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"The American Conspiracy": Chapter 1

Written by Leslie Schneider aka Leslieannart

Long road ahead

Today is the second of November and it is approximately 6:43 pm. I am somewhere in the outskirts of Houston, Texas silently making my way north. I have chosen to escape to Canada. I know that this will be a longer and way more difficult journey than if I had decided to escape to Mexico, but I have my reasons. You may think I am crazy for picking such a long route when Mexico is so much closer, but Mexico is a lot more dangerous than Canada since the civil war broke out. First, there are the watchers, people brainwashed by the government to monitor the border for possible escaping Americans. There are many more deployed along the border of Mexico because of the attractiveness of Mexico to the escaping citizens. Mexico and South America are warm year round, which means that one would not have to worry about the harsh winters that will be found in Canada. Also there are many people in Mexico that would be willing to help an escaping American, for a price of coarse. What many people don't consider is the chance of getting caught by a watcher or the American military on the Texas side of the border. Many people are also unaware of the dangers that await them on the other side of the fence.

Mexico has long been known for its menacing gangs and black market activity, and ever since our government had turned its focus to controlling its own citizens, its control of the neighboring countries has been lax. This has allowed the Mexican cartel and neighboring gangs to spiral out of control. They wait like vultures out of sight just outside of the border in groups of ten, sometimes more, and arm themselves with machetes, automatic rifles, cross-bows, and sniper rifles and watch for unsuspecting pray. Their objective is to catch escaping citizens preferably alive so that they can transport their bodies for sex trade, slavery, and body parts in the black market. If you do not get caught by the cartel, you will either be captured by the Mexican government to be sold back to the American government, or be murdered by one of the many malicious criminals that reside in the border towns.

I choose to escape to Canada because of its vast borders and largely unpopulated forests. If I can reach Canada I at least have some hope of securing a life for myself away from war and death. I realize that there are a few down sides to this plan, one being the harshness of the weather as I go further north. I am from Texas and therefore not used to harsh cold winters, so it will take a vast amount of preparation in order to be able to survive the freezing winter ahead. Also I do not know much about the terrain, animals, or plant life that lies ahead of me as I make my way up to safety. I have brought a few books and various old maps that will hopefully prove to be helpful along the way and I can only wish for the best.

I stick to the brush of the abandoned and overgrown farmland as much as possible, and the odds are in my favor because in Texas the majority of the land is farmland and wilderness. If I avoid large cities like Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas I will hopefully stay out of sight of the many people that are between me and Canada. It is a quiet journey of grasslands as far as the eye can see and I realize that this gives me a lot of time to think. Food and water become a permanent image in my head as I grow tired and weary. It is now about nine and the last shreds of light escape as the sky turns to night. I try to stick closer to the road at night since there is less of a chance that people will see me but I still try to remain hidden for the most part. I come across one of the abandoned farmhouses that appear periodically across the miles and miles of farmland. I never really paid attention before to just how enormous Texas was, but I sure as hell realize it now. I decided to scout out the house and see if there is anything that could be of use to me.

I checked the back door to see if it was unlocked and It not only was unlocked but was wide open. This made me uneasy and I made sure to remain calm and aware. Signs that various small animals had been in here long before me seemed to reinforce that this place was abandoned but I had to make sure. I made my way through the house observing pictures of the family that once lived in the house strewn in the chaos of overturned furniture and trash left behind by whatever had been here before me. No small animal possibly could have created a mess as atrocious as this one. This led me to believe that this was the scene of yet another family captured for imprisonment or experimentation purposes. I doubted that I would find any living soul here. I came to a room at the end of the hall with the door slightly ajar. A rancid smell came from inside and I could see the remains of some poor house pet that had, at some point been torn up as if it were a stuffed toy. I did not enter the room. I decided that my tour was complete and headed to the kitchen that would hopefully be the most helpful place in the house.

