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Surviving The Ending Handbook: Zoe's Foreword

Surviving The Ending, A Handbook

Foreword by Zoe Cartwright

Spring, 2 AE

It's been two years since The Ending. Two years of struggling with the loss of our loved ones, with our survival and our abilities. We've spent the past twenty-eight months learning how to fight and co-exhist and trust each other in a way we've never really had to before.

Each week, my work duties rotate to ensure we're all contributing to the greater good, that we're teaching others to do the same and sharing with them the skills we've accumulated in our journey to get to this point. I run the clinic with Harper, scribe notes and map out plans for Jason and routes for Jake; I Chris and Sanchez with self-defense training and teach those who wish to use a bow what Tavis taught me. I assist Carlos and Gabe in helping people continue to hone in their abilities, and I watch the youth and play with the children when the others need a break. Every day is full and goes by in the blink of an eye. The days meld, but I am not the only one who loses track of the time, the nights, the seasons. I'm not the only one who's life has turned into an itemized agenda that can be mapped out until the end of my days.

Today is the mark of spring, and after a long, harsh winter the sun is shining and the days begin to grow a little bit longer. Dani and Jason have gone to New Bodega with a few of the others to barter and meet with the town council, while I sit in the dining room, looking out at Annie and Ceara, napping in the living room, neither of them so little anymore. It's times like these, the quiet ones when there is room to think outside of chores and the hustle and bustle of our lives, that I get these crazy ideas. What would it be like to have more time?

When Becca found this typewriter in the attic last month, I decided I'm going to write this book. Not a novel or an essay, but a guide to living this life we find ourselves in; it will be a tool used to train, explain and illustrate, and will hopefully be the first of many.

I am going to compile everything we've documented and learned-what we spend our days teaching others-so that along with our day-to-day tasks, we can spend time with our families. A year ago, we started cataloging this new world of ours-what we've learned from the land, what dangers we've encountered and continue to face, and how to help those who have been adversely affected by the Virus, and so on. As our community continues to grow, so much our methods, and although no one is aware of it yet, I am going to enlist each and every persons help with this. We all have skills to teach, and knowledge to share. And, in June, when my dad, Carlos, and Jake lead a group of us down to Southern California to meet with a colony we've been in communication with, we can pass our information on to them as well. In this world, knowledge is power, as horrifically cheesy as it sounds, and between us all, we have enough shared experiences and knowledge to fill volumes.

So, I write this foreword not only as a logical first step, but to remind myself what really matters: time. If we can't steal a few moments to love and appreciate the life we've created with each other, then why? This grand idea might bite me in the butt, but there you have it, one more project to add to the list.

Now, to find my first victim...

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