It all started on January 17th 2021, that was the day our lives changed forever. What started out as your typical Saturday soon turned into everyone's worse nightmare. That day the plates began to shift and our home as we know it disappeared. Honestly I thought that we were for sure going to die. I didn't want to die; I was only 17. We were at home when the ground began to shake.
It seemed like forever that we ran from the disappearing ground. Water was all around us and no hope was insight. Billions of lives were lost that day as it was not just our country that sank but many others. We didn’t see a light until we heard of Navy Ships picking up survivors. We drove to the spot and waited. Little by little others joined us in the wait. The wait for hope and the wait for life. I don’t know how I felt about being recused. On one hand, I was happy my family was intact yet I felt that it would have been better to be swallowed up by the earth.
After 2 weeks on the ship, I was beginning to give up hope of ever finding land and feeling the solid ground beneath my feet. We were left with only our thoughts to get us through. It a few weeks after boarding the ship that we were alerted of land. The ship stopped and worry began to settle in. Would this be our new home? Would it be safe? After the navy sailors confirmed it was safe to depart from the ship, we were herded to an island. It appeared to be a deserted Island. It was tropical and had fresh fruit to eat. We made our way further inland and that is when we came face to face with Aurora.
She was beautiful from head to toe. She wore clothes made of silk yet she had an authority aura to her. Her appearance was only heightened with a heart shaped locket that dangled from her long neck. They lived off of the land. She explained that not too long before the shift of the earth, she was a model in England. She was tired of being treated as an object. She decided she wanted to live off grid so she brought the island and moved there. Over the years, she opened her home to other women who wanted to escape the life of a man’s world. There was just over 1000 women there. All the fresh fruit you could want. They had gardens filled with vegetables. There homes were simple and made of stone. The Island had a few mountains and hills for days. The men in the group were sent to the mountains to gather building material for our new homes.
Just as life was beginning to settle down, it was also the turning point in our lives. The stone homes weren’t the best yet they kept the cold and heat out as needed. Beds made of feathers and cotton. Our little village surrounding the “castle”. Aurora’s home was beautiful. The woman and men adored her. One day, a group of men went to check on the land at the end of the Island to ensure the danger had really passed. They never returned. After a few days, another group of men were sent behind them to and they too failed to return. Little by little the men began to disappear. Soon it was my father’s turn to go and I couldn’t help but follow them. I stayed behind to ensure to stay out of sight. As they reached the beach, a sigh of relief washed over everyone. The ground was holding steady.
As the men began to settle down for a rest and food, a noise came from behind me. I quickly climbed the tree I was behind. As the men laughed and spoke regarding the others, a large group of women ambushed them and took them prisoners. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The women marched the men down a different path. I followed silently behind them. The men were broken into 2 different groups. My father’s group was taken further into a stone building. The other men were marched into the dungeon of the castle. I followed my father. I peered through the crack in the wall.
They were lining the men up, faced to the wall. Aurora walked in, “You all have a choice” she stated. “You can stay here and work or you can die” She continued. As she made her way down the line, she asked them each what their preference was, each one that refused to answer or refused her would have their throats slashed. Their bodies thrown into a pile. My father was next and my heart dropped. Would he refuse to work for her? Would he refuse and never see us again? He didn’t, he stated that he would work for her as his head hung low as though he were a coward. My father had never been more brave then that moment.
With a sigh of relief, I ran back to the village in search of my mother. As I told the villagers what I had seen, Aurora came over. She did not deny what I had saw. “Ladies, you must understand that we need to do everything to preserve life” she oozed with confidence, “We need to ensure we are able to procreate and ensure our ladies are secure. This is only temporary until we are sure our future is safe and we are able to raise the children to continue our species” she continued. To my disbelief, the women including my mother agreed with her. What has happened to these women? I know that we lost a lot but to separate us from the men was not the answer.