Broken dishes and the remains of food were scattered across the small traditional kitchen. Broken empty mason jars that once contained possible canned vegetables were heaped in a mess here and there. The smell of rotting produce was invading my senses and was almost too much. I tried to silence a gag that was attempting to escape my throat. I decided to take a look in the pantry for signs of safe food. Most of the contents were ripped open or destroyed due to hungry animals but I managed to find a few jars of canned corn, green beans, and even peaches. I popped open the tab on the peach can and began to consume the contents with a ravenous demeanor. They were delicious and sweet and I shoved them into my mouth with my bare hands. I drank the juice that remained in the can as well. I found a partially crushed bag of potato chips and decided that it was my lucky day. I emptied the bag into my stomach faster than even I could believe, but the salty chips made my thirst intensify beyond what is was before. I looked for signs of bottled or clean water. There were none anywhere in the entire kitchen and I decided that there was a big change that there could be water and more canned food in the basement. I went down the hall to the door that I assumed was the entrance to the basement. The door creaked open with a groan of protest and revealed a dark and very large room. I tested the light switch and found that this house was still connected to the power grid. In the far corner, covered in a mess of cobwebs and rodent feces sits a small pile of jars and jugs. I dug through the pile and lunged for what looked like a very large unopened jug of water. I inhaled about a quarter of the container before I could manage to contain my thirst and close the lid.

I worked my way through the pile rather quickly to gather what was salvageable and packed them away into my bag. I jammed the water jug into the last available space in my pack and decided that It probably wasn't a good idea to have turned the light on since it was possible that the government was monitoring the power grid. I quickly turned the light off and left the abandoned farm house.

I had been walking for about twenty minutes since I left that old house when I heard a slight rustling behind me. I looked behind me where I saw two doves fly up out of the brush. There appeared to be slight movement coming from the place where the doves were but I didn't wait around to find out who or what was hiding in there. I ran as fast as I possibly could but I could hear sounds of pursuit behind me.

“Wait!” a voice called out followed by the huffing and puffing of someone trying to catch their breath.

I hesitated for a second and turned around to find the source of the voice. The woman appeared to be about the age of twenty. She was short and petite with a shock of blonde hair held loosely in a braid. There was a large unsightly scar across her right cheek that didn't seem to take away from the cold beauty of her icy blue eyes. Her clothes were a mess of mud and dirt and her boots were completely cloaked in a thick coat of mud. I swiftly took out my bowie knife and stuck it straight out in front of my body.

“Don’t come any closer!” I said with a harsh cold tone.

She held up her hands in surrender and spoke reassuringly in a smooth, calm tone, “I have no intention of hurting you! I just want to talk, I swear!” I hesitated but didn't lower my blade.

“Stay back!” I commanded sharply, pointing my knife towards her, and then asked, “What’s your name?”

She backed up while stuttering, “It’s Je-Jess.” I considered that she probably wasn't as big of a threat as I had first thought.

“Okay. You a watcher Jess, or are you working with the government?” I asked in a disgusted and taunting tone.

“No! I swear! In fact I’ve been hiding in my barn since they came to take my family. I sneak out every few days to get fresh water from the well and scavenge what’s left from my family’s store house. They killed my parents and captured my younger sister, Anna, about a month ago. I’ve been too afraid to try and escape since then!”, Explained Jess in a pleading tone. I lowered my sword hastily and decided that she may have been telling the truth. “I followed you when I saw you leaving my house. I didn’t think that you were one of them, and I needed someone to help me get away from this place.”

“I travel alone. You can’t come with, you’ll only bring me down.” I said, in a cold voice. I began to grab my pack and put my knife away. I turned away and started walking.

“Please! Don't leave me. I won’t make it alone!” Jess said, begging.

After some hesitation I said “Fine, but keep up. I got a lot of ground to cover tonight.” She seemed content with my answer and followed along quietly.

We walked for what seemed like eons before she said anything. “What’s your name, if you don't mind me asking?” she asked sheepishly.

“Eve.” I said, without so much as a glance behind me. “How did you get that scar?” I asked, curiously.

