Prologue

I looked up at the sky on this cool October morning and watched the sun rise. For this time of year however, it seemed warmer. Before grabbing the paddle for my kayak, I took a look at the dark side of the coastline and stared up at the darkness of the stars. I saw what looked like at least 6 shooting stars.

“Odd.” I said to myself.

I paddled back to the coastline and loaded all my stuff up into my old 2008 Honda Civic. After tying the kayak to the top of my car, I set off back for my home a few hours away.  This lake I go to, had somewhat of a charm, even if the ocean was even closer to my house than the 6 hour drive to this lake.

I had a girlfriend at the time, but oddly enough she did not want to sit in a car with me for a 12 hour round trip just to go camping. Oh well, it was her loss. The peacefulness of nothing around was kind of nice, though the occasional cargo ship crossing through to get to the Midwest was occasionally annoying.

Driving through the countryside before I reach the large suburban sprawl I called home, I drove through several small towns, most of which were basically deserted due to the lack of employment for people there. As I approached one town, I decided now would be the best time to get gas. I stopped at this small country general store/gas station to get gas. Even though it took several months to save up enough money for this trip, I believed it was worth it, even if the prices of gas were somewhat insane. I looked at the gas pump to see how much it would cost for gas.

“$16.27 for a gallon of gas?” I said.  “Holy hell, and I thought Boston was bad!”

I pumped my 8 gallons of gas and went in to pay for the rest of it. An older guy was working at the counter. I grabbed a cola and went up to the counter. The person decided to have a conversation with me, which I didn’t mind at all after not really talking for the past 3 days.

“Yeah boy, I know what you are thinking about the cost of gas.” He told me. “You have to understand though that nobody really passes through here or even lives around here anymore. Jobs are hard to come by boy.”

“Actually I understand that completely. Both my parents are unemployed right now.”

“So why’s a young guy like you out here in a place like this?”

“I decided to go to Lake Ontario and go camping. I saved up months for this.”

“Shouldn’t you be helping your family out then? I mean this is all a waste of money.”

“It’s understandable, but after saving a few dollars out of every paycheck I’ve made for the past 8 months, it was well worth it. I only keep about a tenth of what I make for myself. Everything else goes to them.”

“Oh, I see kid. Hopefully there are more people like you out there, eventually all of this will change. I mean it’s gotten so bad here that the Canadians have even called off their annexation into the United States. “

I looked to the ground and sighed.

“Because we never managed our finances properly. You can’t make something out of nothing. My friends are the same as me, even though their families have been much much luckier than mine.”

Leaving that store, I started heading back. It was about noon when I finally got home. My friend Marc came out of his house across the street to greet me. Marc was how I would consider a very very lucky guy. Both his parents were employed. His father was an engineer and his mother was a doctor. They were very well off. However, they still cared about the people around them, and would often take me into their house to have dinner when there were times that I would have to go without. His personality however showed some arrogance, although we shared a lot of the same ideas and beliefs.

“Hey dude, how was your weekend?” He asked.

“It was okay. I went to go visit my grandparents.” I lied.  Me vanishing every so often was something I liked to keep from my friends. We all had our geekish tendencies; however them knowing I also enjoyed the outdoors made me somewhat nervous that they would change their views on me.

“Well, my mom made you guys a chicken casserole. It’s sitting on the counter in your kitchen.”

“Okay, I’ll see you and Jim in a little bit, okay? Just let me get cleaned up.”

Jim was another one of my friends. His dad was also an engineer, however his mother, a school teacher, got laid off recently due to a massive cutdown on education in the country. The three of us did everything together. We all became friends our first day in kindergarten, and since then basically were inseparable. I walked back into the house to see what was going on. Walking back into my bedroom I could hear my phone which I left here over the weekend going off.

“496 missed calls?! Holy crap!”

I answered the phone. “Hello?”

“I have been you calling you every hour for the past 3 days! Where the hell were you?”

“I went to the lake, like I said. That place you refused to go.”

“You didn’t talk to me for three days! If you are that kind of person, it’s over!”

*Click*

“….Great.” I said with a sigh. Apparently I’m now short a girlfriend. All over forgetting my phone. I guess that’s the standard temper with women.

I decided then to go and take a shower. In the shower, I turned on the radio. Every channel was cookie-cutter music or political garbage from nutjobs who either hated the government or pro-government propaganda. Typical, as usual. An author once stated that the best way of controlling people is to give them the truth, however in a sea of useless information. This was, in my opinion, what I noticed a lot.

As I climbed out of the shower, I felt a rumble enough that shook me off my feet as I as lifting my foot over the bathtub. This rumble was enough to make me lose balance and fall onto the toilet next to me. The last thing I remember was hitting the bathroom floor, while attempting to grab the toilet paper dispenser to slow my fall. The only thing I remember seeing after that was the side of the toilet bowl where my head was about to hit.