WARNING: This challenge contains disturbing scenes and mature subject matter. Rated T for teen, but may change to M for mature later on. Reader’s discretion is strongly advised!

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It’s the end of the world and I am utterly, frighteningly alone…

This diary is the only thing I have to keep me sane; to help me keep track of the days. Maybe one day, if this dark time ever ends, people will stumble across it and know that this was real. The apocalypse happened and one survivor wrote it down on paper.

My name is Killara Burnum. I’m twenty-three years old. My first name means “strong warrior” and my last name means “permanent”, “always there”, or “unchanging” in Aboriginal. My parents never knew exactly just how much the name they gave me would be tested. No one knew.

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I graduated from college a little while ago. I was really proud of myself. Me and my floormates were having a party in the lounge. There was tonnes of food and drinks and music. I was having the time of my life. I couldn’t wait to go back home and show off my diploma to my family, but I never got that chance. The music on the radio cut out and a news announcer reported that there was breaking news involving Riverview. I told my best friend Sherrie to turn up the volume, because Riverview’s my home town and I was curious.

My curiosity turned to horror when I heard what the breaking news was.

This just in: the sleepy town of Riverview experienced a major catastrophe yesterday afternoon. All three nuclear power plants experienced meltdowns, causing the entire town to shut down. Water is no longer readily available and looters and criminals have taken over everything. Everything is dead; survivors have described it as a barren desert with no life. Many are dead and the few that remain are in hiding. It’s the apocalypse for this small farming community.

Have you ever felt like someone was squeezing your lungs really hard and you couldn’t breathe? That’s how I felt. I packed up what stuff I could carry and rushed home to my family… only there was no home or family to go back to.

Day 1

I just barely made it back before the roads shut down. I leapt out of the cab and ran to my family’s farm; the farm I had been born and raised on. A strangled sob rose in my throat when I saw what was left of it; rubble. All the animals were gone, the crops were dead, the house and barn were destroyed… looters had destroyed and stolen everything. It was nothing but a bare, desert landscape.

“Mom! Dad! Caleb!” I screamed, sifting desperately through the rubble. I could feel hot, salty tears coursing down my cheeks, but what did I care? Every brick felt like a hay bale as I scrabbled through the remains of my home in search of my family, praying to the rock spirits encasing them that they were still alive; that I had come back in time to save them.

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I let out a low, anguished moan as I came across a small, tanned hand; my brother’s hand. I frantically dug further and managed to pull him out of the debris. His dark face was covered in dust and I held him close. He was breathing. He coughed and gripped my hand so tightly, it hurt. “Killara… you came… I missed you…” he whispered weakly.

“I missed you, too, Caleb. What happened? Where’s Mom and Dad?” I asked him, cradling him in my arms. Tears left dark trails in the dust on my little brother’s face.

“Dead. They’re dead,” he choked. “Robbers… came to steal our stuff… Dad tried to fight. They killed him… Mom too…” I couldn’t really see Caleb through the tears anymore. I sobbed and held him close. I had just talked to them on the phone yesterday morning. They’d been so excited to see me come home. Now they never would. I could feel my brother’s grip on me loosen. Before I could even tell him I loved him, he was gone.

“CALEB!” I screamed, clinging to him as though if I just held him tight enough, his spirit would stay in his body. He was just a kid. Barely ten years old and he was dead. How is that fair?

I sat there with my brother in my arms for a long time and cried. A deep loathing for the thugs who had done this to my family invaded every part of me. I swore then and there that I wouldn’t be a coward and hide like everyone else. I would join the military and help rebuild it and one day, make the streets of Riverview safe once again. I owed that to my family.

I buried him in the barren dirt at the back of our property. I did the same with my parents once I found them in the devastation. I said a prayer to the wind spirits to carry their souls to the afterlife safely. I wanted to lie there and mourn forever, but I knew Riverview wasn’t safe anymore. I had to build a strong shelter to keep me safe. I needed to live long enough to help rebuild this town.

It took a long time, but I built a sturdy, elevated shelter and furnished it with what little was left in the pile of rubble the looters left. I had basic things, like a bed and a fridge. I have a toilet, but the water running through it is disgusting. Same with the sink. There’s no way I can bathe in that water. There’s no lights, either. The electricity is damaged real bad. It flickers in and out whenever it feels like it. It’s always dark in here. I didn’t want to put windows in and give intruders delicate glass to break to get inside.

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I got a job at the military base right away. Looking through the paper disgusts me now; it’s all propaganda and bullshit from the mob who’s taken over everything. I decided to get a head start on promotions by working out to the little beat-up boombox near my bed. It’s a lot harder than it was before. There’s so much radiation in the air, I feel like my muscles and bones are deteriorating, but I pushed myself anyway; I need to rise in the ranks before I can help reestablish anything in this town.

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I stink worse than a skunk after that workout, but I guess I’ll need to get used to being filthy. There’s no clean water anywhere in this town. I’m actually scared to drink it, but it’s all that’s available.

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I start my first day of work at what’s left of the military base tomorrow. I should sleep now, but it’ll be hard. I’m going to need to keep semi-alert all night. The slightest noise could mean a looter or rapist trying to break in. I won’t be sleeping soundly for a long time.

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NOTES

This is the first chapter of my Apocalypse Challenge. The original Apocalypse Challenge was created for The Sims 2 by Pinstar, and I adapted it to suit The Sims 3. I won’t be releasing my adapted version until I have Pinstar’s permission to post it, but I wanted to share the story of Killara Burnum with you. I think she’s an extraordinary character and wanted you all to follow her story.

My main focus will still be The Charm Legacy, but I’ll be playing and posting about this whenever I need a break from The Charm Legacy.

Please be aware of the fact that this story is MUCH darker and more disturbing than The Charm Legacy, so please don’t post comments like “OMG dis iz sooo deepresssiiiinnngggg!!!!” and “Y do u have 2 make it so sad? :(” You’ve been warned about the content twice now, so complaints about it will not be approved. Of course, feel free to comment with insight and constructive feedback, like always!

Happy Simming!

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