A young Kain Elijah was brought into the world on September 30th, 1994 and left by his mother only 2 months later at His House Children's Home just 20 minutes from downtown Miami, Florida. Unfortunately I never knew my biological parents as I was merely a few months old when I was classically left on the doorstep in the early hours of the morning of what would become my new home. I was never adopted in my early years but I had been through several homes before I had even turned 10. According to my foster parent's at my orphanage, I was one of the most difficult babies that had ever came through and I was very stressful and fussy to manage even as a toddler. Destruction and chaos always followed whenever I entered a new area. It sometimes feels like it was all the built up trauma from being placed on that porch and not being able to scream for my mother to come back as a baby. I've always wondered what she looked like, as well as my father, and whatever situation they were in to where they couldn't take care of a newborn baby that desperately yearned for their love.
As the years slowly passed for me and I reached my teen years, education was not my forte. I struggled with the simplest of subjects such as reading and mathematics due to being slightly dyslexic and losing interest in the abilities of the home school teachers as they began to show resentment towards how detached I was from anything surrounding me. This carried on into being around possible adopters and , personally, the only frequent thought I had when they sent me back to my group home was that they didn't want me because I was 'too stupid' in their eyes. Soon, after being forgotten about by so many foster parents, group homes, and running out of options of ever finding a family until one day I was handed off to a man I would grow to cherish in every sense as a father figure.
-The Beginning of my Ending-
A small, chubby man, in his late 40s, who went by the name Gerald Walkens, was an just an average American who managed and owned a small home improvement company in West Miami. Gerald was a married man, but sadly his wife died several years prior to my arrival to a late stage of Cervical Cancer, I was fortunate enough to learn all about her through him over time, all I can say is that she was wonderful in every way imaginable. But alas, he was the last foster parent I ever had and thus, became the first real family I had in my 15 years of being alive. Knowledge and kindness are what made that old geezer who he was, and it shaped who I am as a person and my personality. At first, living with someone who didn't understand me or my past was hard on the both of us. There were fights, there were words, and there were days I wouldn't even make eye contact because of the discomfort. This was the first time that there was no choice for me but to open up to the man who stood before me as it slowly became obvious that Gerald was not going to let me go like the families before him.
Over the course of a few years, Gerald and I became closer as we got used to each other's presence in the household. He slowly started to see the pain and the traumatizing effects the orphanage left upon me and for my 17th birthday, took me to beach where, for the first time in my life, I got to experience the ocean in all it's exponential glory and vastness. It was there, on that very beach, that the man I slowly began to love and respect over the years had given me the happiest set of news I had ever been given, I was officially and legally a Walkens and Kain Elijah was no more.
The next few years of my life consisted of Dad and I taking more and more trips to the beaches along Florida's east coast and we managed to visit Key West a few times by tagging along with Dad's employees/friends from work. The old man sort of began to rub off on me and I became a spitting image of Gerald. Hell, sometimes the only way to tell us apart was the fact that I slowly began accumulating tattoos, all of which relating to my new passion for adventure and specifically, adventuring to new beaches or lakes. Many of my tattoos express my love for the water and represent the peace and tranquility these places bring amongst the soul and how they free your mind, I also have a tattoo of Gerald's face on my side but that was just my way of showing him the love I carry for him as a father and as my best friend in life. I digress. For the past 3 years, my father always surprised me with a trip to a different city along the coast. On my 18th birthday he took me to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at 19, Long Beach, California, at 20, Hawaii (cowabunga). So you can only assume how anxious I had become as we approached my 21st birthday.
It approaches like a bullet train but quickly passes with no sign of a trip, getaway, vacation, or even a present. I was sad and confused because it had always been a small tradition we carried between us in our tiny family. Months begin to roll by and for what seems like an eternity, Dad never even acknowledged it. The old geezer was always a man of many wonders though, and this time he really fucking out-did himself. I had completely given up the idea that we were going to be taking one of our mini-vacations only weeks after my 21st came and went. Until, July rolls around, it's the 3rd, and it begins with Dad waking me up in the wee hours of the morning and demanding I pack my bags immediately... We're heading to Russia.