Shortly after Aurora approached me. “You my dear can come stay in the castle with me” she said. My mother happily agreed. The fact that I was young and beautiful was the reason she chose me. She wanted me to be close so when it was time to create life, I would be one of the carriers. I had no say in it and was informed if I were to leave then my sister would have to take my place. In the castle I was given the freedom to roam. It was easier at night. The only place I was not allowed to go was the dungeon. I had to go there. One night, as everyone laid sound asleep. I snuck off to the dungeon. It was dark and there were two female guards. I patiently waited for them to move, It wasn’t until the moon was full in the sky that a man was brought down to the dungeon, his unconscious body hanging heavily between the 2 guards. “I don’t understand why he does not give into her” one of them said. “She is beautiful and is our leader, he should be grateful she chose him” she stated as they laid him on the floor and closed the door. Aurora came in and whispered something to him then left. Her hands around her neck fiddle with her necklace.
As the guards, walked out of the dungeon, I moved closer to the man. His face was covered in the darkness and I could only make out the outline of his muscular body. He was close to the door; I threw water on his face in attempt to wake him up. It took a couple of minutes then he slowly opened his eyes. “hey, who are you?” I questioned him. “Who are you?” he replied. I was unsure if I should have given him my name but I did. “I’m Elena” I said. He sat up, holding his head. “You would think I would be used to that” he joked. “what are you doing down here Elena” he asked as shivers ran down my spine. “Honestly I am not sure; I do not trust Aurora or anything that is going on. ““You’re right, you shouldn’t” he replied. “This is not just an Island, there is a land bridge that will take us to society. It emerged when the plates shifted. Aurora does not want everyone to know. She likes being queen and having everyone believing she is their survivor”. He confessed. I wasn’t sure I could believe him. “Look I will tell you how to get to the bridge, if you find it, then you can help me escape.” He requested. “Why should I help you, you are here for a reason I assume since they had to knock you out” I asked, a little taken back by his demand. “Aurora wants me to be hers and to serve her. I refuse to do so because I know there is more out there. I could never touch a woman so vile.” He stated with disgust in his voice. I promised to go search for the bridge.
The next night as everyone slept soundly, I made my way past the waterfall with his instructions, down a path I had ever seen before. As I took the last turn, there was the bridge. Water on each side, bumping into the bridge. It was hard to see pass the bridge and what waited on the other side. I ran back to the castle and into the dungeon. Again he was unconscious, this time I threw the whole bucket of water to wake him up. He sat up quickly, soaking wet. “I saw the bridge, it’s real!” I excited stated. “if you get the key to my door, we can go to the bridge and find out what’s on the other side before we tell anyone anything” he stated, a hint of hope in voice. “You need to get her necklace, inside is my key” he continued. “I know she takes it off when she sleeps because it is too heavy for her”.
Although I had doubts, I couldn’t help but trust him. It wasn’t too hard to get to her room without being noticed. The door was the hardest part, I slowly opened her door expecting her to wake up and throw me into the dungeon, but she was sound asleep. As quickly and quietly as possible I picked up the heart-shaped necklace and ran back to the dungeon. I quickly unlocked his door. He grabbed my hand and we ran out of the castle. A feeling of safety washed over me as he held my hand. I felt I had known him my whole life. As we ran into the moonlight, I could see his fresh cuts and scars of the many times Aurora attempted to have her way with him and he refusal to do so.
As we approached the waterfall, he wanted to continue to the bridge but I stopped him. “If we get caught or there is nothing on the other side of the bridge, I want you to have one night of freedom” I explained. “I am not sure we should stop” he stated. “it’s okay, let’s live in this moment” as I assured as I pulled him towards the water. He hesitantly waddled into the water with me. Under the moonlight, we bathed in the cool water and our bodies became one. We were in perfect union and it was although we had already known each other a lifetime.
We continued down the path, as the bridge came in sight. The sun slowly rose above the eastern horizon. This was it. He looked at me and I looked at him. Our hands intertwined as we took our first step onto the bridge. It was solid and we did not know where it would take us but we didn’t care. He held me as we crossed. I could swear I heard Aurora screaming into the far off distance. This was it. This is why I was meant to live.