The Uninhabitable Lands By Eddie Heneghan

I sat in the ruins of a tower in Manhattan in the ruins of New York City, watching the colorful Sparkbirds fly through the destruction and through the horrible ash which choked the air and tongue. I was watching them fly through the dirty ruins. With their colorful wings and feathers against the ruins it looked like a rainbow being threaded through a quilt that had been dipped in mud.

I need to work on my similes, I thought. The Sparkbirds had started to fly bye and he thought of what had happened to the world. He thought about what had happened with the failed government project. The animals that were going to be weapons had turned on us he thought. But they didn't know about project Lifeboat.

Lifeboat was a project that also created animals to fight but, instead of on land or in the air they fought in the water. “To bad the public didn't know. They could've stopped it.” I muttered. He looked out the window. “Good.”I said. “The Sparkbirds are leaving.” Just as I was about to walk into the remains of the hallway, two men burst through the door and ran past me.

“Run!” One of them yelled. I wondered why and then I saw the Fire-wolves and followed them. The Fire-wolves started blowing fire around the apartment and it started to go up in flames.

We ran towards the fire escape and started to climb down. We made it halfway before we realized we were safe. I remembered that Fire-wolves hated being up high. They must've been really hungry to chase them into the apartment building.

“Thanks,” I said. “But you didn't need to help me.”

“It sure looked like you needed help boy. You can't fight an entire pack of Fire-wolves by yourself. It's better to run and live then to die fighting.” The same one that had spoke earlier had said. “What’s someone like you doing roaming the Uninhabitable Lands?”

New York is the southernmost state in the Uninhabitable territories. Warlords and kings don't go near the Uninhabitable territories because of the large amounts of creatures that live here. There's even a few walls in place to keep the creatures out.

“I could ask the same question.” I replied.

“Fair enough. I’m Harold and this is Eduardo. We were going to the sewers to rest at our safe house when those Fire-wolves attacked.” He then turned to Eduardo and said “I told you that we should've taken the long way, it's safer.” Eduardo then made a few symbols with his hands that I couldn't understand.

“Why did he make those symbols?” I asked Harold.

“Eduardo is deaf, he can't hear but he can speak sign language. He can also read lips.” Harold explained. “Now boy I’ve told you our names now it's your turn.

“I’m David.” I replied. “Now about your safe house, can I come too?”

Harold thought about it and then he said “Why not!”

We started to make our way down to the ground when we heard a scuttling noise. We turned around and saw the one thing I didn't want to see today, Spidersquids. And in the face of danger we did what any brave people would do in front of the poisonous Spidersquids, we ran.

A few minutes later we were in the sewers. It doesn't sound like a great place to be but after the ice caps melting and project Lifeboat and project Turmoil which created the Sparkbirds, Fire-wolves, and many other creatures, but the sewers were a perfect place to hide from the creatures that might eat you or the tribes who sacrifice people to the creatures.

A half hour later they reached a door in the side of the sewers. Harold opened the door and I saw everything I knew that I would need to escape Manhattan. I saw food, water, weapons, and explosives.

“Where did you guys find all of this?!” I exclaimed.

“We found the weapons in a few police stations that were abandoned after the ice caps melting and we found the food in some restaurants that people closed down.” Harold explained.

“Well, this stuff is perfect for getting me out of Manhattan!” I exclaimed.

“You can't just take it, you’d have to bring us too.” Harold told me.

“You guys can get yourselves out.”

“Actually we can’t. We’re getting too old for running around, either you bring us or you don’t get supplies!” Harold yelled at me.

“I’m sorry for this then.” I mumbled.

Then the world turned into water. It actually didn't but water had started flooding into the chamber. I took a backpack, filled it with food and water bottles, and then I took a ballistic knife and a throwing knife and put them in the backpack. I then saw dark shapes moving in the water, Darkbreathers. They were like sharks but they had wings, short stubby legs, they could be out of water for a half hour, and they were dark as night.

They were circling Eduardo, who was still in the water.

“What should I do?” I told myself. Then I thought about it, Harold and Eduardo had given me hospitality while I had only thought about myself. I saw the pack leader about to attack Eduardo. I took out the throwing knife. And then I threw it at its big, fat, ugly head. The knife broke through the skull and punctured its brain.

The Darkbreathers swam away and Eduardo swam to the door where Harold and I were.

“What happened?” I asked.

“The tribes, they found us and rigged this trap as a sacrifice to the Darkbreathers.” Harold said.

Then a ton of people with weapons broke through the door and grabbed us. We were force marched down the sewers for a long time until we reached a ladder. They made Eduardo go up, then Harold, and then me. When I got to the top I saw hundreds of people waiting for us.

They moved us towards a tall apartment building that was somehow still intact. There were Sparkbirds flying in circles overhead. We were marched to the top of the building and then something unexpected happened. I did something I never thought that I’d do.

I punched one of the guards in the face.

As he fell the other guards turned towards me but Harold and Eduardo attacked them I grabbed my backpack and pulled out the ballistic knife. I hit the guard who I had punched with the hilt of my knife the Sparkbirds flew down and attacked the fallen guards. The tribesmen cheered. I’m guessing they thought the Sparkbirds had attacked us instead of the guards. Harold, Eduardo, and I ran down the fire escape and ran through alleys and side streets until we made it to Brooklyn.

After hiding for a night we decided to head to Boston by cutting through Queens. It won't be safe but it will be safer than New York. I’m going with Harold and Eduardo because they've helped me through this adventure and I guess I'm not as selfish as I thought I would be at the end of this adventure.

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