone. They kept going, their nerves frayed by the constant threat of danger and hostile survivors lurking around every corner. They refused to give up despite everything. They were motivated by the desire to find a cure and were willing to go to any length to do so.
Then, seemingly from nowhere, armed men emerged from the brush, yelling and brandishing weapons. "Give us your supplies, and we'll let you live," the leader yelled, and the survivors froze, their hearts pounding in their chests. They handed over their hard-earned provisions with trepidation, knowing that in this harsh new world, they needed to protect themselves and their dwindling resources. The armed men took their supplies and fled into the brush, leaving the survivors dazed and defeated. They didn't think they'd ever find the rumoured cure.
Despite their desperation, the survivors refused to give up. They pushed on, buoyed by the strength of their friendship and the experiences they'd shared. They remembered the times when they had felt joy and hope on their voyage and realised that they had discovered some happiness in this desolate planet.
They couldn't help but wonder if their journey had been in vain as they lay on the ground, their bodies writhing in pain. They had made numerous sacrifices and faced numerous challenges in order to restore their world. But as the darkness encircled them, they realised their time was running out. Despite their pain, the survivors clung to each other, hoping that one day they would find a cure and rebuild their world.