“It was the night they came for my family. I got away, but nobody else made it. They got me with a blade before I could escape.” She said, attempting to hide her tears. She looked like she might add something else but then she looked away. She seemed to be lost in thought. I could see that she was slipping further and further behind and I reminded her sharply to keep up.

About two or three hours later we were near an interstate that appeared on my map to be running north, and I decided to trek close to it so that we didn't get lost. I had been thinking quietly for the past twenty minutes about my family. I remembered the last words from my mother. She had told me that I was the last hope for humanity. She told me to run fast and far and to never look back. That night was a night of fear and terror that I will never forget.

It was a cool fall evening and we had been able to finally get something to eat after waiting in the terribly long lines at the supermarket. The government had passed a law earlier that month stating that all food would now be completely distributed by the government. This caused terrible shortages and long lines with waits that could last hours or days. I had eaten quickly and receded to my room, which was normal behavior for me since I was sort of a solitary being by nature.

It must have been about an hour after dinner that I heard a loud crack. I heard screaming and shouting and I bounded out of my room to find the front door in pieces and a couple soldiers with rifles sighted at my parents and brother. They immediately saw me and commanded me to come and stand with the rest of my family. My mother began yelling for me to run. I hesitated because I couldn't just leave them. I was torn but my family urged me, pleading. With one glance back at the soldiers, I ran to my room. I broke the window and swiftly jumped to the ground with a thud. I did not stick the landing and could feel the air forced from my lungs. I couldn't breathe. I was panicking. I got up as fast as I could and ran for my car. My keys were luckily in the pocket of my jeans and I jumped in and peeled away from the curb just as the soldiers opened fire at me. A shot flew through my windshield then through my passenger window and had just nearly missed me. I floored it and began my long journey of running and hiding from them.

A soft voice interrupted my thoughts and asked “Hey, are you alright?”

I snapped back into reality and looked to the right of me to see Jess. She had a strange look on her face. I glared at her and said nothing as I wiped the tears that had been silently escaping my eyes. “It’s nothing.” I said in a low and fierce tone.

We continued for an hour or two more and stumbled upon a secluded and small house. It was an old farm house, but looked to be sturdy enough. We decided to take a look around. It was about four a.m. and I knew that we had only an hour or two left to travel by the safety of dark and, quite frankly, I was exhausted. The house seemed to be long since abandoned and I deemed it safe to stay during the brightest hours of daylight. Jess seemed pretty tired as well. We found some old cans of beans and opened them quickly and used some old forks that I had found lying around to eat with. We ate quietly and ferociously and both of us seemingly were trying to avoid each others wondering eyes. I began to feel slightly more comfortable with her, and she seemed to be a nice enough person. We searched the house for a possible place to sleep and found a bed that looked dusty and untouched since the house had been abandoned. I drew the blinds and sat down on the side of the bed. An awkward moment extended between Jess and I for what seemed like ages.

I decided that we needed to discuss some boundaries. I began to explain to her how it was going have to be between us before I could trust her completely. After spouting a few threats and rambling on about how I have encountered spies before, I made it clear that she would not live to see tomorrow if I ever found out that she was one of them. I then defined the boundaries for the night. I told her that she could sleep in this room, which appeared to be a guest room of the old house, and that I was going to sleep in a room that had a locking door. I did not trust her, and I knew of the possibility that she was just another one of those damned brainwashed fools. I said good night, well I guess it's not night but you know what I mean, and shut the old creaky door behind me.

I looked down the hall and saw a room at the end with the door spread wide open. I decided to investigate and entered the room to find a mess of clothing, jewelry, and sheets strewn about. It appeared that, at one point, a struggle had occurred in this room. I checked the door to see if there was a lock or something to secure me inside in case "Jess" decided to slit my throat while I slept. There was a lock, one that had a knob in the center of the handle that you turned in order to lock the door. I decided that this lock was alright and closed the door.

I secured the lock and then inspected the bed to find that there was no blood or signs of death. I decided that I would sleep in this room. I laid down and attempted to get some rest. After about an hour I fell into a weary slumber.

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