One of my pictures taken before we left for Hawaii to compare to my sweet tan when we got back
-A Dark Future-
We entered Russia knowing the turmoil surrounding the country and the destruction that was going on in the region within the past couple of years but our travel plans only had us there for 8 days. It turns out, my old man wanted to make my 21st birthday special, but to make something truly special, time must be a factor. The Black Sea was set to be the first, as well as one of the many areas that Gerald had planned for us to visit as we traveled across the country. I was ecstatic, I was vibrantly happy, I was... breathless. I never before thought that any country nor place riddled with protesters or inner conflict could still become on of the most beautiful places of scenery I have laid my eyes on in this world. After landing in Krasnodar International, we grabbed a car and traveled West and eventually planted down in Sochi. I'll be honest, this city didn't have the nicest beach, but it was a life experience that I got to share with my best friend, my father, the fat Kermit the Frog.
The last two days of our trip were supposed to be smooth as we ventured along the coast where we were supposed to catch our flight out through Krasnodar International Airport on the 11th and take a red eye to our connecting flight that would throw us back into the States. I don't know what was going through my mind at the time, maybe it was just stupidity, but I followed the coast, far off of our path to Krasnodar. It wasn't until I saw the sign, I could make out only one word, Chernarus, but I can only assume it was a welcoming sign as we entered the country just north of South Zagoria. Immediately, we were swarmed by military police that were set up in some kind of blockade and forced from our car. Mid way through our interaction with our new-found violent military friends with a language barrier larger than the Great Wall of China, we hear screeching and what sounds like a stampede coming from just beyond the tree line into the woods.
At first, it only seemed like the wretched sounds were from a pack of wolves nearby, until they came. They were people, but no ordinary people looked the way these things did. Covered in blood, gray skin, stiff body movement, the moved heavily and in numbers. The closest military officers immediately opened fire upon maybe a dozen of these people running towards us. My father and I immediately took cover behind the car we traveled into the country with. As the gunfire continued, we heard men crying and begging for someone to help. Gerald peeked over the hood of the car that was providing the only line of safety we had. Not a split second later one of the people we saw emerge from the treeline flung over the hood and started attacking my father like a wild animal, tearing his flesh apart like it was paper. His grunts turned to screams as he urged me to run, to get to the car and just get out of here. Quickly, I hopped into our vehicle and attempted to start it, click click, one of the soliders managed to shoot out what I can only assume was our starter during the violence that ensued. I was trapped, as my car was swarmed upon by whatever these things were, I climbed into the back seat, hunkered down, and anticipated my fate.
The last picture my father took of me before we made it into South Zagoria
-Welcome to the End-
Hours had passed since the attack at the border, the footsteps, the screams, they all ended after a while. Not once did I dare to glance out the windows as I sat myself on the floorboard of the backseat. Thoughts swarmed my mind about what I saw transpire and I slowly wept at my fathers memory. It began to get later in the day, as far as I knew, it was some time in the afternoon before I crept up to the window seal to take a look at my surroundings. It was quiet, there were bodies everywhere, some dismembered, disfigured, and marks from where some may have even been dragged off. There were no signs of the crazies, as well as no signs of my father. Gerald was gone, blood and pieces of skin and muscle replaced where he once laid. I looked around me and proceeded to vomit repulsively at the stench and the sight of the gore that lay before the vehicles.
There was nothing more that I could do. I was helpless. I made a life of death decision in that moment, and in fear of running across the infected myself, I grabbed one of the weapons laying on the pavement where a body once laid. I heard gunfire from the way we came from previously into South Zagoria, followed by empathetic screaming. Going back wasn't an option in my mind now. I took my backpack from the trunk of the car and replaced its contents with bits of clothing from my luggage, zipped it up, and trotted east towards the coast, following signs for a place called СВЕТЛОЯРСК (Svetloyarsk) where I planned to hopefully find safer civilization that could help.
This is where my second life begins, an outbreak that swept a nation, that took the only family I had, that crushed my whole existence.
Once again, I was alone.
Welcome to the End